Lecture Schedule: Tuesday and Thursday | 3:30 P.M. – 4:45 p.m.
Faculty: Paul Hsu | Fielding School of Public Health, Coordinator
Sharon Stein Merkin | Geffen School of Medicine
TBD | Lecturer
Librarian: Miki Goral | Powell Library
Writing Consultant: Dana Cairns Watson | Writing Programs
Inquiry Specialist: Fayez Kanj

Today’s college freshman can expect to live decades longer than their ancestors. Since the aging process is both biologically influenced (beginning even before birth) and socially constructed, lifestyle and social opportunities are just as important as genes and biology, if not more so. While advances in medical technology and public health have significantly increased life expectancy, our perceptions of age are still deeply rooted in culture, religion, literature, music, and film, all of which shape our views of the human life course. This Cluster incorporates hands-on education through “Elder Interviews” and “Service Learning” in the Los Angeles community, and is perfect for those who wish to explore fundamental issues that relate to living longer and more fulfilling lives.

What are the Benefits?

  • Satisfy 4 GEs requirements
  • Satisfy Writing II requirement
  • 18 units toward degree
  • College Honors units including Honors Collegium
  • Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 3 in Foundations of Society & Culture (2 in Social Analysis; 1 in Historical Analysis)
  • 1 in Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (Life Science without lab/demonstration credit)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Gerontology Minor

Students who have completed General Education Clusters 80A with a grade of B or better may petition to have the course applied toward the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor (GIM) core course requirement. Students who have completed General Education Clusters 80CW may petition to have the course applied toward one of the elective requirements.

I definitely recommend this cluter to other students. The service learning was a great experience. Also, the class debated helped improve my research and communication sekills - skills that I will need in my other courses at UCLA.Course Format

Fall Quarter

During fall quarter, the course meets twice a week for lectures and once a week for a two-hour section discussion. The format includes:

  • Student-led debates on current policy and ethical issues related to intergenerational societies.
  • A diverse array of guest speakers, including physicians, neuroscientists and U.S. presidential appointees.
  • An “Elder Interview” life review project (replaces Fall Quarter final exam).

Winter Quarter

Cluster 80 is the only cluster where students will do “service-learning” and spend time with older adults in organizations and medical clinics throughout the diverse Los Angeles community. This hands-on “service learning”, which replaces several Winter quarter lectures, often impresses future employers and professional school admission committees.

Spring Seminars

During spring quarter, students choose a seminar that allows them to explore a particular topic in greater depth. Previous seminar titles have included:

  • Aging and Social Justice in Los Angeles
  • Bridging Generations: Social Support Networks, Communication, and Aging
  • Cutting-Edge Pre-Clinical Research into Extending Health Span
  • Environmentally Sustainable Aging: Diversity, Resilience, and Health
  • From Cradle to Grave: Epidemiology of Age-Related Diseases
  • Heterogeneity in Older Adult Population
  • Health Promotion: How to Live Forever or Die Trying
  • Genotoxicity: Balance between DNA Repair and Damage in Aging Process
  • Sex and Rock’n Roles: HIV over Life Course