2020 Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
1600 South College St.
Mountain Home, AR 72653

School of Business & Technology
Funeral Science

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About This Program

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Funeral Science degree at Arkansas State University - Mountain Home prepares students to pursue a career as a professional funeral director and embalmer.  For students only interested in Funeral Directing, the technical certificate is needed. The aims of the program are to enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession;  educate students in every phase of funeral service;  help students develop the proficiency and skills necessary of the profession;  educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large;  emphasize higher standards of ethical conduct;  provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction;  and to encourage research in the field of funeral service.  Students are prepared for entry into the profession after graduation.  The Funeral Science degree program at Arkansas State University - Mountain Home is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097 (816) 233-3747.  Web: www.abfse.org.

A career in funeral service may be a good fit for you if:
  • You are fulfilled by helping people
  • Anatomy and related sciences interest you
  • Community involvement appeals to you
  • You want to work in a business environment, yet experience diversity in your work
  • Make-up and other restorative work interests you
  • Your lifestyle can handle flexible hours
  • Easing the worst days of families’ lives sounds like an honorable calling

Through the use of compressed video, this program can be attended on the campuses of:
  • NWACC in Bentonville
  • Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus
  • ASU - Mountain Home
  • ASU - Jonesboro
  • ASU - Beebe

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Classes in the core of the funeral science program are held only on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to help students maintain lives and jobs while attending school. Commuting is also reduced by making it possible for students to attend these classes at any of the five sites shown above. Instructors are usually teaching from the Mountain Home campus and the classes are connected to the other sites via compressed video. In other words, by using microphones, cameras and video displays, students at any campus can interact with the instructor and other students at any time during class. Instructors also travel to the other sites and teach from there several times each semester. By using this technology and timing, most students in the northern 2/3 of Arkansas and Southern 1/3 of Missouri find it entirely feasible to get their funeral science education from ASUMH. This is especially evident in the employment figures below.

To be admitted to the Funeral Science program at ASUMH, students must show completion of 12 credit hours from a list of directed courses (listed in the program handbook). For this reason, most students, unless they have previous college credits, usually begin their educational career at ASUMH in the Funeral Science technical certificate.

PLEASE NOTE: Effective November 15, 2019 the Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Science is undergoing a comprehensive curriculum review. Admission into the Associate of Applied Science program is suspended for approximately 12 months. Students should begin the technical certificate in Funeral Directing and watch for announcements regarding AAS curriculum changes.




The central objective of the Funeral Science AAS program is to educate students in every phase of funeral service so that program graduates are prepared for entry-level employment in funeral service. In support of this objective, the program assesses itself according to the following Learning Outcomes:

Upon earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Science from ASUMH, students will be able to:
  • Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.
  • Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.
  • Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.
  • Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.
  • Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.
  • Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies.
  • Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.
  • Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.
  • Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.
  • Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice.

The program assesses the achievement of the Learning Outcomes both in courses and in measurements such as licensing exam pass rates and graduation and employment/placement rates.

Total Entrolled587885
# of New Students163829
# of New Grads142416
Timely Grads*13/1422/2415/16
Graduation Rate93%92%94%
Did not Finish**3716
Overall % Employed100%91%100%
Employed in FS100%83%88%

*Timely graduation = completed program in 1½ times designated program length.
**Left before completing the program; did not finish.

3-Year Average% Pass Arts% Pass Science
Most Recent# Takers# Passed
2018 Arts74
2018 Sciences83

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org. To request a printed copy of this program’s pass rates and rates, go to M102 McClean Hall, 1600 S. College, Mountain Home, AR 72653 or by e-mail contact mbuel@asumh.edu or by telephone: 870-508-6157

Contact Info

Matt Buel
Funeral Science Program Director
Phone: 870-508-6157
Email: mbuel@asumh.edu

Leann McGovern
Administrative Specialist 
Phone: 870-508-6167
Email: lmcgovern@asumh.edu

Skills Learned

Care of the Bereaved
Funeral Directing
Basic Business Operations

Job Opportunities In

Funeral Director
Tuition Per Credit Hour
4 Semesters
Program Duration
Credit Hours
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Classes You'll Take

Funeral Directing
Management and Merchandising
Restorative Art
Psychology and Counseling

Related Degree Options

Transferable Degrees & Stackable Credentials
Transferrable degrees are programs of study that allow students to complete general education courses. Many students who intend to transfer to another college/university complete these degree programs.
Stackable Credentials are Technical Certificates that might be “stacked” to meet requirements for a higher-level certificate or degree program like an associate's degree.

Transferable Degrees

Stackable Credentials

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Faculty will be delivering all of the coursework for the semester online beginning March 17th.  The Tech Center has a new, improved WiFi service in the parking lot, thanks to Yelcot Communications. Students are encouraged to use this lot instead of the main campus parking lots when completing assignments. 

ASUMH has closed all offices except emergency operations on the campus.  Emergency operations personnel will perform their necessary functions on-site, but all other personnel will work remotely.  

Additionally, public schools will not be in session before April 20th.  We will remain in online-only instruction until that date or until further notification.

For additional information, please click here

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Step Up, Reach Back Intern Application

An important part of the Leadership Intern program is service to others. Reaching back after you have been through the program and helping a new member of the program is encouraged. Consider the list of ideas below and mark at least two things you would be willing to do.

Statement of Commitment
By signing this form, I agree to the following:
  1. I will enroll in at least 6 credit hours per semester.
  2. I will maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  3. I will attend orientation, retreat, by-monthly meetings with my mentor(s), and any other required activities on the attached required activities list.
  4. I will participate in planning and executing a leadership event.
  5. I will provide feedback to the mentors.
I confirm that all information on my application is accurate and I give the Women’s Leadership Center permission to verify any information included in this application. My signature below represents an awareness of my commitment and responsibilities to my mentor(s) and the Leadership Intern program.
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