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Program Overview

The Hood Thanatology program is one of the few in the United States specifically designed to prepare people to work in this emerging professional field. The certificate program is designed to meet the growing demand for individuals prepared to work with the terminally ill and the bereaved and to provide death education. The Certificate conforms with the Association for Death Education and Counseling education requirements for certification as a Thanatologist.

Attractive to those working in the funeral industry, hospice programs, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities, the program is also appropriate for new graduate students who are embarking on career paths, as well as for social workers, psychologists, counselors, teachers and others who wish to expand their work into this growing area of expertise. The Thanatology program appeals to all those who are an integral part of the current American death system.

Admission Criteria

Complete and submit the Graduate School application available at

Request one copy of an official transcript reflecting the highest degree conferred. Transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to the graduate school. Admission to the program includes a required written statement of goals and two letters of reference, as well as an interview, either in person or by telephone. The quality of the personal statement’s content and structure carries considerable weight in determining admission to this program.

Grade Point Average
A minimum of 2.75 undergraduate GPA is required for admission to the Graduate School.

Students completing the thanatology programs have found employment in various hospice programs, hospitals, the Fallen Firefighters Foundation, school systems and other organizations.

 The Certificate in Thanatology program is intended for individuals working in the thanatology field who seek career augmentation as well as for professionals already licensed or certified in human service fields who wish to obtain specific preparation in thanatology. The certificate program deepens a student’s understanding of the impact of death on the individual and society. It prepares students to meet the special needs of the bereaved, as well as of the terminally ill and their families.

Required Courses 12 credits
THAN 521 Grief and Loss 3
THAN 523 Principles of Thanatology 3
THAN 528 Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology 3
THAN 529 Historical and Multicultural Perspectives on Death 3

Successful completion of the Certificate in Thanatology requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0.