Marian’s Master of Science in Thanatology can be completed in less than two years through a flexible course sequence. Students will enroll in a 12-credit core curriculum with 15 credits of electives and 3 credits for the capstone. The program combines rigorous study across the spectrum of end-of-life studies. Students may choose from emphasis tracks such as:
- Child and Family
- Social Justice
- Pediatric Palliative and Hospice
- General Thanatology Practitioner
- Death Doula
To receive the Master of Science in Thanatology, students must meet the following criteria:
- Completion of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale)
- Submission and approval of the final capstone project
Thanatology majors will take courses covering topics such as:
- Principals and history of thanatology
- Grief theory and practice
- Cultural humility in thanatology
- Applied healthcare ethics
- Graduates of this program will recognize and articulate the foundational assumptions, central ideas, and dominant criticisms of contemporary thanatology theory and practice.
- Graduates of this program will demonstrate competence in applying thanatology evidence-based best practices in needs assessment and support services/program development, delivery and assessment for individuals and families confronting the end of life, death, loss and bereavement including bereavement after natural death, traumatic death, in various cultural contexts, and across the life span
- Graduates of this program will design and implement educational programs on death, the dying process, end-of-life decision making, and bereavement topics for communities and professional audiences.
- Graduates of this program will analyze, synthesize and evaluate the relationship between religious and spiritual belief systems and the reaction to and coping with death, and incorporate these elements appropriately into service delivery.
- Graduates of this program will conduct and evaluate thanatology action research critically and reflectively.
- Graduates of this program will participate effectively in the academic and professional community.
- Graduates of this program will identify and discuss common ethical issues with individuals and families.
The mission of the Edwin S. Shneidman Program in Thanatology is to educate students from diverse backgrounds in the fundamental concepts, knowledge, research, techniques and skills of thanatology in order to (1) prepare them for employment in a wide variety of thanatology-related positions and (2) prepare them to contribute to the discipline of thanatology academically and professionally.
The Master of Science and Graduate Certificate in Thanatology programs offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and scientific study of the dying and grieving process; cultural attitudes towards death and loss; spirituality and ethical standards; suicide prevention education; applied research; and the spiritual, social, psychological and medical aspects of dying, death, loss and grief. Our curriculum is aligned with the Association for Death Education and Counseling’s (ADEC) Body of Knowledge, and prepares students to take the ADEC certification examination. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to find employment in areas like churches, funeral homes, hospices, hospitals and non-profit organizations, among others
Our graduates are prepared with the skills and practical experience needed for success. After graduating from our programs, alums have embarked on a variety Thanatology related career paths including:
- Bereavement Coordinator Hospice, Wisconsin
- Private Practice Focusing on Non-Death Loss
- Bereavement coordinator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
- Owner of Grief Hermitage Center
- Bereavement Coordinator Palliative Care Team, New Hampshire
- Bereavement Coordinator Hospice, Illinois
- Director & Founder of the First Hospice in Mozambique
- Private Practice Focusing in end of life & grief plant medicine specialist
- Author & Artist focusing on grief
- PhD Student in Religious Studies focusing on ‘death phobic cultures’
In addition to the alumni represented above, many of our alum’s continue on in their current profession by adding layers of depth and expertise to their career. Examples include
- Clinical Psychologist
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Certified Child Life Specialists
- Palliative Care Physician
- Funeral Director
- Death Doula
To be considered for admission into the Master of Science in Thanatology, the applicant must submit the following:
- A completed Marian University application form
- Apply online for free
- An official transcript from each college or university attended; Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students may be considered for admission on a probationary status with less than a 3.0 GPA
- Career goal statement
To apply for the Masters of Science in Thanatology, use the Admissions Checklist. This document will guide you through the process and ensure that you have submitted all of the necessary materials.