Department of Psychology
Death Education Certificate
College of Arts and Sciences
Neff Hall 388 ~ 260-481-6403
Despite its certainty for every human being, few people ever receive formal death education-that is, systematic instruction and guided exploration of the multitude of issues surrounding the end of life. As a result, most people are ill-prepared to cope with death and dying when it touches their personal lives. Even those who encounter death and/or dying as professionals typically lack education about end of life. As a result, their abilities to provide structure and leadership for their bereaved or terminally-ill coworkers, patients, clients, or students are limited and largely uninformed. Denial of one’s mortality can rob people of perspective and become an impediment to informed and responsible advanced care and end-of-life planning, which puts individuals and their survivors at increased risk financially and emotionally. Students who complete this certificate will acquire knowledge about death and the process of dying. They will acquire an informed awareness regarding bereavement, grief, and mourning, and will learn how to offer meaningful support to those in need. With the enhanced knowledge and awareness that come as a result of formal death education, those those who complete the certificate will be positioned to contribute to their professions in a variety of ways-for example, by knowing how to support dying and/or bereaved people, and guide others toward a better understanding of the role of mortality in our lives. Through developing and refining their communication skills and cultural competencies around this most difficult and challenging topic, they will enhance their general ability to work effectively with people of all ages.
Student Learning Outcomes:
The major outcomes for students who have successfully completed the certificate include:
- Improved comfort and ability to speak about death and dying, and to listen to others speak of both;
- Knowledge about grief and mourning - normative and complicated/traumatic - and an ability to support others who are bereaved in an effective manner;
- Heightened awareness of one’s own mortality and how to convert that awareness in order to live higher quality lives;
- Practical knowledge about end-of-life care and advance planning;
- An appreciation of historical, cultural, developmental, and religious differences surrounding death and dying.
Declaring this Certificate:
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for both admission to and graduation from this program.
- A grade of C- or higher in all courses counting toward the certificate is required
- At least 9 credits must be earned as resident credit.
- Students who pursue this certificate post-baccalaureate, must first be formally admitted to Purdue University Fort Wayne.
To earn the Death Education Certificate, you must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those noted above: