The Bereavement Studies Program is a course of study in the behavioral sciences that concentrates on death and grief. In a culture that has long avoided the topic of death, this program offers the opportunity to develop a strong knowledge base in psychology as well as an understanding of the grief process as it pertains to the needs of the dying and the bereaved. Courses in Bereavement Studies encourage analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
This program is not accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, and graduates of this major are not eligible to sit for the licensing examinations for funeral service.
Career and Graduate Study Options
The curriculum provides a strong background for graduate school studies in a mental health field or for work in a human service setting, including hospice, funeral home aftercare programs, elder services, and a variety of other community service programs.
Open electives within the program can be used to allow for licensure as a funeral director/embalmer if the student chooses that option in consultation with his/her academic advisor.
In addition to the All College Curriculum skills and perspective, students who successfully complete this program will have an understanding of:
- The process of grief and loss as an integral part of the experience of individuals, families, and larger systems;
- The role that loss and grief play in growth and development over the life span;
- The tasks of the grief process;
- The role of culture, ethnicity and religion in molding the understanding of death and the experience of grief;
- Basic systems theory, as it applies to family systems, groups, organizations and the role of social supports;
- Ethics as a framework for decision making about death-related individual and social issues;
- A framework for reading, evaluating and conducting research in the field of bereavement.
Conditions, Policies and Fees
A minimum of C- or higher is required for all program-specific courses (courses with the designation of BE) in this major.