Curriculum & Outcomes

Funeral Service Education

Associate of Applied Science Degree

90 Credits

Program Mission: The Funeral Service Education AAS degree prepares students to achieve entry-level proficiency as an embalmers and funeral directors. Funeral service professionals provide counsel, service, and emotional support for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. Students also learn how to manage a successful business in the high-tech global economy.

Funeral Service Education AAS degree graduates will:

  • Be prepared for entry level positions as a funeral director and embalmer
  • Recognize the historical roots of contemporary funeral service practices**
  • Use appropriate terminology to facilitate communication with members of allied professions, the public, and the funeral service industry
  • Differentiate among the representative chemicals in embalming fluid (arterial, cavity, and accessory) and describe their respective functions and chemical principles**
  • Discuss and demonstrate safe environmental work practices through proper disposal of contaminated materials, and proper methods of disposal of blood and body fluids during and following the embalming process**
  • Explain and demonstrate the preparation of the infant, autopsy and non-autopsy embalming techniques and procedures while demonstrating and describing the use of embalming instruments, equipment and sundries, and embalming techniques and procedures
  • Comply with OSHA’s hazard communication standard, formaldehyde standard, and bloodborne pathogens standard
  • Identify the purpose of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), describe its effect on funeral service and who must comply with the FTC Funeral Industry Practices Rule, explain how to comply and follow the FTC Rule
  • Identify the pathological conditions and etiological factors which require special procedures in the removal, handling, preparation, and disposition of human remains
  • Identify the laws, rules, regulations and management practices affecting funeral service and adhere to a standard of ethical behavior in personal and professional conduct
  • Be prepared to succeed on the National Board Exam and the state board exam
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, teamwork, communication, intercultural appreciation , and technical and information literacy skills
  • Meet Social Science, Humanities, Written Communication, and Quantitative Reasoning distribution area outcomes

The FSE program has as its central aim the recognition of the importance of funeral service personnel as:

  • Members of a human services profession,
  • Members of the community in which they serve,
  • Participants in the intimate relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession,
  • Professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines (in the geographic area where they practice), as well as
  • Professionals sensitive to and knowledgeable of the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.

The program has the following purposes:

  • To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  • To educate students in every phase of funeral service, and to help enable them to develop the proficiency and skills necessary to become functional members of the profession.
  • To educate student concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community.
  • To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct.
  • To provide a comprehensive curriculum at the post secondary level of instruction.
  • To encourage research in the field of funeral service.


High school completion or GED® or satisfactory completion of nine post-secondary credits, exclusive of developmental courses.


Admission Dates: Fall

Program Requirements

ACCT 111 Introduction to Accounting 5
BIOL& 175 Human Biology w/Lab 5
BTE 101 Computer Applications 2
BUSA 180 Small Business Management 5
BUS& 201 Business Law 5
FSE 101 Introduction to Funeral Service 3
FSE 130 Funeral Service Sociology & Psychology 4
FSE 140 Funeral Directing 4
FSE 141 Funeral Service Ethics 2
FSE 148 Funeral Service Law & Compliance 3
FSE 250 Funeral Service Management & Merchandising 4
FSE 251 Embalming I 3
FSE 255 Embalming Chemistry 3
FSE 256 Funeral Service Options 3
FSE 258 Restorative Art and Lab 4
FSE 261 Embalming II 4
FSE 262 Funeral Service Microbiology 3
FSE 271 Embalming III 2
FSE 274 Funeral Service Pathology 3
FSE 275 Comprehensive Review 3


ENGL& 101 English Composition I 5
CMST& 220 Introduction to Public Speaking 5
PSYC 220 Abnormal Psychology 5
Quantitative Reasoning 5
Total Program Credits90

See Academic Core for a list of all applicable courses for each of the categories listed above.

CAUTION: Students enrolling in the Funeral Service Education program should contact their respective state board of funeral service regarding that state board’s approval of this particular program of instruction.