Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary BA - Health and Human Services Social Gerontology Concentration

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (SSC)

203 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4670
716-645-2245 x0
Shelley Kimelberg, PhD
(HEGIS: 49.03 HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCI, CIP: 45.0101 Social Sciences, General)

Why study Social Sciences Interdisciplinary BA - Health and Human Services Social Gerontology Concentration at UB?

Health and Human Services (HHS) is one of six major areas in the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary major. It studies the systems delivering human services to individuals and communities in need, the problems affecting those individuals and communities, and the professions and professionals providing services.

Within SSC/Health and Human Services students focus their upper level coursework in a specific concentration: social gerontology (HHS/GER), community mental health (HHS/CMH) or early childhood studies (HHS/ECH).

For more information on the early childhood studies or community mental health concentration area of the SSC/Health and Human Services majors please see their individual pages.

The field of aging is rewarding and expanding rapidly. The HHS/Social Gerontology major explores the physical, social and psychological aspects of aging. It highlights issues and problems that impact the elderly such as substance abuse, family violence and grief and loss. During two semesters of fieldwork, students do internships in nursing homes, senior centers, human services agencies, hospitals, and government agencies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have the ability to: 

  • Identify a range of health and human service professions and their characteristics; understand typical human service (HS) problems and client needs; understand the theoretical foundations of human service interventions
  • Understand the foundational principles of two social science disciplines critical to HS interventions
  • Understand the methodology of and be able to critically evaluate social science research; propose a research project that would answer a significant research question
  • Utilize statistical methods to evaluate data in relation to knowledge claims
  • Recognize the effect of human values and cultural diversity on the provision of health HS
  • Demonstrate understanding of the dynamic process of aging from a social and physical perspective; agency structure/function; health care needs/response; family and social structure
  • Demonstrate personal characteristics and professional skills associated with HS positions
  • Develop interview, oral presentation and writing skills necessary in HS fields

The Learning Environment

The SSC/Health and Human Service/Social Gerontology major is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building the program most suitable for individual interests and career goals. There are approximately 30 students enrolled currently in the Health and Human Services – Social Gerontology major area.

Courses in the major are taught in both large lecture small seminar course formats. Prerequisite and introductory courses for the major typically enroll 40-450 students per class. Intermediate and community mental health courses enroll 40 to 250 students per class.

About Our Facilities

SSC/Health and Human Services major is housed in 203 Clemens Hall on UB’s north campus. The program holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.

About Our Faculty

Students take courses from across the College of Arts and Sciences allowing them to interact with faculty from various departments such as psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology and global gender studies. Instruction or grading responsibilities for some of these courses may be assigned to teaching assistants.

In addition SSC has approximately 30 adjunct instructors who are working professionals in their fields. They provide a diverse selection of courses related to their areas of expertise. There is one teaching assistant in the program who is responsible for teaching social research methods each semester.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Students who graduate from the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary/Health and Human Services – Social Gerontology major are prepared to work in such areas as senior activities, homeless services, case assistance and senior services planning.

Students have reported obtaining employment with Weinberg Campus, Elderwood Health Care, Degraff Memorial Hospital, Jewish Association for the Aging and Buffalo City Mission.

The interdisciplinary structure of the major prepares students to go on to advanced study in social work, counseling, and healthcare management. Students who have combined the major with extra course work in the hard sciences have used the major in preparation for physician assistant, medical or dental school. Students have gone on to advanced studies at SUNY Stony Brook, University of Florida, Columbia University, D’Youville College and SUNY Buffalo.

Academic Advising

Admission to the major and advisement for students are coordinated through the program’s office in 203 Clemens Hall. There is at least one advisor assigned to each major area. We provide advisement for students on major and university requirements. Our advisors work closely with the general advising office, financial aid and student accounts to help students find answers to questions about all aspects of being an undergraduate at UB.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Please call our office at (716) 645-2245 ext. 0 to make an appointment with an advisor in your major area of interest.

Scholarships and Financial Support

With the help of its alumni donors, SSC has established a Study Abroad Award to encourage undergraduate students who are in one of the six SSC majors to pursue an opportunity to study abroad. The award is available for study abroad in fall, spring or summer semesters.

Students in our program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of other sources, including:

  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards
Published: August 16, 2018 09:20:00 AM