Gerontology – Caring for older adults

Gerontology – Caring for older adults Track


In light of the increase in life expectancy and the increase in the number of older adults in the population, the need to improve well-being and mental health in older age grows stronger. This was well-evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic: Many older adults became disconnected from their families during the lockdowns, thus leading to a “loneliness pandemic”. The new track that will open in 2023 “Treatment of Older Adults” will provide students with basic tools for the diagnosis and clinical treatment of older adults. Students in this track take courses related to psychopathology, cognitive behavioral therapy, identification and treatment of elder abuse, and more. In addition, students will complete an extended practicum.


Graduates of the track will receive a Master’s degree (MA) in Gerontology: Gerontological Sciences in the “Treatment of Older Adults” track (the name of the track will appear on the degree certificate).


Clarification: studies in this track do not grant certification or a license to work as therapists in the field.


Quota of Hours and Seminars

Students can complete the track with a thesis or without a thesis.


Track A: with a thesis

Total of 33 credits as described below:

Required courses: 27 credits 

Elective courses: 2 credits 

Seminar: 4 credits 

*Outside Practicum: 5 credits – this is part of the required coursework.


Track B: without a thesis

Total of 41 credits as described below:

Required courses: 33 credits 

Seminar: 8 credits

*Outside Practicum: 5 credits – this is part of the required coursework.

This list of courses does not include required Judaism courses, English courses, and general courses.

Students in the program are also required to take an English course during their Master’s degree. Exemptions from this course will be granted in accordance with the regulations of the English as a Foreign Language Unite and the.

Conditions of Acceptance

  • B.A. Degree from a recognized academic institution from the following areas: Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences (individual track)/ Department of Social & Health Sciences; psychology; behavioural sciences; social work; criminology; guidance counselor; communication disorders; M.A. in art therapy.
  • Minimum weighted grade of 80 for B.A. studies (a weighted average score of all the BA studies; for those who completed a degree in two departments the average score of studies in these two departments will be used).
  • Preference will be given to students who already have approval for degree conferral (as opposed to candidates who are still in their final year of studies).
  • Applicants in their last year of studies of their Bachelor’s degree must provide confirmation of degree completion to the office of Master's Degree by the end of December of their first year in the program.
  • A acceptance interview will be conducted in order to assess the fit of applicants to the track.

Prerequisites Studies

  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree from other fields will be required to complete prerequisites in accordance with their academic background and as needed, in a scope of up to 14 credits that include at least personality theories and developmental psychology.

Additional Admission Requirements for Candidates of the Research Dissertation Track (With thesis; Track A)

  • The candidates for a Master's Thesis Track are obligated to have at least a grade of 85 in a year-long Statistics and Data Analysis course (4 credits) and a year-long Research Methods course (4 credits).


1. If prerequisite courses are required for candidacy, these courses can be completed in any academic institution which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education, on condition that the courses meet the required number of hours and are in accordance with the aforementioned criteria.

2. The fulfillment of these requirements do not constitute automatic fulfillment of equivalent courses within the program. An exemption from the required courses will occur following an exam of the relevant courses and in accordance to criteria that will be determined by the Department of Social & Health Sciences and the Life Sciences Faculty. The decision will be made after examining the syllabi of the courses which the candidate has studied and his/her grades in the courses.   

3. In exceptional cases, the candidacy of students who hold a bachelor's degree in the above-specified fields but that do not fully comply with the aforementioned criteria will be considered.

4. The acceptance of candidates is made following an overall evaluation of all pertinent candidate data and relative to the other candidates who applied to the program in that specific year.

Application Process

Candidates should apply to the M.A. in Gerontology program online on the Bar-Ilan University website and follow all directions provided.

Duration of Study

Duration of study is two years. The School for Graduate Studies can under certain circumstances, and with the recommendation of the Head of the Program and thesis mentor, grant an extension for a third year of study for students needing to complete a research project in the thesis track, and not for completion of course work. Additional details can be found on the website of the Department of Social & Health Sciences.


Language Requirements (English)

English competency at the Master’s degree level is required (details on proficiency exams, appropriate courses, and criteria for exemption for those eligible can be found in the Introduction Section).

Judaic Study Requirements

According to general M.A. University requirements—see Introduction Section.

This is a link to the informational brochure of The School of Graduate Studies, 2023