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.

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:
  • 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 three 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.

A maximum of 20 new students are selected each Spring for admission into the Funeral Science program. Students will follow a strict course rotation. 

Candidates for the  Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Funeral Science degree must meet the following requirements:
 1.   Admission to ASUMH 
2.  Pre-requisite courses (Listed Below) in progress during the application period with a grade of "C" or higher and a cumulative grade point average(CGPA) of 3.0 on application deadline; conditional admission may be granted pending successful course completion with a final grade of "C" orhigher and a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.
  •  BIOL 1013 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology for Non-     Healthcare Majors OR BIOL 2004 Human Anatomy and Physiology  I & Lab   AND BIOL 2014 Human Anatomy and Physiology II & Lab
  • CIS 1053 Computer Essentials
  • COMM 1203 Oral Communication
  • ENG 1003 Composition I
  • MATH 1113 Applied Math or higher level math
  • ORT O1001 First Year Experience for Funeral Science
3.  Minimum of 20 hours of volunteer/job shadowing in the funeral service industry.
4.  A minimum CGPA of 2.0 in all college courses attempted.
5.  Submit the online Funeral Science program application located at and all required supplemental materials by posted due dates 

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.

Accreditation Information

The Funeral Science associate degree program at Arkansas State University at Mountain Home is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108,
Woodbury Heights, NJ  08097 (816) 233-3747.  Web:

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National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at in the Directory of Accredited Programs. 

*Applications Due October 31*

Contact Info

Dr. Jeffrey Hicks
Funeral Science Director

Matt Buel
Funeral Science Instructor

Important Links

Funeral Science Program Frequently Asked Questions

Course Rotation

Funeral Science Handbook

Program Book List

Affiliation Agreement

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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Funeral Science Program Application

BIOL 1013 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology for Non-Healthcare Majors
  BIOL 2004 Human Anatomy and Physiology I & Lab
  BIOL 2014 Human Anatomy and Physiology II & Lab
CIS 1053 Computer Essentials
COMM 1203 Oral Communication
ENG 1003 Composition I
ORT 1001 First Year Experience for Funeral Science
Admission acceptance status made at application due date is contingent on final grades.
Important Disclosures about the Program and the Funeral Service Industry
I understand the program has a specific course rotation that I am required to follow each semester.
I understand that all Funeral Science Education curriculum course work must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
I understand that I must maintain a 2.5 GPA and will only be allowed to retake courses from which I withdrew or failed in the first semester upon admission to the program.
I understand that I am responsible for any costs associated with the program including field trips and Training Camp.
I understand that it is my responsibility to know the licensing requirements for any state in which I intend to practice.
I understand that students who have previously been convicted of a crime may be restricted from certain clinical facilities and may be ineligible for some state licenses.
I understand that students who have a physical disability should contact the state in which he/she plans to seek licensure to determine if the disability will affect licensure.
I understand that a current driver’s license is required prior to enrolling in a clinical or practicum course.
I have read and understand the program dismissal policies contained within the Funeral Science Student Handbook.

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