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Become a leader in the fast-growing field of aging services.

Program Type


Semester Start

Fall, Spring

Study Options


Minimum Duration

2 Years

U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs Grad Business 2023UMass Boston’s Management of Aging Services MS focuses on preparing you for a leadership position in the fast-growing field of aging services. It’s designed for working professionals who want to advance in their field or change careers by adding a master’s degree to their résumé. Gain practical skills from experienced expert faculty, and prepare for success in a broad spectrum of careers relating to elder care, and long-term services and supports. Apply these skills to virtually any field — advocacy, aging policy, care management, community programming, financial services, nonprofit management, sales and marketing, housing and transportation, and more.

Program Strengths

  • High Quality: Award-winning and accredited program that is part of the second oldest graduate Department of Gerontology in the world.
  • Affordable: Among the lowest online tutition rates in the field.
  • Flexible: Advance at your own pace. Many students complete the program in under 3 years on a part-time class schedule.
  • Interactive: Engage and network with your supportive classmates, instructors, advisors, and staff.

Ready to talk? Schedule a call with a program specialist to learn more.


  • This program consists of twelve 3-credit courses, or 36 credits.
  • Online tuition is $575 per credit.
  • Associated fees total approximately $300.
  • Total estimated cost to complete this program is $21,000.
  • Estimate is based on completing program by minimum duration. Other fees may apply. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details.


  • Applications are due by July 1 for fall admittance and December 1 for spring admittance.

Application Checklist

  • Review the university's general application requirements for graduation admission. 
  • If you are an international applicant, please see additional requirements.
  • GRE Scores are NOT required for this program.
  • All students must have an undergraduate degree to register for a course or get permission from the instructor.

To apply online, you'll need to submit:

  • A brief cover letter indicating you would like to be considered for admission
  • A Statement of Purpose — Attach a three to four page essay/letter of intent on your experiences and why you wish to enter our program.
  • Official Transcripts — Submit official transcripts from each college or university you attended, even if you were not awarded a degree. You must demonstrate evidence of a bachelor's degree.
  • GRE Scores (optional) — You may provide your official GRE Score Report. Our institutional code is 3924 when you register for the exam.
  • Letters of Recommendation — Submit two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic abilities.
  • Application Fee

Required Courses:

  • Understanding Data: Research Methods for Managers (GERON GR 610)
    Use data and understand and apply evidence to your management of aging services. Get an introduction to basic research methods, train to understand and use social science research literature, and get an overview of monitoring and reporting program performance. You’ll learn about the scientific method and the basics of research, including sampling, measurement, basic statistics, and research design options. The course also trains you to be a critical consumer of scientific research, teaching you to locate, evaluate, and summarize published research.
  • Health Aging Perspectives (GERON GR 612)
    Examine the physical process of aging and the effects on physical health, mental health, social and economic factors, and relationships, from an applied gerontology perspective. Apply these topics to disease prevention, health promotion, health maintenance, and selected disorders that affect health and independent living. Public policy and program development issues will be addressed and incorporated into management and administration of aging services.
  • Aging Policy and Programming (GERON GR 624)
    Get a general framework for understanding and analyzing social policy, employing an applied perspective relevant to administrators and managers in organizations such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care, and state and local government agencies. In addition, you’ll get an overview of aging policy at the federal and state levels, with attention to financial security, access to health care, long-term care, and the Older Americans Act. You’ll gain experience in both policy analysis and policy advocacy.
  • Marketing Aging Services (GERON GR 645)
    Examine marketing principles as applied to aging services organizations. You'll learn about marketing concepts, objectives, and brand names. You’ll also explore the current structure of aging organizations in Massachusetts and relate these to current marketing principles and strategies. You’ll learn to apply marketing concepts to effectively manage and operate an aging services organization. This course provides you with the opportunity to see how marketing principles and practice come together within the context of various types of aging services organizations in Massachusetts.
  • Service Delivery Issues in Aging (GERON GR 650)
    Study the links between consumers and aging services in organizational settings with well-developed formal services. The aim of the course is to provide you with an understanding of the structural problems that underlie the challenges that consumers face in using formal services. You’ll cover a wide range of services that older people may need, the complementary relationship between formal and informal services, boundary issues among service specialties and service professionals, service coordination and integration, and the role of both consumer directional and professional case management in negotiating service systems.
  • Organization and Financing of Aging Services (GERON GR 660)
    The influences of organizational and financial forces upon aging service are analyzed in this course. Three sources of public financing — Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act — are examined in depth. The relative strengths of public and private financing are examined with attention to both access and quality issues. You’ll acquire an understanding of accounting principles, economic decision-making, and industry factors as they pertain to aging service agencies. Students who are interested in pursuing career opportunities in the management of long-term care organizations will benefit from this course content.
  • Human Resources and Personnel Management (GERON GR 670)
    Become familiar with the concepts of human resources management as they are applied tin primarily public, nonprofit settings. You’ll focus on human resources and personnel management as applied to the aging services field. The examples used in the course will come from organizations such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, senior centers and councils on aging. Issues to be addressed will include hiring and supervision, performance appraisal, mentoring, career planning, equal employment opportunity, diversity, and collective bargaining. You’ll examine job design and pay systems, methods of personnel selection and training, issues of productivity and work hours, team building, effects of government regulations on working conditions, and personnel administration.
  • Organizational Change and Aging Services (GERON GR 675)
    Organizations play a critical role in both professional and personal realms. You’ll examine the structure of organizations, including internal and external forces, and approaches to changing the way organizations operate. You’ll explore the current structure of aging organizations at the federal, state, and local level, including government, advocacy, and service organizations. You’ll also review emerging trends in the long-term care system which may impact the mission, vision, and structure of organizations.
  • Capstone Project (GERON GR 692)
    This capstone offers you the opportunity to develop a special project in your specific area of interest. This includes researching the topic, identifying an issue, developing strategy and a work plan, and establishing a timeline and implementation schedule. The course is intended to assist you in implementing your knowledge and skills developed during your course of study. Projects undertaken should evidence an understanding and mastery of areas such as policy development and analysis, program management, administration, and finance. The course is also intended to show your mastery of self-direction and task management. You are expected to take this class at or near the end of your course of study in the Management of Aging Services Master's Program.

Electives (Pick Three):

  • Aging in Society (GERON GR 622)
    Get an in-depth look at the sociological aspects of aging from an applied perspective useful to administrators and managers. You’ll focus on how social arrangements impact aging individuals and their families and how aging individuals impact society. You’ll also discuss emerging trends in the long-term care systems, such as technological advances, consumer directed care, aging in place, and alternatives to nursing home placement.
  • Aging and the Economy: A Dynamic Relationship (GERON GR 627)
    The course takes the perspective of administrators of a variety of aging service organizations and examines the most pertinent and pressing economic policy issues in the United States as related to older persons, their families, the local community, and states. Economic status of the elderly population is influenced by rapidly changing demographics; evolving policy in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; housing constraints and options; and social support options for elders are the principal topics covered in this course. The course takes a pragmatic perspective on why and how programs have economic benefits or consequences for older persons.
  • Psychological Impact of Aging (GERON GR 629)
    This course focuses on psychological processes in the second half of life. Administrators and managers will benefit from a foundation in the psychological issues that accompany the aging process. The course addresses both normal aging and psychopathology. You’ll analyze normal age-related psychological changes, common psychopathologies, dementia, and the psychodynamics of caregiving for older adults. The policy implications of psychological changes in later life are presented with attention to the delivery of effective and efficient interventions.
  • Residential and Long-Term Care Management (GERON GR 630)
    Get a comprehensive overview of the responsibilities of residential care administration for older people. The National Association of Boards of Registration in Nursing Home Administration supports state licensing programs for residential care managers, including nursing home administrators. You’ll get a broad understanding of aging issues, and specific elements of administration in residential service settings, while addressing the requirements for licensure.
  • Leadership and Ethics in Aging Services (GERON GR 635)
    Increasing numbers of baby boomers will enter the services offered by the aging network. This growing population will require the leaders in the network to manage with limited resources. Decisions about programs and services will need to be made with innovation, forethought and deliberation, and will need to be based on law and ethics. How should limited resources be offered to this growing elder population? Will they be allocated, and how? Is allocation ethical? And, as society moves forward, how will other changes impact elders? This course prepares you for the decisions you will need to make as you become a leader in the field of aging.
  • An Overview of Environmental Gerontology: A Micro- to Macro- Continuum (GERON GR 638)
    Get a comprehensive overview of design interventions for older adults. Important related theories and frameworks, details of home modifications, components of age-friendly communities (urban, suburban, and rural - both public and private), and important policies that inform this work are covered. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct environmental micro- and macro-level audits and to interview allied professionals. Readings provide details that you can immediately apply to your current aging services work.
  • Introduction to Senior Transportation (GERON GR 640)
    As the baby boomers come of age, transportation will become a major challenge. This course is designed for emerging and seasoned professionals in the field of aging services and transportation services who are interested in learning more about senior transportation challenges. You’ll discuss strategies for addressing those challenges and how we can plan to meet the mobility needs of an aging population. While the course will emphasize the concept and practice of Supplemental Transportation Programs for seniors (STPs), it also will discuss the wants and needs of older adult passengers.

In this two-year program, you’ll earn a Master of Science in Gerontology, Management of Aging Services track. The degree will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, in interviews, and in workplace evaluations. You'll contribute to society as a leader in the field, serve the public good, and promote the public value by contributing to developing communities that serve our population as it ages. With this degree, you'll be prepared for a career in a variety of fields. Our graduates will be prepared for careers in:

  • Advocacy
  • Aging policy
  • Care management
  • Community programming for older adults
  • Financial Services
  • Nonprofit management
  • Sales and marketing
  • Senior housing and transportation

Many students chose to take one or two courses before committing to the master’s program. We encourage this, as a way to explore certain topics, and see what works for you. Up to two courses can be taken before matriculation, and applied to the certificate or degree.

Ready to talk? Schedule a call with a program specialist to learn more.

Why UMass Boston Online?


Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.


Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.


The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.

Learn More

Get the inside scoop on the program and connect with the people who run it.

Gerontology - Management of Aging Services Master’s