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Interdisciplinary Minor

This interdisciplinary minor prepares students in any discipline to work in a rapidly changing population. 

According to the U.S. census, Iowa has an increasing proporation of people who are 60 years and over. The number of Iowans who are 80 years and older is increasing more rapidly than any other age group. Iowa's proportion of older adults in the population exceeds that of the U.S. as a whole. 

Nationally, Iowa ranks:

  • Second in percentage of persons aged 85+ (2.2%)
  • Third in percentage of persons aged 75+ (7.7%)
  • Fourth in percentage of persons aged 65+ (14.9%)
  • Fourth in percentage of persons aged 60+ (19.0%)

Interdisciplinary gerontology emerges naturally from Briar Cliff's mission and vision, where students are passionate about social justice and are learning about issues of social justice for older people. The BCU community's ability to respond to an aging population can and will be driven by the Franciscan values of the university. 


Core Courses

BIOL 102 - Human Biology
BIOL 102L - Human Biology Laboratory
NURS 356 - Biological and Health Aspects of Aging
PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 355 - Adulthood and Aging
SOCY 124 - Principles of Sociology
SWRK 465 - Gerontology

Additional Program Requirements

A 50-hour gerontology internship is required for the gerontology minor. The internship may also be used for other departmental internship requirements. Internships are supervised by faculty in the student's major department. 

NOTE: BIOL 102 is interchangeable with BIOL 111, BIOL 21 or BIOL 240

The following elective gerontology courses may also be taken:

  • SWRK 97 IS
  • SWRK 46 IS
  • NURS 51 IS
  • PSYC 04 IS


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