Special Notification

This program is closed to admissions for the 2023-24 academic year.

Program Description

The combined MSW and MS in Gerontology degree is a 90-unit program which emphasizes contemporary behavioral health models such as wellness, recovery, and resiliency needed for working with older adult populations. The program’s multidisciplinary approach considers the biospychosoicalspiritual well-being of older adults and provides students with knowledge and clinical skills in providing resources and clinical services to older adults and their families. As such, this program offers a unique opportunity for individuals interested in working with older adults within a variety of behavioral health settings.

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

2-, 3-, and 4-year options

Possible Careers

Geriatric Social Worker, Clinical Social Worker, Medical Social Worker, Hospice Social Worker, Community Social Worker, Healthcare Administrator, Public Health Administrator, Research Social Worker, and Social Work Educator. Many Geriatric Social Workers work in government agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, senior centers, community health centers, and mental health clinics.

Admissions Requirements

1. A four-year baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university.

2. The MSW/MS in Gerontology curriculum is built on a liberal arts perspective. Individual applicants whose undergraduate degree does not reflect this perspective may be asked to enroll in additional courses.

3. Applicants must submit a completed application, including a personal statement; application fee; all college and/or university transcripts; and at least three letters of recommendation—preferably one of which is from an academic source and one from a work supervisor. All students who are working fulltime must also submit a letter from their agency director acknowledging support in completing the practicum and educational requirements of the MSW program. 

4. Applicants must meet the minimum academic and professional compatibility criteria established by the program. These criteria include:

    • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with lower grade point averages will be considered if the last 45-quarter credits (30 semester units) of non-field practica course work shows significant improvement or if they have additional attributes that demonstrate preparedness and an appropriate fit for graduate social work education. Work and volunteer experiences must be verified by employer/supervisor statements on official agency stationery. Further consideration will also be given to individuals who provide evidence of additional graduate coursework, certifications, and/or training that illustrate preliminary preparation for a career in social work. Students who are admitted to the Social Work Program with a cumulative G.P.A. below 3.0 may be required to participate in individualized academic assessment and a targeted learning assistance program.

    • Demonstration, through the application and interview processes, of compatibility with the profession of social work, ability to develop and nurture interpersonal relationships, communication skills, self-awareness, professional comportment, critical thinking skills, fit with the mission and values of Loma Linda University and the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology, and the capacity to successfully complete the Master of Social Work curriculum.


A four-year baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university. Individual applicants whose undergraduate degree does not reflect a liberal arts perspective may be asked to enroll in additional courses.

Discipline Accrediting Agency

The Master of Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) to provide master's degree-level education, with the next reaffirmation to be completed in 2025. There is no discipline specific accrediting body for the Gerontology program.

State Accrediting Agency

The academic programs at Loma Linda University are regionally accredited by the WSCUC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges [WASC] Senior College and University Commission).
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.


Please contact the department at sowk@llu.edu for information on the cost of attendance for this dual degree program.
  • Estimated amounts are for the academic year specified only. Amounts are based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on these amounts.
  • Amounts are expected to increase each year consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.
  • To qualify for financial aid, most students must be enrolled at least half time in an aid eligible program and be taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.