Thanatology Degree Among the Best in US

The Master of Arts in thanatology is one of the few and best in the United States and the only one of its type available in Maryland. Both the certificate and master’s degree course work specifically prepare individuals to work with the terminally ill and the bereaved and to provide death education.

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.

Both the certificate and master’s degree programs are for those working in the funeral industry, hospice, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care environments. They also appeal 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 certification benchmarks, a credential that can further validate career professionalism and commitment.

The 12-credit certificate program is intended for professionals in the thanatology field and those already licensed or certified in human service fields. Many students complete the certificate requirements first, then pursue the in-depth 39-credit master’s degree program.

A further training specialty is available with the 12-credit gerontology certificate, for individuals who want to work in the field of aging and health care, and in areas such as retirement and estate planning, human resources, marketing, public relations, ministry, grant writing and public policy involving aging adults.

For thanatology admission requirements and additional information, visit

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