Health, Aging, and the Life Course

Health, Aging, and the Life Course within the Department of Sociology investigates a broad range of topics that address the ways in which social structures and processes affect health and life course development. Specific areas of interest include health and inequality, critical issues in health care, and the effects of life course events and transitions on well-being, interpersonal relations, and identity, from childhood through the later years.

Faculty members in this specialization at Purdue study a diverse set of topics, including childhood health, drug use, family caregiving, health care delivery, health inequalities in the later years, infertility, parent- adult child relations, race and health, and sexual behaviors. The objective of the Health, Aging, and the Life Course program is to prepare scholars for the scientific analysis of critical issues in the field. Graduates typically seek positions conducting research and teaching in universities or other academic settings, or working in health or social service organizations.

The Health, Aging, and the Life Course program combines coursework, research, and teaching experiences. Coursework emphasizes theoretical and methodological advances in the field, with consideration of both micro and macro sociological approaches. Students are also encouraged to explore their areas of interest in courses offered outside the department. Of particular interest, Purdue's Center on Aging and the Life Course offers an interdisciplinary graduate minor in gerontology as well as a dual title Ph.D. in Sociology and Gerontology.