Learn mortuary science from one of the nation’s best mortuary science schools.

Mount Ida College’s funeral service associate of science degree offers superior, hands-on training that will help you stand out in the job market—and in the mortuary science profession. In addition to standard courses often required for licensure as a funeral director and embalmer, our funeral service degree covers grief and bereavement, community outreach, business management and general education. The Funeral Service Education program and the Funeral Home Management program at Mount Ida College are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506 (816) 233-3747. Web: www.abfse.org. The annual passage rate of first-time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for the institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the American Board of Funeral Service website. To request a printed copy of this program’s scores and rates, go to the Department of Funeral Service Education, New England Institute, Suite No. 10, or by e-mail at nei@mountida.edu or by telephone at 617-928-4714. Start your funeral service career at one of the nation’s oldest and most widely respected mortuary science schools.

Our funeral service associate of science degree program features small class sizes, ensuring that you get plenty of personalized attention from our expert faculty. You’ll receive practical, hands-on instruction in embalming and restorative art, and will become eligible for examination by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards upon successful completion of the program.

The funeral service associate’s degree program includes immersive lab courses that cover:

. Anatomy & Physiology
. Embalming
. Restorative Art

You’ll also examine mortuary science case studies drawn from real life, tackling the same type of challenges you’ll confront as a funeral service professional.

Core courses in the funeral service associate of science degree program focus on the science and ritual of funeral direction. You’ll take courses in embalming, restorative art, human anatomy and related sciences, along with introductory courses that cover bereavement and grief, funeral service ethics, regulatory compliance, accounting and small business management.

The funeral service associate degree requires 68 credits, broken down as follows:

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

Program Aims

The central aim of the funeral service associate of science degree program is recognition of funeral service personnel as:

  • Members of the 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

The objectives of the Funeral Service 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;
  • 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.

Learning Objectives

  • Program Outcome – Public Health and Technical: Student will demonstrate a competency in the sanitary sciences as they relate to public health and technical areas.
  • Program Outcome – Business Management: Student will demonstrate an understanding of and be skillful in applying appropriate sound business management practices as they relate to a funeral establishment.
  • Program Outcome – Social Science and Humanities: Student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact that death has on a family unit, community, and societal level. Student should be capable of recognizing and identifying issues and concerns related to death and its implications; suggesting the establishment of interprofessional relationships.
  • Program Outcome – Legal, Ethical and Regulatory: Student will practice ethical standards and judgment and be competent in knowledge/awareness of professional regulations as they relate to federal, state, and local laws rules and regulations.
  • Program Outcome – General Education: Student will be proficient in a wide range of skills and knowledge; supporting the capacity and resourcefulness to reason logically, quantitatively, and communicate effectively.


  • Jeffrey E. Megna – Associate Professor, Department Chair
  • Sarah Stopyra – Instructor
  • Daniel C. Shea – 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 funeral service associate of science degree, 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.


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