Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Gero-Ed Sub-specialization

The Gero-Ed sub-specialization prepares students to work with adults that are of the ages 55 - 105+ and their families through life transitions, and health, and illness. We focus on strengths and challenges of aging, giving consideration to clinical interventions and policy implications. This one year sub-specialization is associated with internships that provides opportunity for work with older adults and their families and results in a certificate of completion given by the SSW​.

Application for this sub-specialization is required, deadline to apply is December 1st. This sub-specialization is only compatible with Health and Mental Health and LDSS specializations.

Students need to fill out the application and submit it to the Assistant Director of Academic Advising Jennifer Bernecker at jbernecker@luc.edu to apply for this sub-specialization. The application process is competitive —not all students will be accepted into this sub-specialization.

Required Courses: 3 courses and internship are required.

  • Internship: Senior Internship (SOWK 330 & 340) or 2nd level for MSW students (SWFI 630 & 631) that allows the student to spend 75 - 80% of their time providing direct service to the aging population.
  • SOWK 632: Social Work Practice with Older Adults (Fall & Spring only)
  • *SOWK 734: Social Work Policy with Older Adults (Spring only)

SOWK Elective: Students can choose one of the following course options:

  • SOWK 612: Family Assessment & Intervention (Fall, Spring, Summer)
  • SOWK 616: Psychotherapy w/Adults (Fall & Spring only)
  • SOWK 634: Special Topics Course-Summer Institute on Aging (1 week summer course usually taught in the 3rd week of August; typically Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.)
  • SOWK 690: Independent Study. Topic must be conducted with a full-time faculty member in the SSW and be approved by Dr. Marcia Spira and the MSW Program Director. Sample topics include: Aging in the LGBT Community or Grandparents raising Grandchildren
  • SOWK 73: Loss, Grief and Dying Well (Fall & Spring only)
  • SOWK 740: Religion, Spirituality, and Older Adults: Theory and Methods for Social Work (Spring only)

*SOWK 734 is a substitute for SOWK for SOWK 602 or SOWK 610H for students who complete the gerontology sub-specialization.