Department of Biology
Between 2000 and 2010, the older adult population increased at a faster rate (15.1%) than the overall US population (9.7%).
This increase in the older adult population is unprecedented in history and, when coupled with an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in the birth rate, brings with it profound social and economic changes and challenges. These changes and challenges are not simply germane to the US; the rapidly increasing older adult demographic is a global concern. As a result, societies across the world are faced with the critical need to study and develop approaches that can promote healthy aging while successfully meeting the needs associated with age-related disease and disability that often occur.
Aging Studies/Gerontology is a dynamic field that can only be expected to gain in importance with life expectancy across the world at its highest levels. It brings to the fore issues related to health and health disparities; medicine and health care; spirituality and healing; family and social demands; cultural diversities; technology; economics; and environmental and product design. As such, gerontology is quintessentially an interdisciplinary field and will interest students from a variety of majors and minors at Lafayette including psychology, biology, neuroscience, sociology, economics, philosophy, religious studies, and public policy. The Aging Studies minor is intended especially for students who wish to pursue post-baccalaureate education in graduate programs related to aging studies (e.g., specialization in human development, life span or developmental psychology, social gerontology, health economics, public health) or career opportunities in fields that focus on the needs of older adults and work with the aging population (e.g., professional careers in gerontology-focused aspects of medicine, law, nursing, politics, and social work).