Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement

Format: Online

Program Description:

Focus Your Master of Science in Mental Health on Grief and Bereavement

The loss of a loved one is an incomparable event that can give rise to a number of mental, emotional and spiritual challenges. During these difficult times, the comfort of a grief and bereavement specialist can make a world of difference for individuals and families. If you feel called to serve those in need, you could earn your Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement at Grand Canyon University. This interdisciplinary grief and bereavement training program blends together the studies of human nature, human development and psychopathology as they pertain to loss.

Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this grief and bereavement degree program prepares graduates to serve with compassion and understanding across a variety of settings that may include hospice care agencies, churches, hospitals and community-based organizations. Students will closely examine the nature of grief and bereavement, understand its many effects on human wellness and learn how to promote healthy behaviors and responses to loss.

Gain a Psychosocial View of Grief and Bereavement

The mental health and wellness MS degree with a focus in grief and bereavement provides foundational knowledge in human nature, human resiliency and the recovery process. Students are encouraged to contemplate their Christian worldview as they study professional ethics, servant leadership, cultural sensitivity and ethical decision-making. In courses such as Death and Dying: The Influences of Cultural, Spiritual and Sociological Factors, Journey of the Bereaved and Introduction to Mental Health and Wellness, students will acquire the following knowledge and skills:

    Understand mental health and wellness practices and approaches, including basic treatment modalities
    Explore the typical biopsychosocial responses to grief and loss, examine healthy and unhealthy responses to loss and explore grief from the shared perspective of family and community
    Examine the cultural, spiritual and societal influences of the human experience and understanding of death and dying
    Explore research, theories and case studies on the sociocultural dimensions of death and dying, with a focus on end of life issues

In addition, all students will complete the Mental Health and Wellness Capstone, which is a practical, real-world exploration of careers within this field.

Promote Wellness in the Face of Loss as a Bereavement Counselor

Grief and bereavement specialists are emotionally resilient individuals who possess a high level of empathy and compassion for those who are suffering. As an aspiring mental health professional, you could dedicate your career to nurturing the emotional resiliency of your clients who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones, as well as those who are facing their own terminal illnesses.

As a career path, grief and bereavement services is in high demand. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 1.43 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in hospice care during 2016. Grief and bereavement services are needed in multiple settings, including the following:

    Hospice facilities and in-home programs
    Churches and other Christian organizations
    Social service agencies
    Community-based health and social service groups

The innovative Master of Science in mental health and wellness - grief and bereavement training program at GCU prepares graduates to effectively support and assist those who are at the end of life and those who have suffered or will soon suffer the loss of a loved one.

This degree does not lead to counseling or psychology licensure. This degree is geared toward individuals who are currently working in or plan to work in an administrative position, in a leadership role, or in a mental health specialist position that does not require licensure.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, retrieved June 15, 2023.

2 Pathways Home Health and Hospice. (n.d.). Are Grief and Bereavement the Same Thing? Retrieved on July 11, 2023.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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