Thanatology (C)

  • Online
  • Certificate

About this Program

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

Program Overview

Exploring death along the lifespan

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 and online formats accommodate working professionals.


The Sally Oros Graduate Counseling-Thanatology Scholarship Established in 2019, Hood College shall award a $690 scholarship each semester (fall and spring) to cover one course credit for a female graduate student enrolled in either the Counseling (clinical or school) graduate program, or pursuing a graduate certificate in Thanatology. The student must have a 3.3 or higher Hood GPA, and the scholarship may be awarded to a different student each academic year. Contact the Hood Financial Aid office for details.

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

Program Contact

Nick Masucci '17

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission


Degrees Offered

  • Certificate
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

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 transcript be submitted from the institution where the highest degree was conferred
THAN 521/COUN 521Grief, Mourning and Bereavement


THAN 523/COUN 523Principles of Thanatology


THAN 528/COUN 528Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology


THAN 529Historical and Multicultural Perspectives in Thanatology


Successful completion of the certificate requires a minimum G.P.A. of 3.00

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.

Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell

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

Shannon Kundey

  • Professor of Psychology, Department Chair
  • Co-Director, Hood Honors Program
Diane Graves

Diane R. Graves

  • Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Program Director, Master's in Interdiscipinary Studies in Human Behavior