University of Southern California
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Courses of Instruction

Gerontology (GERO)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

200 Gerontology: The Science of Adult Development (4, FaSp) Introduction to adult development through the lifespan; biological, psychological, and social processes; gerontology as a career for the future.

210 Biology of Adult Development (4, FaSpSm) Processes underlying human aging, from cellular mechanisms to organ systems; how basic research is applied to understand health, disease, and vitality throughout the lifespan.

215 Nutrition and Health for a Lifetime (4) Through an introduction to concepts and analytical thinking in the biological and nutritional sciences, this course investigates and evaluates recent information on major health risks during adulthood.

310 Physiology of Aging (4, Fa) Effects of normative aging processes on homeostatic mechanisms and how these changes relate to development of disorder and disease in later life. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L.

320 Psychology of Adult Development (4, FaSp) How psychologists study thinking, memory, emotions, personality, and behavior, and how people change in these throughout adulthood to old age. Recommended preparation: PSYC 100.

330 Society and Adult Development (4, FaSp) How social relationships affect adults of different ages; the changing contract across generations; interaction of culture, race, family and social values with adult development.

340 Policy, Values, and Power in an Aging Society (4, FaSp) How Americans' political values affect public policy. Studies of landmark legislation to explore the social contract between generations and role of governments in social welfare. (Duplicates credit in former GERO 240.)

350 Administrative Problems in Aging (2 or 4, Fa) Analysis of the skills, approaches and issues involved in the planning, development, and implementation of programs directed at meeting the needs of older persons.

380m Diversity in Aging (4) Exploring diversity in the older population and variability in the human aging process.

385 Transitions in Adulthood (2 or 4, Sp) An exploration of the critical issues and transitions in the adult years, including careers, relationships, parenthood, and major turning points for personal development.

390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

402 Housing for the Elderly: Policy, Programs and Design (2) An overview of housing policies, programs, and design for the elderly, including analysis and evaluation of past, current, and proposed government programs.

411L Physiology, Nutrition, and Aging (2 or 4) Explores nutritional needs and the physiological, psychological, and sociological relationships to nutrition. Laboratory experiments in assessment and evaluation.

412L Exercise and Aging: Principles and Programs (2 or 4) Physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of exercise. Laboratory involvement in assessment and evaluation of fitness.

414 Neurobiology of Aging (4, Fa) Age-related changes in nervous system structure and function; relationship of brain changes to changes in cognitive function and perception; Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L.

415 Neuroaffective Disorders of Aging (4, Sp) Methods of studying, evaluating, and treating cognitive, psychiatric, and behavioral problems associated with medical conditions of old age.

416 Health Issues in Aging (4, Sp) Physiological, psychological, and social health problems of older people; organizational factors in health care delivery.

421 Managed Care for an Aging Society (4, FaSp) Examines key legislation, policies, practice, and outcomes of managed care and how population aging affects health care delivery.

435m Women and Aging: Psychological, Social and Political Implications (4) Problems and resources of the middle-aged and older woman in a changing society; including discrimination, stereotypes, employment, social interaction, etc.

437 Social and Psychological Aspects of Death and Dying (2 or 4, FaSp) Introduction and critical survey of the current issues, concepts, and research of the social and psychological aspects of death and dying.

440 Biodemography of Aging (4, Sp) Consideration of the biological and social-cultural factors that govern the evolution of life spans and the life of humans and selected animal models. Prerequisite: BISC 120L; recommended preparation: statistics.

451 Policy and Program Development in Aging (4, Fa) Policy trends and changing roles of local, state, and federal agencies in planning, managing, and evaluating programs in comprehensive, coordinated systems of service for older persons.

452 Economic Issues and the Aged (2 or 4, Sp) Analysis of economic factors associated with the aged; implications for individuals, society, and the economy; life-cycle economics, retirement, income maintenance, and social security.

470 Aging and Business (4, Fa) An introduction to the dynamic roles of business in an aging society focusing on workplace issues, marketing to mature consumers, and careers for business gerontologists.

475 Ethical Issues in Geriatric Health Care (4) Biomedical ethical issues that are encountered in working with geriatric patients. Examination of ethical theory and the application of theory to clinical settings.

481 Case Management for Older Adults (4, Fa) Overview of the concepts, characteristics, skills, and clinical issues of case management in a variety of settings serving older persons.

490x Directed Research (2-8, max 8) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

491 Gerontology Practicum (2-8, max 8, FaSpSm) Supervised experience in one or more community agencies that serve older adults. Graded CR/NC.

492 Senior Seminar in Aging (4, Fa) An in-depth integration of major themes in scientific and professional gerontology, leading to the preparation of the senior paper.

495 Practicum in Geriatric Care (4, FaSpSm) Supervised experience in a geriatric health care setting which allows students to put theories and ideas into practice. Graded CR/NC. Lecture, discussion, and field work.

496 Introduction to Clinical Geriatrics (4) Medical problems of older adults emphasizing common geriatric syndromes, chronic illness, and alternative approaches to primary health care of older persons and their families. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L; recommended preparation: upper division standing.

497abc Honors Seminar (2, 2, 2-4, FaSpSm) Advanced study of empirical approaches in gerontology. Preparation, progress, presentation, and evaluation of Senior Honors Thesis research. Prerequisite: standing in Gerontology Honors Program.

499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Examination of special topics in the area of gerontology.

500 Perspectives on Aging: An Introduction (4) A web based course analyzing physical, mental, and social age-related changes as well as implications of population aging trends for individuals and society.

510 Physiology of Development and Aging (4, Sp) Examination of lifespan physiology of human development, growth, and aging; major emphasis in the physiology of the later years and implications for health maintenance.

513 Stress, Health, and Aging (2 or 4) A presentation of the importance of controlling stressful interaction. Aging is accelerated by stress induced disorders of regulation such as high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.

519 Biological Processes and Aging (2 or 4) Theories of the biology of aging and the effects of age on functional integrity of the total organism.

520 Life Span Developmental Psychology (2 or 4, FaSm) Behavior from adulthood to old age; study of major components of behavior such as perception, cognitive processes, personality, intergenerational relationships, sexuality, and life styles.

522 Counseling Older Adults and Their Families (2 or 4, Sp) Theory and application of assessment and intervention techniques with older adults and their families. Topics include: treatment modalities, psychopathology, ethical and legal issues, brain disorders.

529 Seminar in Psychological Aspects of Aging (2 or 4) Psychological changes in the later years; perception; sensory factors; intelligence and memory; psychophysiological measures; personality; psychopathology.

530 Life Span Developmental Sociology (4, Sp) Life span perspective on the sociological theories of marriage and the family, inter-generational relationships, work and retirement, and other forms of social organization.

540 Social Policy and Aging (4, Fa) Major legislation and programs; examination and analysis of policy-making and political processes affecting development and implementation of programs for older persons.

543 Continuum of Care: Systems Perspective (4) Structural and organizational aspects of institutional and community programs; public policies, fiscal management, regulation, administration; obstacles to interagency coordination; the continuum of care.

550 Administration and System Management in Programs for Older Adults (4, Sp) Application of theories of administration and system management to public and volunteer programs and services for older adults including residential institutions and community programs.

551 Applied Policy Skills in Aging (4, Sp) An overview and application of techniques and approaches used in the definition and analysis of policy problems in aging. Prerequisite: GERO 540.

552 Advanced Policy Seminar in Aging (4, Fa) Through an intensive seminar experience, students explore the policy making process in aging from the perspectives of decision makers in public and private sectors. Prerequisite: GERO 551.

554 Program Evaluation (2 or 4) Development of criteria for evaluating federal, state, and local policy planning and service delivery in aging.

555 Integrating Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Approach (4, Sp) Aging (commonalities and distinctions) as addressed by biologists, psychologists, and sociologists. Topics include research perspectives, normative aging, functional decline and disability, and aging and society.

556 Program Development (2 or 4) Principles and procedures of assessing needs, collecting resources, designing activities, and implementing programs for older people in a variety of community and institutional settings.

560 Complementary Medicine for Health and Longevity (4, Sp) Alternative healing practices and complementary medicine including Eastern medicine, herbal therapies, vitamin and dietary supplements for general health and specific issues in aging. Open to graduate students or undergraduate students with senior standing for undergraduate credit. Recommended preparation: GERO 500.

570 Corporate Policies and Aging (4, Sp) An introduction to the evolving roles of corporations in an aging society including such topics as retaining older workers, retiree benefits, and the mature consumer.

585 The Aging Family (2 or 4, Sm) Family processes and structure in families with aged persons will be reviewed, including marital and family therapy and intervention strategies.

589 Professional Issues in Gerontology (4, Fa) An introduction to the concepts, attitudes, values, knowledge, skills, and ethical issues upon which professional practice in gerontology is based.

590 Directed Research (1-12, FaSpSm) Research leading to the master's degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

591z Field Practicum (2-12, FaSpSm) Supervised experiential learning in one or more organizations that serve older adults; includes a regularly scheduled seminar. Graded IP/CR/NC.

592 Multidisciplinary Research Seminar in Aging (2, max 8, FaSp) Multidisciplinary perspectives on current research in gerontology, including physiology, neurobiology, health and medicine, psychology, sociology, and public policy. Topics will change each semester.

593 Research Methods (4, Fa) An introduction to research methods and their application to gerontology including problem formation, research design, data collection, descriptive and analytic statistics, interpretation, and report preparation.

594abz Master's Thesis (2-2-0, FaSpSm) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

599 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Examination of special topics in the area of gerontological study.

610 The Aging Society (4, Sp) The interaction of demographic and economic processes, with emphasis on how the contemporary nature of these interactions influence public policy response to an aging population.

628 Theories of Aging (4) An examination of the nature and adequacy of existing explanations of aging. Focus will be on psychological, sociological, and biological paradigms, and on the epistemology of theory.

640 Data Analysis Strategies (4, Fa) Hands-on experience in developing and testing hypotheses using various types of databases, data management and analysis strategies and written presentation of findings. Prerequisite: GERO 593.

645 Politics and Policy Processes in an Aging Society (4, Fa) Dynamics of the policy-making process in the context of aging policy in the United States; focus on the political system and its social dynamics.

650ab Advanced Seminar in Policy and Aging (2-2, Fa) Seminar topics will change each semester to reflect such policy areas as health, income-maintenance, mental health, and federal-state interactions.

655 Economic Foundations of Aging Policy (4, Sp) Economic consequences of population aging and the economic status of the aged; emphases include life-cycle economics and policies shaping retirement, income, and expenditure patterns.

790 Research (1-12, FaSpSm) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0, FaSpSm) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.