Skip to main content
Scenes from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Program in Gerontology


What is gerontology and why you should learn about it:

As the US population rapidly grows older, and the number of older adults in our country increases dramatically, gerontology is becoming one of the truly "growth careers" of the present and future. By the year 2030, roughly 20% of the US population (the "baby boomers") will be 65 years of age and older. Some of the greatest and most urgent areas of need are projected to be in the fields of human services and the health professions.

Gerontology is the academic discipline that is focused on the study of aging and the unique biological, psychological, and social issues that confront older adults in our society. No matter what your major or field of study is at URI, taking courses in gerontology will help to enhance your knowledge and understanding of older adults and enable you to position yourself competitively in a job market that will increasingly expect knowledge in this field.

If you understand the dynamics of aging and longevity on the levels of the individual and society, you can develop a better product and market it more effectively, create more responsive technology, design a better house, plan a better community, manage a better health care facility, teach more effectively, promote better public policy, provide more effective and efficient health care, advocate for older clients more effectively, or engage in research that will impact the lives of millions.

The URI Program in Gerontology was founded in 1958, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. Because Rhode Island ranks among the states with the highest percentage of elderly persons in the US, the program has a unique responsibility and opportunity for education, research, and outreach in the field of aging.

Gerontology at URI is a University-wide program, with participating faculty and students from several academic departments and colleges. In addition, the program has well-established linkages to many governmental departments, institutions, and community-based service agencies.

We invite you to explore the academic opportunities in the field of gerontology at URI by using the links on this website, as well as those to aging-related employment opportunities and organizations across the US.

If you have questions, or would like to talk with someone about your interest and what URI has to offer, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Phillip Clark, by phone at (401) 874-2689 or e-mail at

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Program in Gerontology also has close ties to the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center, which is supported by the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions.




2014 Thewlis Lecture on Gerontology and Geriatrics - 3/19/2014

Couldn't make it to the lecture? Watch it on Livestream.




Quinn Hall, Room 100
55 Lower College Road
Kingston, RI 02881
Phone: 401-874-2689
Fax: 401-874-9322