Thanatology (Certificate)

  • Online
  • Certificate

About this Program

The thanatology certificate is one of the few and best in the United States. Coursework specifically prepares individuals to work with the terminally ill and the bereaved, as well as provide death education.

Program Overview

Tuition & Fees 
Funding Opportunities
Download Thanatology Brochure

A Thoughtful Exploration of Life and Death

Hood’s unique interdisciplinary approach affords a combination of theory, research and practical skills that can be used in a broad range of occupations and organizations. Students examine the interplay among the physical, psychological, interpersonal and spiritual needs of the living and the dying across the lifespan.

Expansion and Enrichment

The certificate increases understanding and proficiency for those working in the funeral industry, hospice, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care environments. It appeals to graduate students embarking on new careers and to psychologists, social workers, counselors and teachers who want to expand into this area. Content conforms to Association for Death Education and Counseling benchmarks for certification, a credential that can further validate career professionalism and commitment.


The 12-credit certificate program is for professionals in the thanatology field and those already licensed or certified in human service fields, as well as those looking for personal enrichment. Evening and weekend classes accommodate working professionals, while our fully online format offers convenience and flexibility.

Please note that graduate certificate programs are now eligible for loans.

NC Sara
Hood College participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Degrees Offered

  • Certificate

Program Requirements and Course Listings

Students applying to the certificate in thanatology program are required to:

  • Submit the online application (no essay required).
  • Request that a copy of the official electronic transcript be submitted from the institution where the highest degree was conferred.

Transfer credit policy for admitted students

Students may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credits from an external, accredited institution, or another Hood graduate program prior to the first semester of study in the current program. Please review the full graduate transfer credit policy in the College catalog.

COUN 521Grief, Mourning and Bereavement3.0
COUN 523Principles of Thanatology3.0
COUN 528Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology3.0
COUN 529Historical and Multicultural Perspectives in Thanatology3.0

Successful completion of the certificate requires a minimum GPA of 3.0.

The certificate in thanatology program is designed to conform to the education requirements of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) for those persons interested in becoming certified as thanatologists.

Program Contact

Erik Contact Grad School Photo

Program Director

Tanith Fowler Corsi

Director of Graduate Admission

Office: 301-696-3603
Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell

  • Associate Professor of Counseling
  • Core Faculty, Master's in Counseling (Clinical and School)

Shannon Kundey

  • Professor of Psychology, Department Chair
  • Co-Director, Hood Honors Program
Keith Midberry

Meet Alumnus Keith Midberry | Thanatology M.A.'16

Keith Midberry Alumni Graduate School Graduate Student Military

"My thanatology degree coupled with my military background prepared me well to hit the ground running in my position as the first Veteran Liaison for Frederick Health Hospice"

  • Academics
  • Alumni Relations