Portland-State-University 2017-2018 Bulletin

Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Public Health Studies

450 Urban Center


The Center for Public Health Studies (CPHS) seeks to enhance the public’s health by conducting interdisciplinary research exploring the interaction of health, society, and social policy. Our goals include:

  • assessing the structural causes and consequences of health and disease;
  • examining health behaviors in their social context;
  • studying the effects of culture and the environment on our health and attitudes toward health care; and
  • analyzing the political processes and social policies that affect the health status of populations.

Institute on Aging

470 Urban Center



The Institute on Aging (IOA), in the College of Urban and Public Affairs, is a multidisciplinary research and educational organization. Established in 1969, the IOA was one of the first centers in the United States to focus on the social, psychological, and economic issues related to aging. Our research is funded by federal, state, and private sources, with projects designed to advance knowledge that serves an aging society. Educational programs are offered at the undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The IOA is actively engaged in community partnerships.

Our Mission

Institute on Aging faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to enhancing understanding of aging and facilitating opportunities for elders, families, and communities to thrive.


Institute on Aging faculty specialize in research on a variety of topics, including:

  • best practices in housing and long-term care;
  • global aging in developing countries;
  • planning for age-friendly communities;
  • aging services and organizational decision making;
  • work-life issues and family caregiving;
  • social relationships in late life;
  • research methods.

Degree and Training Programs

The Institute on Aging offers courses and areas of specialization in gerontology for undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, master's, and doctoral students, as well as research and teaching opportunities. Each of the educational programs offered provides a multi-disciplinary core curriculum in gerontology and is designed for students seeking instruction in aging services, research, and/or policy. The IOA is a member of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and the Oregon Gerontological Association.

Graduate Programs.

  • Doctorate in Urban Studies with a concentration in gerontology.
  • Doctorate in Public Affairs and Policy with a concentration in gerontology.
  • The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, which is a postbaccalaureate program for those seeking additional education in aging studies; it is offered as a stand-alone program or as an area of emphasis in conjunction with other graduate degrees.

Undergraduate Programs.

  • Concentration in Aging Services within the Health Studies major.
  • Minor in Aging Services.

Training for Professionals

The Institute on Aging is a partner in the Oregon Geriatric Education Consortium (OGEC), a collaboration among the Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, and Oregon State University, dedicated to providing training in gerontology and geriatrics to health professionals.

The OGEC Resource Center, housed within the IOA, provides reference and training materials for geriatric health care, long-term care, and higher education professionals in gerontology and geriatrics across Oregon.

Lifelong Learning

The Senior Adult Learning Center (SALC) provides opportunities for continuous intellectual enrichment and personal growth of older adults. Oregon residents aged 65 and older can register through the SALC to audit Portland State University courses on any topic with no tuition costs on a space-available basis.

The Retired Associates of Portland State University is an affiliated membership organization open to anyone aged 50 or older and sponsored by the Institute on Aging. It provides fellowship for those interested in lifelong learning and leadership opportunities.

Community Service and Partnerships

Through partnerships with a wide variety of organizations that serve older adults locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, faculty and students at the Institute on Aging seek to build capacity for organizations and communities to address the needs and strengths of older people living near and far. Programs are aimed at enhancing the lives of older persons who lack adequate resources in the United States and in less developed regions of the world, including Nicaragua. The goal is to test service learning, housing, and community development models for identifying and addressing some of the needs of and opportunities for elders in the United States and abroad. Other service initiatives focus on creating age-friendly communities and enhancing the quality of long-term care.