Portland-State-University 2021-2022 Bulletin

Research Centers and Institutes

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:

  • person-directed long-term care;
  • community-based care, such as assisted living and adult foster home;
  • global aging in developing countries;
  • planning for age-friendly communities;
  • aging services and policies;
  • applied demography;
  • changing family structures;
  • 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.

Students from a wide range of disciplines can complement their degree by completing the graduate certificate in gerontology, a post baccalaureate program for those seeking additional education in aging studies. Examples of degree programs that might be able to add aging as an area of emphasis include Urban Studies, Public Policy, Public Health, Social Work, Speech and Hearing Science, and Business. 

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology may be completed as a stand-alone program for students who have completed an undergraduate degree. 

Undergraduate Programs.

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health offers a B.A. in Health Studies with a concentration in Aging Services. Students from other undergraduate programs may take gerontology courses offered through this program.  

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. The goal is to test service learning methods and to assess 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.


Population Research Center

780 Urban Center



Through demographic research and teaching, the Population Research Center (PRC) serves the people of Oregon by addressing the causes and implications of demographic change for communities across the state. PRC is a center of training and knowledge for solutions to problems in applied demography, including population estimates, projections, geospatial analysis, and census-taking.


PRC annually publishes certified population estimates of Oregon’s cities and counties, and regular long run population projections for counties and urban growth boundary (UGB) areas. Center faculty collaboratively produce data and research for implementation of policies tied to population or housing to ensure equitable distribution of tax revenue; better land use planning; appropriations for various state and federal program funds, and for other public policy priorities including education, public health, and redistricting. PRC faculty additionally engage in activities including special estimates or local area censuses, and projections for school, library, utility, and other service districts, and technical assistance with redistricting.

The center also operates as the Oregon State Data Center (SDC), a cooperative program with the U.S. Census Bureau that makes demographic and socio-economic data and information accessible to state, regional, local, and tribal governments and the public through a network of local experts. SDC collaborates with the Census Bureau to improve the quality of Oregon's data by supporting the decennial census, geographic updates, and other programs through outreach and engagement.

As a member of the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates (FSCPE), the PRC is a state liaison with the U.S. Census Bureau for issues related to population estimates, projections, and the decennial census of housing and population. The center houses historical and current data and maps which are available to faculty, students, and the general public.

Graduate Programs 

Graduate Certificate in Applied Demography is a postbaccalaureate program for students seeking to specialize in population studies. The certificate can be completed as a standalone program or integrated into a course of study in any graduate program at PSU.