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. 

Admission Requirements 

  • Completion of a bachelor's 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.

Application Process

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.

1. Admission to Simon Fraser University

Students apply for admission at:

2. Admission to the Diploma Program in Gerontology

Candidates must submit the Gerontology Diploma Program application form with official transcripts of all post-secondary academic work * and three letters of reference. 

* NOTE: Transcripts MUST be received directly from the issuing institution, NOT from the applicant.

The above items should be sent directly to:

Admissions Committee, PBD in Gerontology Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre
#2800–515 West Hastings Street Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5K3
tel: 778.782.5065 email:

Application Deadlines

  • September 15 for entrance to a Spring/January semester
  • January 15 for entrance to a Summer/May semester
  • April 15 for entrance to a Fall/September semester

Post-baccalaureate Diploma in Gerontology - documents

Program Requirements 

30 hours of approved course work

  • 6 credit hours from the two required courses listed below.
  • 24 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.

Required Courses

GERO 300-3   Introduction to Gerontology*


GERO 301-3   Research Methods in Gerontology ^, *

or any other approved research methodology course*

* should be completed at the beginning of the program

^, * recommended and should be completed at the beginning of the program

Elective Courses

BPK  Special Topics-3   Physiological Aspects of Aging

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

GERO 420-4   Sociology of Aging

GERO 450-4   Evaluation of Health Programs for Older Adults

PSYC 357-3    Psychology of Adulthood and Aging

SA     319-4    Culture, Ethnicity and Aging



There are two annual awards available to Diploma students:

Research Assistant Positions

Gerontology faculty have a number of ongoing research grants and regularly hire graduate students as Research Assistants. Students enrolled in the program should speak directly to their senior supervisors and other faculty for details.


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 a Letter of Permission form.

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.

Undergraduate Advisor

Dora Lau

HC 2800

Please email Dora Lau to set up an advising appointment for any question related to the Minor/Diploma program.