FAQ's

Master's in Gerontology

Do I need to have taken gerontology courses in my undergraduate degree?

The Gerontology Admissions Committee requires that you have completed 2 – 3 aging-related courses prior to being admitted to the MA program.

How can I satisfy pre-requisite requirements for the MA?

The Department of Gerontology offers a Post Baccalaureate Diploma (PBD) in Gerontology.  You might consider applying to this program first, completing 2 – 3 courses then applying to the MA. You do not need to complete the PBD prior to applying to the MA.  Details can be found here.    

Is there a minimum cgpa for admission to the MA?

The University requires a minimum cgpa on undergraduate work of 3.0.  However, Gerontology is a competitive program and a minimum cgpa of 3.3 is more realistic.

Are there different completion options?

Yes.  You can choose either the thesis option or capstone project option. Detailed information on this can be found here.

What is the average completion time?

You can complete the Masters program in anywhere from 2 to 6 years, depending on your work / family responsibilities.

Is there part time study?

No. The Department of Gerontology graduate programs are per semester fee programs. Therefore, you are considered a full time student regardless of whether you are enrolled in one course or three; you will pay the same fees.

Can I complete the program online?

No. We do not offer any graduate courses in Gerontology via distance education.

Do all of my references need to be academic?

It is desirable that at least two of the three required letters of reference speak to your academic abilities.

What is the most important component of my application?

Your Statement of Research Interest (examples available upon request to gero@sfu.ca). The Admissions Committee must be able to identify a faculty member who is willing to become your senior supervisor. Therefore, a good fit must be found between your research interest and that of one of our faculty members.  Please review our facultys’ bios.

PhD in Gerontology

What should my academic background be?

PhD applicants in Gerontology are required to have completed a Masters in Gerontology or another discipline in which a significant amount of coursework and thesis research deals with aging or the aged.

Is there a minimum cgpa for admission to the PhD?

To be admitted to doctoral studies at Simon Fraser University a minimum cgpa of 3.5 on a Masters degree, is required.

What is the average completion time?

You can complete the doctoral program in anywhere from 3 to 7 years, depending on your work / family responsibilities.

Is there part time study?

No. The Department of Gerontology graduate programs are per semester fee programs. Therefore, you are considered a full time student regardless of whether you are enrolled in one course or three; you will pay the same fees.

Can I complete the program online?

PhD applicants in Gerontology are required to have completed a Masters in Gerontology or another discipline in which a significant amount of coursework and thesis research deals with aging or the aged.

Do all of my references need to be academic?

It is desirable that at least two of the three required letters of reference speak to your academic abilities.

What is the most important component of my application?

There are three: 1. your Statement of Research Interest (examples available upon request to gero@sfu.ca); 2. your writing samples; and, 3. your published work.

Should I contact a faculty member prior to submitting my application?

Yes. Applicants to the PhD in Gerontology MUST identify a senior supervisor from within the Department of Gerontology based on compatibility of research interests.  Applicants are expected to contact their selected supervisor/s in order to discuss their research interest prior to submission of the application.  The list of faculty members and their research areas can be found here.