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York College's BS in Gerontology Program Ranked #3

York College has the only bachelor's degree program in Gerontology in CUNY and in all of New York City.

A report by Dr. Alex W. Costley

We continue to maintain national rankings as #3 at Accredited Colleges in the U.S. and #3 at “affordable” colleges as well. Similar programs can cost two to three times as much at private colleges and our graduates can start their careers with less debt and more career mobility. We are also ranked #11 by College Choice and #18 by U.S. News Education, among all Gerontology BS programs in the U.S.

What Is Gerontology?

“Gerontology” is the study of aging across the life course and older individuals in their physical, mental, and social well-being. It also investigates changes in society and culture due to population aging and increased longevity. Gerontologists work in many fields including health education, long-term care, social services, social science research, public policy, economics, and public administration. Gerontologists are in demand as national and global populations are aging. Since 2011, when the oldest “Baby Boomers” turned 65, over 8000 people each day in the U.S. have been turning 65. By 2030, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) predicts that 20% or 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. will be over age 65 and in New York City, the number of older will reach 1.35 million.

To Learn More About “Careers in Aging” see the student handbook from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA)

York Gerontology Graduates

It takes a special person to study aging and commit to a career working to improve the lives of older adults. Gerontologists also supports each other through professional associations for research, social service, care management, and even financial planning. We are proud to keep in touch with our graduates through Linked In for a growing alumni network and mentoring. Former students have gone on to master’s degree programs in Social Work (MSW), Physician Assistant (PA), Occupational Therapy (OT), Public Administration (PA), Healthcare Law, and Nursing Programs in the New York area. Our students are working as: licensed master social workers, program administrators, case managers, program coordinators, business analysts, human service managers, caseworkers with APS, and long-term care insurance consultants.

Gerontology at York College (Major and Minor)

The 56-credit major (with a required GPA of 2.0), provides a unique interdisciplinary approach to coursework in aging, health education, psychology, and social work (with electives in anthropology, biology, political science, and sociology). The emphasis on “health education” is now a national priority in aging studies supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy People 2030 campaign. The major also includes 6-credits of “Fieldwork” where students gain valuable exposure to some of NYC’s largest and most well-established medical centers and social-service providers and work experience.

Past students have been offered jobs after graduation at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens Hospital Center, Jamaica Service Program for Older Adults (JSPOA), Hebrew Home for the Aged, the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC), and Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP).

The 15-credit minor is also open to students who have a unique interest in aging and have room in their studies to take this knowledge and skills into their major studies. Students can declare a minor without formal approval, but advising is strongly encouraged so that we know you have room in your studies and can complete the program. For students who have been looking to get started in the programs by taking GERO 101: Introduction to Gerontology, we know this course is in-demand, so please contact the coordinator so we can make room for you.

For more information, please contact Prof. Alex W. Costley, Ph.D. Coordinator, Gerontology programs: 718-262-5116 or

*Dr. Costley received his Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Columbia University. Before coming to York College, he worked as the educational director of the geriatric “rotation” for the Internal Medicine residency program at Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He continues to serve as a program reviewer for the American Association of Medical Colleges, Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) for annual regional meetings. His forthcoming chapter on the past and future of geriatric medical education will appear in The Handbook of Contemporary Ageing Issues: Global Narratives, by Springer Publishing (2022).

CUNY Students

Please Join the Gerontology Interest Group (GIG)!

For more information about careers in aging services, special events, internships, and memberships in New York City, please join the Gerontology Interest Group (GIG) on Blackboard. This will not change your major it is just an e-mail list for registered CUNY students:

  1. Through CUNY Portal go to the Blackboard home page. On the left side, scroll down to the box labeled “organization search” (under My Courses, Tools, and Course Search). Type in the keyword: gerontology.
  2. Next to “YC Gerontology,” click on the drop-down menu, and choose “enroll.”
  3. Click on a “submit” button. After you enroll, you should see a new link for the interest group on your Blackboard homepage in the box called “My Organizations.”