Thanatology (Death, Dying, and Bereavement)

The interdisciplinary minor in thanatology is the study of death and dying, grief and bereavement caused by both death and non-death losses. URI’s thanatology program is supported in part by the Weyker Endowment which was given by Dr. Lawrence Weyker in memory of his wife Miriam. The purpose of the endowment is to improve the care of the dying and bereaved through education, service and research.

In addition to fulfilling all the basic requirements for a minor (see Minor Fields of Study), students who declare a minor in thanatology must fulfill the following requirements:

Students are required to take 18 credits (12 of which are at the 200 level or above) in the following core areas: thanatology (minimum of 9 credits);  communications, counseling, gerontology and psychology (minimum of 3 credits); and ethics, philosophy and religion (minimum of 3 credits).

Courses may be selected from the following approved list. Thanatology:  HDF/THN 421, 471; HPR 119; NUR 527; NUR/THN 360, 360H 424, 425, 426, 429; PHP 460; PSC 440.

Communications, Counseling, Gerontology, and Psychology: COM 100, 221, 251, 324, 325, 361, 422; HDF 314, 430, 450, 535; PSY 113, 232, 399.

Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion: PHL 103, 212, 314, 328, 346, 401 (when related to thanatology); RLS 111, 125, 126, 131, 151.

Other related courses: Independent study related to thanatology, i.e. HDF 498, NUR/THN 390 (check with faculty advisor), HPR 401/402 and other HPR coded courses (when related to thanatology). For additional information, see  For academic advisement and course approvals, and to declare a thanatology minor, contact Professor Carolyn Hames ( in the College of Nursing.