Preparing for an Aging World

Admissions for this program will be paused for academic year 2022-2023.

As large segments of the US population move into later life, Gerontology is more relevant than ever.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Gerontology places an emphasis on developing an understanding of the older person, from the level of the physiological and psychological effects of aging on the individual, to the influence of society as a whole, as well as research theory and practice in the field. Gerontology students come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, including laboratory sciences, healthcare, social sciences, and government and non-profit work; they go on to careers in teaching, service, and as national and international leaders in research on aging.


Contact information:

Director of Graduate Studies
John Watkins, PhD

Why choose the PhD in Gerontology?

"Being part of one of the oldest doctoral programs in Gerontology in the nation has allowed me to connect with leaders in our field, and to develop a clear academic career trajectory."

- Aaron Guest, Gerontology doctoral candidate


The year the UK Graduate Center for Gerontology was founded. That makes us one of the oldest PhD in Gerontology programs in the nation.

65 Million

US residents over age 60 in 2017.

77 Million

US residents over age 60, projected, by 2020.

Our faculty are active scholars.

Here are a few of the wide-ranging topics covered by our faculty: cell-based studies of neurodegeneration; functional studies of muscle hypertrophy; nutrition-based research to improve cognitive and muscle function; massage therapy intervention strategies; intervention strategies for health behavior and health promotion; mental health and substance use management; investigation of high risk decision making strategies and identifying factors that influence those decisions; identification of risk factors for elder abuse; exploring ethical treatment of elders; transactional perspectives on aging/environment interactions and their relationship to health and wellbeing; aging in rural and Appalachian environments; life course studies, gerontological education; and working with local, state, national, and international leaders to change public policy.

Downloadable Brochure