Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Aging Studies, Ph.D.

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences  
Department: School of Aging Studies 

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Aging Studies is the first of its kind in the United States, and to the best of our knowledge, the world. What makes this major unique is the combined emphasis on providing a broad based foundation in the interdisciplinary aspects of aging with a focus on developing in-depth expertise in a research area. The major draws on the expertise of faculty from multiple colleges, departments, and centers at the University of South Florida to provide students with exposure to other disciplines and their different approaches to scientific and scholarly inquiry.

The Ph.D. in Aging Studies is hosted by the School of Aging Studies, which is the organizational focal point for interdisciplinary research, educational, clinical and community service activities in aging for faculty and students. An interdisciplinary committee of faculty governs the major, allowing students to develop research programs that focus on their particular interests and capitalize on the breadth of opportunities throughout the university.

The Ph.D. in Aging Studies is a research-oriented program designed to train future leaders in the field of aging. The major admits students who show exceptional promise to become strong academic, public sector, and corporate researchers. Students are supported with a stipend plus a tuition waiver (if funds are available), which covers tuition but not student fees, and payment of much of the premium for the student health insurance.   Students who wish to apply as part-time students must contact Dr. Debra Dobbs before applying.

Faculty Organization

The interdisciplinary nature of the program is exemplified by the number of core faculty who teach and serve on dissertation committees in the program and the range of academic departments they represent. Other faculty from across the university participate in the program.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • GPA of 3.25
  • a current (within the last 5 years) GRE; scores at or above the 50th percentile on Verbal, 30th percentile on quantitative and 50th percentile on analytical writing are preferred.
  • In addition, students must submit
    • their best example of a single authored writing sample
    • a summary of their career goals and past preparation for a research career
    • three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the student’s work and/or research

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours - 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate
Core Courses - 12 hours
Additional Requirements - 22 credit hours
Directed Research/Dissertation - 38 credit hours

Core Requirements (12 Credit Hours)

Additional Requirements (22 credit hours)

Comprehensive/Qualifying Exam

The qualifying examination is usually taken during the end of the second year of course work or the following Fall semester.

Dissertation (38 Credit Hours Minimum)

At least two (2) credits of Dissertation every semester after admission to candidacy; if more than minimum of required course credit is taken, then fewer credits of Directed Research are required.