Florida Community College at Jacksonville wave logo

Florida Community College programs of study

Associate in Science/Associate in Applied Science

Funeral Services (2161)

THIS IS A LIMITED ACCESS PROGRAM. Funeral directors interview the family members of the deceased to facilitate and assist with the arrangements for the funeral services. Services include coordination with clergy members, or other persons who will officiate, the logistics of funerals, preparing obituary notices and having them placed in newspapers, arranging for pallbearers, and clergy, scheduling with the cemetery the opening and closing of a grave, decorating and preparing the sites of all services, and providing for the transportation of the remains, mourners, and flowers between sites. They also direct preparation and shipment of remains for out-of-state burial. Embalming is a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment. Funeral directors also handle the paperwork involved with the person’s death.

Average Salary: Funeral Directors in Duval County (2001) $37,020

Program Objectives:

  1. Prepare students for entry level into the funeral services profession. This includes educating students in every part of funeral services including developing the skills necessary to function in the field. Students will have a thorough understanding of the background of the profession and will understand the profession’s role as a human services profession and the profession’s responsibilities to the community at large.
  2. Establish a student-centered environment. Students will be guaranteed access to faculty advisement and counseling with appropriate interventions as needed.
  3. Establish clinical affiliations with local funeral homes and contractors.
  4. Promote student retention and success. Remediation services and the full complement of college resources (Career Development Center, Library, Learning Center, counseling, advising, scholarships and financial aid) will be made available to students individually or in groups to facilitate retention and success. The Funeral Services Advisory Committee will provide input on how the program is meeting the needs of employers in the community.
  5. Implement continuing workforce education programs to meet the needs of graduates and funeral services professionals in the community to meet the state of Florida requirements for licensure renewal.
  6. Emphasize the highest standards of ethical conduct.
  7. Encourage research in the field of funeral services through class assignments and individual and group projects.
  8. Offer an integrated curriculum comprised of general, technical and clinical education at the postsecondary level.
  9. Assure the quality of the clinical experience.
  10. Foster awareness of the state of Florida’s statutory rules and regulations governing funeral directors and embalmers.
  11. Consult with the Funeral Services Advisory Committee and representatives of the funeral services business.
  12. Conduct in-service education for affiliate faculty in the clinical training facilities on request.
  13. Evaluate the program qualitatively and quantitatively, and provide flexibility for changes indicated by the evaluation process.

Application Procedure
Funeral services is a selective access program and continuance in the program is limited based upon academic performance and criteria.

  1. Complete Florida Community College membership application (with $15 fee) and provide all transcripts from high schools or colleges attended.
  2. Completion of the College Placement Test (CPT) and all preparatory work, if necessary.
  3. A minimum 2.00 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.00 scale in all college work to be used for the degree.
  4. Completion of funeral services program application.

Completion of the Required Pre-Technical Coursework
The required courses for admission to the technical phase of the Funeral Services program are:
  ENC 1101 English Composition I
  BSC 2020C Human Biology
  HSC 1531 Medical Terminology
  *Social and Behavioral Sciences
These courses must be completed at a minimum before a student will be considered for admission to the program.

Certification and Licensing
The Florida licensure process requires passing the National Board Examination (a written comprehensive examination), serving a one-year internship under the direction of a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and passing a Florida examination on rules and regulations. Beginning in fall 2003, all students must take the National Board Exam before they will be allowed to graduate.

Requirements and Curriculum
Because the funeral services program includes mortuary science and basic science courses, high school preparation should include biology and chemistry. In addition, the program includes courses in liberal arts (such as English, humanities, and ethics), sciences (such as anatomy and pathology) and clinical sciences (such as embalming and restorative arts).

This program is accredited by:

The American Board of Funeral Services Education
George P. Connick, Ph.D., Executive Director
38 Florida Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
Phone: 207.878.6530
Fax: 207.797.7686

National Board Examination Scores 2004
Number of first-time takers: 17
Number who passed: 11
Percentage who passed: 64.71

The annual passage rate of first time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the ABFSE web site.


General Education Courses
+ENC 1101 English Composition I (3)
*Mathematics (3)
*Humanities (3)
+***BSC 2020C Human Biology (4)
+*Social and Behavioral Science (3)

Credit hours: 16

Professional Courses
**APA 1001 Applied Accounting (3)
BUL 2131 Business Law I - The Legal Environment of Business (3)
HSC 1531 Medical Terminology (for Health Professions) (3)
PHI 1603 Applied Ethics (3)
HSC 1524 Introduction to Infectious Disease (2)

Funeral Services Courses
FSE 1000 Introduction to Funeral Services (3)
FSE 1105 Thanatochemistry (2)
FSE 1204 Funeral Services Computer Applications (2)
FSE 2202 Funeral Home Management (3)
FSE 2060 Funeral Directing (3)
FSE 2061 Thanatology (3)
FSE 2080 Funeral Law (3)
FSE 2100 Embalming I (3)
FSE 2100L Embalming Clinical I (1)
FSE 2120 Restorative Art (3)
FSE 2120L Restorative Art Laboratory (1)
FSE 2140 Embalming II (3)
FSE 2140L Embalming Clinical II (1)
FSE 2946 Professional Practicum I (2)
FSE 2201 Funeral Home Operations (3)
FSE 2160 Funeral Pathology (3)
FSE 2930 Funeral Services Professional Review (1)
FSE 2947 Professional Practicum II (2)

Credit Hours: 56

Total Credit Hours: 72

*Refer to A.S. degree General Education Requirements.
**Any higher level accounting course may be substituted for APA 1001.
+These courses MUST be completed before a student will be considered for admission to the program.
***The BSC 2010 prerequisite has been waived for students enrolled in this program.

This associate degree program requires a minimum of two years of college education, but students who have completed all general education courses may be able to complete the program in a minimum of sixteen (16) months.

You have two options in this program: the associate in science (A.S.) degree, which can prepare you for employment or transfer to a state university, and the associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, which is intended primarily for students who want immediate employment after graduation. If you choose the A.S. degree you must take MAC 1105, MGF 1106 or a higher level mathematics. The A.A.S. degree requires MAT 1033 or higher. Please see an advisor to determine the option that is best for you.

Clinical agencies may require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

Estimated cost of tuition* is $4,350. Estimated cost of books, materials and fees is $2,500 (*tuition rated for Florida residents, as of 7/04)


© Florida Community College at Jacksonville