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Honours Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology

This degree program brings a multidisciplinary approach to the study of aging. Designed to foster an understanding of aging issues within and across different contexts, issues ranging from the individual experience of the aging process to the societal complexities of an aging population are examined both within the Canadian context and more broadly.

Hons.B.A.Honours Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology

This degree program brings a multidisciplinary approach to the study of aging. Designed to foster an understanding of aging issues within and across different contexts, issues ranging from the individual experience of the aging process to the societal complexities of an aging population are examined both within the Canadian context and more broadly.

Graduates have been successful at finding careers in a range of health and/or aging fields, such as:

  • Health Policy/Social Policy Research
  • Project Coordinators
  • Care Coordinators
  • Volunteer Coordinators
  • Education Coordinators (i.e. Alzheimer’s Society)
  • Marketing
  • Human Resource
  • Administration Education
  • Recreation/Activation staff in Long-term care
  • Law
  • Public Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medicine Chiropractic School
  • Social Work 


  1. See Admission to Level II Programs in Academic Regulations in this section of the Calendar.
  2. Courses other than those listed below in the Course List may be substituted with the prior permission of the Chair. Students wishing to apply for substitutions must contact the Health, Aging and Society Administrator. Given the extensive curriculum revisions that have been made, students are strongly encouraged to review course antirequisites in the Course Listings section of the Calendar.
  3. Students who have completed HLTH AGE 2A06 or 3Z06 (or equivalent – see course antirequisites) are not required to complete HLTHAGE 2A03 or 3B03 or 3G03.
  4. Students with prior credit in GERONTOL or HEALTHST courses may consult the Health, Aging and Society Administrator to determine eligibility toward degree requirements.
  5. Students may take a maximum of 9 units from HLTHAGE 4A03, 4B03, 4C03, 4H03, 4I03, 4L03, 4N03, 4P03, 4Z06 A/B.

120 units total (Levels I to IV), of which 48 units may be Level I

30 units


  • the Level I program completed prior to admission to the program

9 units

  • HLTHAGE 2BB3 - Perspectives in Health Studies and Gerontology
  • HLTHAGE 2D03 - Continuum of Care
  • HLTHAGE 2F03 - Aging and Health Care Systems

6 units

  • HLTHAGE 3L03 - Embodied Aging

and one of

  • HLTHAGE 3BB3 - Field Experience 
  • HLTHAGE 3EE3 - The Practice of Everyday Life: Observations and Inquiry

6 units

  • HLTHAGE 2A03 - Research Methods in Health and in Aging I

and one of

  • HLTHAGE 3B03 - Advanced Research Inquiry or
  • HLTHAGE 3G03 - Community Based Research

(See Note 3 above)


3 units

  • SOCSCI 2J03 - Introduction to Statistics

15 units


  • Course List or Health, Aging and Society

9 units


  • HLTHAGE 4A03 - Communication and Counselling with Older Adults
  • HLTHAGE 4B03 - Death and Dying in Later Life
  • HLTHAGE 4C03 - Representations of Health and Illness Across the Lifecourse
  • HLTHAGE 4H03 - History and Culture of Aging
  • HLTHAGE 4I03 - Aging and Health
  • HLTHAGE 4L03 - Social Policy and Aging
  • HLTHAGE 4N03 - Aging and Well-Being
  • HLTHAGE 4P03 - Leisure and Recreation in Later Life
  • HLTHAGE 4Z06 A/B - Health, Aging and Society Thesis

(See Note 5 above)

42 units

  • Electives, of which at least six units must be taken from outside of Health, Aging & Society

Students start in the Social Sciences Level 1 program and apply to the Program at the end of their first year. Students must complete the requirements of a Level 1 program.

Enrolment in this program is limited and possession of the published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Selection is based on academic achievement but requires, as a minimum, completion of any Level I program with a minimum Grade Point Average of 5.0 including credit in HLTHAGE 1AA3 and a grade of at least C in HLTHAGE 1BB3.

Any student seeking admission to a Level II program in the Faculty of Social Sciences for the following Fall/Winter session must submit an Application for Admission to Level II through the Mosaic Student Centre (“My Academics”; Program/Plan Selection application) no later than April 28.


All undergraduate students accepted for admission to McMaster University are automatically considered for a McMaster University entrance award. Additional entrance awards, in-course scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial assistance is available to you at various stages of their undergraduate careers.

Each scholarship, bursary, Government Aid or Work Study Program a has its own unique application process and requirements. More information on financial aid visit the Student Financial Aid & Scholarship (SFAS) Office.

Some awards of interest:

  • The Barbara and Ronald Bayne Gerontology Internship Award
  • The Karl Kinanen Alumni Prize In Gerontology
  • The McMaster University Retirees Association Prize
  • The Audrey Evelyn Mepham Award in Gerontology
  • The Pioneer Energy LP Gerontology Prizes
  • The Pioneer Energy LP Prizes
  • The Retired Teachers of Ontario Hamilton/Haldimand District Prize In Gerontology

Some scholarships of interest:

  • The McMaster University Retirees Association Scholarship
  • The Pioneer Energy LP Scholarship
  • The Ellen Bouchard Ryan Scholarship
  • The Alvina Marie Werner Scholarship
  • The Susan Farley Scholarship
  • The Wouters Family Scholarship

The department provides academic advising (contact Lori Ewing,, ext. 27961).  Students are given the opportunity to be involved in affiliated research centres (i.e. Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging:; Institute for Healthier Environments:, etc.) and the Health, Aging & Society Student Association (HASSA).

Academic Advising

The Academic Advising office is run through the Office of the Associate Dean. The primary goal of the Advising Office is to provide all Social Sciences undergraduate students with the information and guidance they need to succeed in their academic careers.

Advisors can help you make the right academic decisions by explaining policies and regulations as well as presenting different options and supports available in your studies.

An academic advisor can assist you with:

  • Course requirements, dropping and adding courses
  • Program selection, application and changes
  • Studying abroad
  • Transfer credits
  • Petitions for missed term work, deferred examinations and special consideration
  • Appeals procedures
  • Referral to other campus services

Learn more about Academic Advising in the Social Sciences.

Course List

  • ANTHROP 3HI3 - The Anthropology of Health, Illness and Healing
  • ECON 2CC3 - Health Economics and its Application to Health Policy
  • ECON 3D03 - Labour Economics
  • ECON 3Q03 - The Economics of Aging
  • ECON 3Z03 - Health Economics
  • GEOG 2HI3 - Geographies of Health
  • GEOG 3HH3
  • GEOG 3HP3 - Population Growth and Aging
  • PHILOS 2D03 - Bioethics
  • PHILOS 3C03 - Advanced Bioethics
  • RELIGST 2C03 - Bioethics
  • RELIGST 2M03 - Death and Dying: Comparative Views
  • RELIGST 2N03 - Death and Dying: the Western Experience
  • RELIGST 2WW3 - Health, Healing and Religion
  • SOCWORK 3C03 - Social Aspects of Health and Illness
  • SOCWORK 4L03 - Social Work with an Aging Population
  • SOCWORK 4R03 - Feminist Approaches to Social Work and Social Justice
  • SOCIOL 3CC3 - Sociology of the Family and the Life Cycle
  • SOCIOL 3G03 - Sociology of Health Care
  • SOCIOL 3HH3 - Sociology of Health
2017/2018 Undergraduate Calendar Understanding Level 1 Internships & Experiential Education McMaster / Mohawk Affiliated Certificates Soc Sci Courses Apply Now
For more information:
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Health, Aging and Society, Undergraduate Program
905-525-9140 ext. 27227
4 years
Required Credential:
Completion of any Level 1 program with a Grade Point Average of at least 5.0 (C) including credit in HLTH AGE 1AA3 and a grade of at least 5.0 (C) in HLTH AGE 1BB3
Program Type:
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry: