> Backgrounder: Province approves new Gerontology PhD program

Backgrounder: Province approves new Gerontology PhD program

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Andrew Wister, 778.782.5044; andrew_wister@sfu.ca
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.4323

May 7, 2008
SFU will introduce a new PhD program in gerontology in September 2008 that builds on the gerontology department’s successful master’s program, the first and largest of its kind in Canada.

Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell announced the government’s approval of the new degree on May 7.

The four-year doctoral program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will coincide with the gerontology department’s two current streams of study – aging and the environment and health and aging.

The new program is timely, according to department chair Andrew Wister, because:

  • The country’s aging population has raised the visibility and importance of gerontology and created a demand to fill aging-related jobs in academia, government, NGOs and the private sector;

  • There has been a significant expansion in the number of undergraduate and graduate programs offering aging and gerontology training, putting SFU at the cutting edge of a rapidly developing discipline;

  • The synergies between the gerontology program and SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre will give PhD students an enriched educational and training experience, and opportunities to apply their skills in a research setting.

Admission to the doctoral program will require a master’s degree in gerontology or a master’s degree from another discipline in which a significant amount of coursework or thesis research has dealt with aging or the aged.