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Department of Gerontology Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2018

Gerontology

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD in gerontology program at Simon Fraser University provides advanced research training in gerontology grounded in an interdisciplinary theoretical foundation, current and prospective substantive issues, a range of research methods and statistical techniques, and knowledge to translate research into practice and policy.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulation 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Admission to the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program will require a gerontology master's degree or a master's degree from another discipline in which a significant amount of course work and/or thesis/project research deals with aging or the aged. Applicants will be evaluated on an individual basis. Those not meeting these requirements will need to complete preparatory course work that is equivalent to a master's in gerontology or aging studies. It is recommended that applicants have a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA). In addition, there must be supervisory capacity in the department to support the candidate's thesis research.

Program Requirements

This program consists of three core courses, two electives, comprehensive examinations, and a thesis. Students may be required to complete up to two additional courses if deemed necessary by the admissions committee. Students may substitute up to three courses from other programs with departmental approval. Students may also complete one directed studies (GERO 889).

Students must complete

GERO 803 - Analytical Techniques for Gerontological Research (4) *

This course has been specifically designed to provide training in quantitative data analysis using SPSSx Programming Language with a focus on behavioral research problems in gerontology.

GERO 804 - Advanced Qualitative Methods in Gerontology (4) *

Examines qualitative research methods used in social science research with special emphasis on gerontology. Specific focus will be placed on conducting interviews and participant-observations; field-notes, analyzing text-based data; and writing of qualitative studies.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Habib Chaudhury
We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
HCC 2290, Vancouver
GERO 806 - Interdisciplinary Theories in Gerontology (4) *

Reviews major theories used in gerontology from diverse fields covering the individual and society, including environment and aging; health and aging; social and family relationships; social change; and behavioural change. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the fundamental assumptions of human aging experience underlying the theories; critical assessment of theoretical propositions; research evidence; and potential for synthesis.

and two elective courses**

and comprehensive examinations

GERO 994 - Comprehensive Examination I (3)

After completion of all coursework, students will write two comprehensive examinations based on reading lists developed with their supervisory committee. This first examination will cover the substantive literature in the thesis field. Examinations will receive a grade of S or U. A student who receives an unsatisfactory grade in a comprehensive examination will have one chance for re-examination. All re-examinations will require an oral defense. A second unsatisfactory grade will trigger a review of unsatisfactory progress under GGR 1.8.2 which may lead to withdrawal. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: All coursework towards the PhD in Gerontology.

GERO 995 - Comprehensive Examination II (3)

After completion of all coursework, students will write two comprehensive examinations based on reading lists developed with their supervisory committee. This second examination will be determined by the supervisory committee based on the current and anticipated research needs of the student. Examinations will receive a grade of S or U. A student who receives an unsatisfactory grade in a comprehensive examination will have one chance for re-examination. All re-examinations will require an oral defense. A second unsatisfactory grade will trigger a review of unsatisfactory progress under GGR 1.8.2 which may lead to withdrawal. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: All coursework towards the PhD in Gerontology.

and a thesis proposal

GERO 996 - Thesis Proposal (0)

Students will prepare a written research proposal prior to commencing research leading to the PhD thesis. In general, the proposal will integrate a review of the relevant research literature and describe research methodology appropriate to the principal research question, expected results and their significance. The student will orally present and defend the proposal before their supervisory committee. The proposal and oral defense will receive a grade of S or U. An unsatisfactory grade in the written proposal or oral defense will trigger review by the Gerontology graduate committee as outlined in graduate general regulation 1.8.2. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: GERO 994 and GERO 995.

and a thesis

* students who have completed equivalent courses in their graduate degree, may be permitted to substitute these courses with electives

Elective Courses**

The following elective courses are organized into two categories with a few courses applying to both categories:

Environment and Aging

GERO 810 - Community-based Housing, Health and Support Services for Older Adults (4)

This course presents an in-depth examination of theory, research and policy related to planning, designing, developing and managing housing for independent and semi-independent older adults.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G200 Atiya Mahmood
Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
HCC 1525, Vancouver
GERO 811 - Institutional Living Environments (4)

This course focuses on design issues, theory, research and policy relevant to planning, developing and managing institutional living environments for dependent adults.

GERO 822 - Families, Communities and Health (4)

Critically evaluates and synthesizes key theory, research and health promotion policy related to the intersection of aging families, communities and health. The principal theoretical perspectives will include: life course theory; social, human and cultural capital; ecological models; political economy; and community empowerment approaches. Equivalent Courses: GERO840.

GERO 830 - Aging in a Technological World (4)

Looks at the way information and communication technologies are transforming social and healthcare landscapes and explores how new technology impacts on the independence, social participation and quality of life of older people.

GERO 840 - Special Topics in Gerontology (4)

This course offers an opportunity to offer a specialized course in an area germane to the program but on a topic that is outside of the regular courses.

Health and Aging

GERO 802 - Development and Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs for the Elderly (4)

This course deals with the design, implementation and evaluation of health promotion programs and services for older persons. Students will participate in the development and critical analysis of a variety of health initiatives aimed at healthful aging.

GERO 820 - Principles and Practices of Health Promotion (4)

This course is designed to cover and critically evaluate concepts, models and theories of health promotion and wellness in the aging population. These methods of implementation will be discussed in relation to individual and structural health system issues facing the aged.

GERO 822 - Families, Communities and Health (4)

Critically evaluates and synthesizes key theory, research and health promotion policy related to the intersection of aging families, communities and health. The principal theoretical perspectives will include: life course theory; social, human and cultural capital; ecological models; political economy; and community empowerment approaches. Equivalent Courses: GERO840.

GERO 823 - Mental Health and Illness in Later Life (4)

Provides an overview of the range of mental illnesses affecting older adults, their respective diagnostic criteria, and empirically validated treatments (disorders with their onset in later life and those that extend into later years). Particular emphasis will be placed on the manner in which psychopathology presents differently among older adults, various theories of aetiology, barriers to diagnosis and treatment, and the social context in which mental illness is understood and treated across cultures.

GERO 840 - Special Topics in Gerontology (4)

This course offers an opportunity to offer a specialized course in an area germane to the program but on a topic that is outside of the regular courses.

**Students may be permitted to take one Directed Studies (GERO 889) and one course outside of Gerontology or SFU towards their electives coursework

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in 18 terms.

Other Information

Supervisory Committee

A senior supervisor is assigned to each student upon doctoral program admission. Three additional committee members will be added to the committee by the end of the first year. At least two supervisory committee members must be members of the Department of Gerontology. This must include the senior supervisor.

Comprehensive Examinations

After completion of all coursework, students will write two comprehensive examinations based on reading lists developed with their supervisory committee. The first examination will cover the substantive literature in the thesis field. The second examination will be determined by the supervisory committee based on the current and anticipated research needs of the student. Examinations will receive a grade of S or U. A student who receives an unsatisfactory grade in a comprehensive examination will have one chance for re-examination. All re-examinations will require an oral defense. A second unsatisfactory grade will trigger a review of unsatisfactory progress under Graduate General Regulations 1.8.2 which may lead to withdrawal.

When both comprehensive examinations are satisfactorily completed, the student must develop and successfully defend a thesis prospectus before being officially admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree.

Thesis Proposal

Students will prepare a written research proposal prior to commencing research leading to the PhD thesis. In general, the proposal will integrate a review of the relevant research literature and describe research methodology appropriate to the principal research question, expected results and their significance. The student will orally present and defend the proposal before their supervisory committee. The proposal and oral defense will receive a grade of S or U. An unsatisfactory grade in the written proposal or oral defense will trigger review by the Gerontology graduate committee as outlined in Graduate General Regulation 1.8.2.

Thesis

Students write and successfully defend a thesis in accordance with Graduate General Regulations 1.9.4 and 1.10.1.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.