Online Thanatology
Degree or Certificate

Earn a Thanatology Credential
100% Online

Online Thanatology
Degree or Certificate

MS in Thanatology
Graduate Certificate in Thanatology

Become an Expert in Advanced Approaches
to Death, Dying, and Grief

Marian University offers accredited online thanatology programs that prepare working professionals with additional skills that help them excel in the multidisciplinary field dedicated to death, dying, grief and loss. Students with a variety of backgrounds will benefit from the depth and breadth of the courses taught by practitioners and research scholars with doctoral degrees who are recognized experts in the field.

Rigorous, intentional study is combined with online convenience to offer applicants from all 50 states and around the world an opportunity to elevate their understanding and expertise as they seek to expand their knowledge and careers.

Become an applied practitioner with Marian University’s thoughtful, exploratory, and accredited programs.

The thanatology programs at Marian University were created to develop scholar-practitioners with a deep understanding of end-of-life issues. Students in the 7-week courses will spend each week focusing on thanatology through critical thinking, reflection, research, and scholarly inquiry.

Our professors are leaders in the field who offer personalized instruction and guidance that rivals other programs, even outside of the virtual learning environment. Asynchronous online learning is accompanied by personal connection through live events that students can attend when convenient. Other opportunities for interaction exist through Zoom calls, group work, and communication with your professor.

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MPath Online Program Schedule: 7-Week Accelerated

The online Master of Science in Thanatology courses are offered in a 7-week accelerated format. It is custom-made for busy adult learners who are ready for a career providing care for people facing end-of-life and bereavement issues. Reach your goals with small class sizes, faculty feedback, and in-depth topic discussion.

  • Choose Your Start Date
    Classes that begin every seven weeks allow busy students to choose the best time to start.

  • Focus on Your Course
    Fewer courses at a time empower students to clearly focus on excelling at the task at hand.

  • The Ultimate in Flexibility
    It’s easy to fit school into your life with 100% online courses and a new schedule every seven weeks.

Marian University offers a 100% online thanatology certificate and master’s degree.

The online Master of Science in Thanatology program is designed for professionals who are involved with or interested in end-of-life healthcare and bereavement issues. The program combines rigorous study and a core curriculum grounded in thanatology theory and practices that allows students to take a deep dive through 12 core credits, 15 elective credits, and 3 capstone credits.  Professionals who benefit from the program include those who work with or are connected to hospice, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, funeral services, emergency services, nursing, religious leadership, and more.

  • Complete the master’s degree in 2 years
  • 30 credit program
  • 12 credits of core topics include
    • Principals of Thanatology
    • Grief Theory and Practice
    • Cultural Humility in Thanatology
    • Thanatology Research Methods
    • Applied Healthcare Ethics
    • Applied Thanatology Capstone
      • The thanatology capstone allows students to deeply explore a topic of interest and may act as a steppingstone for career aspirations. Students take on projects such as developing a new program, writing a grant, preparing a community in-service training, preparing a conference presentation, and writing a research paper for publication.
  • Elective credit topics include teen suicide, complex grief, childhood perspectives on grief, spirituality, hospice are, and expressive arts intervention.
  • Students may choose from these emphasis tracks: Child and Family, Social Justice, Transpersonal, Pediatric Palliative and Hospice, General Thanatology Practitioner, and Death Doula.
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The online Graduate Thanatology Certificate is designed for those who are interested in understanding issues related to death, dying, loss, and bereavement. Professionals who complete the thanatology certificate program will be prepared with in-depth knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the field. The program combines rigorous study and a core curriculum grounded in thanatology theory and practices that allows students to take a deep dive through 12 credit core curricula along with 6 credits of focused electives.  Graduates of the certificate program may pursue or enhance their careers in churches, funeral homes, hospices, hospitals, and non-profit organizations.

  • Complete the certificate program in 18 months.
  • 18 credit program
  • 12 credits of core topics include
    • Foundations of Thanatology
    • Bereavement Theory and Practice
    • Cultural Perspectives in Thanatology
    • Applied Ethics and the End of Life
  • Elective credit topics include teen suicide, bereavement program development, aging, military issues, hospice care and traumatology.
  • All courses transfer into the master’s degree program
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Enhance your career with advanced thanatology education.

Enhance your career with
advanced thanatology education.

Marian University’s program attracts those with established thanatology careers or jobs in industries where knowledge in thanatology can enhance their professional abilities.  Because a person who practices thanatology supports individuals and families of all ages, career options are vast.

Where you can work

  • Church

  • Funeral Services

  • Hospital

  • Independent Practice

  • Government Agency

  • Nonprofit Agency

  • VA Services

How to Pay for School

The Various Ways to Fund
Your Thanatology Education

Due to partnerships with industry associations and hospital systems, tuition discounts up to 30% are available for both the degree and certificate programs.  Federal financial aid may be available for the master’s degree program. Talk to a financial aid counselor for more info.

  • National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC)
  • Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
  • Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)
  • National Funeral Directors Association
  • SSM Health employees
  • National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA)

Become Certified by ADEC

Marian University’s degree and certificate programs meet the coursework requirements of the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) for graduates to sit for the exam to become Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement.

Discover the Power of Advanced Education

The Marian University Benefit

  • Marian is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accreditation agency for institutions of higher education based in the North Central region of the United States.

  • Marian is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements).

  • All of the on-campus Bachelor of Science and online Master of Arts in Education programs are approved educator preparation programs by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The MAE programs provide graduates the authorizations of licensures and certification in Wisconsin.

  • Marian University holds programmatic accreditation for degrees in nursing, radiologic technology, and social work.

Founded in 1936
Sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

45 South National Avenue 
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54935