George Mason University Establishes Nation’s First Degree in Senior Housing Administration

George Mason University (GMU), located in Northern Virginia, announced the launch of the nation’s first degree for executives seeking to manage the country’s nearly 50,000 active adult, assisted living, continuing care retirement, and related senior housing communities.  As approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the new Master of Science in Senior Housing Administration (MSHA) will begin in the fall 2010 semester.  The deadline to apply for Fall study is July 1, 2010.

“The first of 78 million baby boomers will turn 65 next year, and their interest and expectations for retirement housing will be high,” says Andrew Carle, a former senior housing executive and director of the Program in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration. “Just as the Cornell School of Hotel Administration set the standard for the hospitality industry, we want to set the standard moving forward for senior housing.”


Administered through the College of Health and Human Services, the degree will offer coursework in senior housing and health care administration, as well as an interdisciplinary range of topics including business administration, aging, ethics, health policy, assistive technology, therapeutic recreation, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The new degree expands GMU’s existing Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration curricula which, when launched in 2001, was the first in the nation to offer both undergraduate and graduate concentrations dedicated exclusively to the field. More than 300 students have completed coursework within the Program to date, including internships within more than 60 senior housing communities.