Aging Education & Research

Societies around the world are undergoing a dramatic population shift due to people living longer and having fewer children. The change in fertility rates and life expectancy is increasing the median age in regions throughout the United States and countries around the world, leading to population aging.

Students at Washington University in St. Louis need to know about the aging of society because they will experience it firsthand in their personal and professional lives, regardless of their major or concentration and subsequent career. The issues span every academic discipline. Policies, products, and services often focus on 20th century needs, when life expectancy was much lower. New approaches will have to reflect the growing diversity in health, needs, and interests of older adults in our communities. This will present as many, if not more, opportunities as it does challenges.

Henrietta Parram, a member of STL Village, speaks with Washington University students Arno Goetz (center) and Daniel Tanenbaum during a recent class in "When I'm Sixty-Four: Transforming Your Future." Photo by Diana Linsley

Henrietta Parram, a member of STL Village, speaks with Washington University students Arno Goetz (center) and Daniel Tanenbaum during a recent class in “When I’m Sixty-Four: Transforming Your Future.” Photo by Diana Linsley.

This page will serve as a source for students, faculty, and staff to learn about courses and other resources for exploring the opportunities and challenges of increased life expectancy, as well as the diversity of experiences as people age.

We are in the process of adding content to this page. If you have resources (e.g., sample syllabi, slide decks), contacts for student groups, etc., to contribute, please contact us at or 314.747.9192.

Faculty Course Enhancement Awards

To help prepare students for population aging, the Friedman Center is offering course enhancement awards to support the incorporation of aging-relevant topics into new and existing courses at Washington University. Instructor proposals chosen for this program will receive a $250 award that can be used for course materials, guest speakers, field trip expenses, or other resources needed to support the incorporation of aging-relevant material into your course. Consultation from the Friedman Center is also available to help you develop lectures, activities, and assignments, as well as connect to community resources.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Resources for Curriculum

There are many existing articles, videos, and presentations available to incorporate into courses. We will add slide decks and a resource list to this page. Stay tuned.

Aging Courses at Washington University

There are a variety of course options at Washington University that focus on older adults or include some content relevant to aging and older adults. If you need help identifying a course that is a good fit for your interests, feel free to contact us:

Student Activities

The Summer Research Program is open to students who seek challenge, research and experience along with the opportunity to explore and grow academically in a diverse environment.

The eight-week Summer Research Program enables students from any university to develop expertise in the following track:

Aging and Neurological Diseases Track

The Summer Research Program runs June-July, 2019.

For more information, please click on the track information above.

Not finding something you need or have a suggestion for this page? Contact us at or 314.747.9192.