Ph.D. in Aging Studies

Ph.D. in Aging Studies

The Ph.D. in Aging Studies program is a campus-wide, interdisciplinary research training program, hosted by the School of Aging Studies and governed by faculty from throughout the USF campus. Students select research mentors from faculty throughout the USF campus and develop individually tailored training programs, generally focused in one of four areas:

  • Aging and Health
  • Aging and Mental Health
  • Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
  • Public Policy and Long-Term Care

For more information on our PhD program click here

To apply for our PhD in Aging Studies, click here 

First-year students are supported by Fellowships and receive tuition waivers and health insurance. Students in subsequent years are supported by Fellowships, Research Assistantships and Graduate Teaching Assistantships, which include tuition waivers. Students often assemble dissertation committees that include faculty from multiple departments and disciplines.

Some examples of dissertation research completed by graduates from the Ph.D. in Aging Studies program are:

Aging and Health

  • Willingness to Accept Risk of Treatment Toxicity in Older Cancer Patients
  • The Role of Personality and Social Resources in a Stress Process Model of Functional Disability in Late Life
  • Manifestations of Chest Pain Symptoms by Gender in an Elder Population with Coronary Artery Disease

Aging and Mental Health

  • Toward an Understanding of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: A Dissertation in Six Studies
  • Elder Mistreatment in Older Adults with Alzheimer's Disease
  • The Relationship Between Caregiving and Bereavement

Cognitive Aging and Alzh.eimer's Disease

  • Automated Magnetic Resonance Image Analyses of Structural Brain Changes in Alzheimer's Disease
  • Stress and Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

Public Policy and Long-Term Care

  • The Contribution of Personal Control and Personal Meaning to Quality of Life in Home, Assisted Living Facility, and Nursing Home Settings
  • Predictors and Outcomes of Hospice use Among Nursing Home Residents in Florida

Graduates from the Ph.D. in Aging Studies Program have taken research and teaching positions in academia, government, and private consulting.

Students may also apply for the program as part-time students, but must meet additional admission criteria.

Deadline to receive full consideration of the application is December 11.
For more information, please email Dr. Debra Dobbs at

Ph.D. Student Handbook