Get your Bachelor’s degree in Funeral Home Management from one of the nation’s oldest Funeral Service education schools.

Funeral home professionals play a life-affirming role—and this spirit animates Mount Ida College’s Funeral Home Management Degree Program. As one of the country’s prestigious venues for the study of death and dying, our four-year Funeral Home Management Degree Program combines hands-on mortuary science training with a broad education in the business and human aspects of funeral home management. You’ll cultivate interpersonal skills, studying in small classes that promote interaction and communication. And you’ll learn from distinguished faculty in one of the nation’s oldest Funeral Service education schools.

The Funeral Service Degree Program and Funeral Home Management Degree Program at Mount Ida College are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 65406 (816) 233-3747. Web: National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at To request a printed copy of this program’s rates, go to the Department of Funeral Service Education, Suite 013,  School of Applied Sciences or by e-mail at, or by telephone at (617) 928-4714. 

National Board Exam Statistics 

 # Takers# Passed  % Passed
2012 Arts201470%
2012 Science13862%
2013 Arts201260%
2013 Science201365%
2014 Arts221568%
2014 Science211676%


2014 Program Information

# of New Students# of GradsTimely Grad*% EmployedLeft Before  Completion**


Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.

** Left before completing the program; did not finish.

One of the nation’s few four-year degrees in Funeral Home Management, Mount Ida’s degree program offers the practical training you’d get in a standard two-year mortuary science program. You’ll develop skills in embalming and restorative art, and will become eligible for examination by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards after two years in the Funeral Home Management Degree Program. During your additional two years you will continue on to learn the business aspect of funeral home management, developing industry-specific expertise in areas such as:

  • Business operations
  • Community outreach
  • Legal and regulatory guidelines
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing and business communication

During a one-semester internship in the senior year, you’ll work in a funeral home and gain valuable professional experience while earning credits toward the Funeral Home Management Degree.

Mount Ida also offers plenty of benefits outside the classroom, with a diverse student population, a vibrant campus, and a beautiful New England setting. You’ll enjoy all the fun and friendship of a traditional college experience, while gaining the specialized skills you need to provide an essential service and build a career in an important profession.

Core courses in the Funeral Home Management Degree Program focus on the science and ritual of funeral direction. You’ll take a series of courses in embalming, restorative art, pathology and related sciences.

You’ll also get an education in bereavement and grief, drawing on courses in psychology, literature, communications and other traditional subjects.

The funeral home management degree requires 122 credits, broken down as follows:

  • 59 credits in funeral service (including embalming) and bereavement
  • 18 credits in related business and science courses
  • 39 credits in arts, sciences and humanities
  • 6 credits in open electives

Program Aims

The central aim of the Funeral Home Management degree program is recognition of funeral service personnel as:

  • Members of a human services profession;
  • Members of the community in which they serve;
  • Participants in the 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 the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.

Program Objectives

In addition to the All College Curriculum skills and perspectives, the objectives of the Funeral Home Management Degree Program are :

  • 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 proficiency and skills necessary for the profession, as defined in the Preamble at the beginning of this chapter.
  • To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large;
  • To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct;
  • To provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction;
  • To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service.

Program Outcomes*: Upon successful completion of the Mount Ida College Funeral Service Education degree programs, students will demonstrate a factual, conceptual, and applied understanding of:

  1. Funeral Directing: The funeral directing curriculum focuses on the basic duties, responsibilities and expectations of those practicing funeral service including: notification of death, transfer of remains, conduct of the arrangement conference, prefunded/preplanned funerals, religious practices, fraternal funerals and military honors, shipment of remains, cremation, aftercare and regulatory and legislative compliance.
  2. Funeral Service Marketing and Merchandising: The curriculum for funeral service marketing and merchandising is designed to introduce the funeral service student to the basics of marketing and merchandising as they apply to the funeral profession. This curriculum considers both service and merchandise as the products provided by funeral service practitioners.
  3. Business Management Practices: The principles of small business management are explored. Attention is given to a business plan, marketing, human resources, financing, operations, and the use of technology.  The basic principles of funeral service management are examined with an emphasis on general management technique and theory, and specific guidelines for funeral service management.  Additionally, the curriculum includes an introduction to the basic principles of accounting with applications to funeral home operations.
  4. Funeral Service Counseling:  Funeral service counseling examines the basic principles of psychology and counseling as they relate to funeral service. Especially stressed are the psychological concepts in the areas of grief, bereavement, mourning, aftercare, and crisis intervention with particular emphasis on the roles of the funeral director.
  5. Historical and Sociological Perspectives in Funeral Service: This aspect of the curriculum explores the basic principles of sociology as they relate to funeral service. Especially stressed are family structures, social structures, and the factors of change that relate to funeralization. A survey of the history of funeral service is presented with emphasis on individuals and events that have influenced contemporary funeral principles and practices, and the progression of associations and education within funeral service. 
  6. Regulatory Compliance: The curriculum for regulatory compliance is designed to introduce the student to the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the funeral service practitioner and funeral establishment.  The basic principles of business law as they relate to funeral service are also presented. Especially stressed are the bodies of law and the judicial system found in the United States of America.  Additionally, the curriculum is designed to familiarize the student with the Federal Trade Commission and the Trade Regulation Rule on Funeral Industry Practices.
  7. Cemetery and Crematory Operations: The cemetery and crematory operations curriculum focuses on the history, laws, and regulations that apply to cemetery and crematory operations, as well as the important considerations involved when assisting others with choosing between forms of disposition.
  8. Embalming: The embalming curriculum examines the process of chemically treating the dead human body to reduce the presence and growth of microorganisms and to temporarily inhibit organic decomposition, and to restore an acceptable physical appearance. The subject examines procedures and treatments for handling and embalming difficulties encountered due to disease and pathological changes, autopsied and procurement cases, organ and tissue donation cases, and various conditions encountered in the dead human body.
  9. Restorative Art: The curriculum examines the basic principles of restorative art as they relate to funeral service, and emphasizes the techniques of restoring and recreating an acceptable physical appearance of the deceased for the benefit of the surviving family members.
  10. Preparation for Disposition: The various methods and means of disposition of the dead human   body are explored, including how the handling, treatment and disposition of the body meets the sociological, psychological, theological, physical and legal requirements of family and community.
  11. Funeral Service Sciences: The funeral service sciences focus on those systems providing the foundation for embalming, pathology, public health and restorative arts; the chemical principles and precautions involved in the preservation and disinfection of the dead human body; the basic principles of microbiology as they pertain to sanitation, disinfection, public health, and embalming practice; and those conditions which relate to or affect the embalming or restorative art process.

*With the permission of the American Board of Funeral Service Education, these Program Outcomes are based on the ABFSE Curriculum Guidelines Subject Descriptions.


  • Jeffrey E. Megna – Associate Professor, Department Chair
  • Sarah Stopyra – Instructor
  • Daniel C. Shea – Visiting Instructor
  • Anthony D’ Onofrio – Assistant Professor
  • Shanna Nifoussi – Assistant Professor
  • Stephen R. Rocco – Adjunct Faculty
  • John W. Bresnahan – Adjunct Faculty
  • Jennifer Brennan – Adjunct Faculty

For complete course listings please refer to our catalog. To learn more about our faculty, please visit the faculty and staff directory.


Faculty & Staff Directory

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science Degree in the Funeral Home Management Program, passing the National Board Examination, completing your required apprenticeship and State licensing requirements, you may be eligible for licensure as a funeral director and embalmer in many states.