Hospice and Palliative Studies Department

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Hospice and Palliative Studies Department

Madonna University has an educational mission of instilling Christian humanistic values and intellectual inquiry along with the Franciscan ideal of ministering and serving others. To enhance the University mission and ideals, the faculty in the Hospice and Palliative Studies Department believe in the Hospice Philosophy as defined by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. In accordance with this belief, the program prepares students to serve diverse populations during the terminal phase of life and to perform effectively as members of an interdisciplinary team whose goal is to enhance the quality of life by focusing on the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the hospice patient and family while becoming leaders in the hospice and palliative movement.

Hospice & Palliative Studies - SmallMadonna University was among the first institutions to offer a degree-based curriculum in end-of-life care across the nation. Since its inception in 1984 with a certificate at the undergraduate level, the program has grown to master’s level offerings with courses and certificates in specialty areas within hospice and palliative studies. Special program features include a Certificate in Bereavement (available online and on campus) and Certificates in Hospice and Palliative Studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The core definition of hospice care delivery is the interdisciplinary nature of the many hospice career options.

Undergraduate Major

Hospice and Palliative Studies, B.S.

Because hospice care delivery happens within and between an interdisciplinary team of professionals in a variety of settings, students are encouraged to explore an interdisciplinary plan of study to compliment any major – i.e., combining Hospice, Gerontology, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Religious Studies, Emergency Management, and/or Psychology.

Certificates or minors in Hospice and Gerontology, for example, often serve as an efficient way to specialize or compliment the student’s selected major area of study. Meeting with an advisor in both the major/minor areas is the best way to keep the communication lines open between advisors, thereby maintaining an organized plan of study.

Hospice and Palliative Studies Major/Minor/Certificate Combinations
• Bachelor of Science Degree (31 cr.)
• Minor in Hospice and Palliative Studies (21 cr.)
• Associate of Science Degree (28 cr.)
• Hospice and Palliative Studies Certificate of Achievement (31 cr.)
• Essentials in End of Life Care Certificate of Completion (15 cr.)

Plan of Study - Hospice and Palliative Studies Department Career Opportunities - Hospice and Palliative Studies Department

Graduate Program

Hospice and Palliative Studies, M.S.
Students enrolled in the graduate program in Hospice and Palliative Studies are required to complete five core courses representing the hospice interdisciplinary team (history and philosophy of hospice, bereavement and spiritual care, advanced holistic palliative care, ethics and legal issues and a carefully designed field placement). Students also select an area of concentration (a cognate) where they develop expertise within a specialty area (bereavement, business, education, pastoral care or nursing). After core courses and cognates are completed, students are guided toward thesis completion within required research design courses.

Plan of Study - Hospice and Palliative Studies Department Career Opportunities - Hospice and Palliative Studies Department


Graduate Certificate in Hospice and Palliative Studies
This certificate provides students with a strong foundation in the core concepts and philosophy of interdisciplinary hospice and palliative care. Through the five core courses within the graduate curriculum, students may supplement an existing graduate degree or further studies through advanced work within the field of hospice and palliative care.

Plan of Study - Hospice and Palliative Studies Department

Graduate Certificate in Bereavement
This certificate is recommended for students who wish to supplement an existing degree in counseling, psychology, or social work (or related degree) with clinical knowledge and expertise in their work with grieving persons and families. It is also available as a cognate for students pursuing the master’s degree in hospice and palliative studies at Madonna University. Student who have completed a bachelor’s degree may also apply for this graduate level certificate through the Graduate School admissions office.

Plan of Study - Hospice and Palliative Studies Department