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Academic Courses and Learning Opportunities

There are a number of courses related to aging at McMaster that are accessible at the undergraduate level, with several offered as electives. Below is a list of the courses that are the most directly related to Aging. Some courses may be limited enrollment.

The Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Health, Aging ​& Society, offers Majors (Health and Aging, Gerontology, Health Studies) as well as a Minor in Health, Aging and Society. For more information, including their full course listing, visit their website.

Open Courses

HLTH AGE 1AA3 – Intro to Health Studies

HLTH AGE 1BB3 - Aging and Society 

HLTH AGE 2J03 - Selected Topics in Aging

HLTH AGE 2K03 - Selected Topics in Health Studies

HLTH AGE 3E03 - Ethical Issues in Health and Aging

HTH SCI 4ID3 - Innovation by Design



Open to Students outside of Faculty (with course-based pre-requisites)

HLTH AGE 3D03 - Perspectives on Disability, Chronic Illness and Aging

HLTH AGE 3Q03 - Selected Topics in Health and Aging

HLTH AGE/GEOG 3HP3 - Population Growth and Aging

ECON 3Q03 - The Economics of Aging

PSYCH 3AG3 - Psychology of Aging

SOCIOL 3X03 - Sociology of Aging

SOCWORK 4L03 - Social Work with an Aging Population 

MOLBIOL 4K03 - Research Advances in the Biology of Aging


Students in many Faculties can also look at questions on aging through independent research opportunities such as honours thesis projects, independent research projects, or capstone design and research projects. Students who are interested in examining aging in-depth can identify faculty members in their own departments to discuss the suitability of these options further.

Volunteer and Community Engagement Opportunities

McMaster and the broader Hamilton community offer a number of volunteer and community engagement opportunities for students who are interested in working with older adults outside of their academic work. 

  • McMaster PACE (Physical Activity Centre of Excellence) offers community exercise and wellness programs for individuals over 55, with specialised programs for individuals with heart disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or who are cancer survivors. They seek volunteers during the academic year.
  • Hamilton Council on Aging seeks volunteers for committees, social events and more.
  • Health TAPESTRY seeks volunteers to visit older adults clients in their homes, acting as a connector to help connect clients to the health care system and the community.

If none of these opportunities match your interests, The McMaster Student Success Centre has a listing of partner organizations and information about how to be a great volunteer, and Volunteer Hamilton showcases opportunities throughout the city.


Want to Learn More?

There are a number of resources available at McMaster for undergraduates who may be interested in learning more about aging and working with older adults, without enrolling in a full class. Here are some of the options available:

  • The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging brings together researchers from all Faculties of McMaster to collaborate on finding answers to some of the questions in the field of aging and create useable, practical, older adults-centred solutions. The Institute holds events throughout the year that provide the interested public with opportunities to learn about how cutting edge research can contribute to helping older adults live healthier lives. You can stay up-to-date on news and events on their website.
  • The Gilbrea Centre offers seminars and workshops on improving the lives of older adults. A full listing can be found on their website.
  • Take a free course, “Working with Older Adults,” on the MacHealth portal.
  • Read about evidence-based answers to questions commonly asked by older adults on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
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