The Life Course Center (LCC) was founded in 1986 by Professor Jeylan Mortimer to support scholarly inquiry related to the life course. The LCC builds on and extends work undertaken by the Family Study Center, founded in 1957. In 2017, the LCC transitioned to a university-wide center for the study of age and the life course under the umbrella of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation (ISRDI). The LCC is supported by the ISRDI, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Sociology. The center provides an intellectual forum that enriches the research and educational activities of a broad range of faculty and students.

Life course studies encompass all stages of life from birth to death. Affiliated faculty use a wide range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, including qualitative and quantitative work, historical studies of the life course in different periods, comparative work that spans diverse societal contexts, and applied, policy-relevant research.

Although the center is not currently a degree-granting program, it enhances graduate education through research, seminars, and courses offered by center faculty. Graduate students participate as research assistants and as collaborators in faculty research. Students and faculty alike share their research ideas, plans, and findings in the Work, Family, and Time Workshops.


The mission of the Life Course Center is to address critical challenges of our times through interdisciplinary scholarship and public engagement that promote social participation, equity, health and well-being at all ages and life stages.


  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Institute on Aging
  • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation


  • AARP
  • Advanced Medical Electronics
  • Alska, Inc.
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
  • Benjamin Rose Institute
  • Ebenezer Foundation
  • Emory University
  • Encore.org
  • Hamline University Encore Fellowship Program
  • Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative
  • Healthcare Interactive, Inc.
  • Hennepin County Workforce Development
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • The Lutheran Home Association
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Minnesota Board on Aging
  • New York University Medical Center
  • Notre Dame Inspired Leadership Initiative
  • SHIFT: Navigating Midlife Transitions
  • Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies
  • Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute
  • United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities Encore Impact
  • Work, Family, and Health Network