Updated December 5, 2022

By BVS Staff May 2018 Are you interested in earning a master's in gerontology online? If so, you've come to the right place. This article is dedicated to sharing information about the top affordable graduate programs in gerontology available to distance learners in the United States. As the American population ages, medical professionals who understand ... is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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By BVS Staff
July 2020

Are you interested in earning a master's in gerontology online? If so, you've come to the right place. This article is dedicated to sharing information about the top affordable graduate programs in gerontology available to distance learners in the United States.

As the American population ages, medical professionals who understand the issues and concerns specific to aging populations will find themselves in high demand. Baby Boomers, in particular, are gearing up to put a massive strain on the U.S. healthcare system. That makes now a perfect time to earn your degree in gerontology. In doing so, you'll gain knowledge of the health, social, psychological, and other wellness-related issues facing seniors today.

Note: This article may contain sponsored links. These are intended to help you connect with programs easily.

The 20 Best Online Gerontology Master's Programs Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer online master's degrees in gerontology. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $25,000/year or less.

*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Note that for the purposes of this ranking, we did not consider MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degrees with gerontology specializations. The reason is that these programs are very different academically from traditional gerontology master's degrees. That is, MSNs emphasize clinical/medical topics, whereas most gerontology programs focus on the social science aspects of the field.

Ranking Factors

Unfortunately, there are a limited number of online master's in gerontology degree programs available. Therefore, we could not compile a pool of options large enough to justify a multifactorial ranking system in which we'd score programs based on a list of specific considerations.

So instead, we ranked the programs solely according to their affordability. See below for the best cheap master's in gerontology online programs, ranked from most to least expensive.

Cheap Online Master's Degrees in Gerontology Ranked

#1 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
#2 McDaniel College Westminster, MD
#3 Concordia University-Nebraska Seward, NE
#4 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
#5 Wichita State University Wichita, KS
#6 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
#7 North Dakota State University-Main Campus Fargo, ND
#8 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
#9 Southeastern University Lakeland, FL
#10 Webster University Saint Louis, MO

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Fort Hays State University

    Hays, KS



    With an average annual tuition of less than $7,500, it's hard to find a better value than Fort Hays State University. Indeed, this is exactly why the school tops our cheap online master's in gerontology degrees ranking. But low costs aren't all you'll get out of an FHSU education. Organized as a Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) degree, this program has a slightly philosophical bent. For example, core classes include "Origins and Implications of the Knowledge Society," and "Ways of Knowing in Comparative Perspective." And yet, the gerontology concentration actually comprises a majority of the coursework, exploring topics ranging from neuropsychology and nutrition to exercise testing and communication in aging.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $7,394/yr

  2. McDaniel College

    Westminster, MD



    A small school (and one of the only private colleges on this list of cheap online master's degrees in gerontology), McDaniel College offers a unique experience to distance learners. For example, while the program is available 100% online, students who live near the Westminster, Maryland campus can easily take traditional classes as well (just make sure to notify your advisor). And while the curriculum's core requirement features relatively standard fare, McDaniel's small and independent status has allowed it to create some unusual elective courses. You could take "Understanding and Combating Ageism," "Exercise and Aging," or even "Geriatric Pharmacology"- all options that are hard to find in the majority of programs.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $8,820/yr

  3. Concordia University-Nebraska

    Seward, NE



    Concordia University-Nebraska is the place to go if you want to get a comprehensive education in healthcare administration. In fact, it's the only school on this online gerontology master's programs ranking to offer its degree in the form of a Master of Healthcare Administration. Not only is an MHA a highly desirable credential in the current job market, but it also ensures that you'll be well-versed on a wide range of practical topics, like healthcare policy, health law, and healthcare finance. The gerontology concentration itself is relatively small (nine credits in social gerontology, long-term care, and aging issues), yet still provides a compact survey of the field's essential elements.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $9,395/yr

  4. University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Omaha, NE



    An M.A. in Social Gerontology, the University of Nebraska at Omaha's program focuses specifically on social issues related to aging, rather than clinical ones. For example, required courses cover human behavior, elder care services, and research, but not physiology or nutrition. That being said, most of UNO's master's in gerontology online curriculum is comprised of electives. Some of these classes are medically-minded (e.g., "Health Aspects of Aging") but the majority explore social science topics, including politics, economics, education, housing, and more. Another noteworthy feature: this program provides both thesis and non-thesis options (for mid-career professionals/aspiring researchers and experienced practitioners, respectively).
    Average Tuition & Fees: $10,895/yr

  5. Wichita State University

    Wichita, KS



    Most programs on this list prepare degree candidates for a career in either administration or research. And to be sure, Wichita State's program does have a concentration in Administration. But it also goes beyond other schools on our online master's degrees in gerontology ranking by offering concentrations in Public Health and Social Sciences as well. The former emphasizes epidemiology, environmental health, and statistics, and it comes with a graduate certificate in Public Health. In contrast, the latter option delivers a relatively broad lesson plan to help students with different backgrounds (e.g., psychology, sociology, or social work) integrate their knowledge into the field of gerontology.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $10,947/yr

  6. Texas Tech University

    Lubbock, TX



    Like its fellow participants in the Great Plains IDEA, Texas Tech University offers a comprehensive, affordable master's in gerontology online. The program is designed to accommodate applicants with a wide range of backgrounds and career aspirations, whether you want to work directly in medicine or would prefer a job in counseling, education, or public policy. Of course, TTU's 24-credit core curriculum matches those of other GPIDEA members, with classes in physical health and nutrition, adult development, program evaluation, and everything in between. Note, however, that Texas Tech leaves the remaining 12 credits completely open to electives, with no specific requirement that you complete an internship or final project.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $11,521/yr

  7. North Dakota State University-Main Campus

    Fargo, ND



    If you like seminar (aka discussion-based) courses, consider attending North Dakota State University. On top of a 27-credit core sequence - including a six-credit practicum - this affordable online master's in gerontology degree offers a long list of graduate seminar electives. You'll have to take two or three of these seminars in total, but your biggest challenge might be deciding which ones to take! Currently, seminars are available in "Global Perspectives in Elder Care," "Creativity and Aging,""Cognitive Health," "Gerontechnology," "Sexuality and Aging," and about a dozen other topics. Or if you'd prefer a more hands-on activity, you can earn elective credit for completing a master's paper or thesis.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $11,639/yr

  8. Texas State University

    San Marcos, TX



    With its unusually narrow focus, Texas State University's MS in Dementia and Aging Studies (MDAS) isn't for everyone. But if you have a specific interest in dementia and aspire to a career in research or long-term care, you'll likely rate this program as one of the top master's in gerontology online. For example, the curriculum offers a Research Track with courses in statistics, quantitative research, and social psychology, plus a six-credit thesis requirement. A separate track provides a robust yet stringent (no electives!) curriculum on governance, personnel, finance, and clinical practices of long-term care administration. Or if you want optimal flexibility, go for the Practitioner Track; it includes just four required classes, leaving the rest open to electives.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $12,379/yr

  9. Southeastern University

    Lakeland, FL



    Southeastern University differs somewhat from other schools on this online gerontology master's programs ranking. Instead of a full gerontology degree, Southeastern offers an MA in Human Services with five specialization options. That means that most of your core coursework will address general human services topics, such as program planning, community relations, and the law/ethics. However, you'll also have a chance to learn about the aging process through the Gerontology specialization. This track includes four targeted courses in the social issues and sociology of aging, as well as clinical concerns like disability and long-term care.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $12,960/yr

  10. Webster University

    Saint Louis, MO



    Because gerontology is a relatively new discipline, providers in this industry must have a wide range of skills that can adapt to different positions and environments as the field evolves. That's why Webster University has created its cheap online master's in gerontology degree - to give students a "broad educational base" and the confidence to be pioneers in the workplace. Indeed, required classes cover an expansive range of topics, from physiology and psychology to economics, social issues, and management. And if you really want to beef up your business acumen, you can opt to earn an MBA with an emphasis in gerontology instead.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $13,140/yr

Thanks for reading our ranking of the 20 top cheap online gerontology master's programs!

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See Also:
Top 30 Cheap Online RN to BSN Degree Programs (Bachelor's)
Gerontology Scholarships
5 Conferences on Aging
What Can You Do With a Gerontology Degree?
What is Social Gerontology?
5 Professional Associations for Gerontology Personnel

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