Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 16 Months

Program credential icon Credential

  • Graduate Diploma

The Graduate Diploma in Gerontology: Active Aging Program

Note: This program is not currently being offered.

The Graduate Diploma in Gerontology: Active Aging takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the physical, social, cognitive and spiritual needs of older adults. The diploma offers current practitioners in a variety of fields the perspectives, knowledge and skills that they need to understand the diverse and evolving needs of older adults and to apply these to their practice experiences. The perspectives and experiences of older adults in community and the Aboriginal Elders associated with Vancouver Island University are incorporated throughout the program.

The program consists of 30 credits delivered over 4 semesters. Students may enroll on a full-time basis (9 credits per semester) or with a reduced load and flexible pathways. Students may choose, for example to take 2, rather than 3 courses for each semester, spreading the program over 6-7 semesters rather than 4.

Each course begins with a weekend institute, located at the Centre for Healthy Aging in Parksville, consisting of two full days of face-to-face interaction with faculty and classmates, and with community members and experts. The institute will be followed by online learning through VIU Learn for 6 consecutive weeks. A new course begins once every 4 weeks with a weekend institute.

Year 1

Fall SemesterCredits
GERO 500 - (Psycho-Social Perspectives on Aging)3
GERO 502 - (Social Policy on Aging)3
One elective chosen from the list below3
Total Credits9
Spring SemesterCredits
GERO 501 - (Physiology of Aging)3
GERO 504 - (Mental Health and Aging)3
One elective chosen from the list below3
Total Credits9
GERO 503 - (Research Methods in Aging)3
Two electives chosen from the list below6
Total Credits9

Year 2

Fall SemesterCredits
GERO 511 - (Critical Issues and Future Trends in Aging: Project-Based)3
Total Credits3
Total Program Credits30


Electives - Choose 4 of 6Credits
GERO 505 - (Ethical and Moral Issues of Aging)3
GERO 506 - (Diversity and the Experience of Aging)3
GERO 507 - (Community Development in an Aging Society)3
GERO 508 - (Aging Well with Creativity)3
GERO 509 - (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Death and Dying)3
GERO 510 - (Leisure and Recreation for Older Adults)3

Completion Requirements

Graduation requires the successful completion of 30 credits including all required courses, with a minimum CGPA of “C”. 

To be admitted into the program, students must hold a baccalaureate degree from a recognized university in any discipline, and meet the following admission criteria: A minimum average of “B” calculated upon the last 60 credits attempted of the undergraduate degree.

Notes on Admission

Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.

Transfer from other Institutions

Applicants may apply for possible transfer credits from other accredited graduate programs on a course-by-course basis.

Gerontology is one of the growth areas of the 21st century due to population aging in Canada and internationally. The number of individuals over the age of 65 will double in the next 25 years creating opportunities in a variety of different sectors. This includes health care, social services, recreation, leisure and tourism, education, business, housing, community development and planning.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees Amount
Tuition (30 credits x $418.28 per credit) 12,548.40
Student Activity fee (30 credits x $9.98 per credit) 299.40
VIU Students' Union fee (16 months x $27.60 per month) 441.60
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Textbooks and supplies (approximate costs) 700.00

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.