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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social Sciences Track Curriculum & Internship

Gerontology is an interdisciplinary program that is administered through the School of Applied Human Sciences in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and is under the supervision of the Gerontology Advisory Committee.

Total Hours for Major- Social Sciences Track
Total Hours for Liberal Arts Core
Total Hours for University Electives
Total Hours for Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology

Click here for requirements of programs in the School of Applied Human Sciences.

Curriculum Notes:

Not all classes are offered every semester.

Professional Practice in Family Services (FAM SERV 4190) is not a required course but is very useful and recommended for students in the semester before their internship. See your adviser for more information.

Internships can be completed in the fall, spring, or summer semester.

Gerontology: Social Sciences Track Internship

The internship for the Gerontology: Social Sciences track requires 250 hours.

Potential internship sites include area agencies on aging, the Alzheimer's Association, adult day cares, state and federal agencies, nursing homes, senior centers, assisted livings, and retirement communities. Social science track interns must work either directly or indirectly with older adults.

Although internships in the LTC Administration track must be done in Iowa, Social Science track internships can be done out of state. Internships can be completed in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Internship sites have included:

  • Western Home Communities, Cedar Falls
  • Landmark Commons, Waterloo
  • Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Waterloo
  • Faribault Senior Center, Faribault, MN
  • Lakeview Lodge, Waterloo
  • Cedar Falls Senior Center, Cedar Falls
  • Home Instead, Waterloo
  • Iowa Department on Aging, Des Moines
  • Alzheimer's Association, Des Moines
  • Alzheimer's Association, Cedar Falls
  • Alexian Brothers, Milwaukee, WI
  • Story County Community Life Program, Ames
  • New Aldaya Lifescapes, Cedar Falls
  • Rosewood Estate, Waterloo
  • Care Initiatives Hospice, Waterloo
  • Windsor Nursing and Rehab, Cedar Falls
  • Thalman Square, Waterloo
  • Hospice Compassus, Cedar Falls
  • WesleyLife, Des Moines

Visit with your adviser the semester before you plan to do your internship. You cannot register for your internship without your adviser's permission. You will also register for GERO 4193 Internship Seminar (1 credit hour) during the semester you intern.


Internship Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate professional competencies—knowledge and skills—in human development and aging families; and evaluate one’s professional knowledge and skills in relationship to an agency or organization’s purposes and practices.
  2. Assess the strengths, weaknesses, needs, and interaction patterns of older adults and aging families; apply current knowledge and theoretical concepts of human development and aging families to older adults and aging families in a professional setting.
  3. Provide educational, preventative, and/or supportive strategies and services to older adults and aging families; apply current knowledge and theoretical concepts of human development and aging families to older adults and aging families in a professional setting.
  4. Develop cooperative, collaborative relationships with colleagues and clients in a professional setting.


Student responsibilities:


  • You are responsible for seeking and obtaining internship placement, and placement must be approved by the faculty coordinator.
  • Conduct yourself as a professional at all times. Demonstrate ethical conduct, including confidentiality. Your appearance should convey a professional image. You should demonstrate initiative and trustworthiness.
  • Report for your internship as required and be punctual. Inform your site supervisor if absence if required.
  • Become familiar with the agency’s policies and procedure and adhere to them.
  • Inform faculty coordinator IMMEDIATELY of any problems or issues that develop on site.
  • You will complete all required assignments and projects and submit to your faculty coordinator.
  • You must have internet access during your internship because you will submit journals on the e-learning system.
  • Track all of your hours using a timesheet. This must be signed by your supervisor at the end of internship.


Establishing and completing an internship experience:


  • Start seeking your internship the semester before you plan to complete it.
  • Create a resume and cover letter to submit to agencies and organizations.
  • Contact your faculty coordinator about possible placements.
  • Meet with a site representative, preferably the person who would be your on-site internship coordinator. Prepare for this as if it is a job interview.
  • Follow up each internship interview with a thank-you note.
  • When you have decided on a site, fill out the placement agreement and send/fax it to your faculty coordinator. Be appreciative of individuals who are willing to supervise and mentor you.
  • Establish a schedule with your on-site coordinator to ensure you will finish your 250 hours on time.
  • You must submit a self-evaluation and have your supervisor complete an evaluation at approximately 125 hours. This process is completed again after you have finished your hours. Click here for evaluation forms.

You can find placement agreements, time sheets, and evaluation forms here.

On our website, you will find the following:


Contact Dr. Elaine M. Eshbaugh for more information.