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Grief, Loss and Life Transitions

Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Counseling the chronically ill, the dying, their caregivers and bereaved loved ones or others who are facing difficult life transition takes more than a willing and compassionate spirit. The specialized counseling graduate certificate in grief, loss and life transitions builds these skills.

This 12-hour graduate certificate program is designed for counselors, social workers, clergy and other professionals who work with people facing loss and life transitions and hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

Students choose four out of the five offered courses:

  • Living and Dying: A Counseling Perspective
  • Spiritual Care
  • Children and Loss
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Cultural Effects on Human Development

The four courses can be completed within one academic year and studies include classroom, field site education and a summer institute.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – March 1
Spring – September 1
Summer – February 1

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.  Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be uploaded to your online application.  Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. For a list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services, please click here.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University, describing your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned in the application.

Additional requirements: 

A resumé and an interview are required.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Graduate School of Education and Human Development
The George Washington University
2136 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.9283 ~ 202.994.7207 (fax)
9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday