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  • Dual-title Ph.D. Program in Gerontology

Dual-title Ph.D. Program in Gerontology

The Gerontology Program is not currently admitting students. No applications will be accepted.

This dual-title degree is an option available to students who have first been admitted to a doctoral program at the University of Kansas (e.g., Communication Studies, Psychology, Sociology, etc.). The dual-title degree allows the pursuit of a single degree that incorporates study within a traditional discipline and training in an interdisciplinary field. The student is awarded a doctoral degree with both titles identified on the diploma (e.g., Ph.D. in Psychology and Gerontology).

The student completes required coursework in both the traditional discipline and in Gerontology. Many courses for each side of the pairing can jointly fulfill requirements for both programs in the dual-title degree. Nonetheless, the dual-title student may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements in both programs.

This option is designed to appeal to students who are strong in a traditional discipline but also motivated to study across disciplinary lines. Students can avail themselves of disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary breadth. The ability to claim expertise in both titles expands the employment opportunities of dual-title graduates.

Advantages of a Dual-Title Ph.D.:

  • Enhances employment and research opportunities
  • Addresses challenges of future demographics
  • Maintains disciplinary depth
  • Emphasizes interdisciplinary research
  • Allows research in gerontology with a dissertation focused on aging within a specific field
  • Networking opportunities through an interdisciplinary dissertation committee
  • Involves students in discipline-specific and interdisciplinary professional organizations studying the aging process
  • Acquaints students with gerontology funding streams
  • Awards students a degree in a traditionally-recognized discipline with an added credential in the emerging field of gerontology

The programs’ respective graduate student handbooks likewise describe procedures for written preliminary material, the Comprehensive Oral Examination, the dissertation, and the Final Oral Examination. 

With the consent of advisers in both programs, any required written preliminary examinations and will be harmonized between the two programs. 

Comprehensive Oral Examination: The dual-title degree student’s candidacy examination committee must be composed of faculty from the partner discipline as well as at least one faculty member from the Gerontology Program.  The dual-title faculty member may be someone who is appointed in both programs.  Typically, the dual-title member will participate in constructing and grading candidacy examination questions in Gerontology.  The comprehensive exam requirements for both programs must be met, including a defense of the prospectus for the dissertation. 

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination: The dissertation topic should integrate both fields and be defended before graduate faculty from both programs.

The Gerontology Program is not currently admitting students. No applications will be accepted.

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