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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living – Curriculum

Granger Cobb
Institute for Senior Living


Education. Data Analytics. Partnerships.

Solving real problems in real communities for real residents,

and those who serve them . . . in real time.

Senior Living is a growing, dynamic industry where residents 55+ make their homes in independent, assisted living, or memory care communities. This residential model promotes active, social interaction among residents and their families, while providing a safe and caring environment. Managers and professional staff make a positive difference for residents and enhance the quality of their lives on a daily basis. This degree will prepare students for:

  • Managerial positions and upward mobility in an industry that is nearly recession-proof
  • Purposeful work on a daily basis and throughout your career
  • Careers in a growing industry as the Baby Boomers move in
  • Training in sound business fundamentals, with a focus on hospitality operations
  • A very rewarding work-life balance

Feature Articles

Murry Mercier

PointClickCare’s senior living industry market leader Murry Mercier shared senior living industry insights as the keynote speaker for the Granger Cobb Institute’s senior living lecture during Hospitality Week 2022.


Contact Us

Nancy Swanger
Founding Director
(509) 335-2443
Darcie Bagott
Program Specialist
(509) 335-6387



Working with like-minded individuals to make a difference in the lives of older adults is very fulfilling, which makes it fun to come to work each day.



There are many different career paths to take in the senior living industry.


Dakota Post

My stereotypes dissolved as I saw how far the industry has come in providing seniors with a lifestyle like you’d find at a five-star resort.


Four-Year Plan: Senior Living Management Major

First Year


ENGLISH 101 or 105 [WRTG] 3
MATH 201 1 3
B A 100 3
BIOLOGY 140 [BSCI] 2 3
ECONS 101 or 102 [SSCI] 3


HBM 101 1
B A 102 1
MATH 202 [QUAN] 3 3
PSYCH 105 7 3
SOE 101 or AMDT 210 [PSCI] 2 4

At the end of Year 1, you must:

  • Complete the Carson College Amplifier Program Year 1
  • Apply for continuation into the College

Second Year


B A 201, B A 202, and B A 203 or B A 211 Ethics/Teams/Innovation (for Global Campus and system campuses with fewer faculty) 3
ACCTG 230 4 3
HBM 280 3
MIS 250 3
PHIL 365 [HUM] /KINES 201 3
Consider studying abroad this summer 5


B A 204, B A 205, and B A 206 or
B A 212 Decision Analysis/Spreadsheets/Data Visualization (for Global Campus and system campuses with fewer faculty)
ACCTG 231 4 3
B LAW 210 3
H D 205 [COMM] 4
HBM 375 3

At the end of Year 2, you must:

  • Complete the Carson College Amplifier Program Year 2
  • Complete Writing Portfolio



FIN 325 3
HBM 358 3
Diversity [DIV] 3
ECONS 101 or 102 3
MGTOP 215 6 4


HBM 381 [M] 3
HBM 470 3
H D 405 or PSYCH 363 3
I BUS 380 4
MKTG 360 3

At the end of Year 3, you must:

  • Complete the Carson College Amplifier Program Year 3

Fourth Year


HBM 401 1
HBM 494 [M] 3
ENGLISH 402 or 403 3
International Experience Requirement 5 3
Creative and Professional Arts [ARTS] 3
One of Management or Programming 7 3


One of Management or Programming 7 3
International Experience Requirement 5 3
HBM 300-400 3
HBM 475 [CAPS] 3

At the end of Year 4, you must:

  • Complete the Carson College Amplifier Program Year 4
  • Have completed 1,000-hour industry work experience requirement

1 MATH 201 will be waived with an ALEKS score of 80% or higher, or the completion of MATH 202 or equivalent.

2 For a total of 7 credits—one Biological Science [BSCI] and one Physical Science [PSCI] course, including one lab course, or 8 credits of [SCI] designated courses. (SCIENCE 101 [SCI] is offered fall semester and is a prerequisite for SCIENCE 102 [SCI], which is offered Spring semester.)

3 Alternatives to MATH 202: MATH 171, MATH 140

4 For students in the Honors Program: ECONS 198 is an approved substitute for ECONS 101 and 102; COM 102/H D 205/MKTG 279 requirement is waived; HONORS 198 is an approved substitute for HBM 101; ENGLISH 198 is an approved substitute for ENGLISH 101; ACCTG 298 is an approved substitute for ACCTG 230 and 231. Honors students may need to enroll in elective coursework to meet University requirement of 120 credits.

5 All students must complete the International Experience Requirement (IER). Students can satisfy the IER requirements through several options. Options for completing the requirement can be found in the Carson College of Business Academic Unit section of the catalog under Business. Students should consult with their advisor to determine their best option.

6 MATH/STAT 212 is an approved substitute for MGTOP 215 for transfer students.

7 Two out of one of the following tracks:

  • Programming: PSYCH 485, PSYCH 486, PSYCH 490
  • Management and Leadership: H D 360, PSYCH 320, PSYCH 485, PSYCH 490

Senior Living Management Major: Course Descriptions

ENGL 101 Introductory Writing (or ENGL 105) Designed to develop students’ academic writing, critical thinking, rhetorical strategies, reading, and library skills.
ENGL 105 Composition for ESL Students Designed to develop academic writing, critical thinking, reading, library skills, and rhetorical strategies for non-native speakers of English.
MATH 201 Mathematical analysis using polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions; linear systems, linear programming and probability, for business and economic applications.
BA 100 Introduction to Business Overview of business activities and disciplinary functions found in modern for-profit organizations; introduction to each of Carson College of Business learning goals.
BIOL 140 Introduction to Nutritional Science Information related to dietary sources of nutrients, their functions in the body, physiologic and environmental factors that govern nutrient requirements, and guidelines for optimal dietary patterns.
ECONS 101 Fundamentals of Microeconomics Theory and policy of human responses to scarcity; how this affects business competition, international trade, industrial organization, investment, and income distribution.
ECONS 102 Fundamentals of Macroeconomics Theory and policy related to unemployment, inflation, foreign trade, government spending, taxation, and banking.
HBM 101 Professional Development Preparation for employment in today’s business environment; focus on career/professional development (resume and cover letter development, interview skills, career services, professional expectations, networking, and etiquette).
BA 102 Exploring Careers in Business Research industries and learn tools to choose which business career and related major, if any, to pursue; learn expectations of specific industries; final assignment: write an application essay for certification to the Carson College of Business.
MATH 202 Calculus for Business and Economics Differential and integral calculus of the polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
PSYCH 105 Introductory Psychology Survey of the basic terms, processes, principles, and theories related to the scientific study of human behavior.
SOE 101 [PSCI] Introduction to Geology 4 Introductory physical geology for non-science majors; emphasis on western US.
HIST 105 The Roots of Contemporary Issues Foundational first-year course that explores the deep historical roots of global contemporary issues relevant to students’ lives in the 21st century.
BA 201 Ethics for Business Introduction to business ethics; overview of ethics value foundations; focus on preparing students to make business decisions ethically.
BA 202 Teams Team and group dynamics, including factors and behaviors that impede or increase team performance; leadership roles in teams.
BA 203 Innovation Process of innovation inside organizations; factors and behaviors that promote innovation creation and implementation.
ACCTG 230 Introduction to Financial Accounting Introduction to corporate financial reporting via the preparation and interpretation of financial statements.
HBM 280 Hospitality Systems Management functions relating to the planning and operational policies of various hotel departments.
MIS 250 Managing InformationTechnology Comprehensive overview of the role of management information systems in business, principles and application of MIS, and hands-on computer labs.
PHIL 365 Biomedical Ethics (or KINES 201) Ethical problems in medicine and biological research.
KINES 201 Exploring Meaning in Sport and Movement [HUM] Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives in the philosophy of sport and movement.
BA 204 Decision Analysis Introduction to techniques for making informed and logical decisions in a business context.
BA 205 Spreadsheets Introduction to spreadsheets; basics for using spreadsheets for data analysis and to support decision-making.
BA 206 Data Visualization Principles and techniques of representing data visually in graphs, charts, and diagrams; communicating data-based results effectively; skeptical interpretation of visually represented findings when making decisions.
ACCTG 231 Introduction to Managerial Accounting Information related to dietary sources of nutrients, their functions in the body, physiologic and environmental factors that govern nutrient requirements, and guidelines for optimal dietary patterns.
BLAW 210 Law and the Legal Environment of Business Fundamentals of business law; the legal system, legal reasoning, public, commercial, managerial and property law, and government regulation.
HD 205 Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills [COMM] Enhancing interpersonal communication, leadership, and team skills through action-based learning.
HBM 375 Introduction to Senior Living This course delivers the unique aspects of managing senior housing communities. Includes two mandatory field trips (Spokane, Seattle – 2 nights).
FIN 325 Introduction to Financial Management Time value of money, financial securities and markets, financial decision making, valuation techniques, and cost of capital.
HBM 358 Foodservice Systems and Control Operational control processes, control systems, and cost analysis procedures in food and beverage management.
Diversity [DIV] Options vary
MGTOP 215 Business Statistics Data presentation, probability, distributions, inferences, and linear regression as applied to business and economics.
HBM 381 Hospitality Leadership and Organizational Behavior Focusing on interpersonal skills and group dynamics; covers key hospitality leadership and management issues.
HBM 470 Senior Living Operations Analysis Analysis and practice of senior living operations analysis, including financial and budget concerns, care services review, sales and marketing efforts and action plans for the implementation and valuation of a senior living community.
HD 405 Gerontology Examination and analysis of social context of aging including public policy, implications of demographic shifts, and quality-of-life issues. Typically offered spring semester.
PSYCH 363 Psychology of Aging Psychological processes of aging; changes in sensory, motor, cognitive, motivational and personality characteristics; research methodologies for the study of aging.
IBUS 380 International Business International political economy; business relationships between nations; corporations and economic institutions.
MKTG 360 Marketing An intro. to the marketing process & the strategic managerial decisions that are made with regard to product, price, promotion, & distribution.
HBM 401 Career Management Career management preparation including mock/traditional/panel interviews, resume/cover letter critiques, offer evaluations, negotiation and networking.
HBM 494 Service Operations Management Design and management of service delivery systems through operations management topics from a service perspective.
ENGL 402 Technical and Professional Writing (or ENGL 403) Research writing: defining, proposing, reporting progress; presenting a final product; other professional writing needs.
ENGL 403 Technical and Professional Writing ESL For non-native speakers of English. Special grammatical and rhetorical problems.
HBM 475 Senior Living Management Capstone Use of the case method in the analysis of administrative and managerial practices of senior living communities.
Creative & Professional Arts [ARTS] Options vary
PSYC 485, 486, 490, HD 360, PSYC 320 (Students choose two) – 6 credits 485 Gerontechnology I: Introduction to the field of gerontechnology, including aging and senses, mobility and exercise, data analysis, and research methods.

486 Gerontechnology II: In-depth exploration of gerontechnology, including socialization, caregiver issues, dementia, app design and data visualization.

490 Cognition and Memory: Human information processing, memory, and cognition.

360 Death and Dying: Death and dying throughout life and in different contexts; manner of death, grief, and legal and ethical considerations.

320 Health Psychology: Psychological and physiological aspects of stress; health behavior and disease prevention; adjustment to chronic illness.

International Experience Requirement Options vary – 6 credits
Any HBM 300 or 400 course Elective – 3 credits