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MS with a Major in Dementia and Aging Studies (33 hours; online)

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Program Overview

The MSDA is a 33-hour, online, interdisciplinary degree (with courses from Sociology, Long Term Care, and Communication Disorders) and housed in the sociology department. Successfully completing the MSDA will be useful for anyone who currently works or wants to work with the aged community, or conduct research on dementia and aging. Graduates can manage various communities, programs, agencies and organizations for the growing aging population, or conduct research on dementia, gerontology, and aging. According to the U.S. Census, the number of elderly has surpassed the number of teenagers for the first time ever in the United States. Because of this significant demographic change, there are more jobs available for people to help and work with senior citizens, and a need for more scholarly research about aging and the aged.

 

Three Tracks in MSDA

Successfully completing the MSDA will be useful for anyone who currently works or wants to work with the aged community, or conduct research on dementia and aging. This innovative program will produce graduates who can manage various communities, programs, agencies and organizations for the growing aging population, or conduct research on dementia, gerontology, and aging. According to the U.S. Census, the number of elderly has surpassed the number of teenagers for the first time ever in the United States. Because of this significant demographic change, there are more jobs available for people to help and work with elders, and a need for more scholarly research about aging and the aged.  The MSDA program has three tracks: (1) Dementia and Long-Term Care; (2) Practitioner; and (3) Research. Each track offers different pathways for students upon graduation.  Each targets a specific student audience and is designed to advance career and professional aspirations.

(1) The Dementia and Long-Term Care Track is designed for students whose professional goals correspond with the long term care certificate, but who also want cutting-edge knowledge about dementia and a master’s degree to supplement the certificate. A student in this track may be interested in certification as a nursing home administrator. Dementia and Long-Term Care allies the Long-Term Care certificate with core coursework from the Department of Sociology to provide a social model of care approach to students who want to work in extended living environments when they graduate. 

(2) The Practitioner Track contains a curricular offering for students whose interests are in careers related to dementia and prefer a wider variety of elective courses related to dementia and aging issues, rather than long-term care.  A student in this track may be interested in roles such as health educator, or patient advocate. Students with undergraduate degrees in helping and health professions (social work and occupational therapy) may also pursue this track in order to expand skill sets and employment opportunities.  The Practitioner track offers an in-depth education involving coursework from all participating departments and allowing students to work in any facility or organization whose concern is the health and well-being of the individuals affected by dementia.

(3) The Research Track focuses on research skills and dementia-related courses and is the track that students who want to pursue an academic doctorate in gerontology or aging should elect.  It will provide advanced research knowledge to accompany the cutting-edge information offered in the core dementia and aging courses. The Research track offers coursework that will prepare students for doctoral programs in Gerontology, Sociology, Dementia Studies, or related fields.

Prerequisites

Applicants for the MS in Dementia and Aging Studies program: Course prerequisites for M.S. in Dementia and Aging students include 6 hours of undergraduate sociology courses, or other social science courses, related to aging or gerontology; 2 years of documented experience in the field of gerontology may be substituted for 3 or 6 hours of social science prerequisites.  These prerequisites may have been earned at other universities and may be taken prior to entering or in the first semester of the graduate program.

GA Application

Contact the Director of Graduate Programs (Dr. Patti Giuffre, pg07@txstate.edu) about GA applications for this program.

Out of State Applicants for MSDA

Please Read Before Applying for the MSDA

Applicants from some states are not permitted to take online classes at Texas State University

Only Texas residents may opt for the Long-term Care Track in the MSDA. The internship that is required for the Long-term Care Track must be completed in Texas. 

See http://www.distancelearning.txstate.edu/state-authorization.html

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