The Diploma Program is for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline and are looking to expand their knowledge of aging. It is meant for those already working with seniors, or those with a related undergraduate degree who wish to work with older persons and/or pursue further graduate studies in gerontology.
Over 300 students have successfully completed the diploma program since it was established in 1983. We are based at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus in downtown Vancouver with courses also available through distance education. A limited number of courses may be offered at the main campus in Burnaby. Many of the courses offered in class are in the evening to accommodate those working during the day.
- Completion of a four year undergraduate degree from a recognized university with a minimum grade point average of 2.5. *
- Three letters of reference, with at least one from an academic source. Reference forms are available or referees can submit a letter that addresses the following points; the candidate’s level of maturity and ability to work with older persons, ability to complete a post-baccalaureate program of study, and career potential.
**Note: The Office of Admissions determines the minimum GPA for entrance into PBD programs at the beginning of each semester. The GPA required for admission in a given semester varies according to the number of applications received by the University
32 hours of approved course work
- 17 credit hours from the five required courses listed below.
- 15 credit hours are from the specified list of optional courses.
- A CGPA of 2.5 is required on courses applied toward the diploma.
- Those entering the program without experience working directly with older persons in a job or volunteer setting may be required to complete a practicum. Students must be cleared through a criminal record check prior to starting the practicum.
GERO 300-3 Introduction to Gerontology
GERO 301-3 Research Methods in Gerontology
GERO 450-4 Evaluation of Health Programs for Older Adults
GERO 420-4 Sociology of Aging
PSYC 357-3 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
EDUC 351-3 Teaching the Older Adult
GERO 302-3 Health Promotion and Aging
GERO 401-3 Aging and the Built Environment
GERO 403-3 Counselling Issues with Older Adults
GERO 404-3 Health and Illness in Later Life
GERO 406-3 Death and Dying
GERO 407-3 Nutrition and Aging
GERO 408-4 Families and Aging
GERO 409-3 Mental Health and Aging
GERO 410-3 Special Topics in Gerontology I
GERO 411-3 Special Topics in Gerontology II
GERO 412-3 Special Topics in Gerontology III
SA 319-4 Culture, Ethnicity and Aging
BPK 461-3 Physiological Aspects of Aging
Post Baccalaureate Diploma students must obtain admission to the University and to the program. Students are required to meet the undergraduate admission deadlines. The current deadlines are listed below.
- Feb. 28 for entrance to a Fall/September semester
- September 15 for entrance to a Spring/January semester
- January 31 for entrance to a Summer/May semester
Post-baccalaureate Diploma in Gerontology - documents
If you are enrolled in the Diploma program you are eligible to apply for scholarships and awards only available to Gerontology students. If you are a Gerontology Diploma/Minor student applying for an award you must have a CGPA of 2.0 to be considered for awards or bursaries and a minimum CGPA of 3.5 to be considered for scholarships.
For a list of awards see here.
For financial assistance available to all SFU students please see here.
Can I transfer courses from other Institutions?
Transfer credit for work done at other institutions, before or after admission to the program, may be approved provided that at least 18 of the 32 total credit hours are taken at SFU. Detailed course outlines must be submitted for evaluation. Courses are only transferable if they have not already been applied towards a degree. Credits applied to one degree may not be applied to another Simon Fraser University degree and vice versa.
If you are already enrolled in the diploma program and wish to take or have taken an aging course at another institution, you will have to complete an LOP form (Letter of Permission)
If you’ve taken a course equivalent to one in the diploma program and they have been counted towards a degree, they are not transferable but you will be granted a waiver so that you do not have to take it again at SFU. You will be required to do an additional elective course in lieu.
What is the average completion time?
You can complete the diploma program in anywhere from 1 to 5 years.
Full time study is considered 3-5 courses/semester. If you start in September and take at least 4 course/semester you can complete the program in one year (3 semesters).
Many of our students study part time, which is 1 or 2 courses/semester. You can take up to 5 years to complete the program.
Can I complete the program online?
Many but not all courses are available via distance education. There are two required courses which are only available in class, so students from outside the Vancouver area must arrange to spend one semester based in Vancouver.
Anne Marie Barrett
Please email Anne Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up and advising appointment to discuss course selection, program planning and any questions or issues you have regarding your Gerontology classes.