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Fellow in Thanatology

Fellow in Thanatology (FT®)

"Becoming certified in thanatology means you’ve mastered the body of knowledge and demonstrated that mastery through a comprehensive exam. It’s not a qualification, license or degree, but rather a reflection of an individual’s professionalism, persistence and commitment to the field.”

Helen Stanton Chapple, PhD, RN, MA, CT, assistant professor, Omaha, NE

The Fellow in Thanatology (FT®) is an advanced professional certification for thanatology professionals. It recognizes practitioners and educators in the discipline of death, dying, and bereavement who have met specified knowledge requirements measured through a standardized testing process and who demonstrate advanced levels of competency in teaching, research and/or clinical practice through a professional portfolio.

Eligibility Criteria for Fellow in Thanatology


To apply to take the certification exam, applicants must have:

  • Master's/doctorate degree
  • Five years of experience in the field of thanatology
  • Two letters from a supervisor or colleague familiar with the candidate's work
  • Verification of education and experience
  • The foundation level Certification (CT®) in ADEC*
  • A minimum of 12 units on the professional portfolio with complete documentation
* Individuals who have not earned the CT certification may apply for Fellow in Thanatology, but are required to successfully pass the CT exam.

For additional certification information or to prepare for the Certification Exam, including fees for CT®, FT® and recertification, refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin or check the FAQ page.

Fellow in Thanatology Application Fees

FT Application Fees if you are currently a CT
ADEC Member Rate - $340
Nonmember Rate - $552

FT Application Fees if you are NOT currently a CT
ADEC Member Rate - $520
Nonmember Rate - $732
View a list of individuals who have earned Fellow in Thanatology status.

The Certification in Thanatology denotes special education and training in the field. Obtaining and maintaining this certification makes no statement regarding the holder’s competency in practice, nor does it constitute licensure. It is ADEC’s policy to take action regarding any known misrepresentation of the FT by a certificant or by others.