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Mortuary Science - Mission


The Mortuary Science Program at Malcolm X College prepares students to care for human remains. Students receive training in every phase of funeral service: learning embalming and restoration techniques, conduction of funeral services and grief facilitation for the bereaved. 

2.1 The mission of an ABFSE-accredited program must be 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 mission, a program must adopt at least the following Learning Outcomes:  
Upon completion of an accredited program, students will be able to:   
2.1.1 Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.   
2.1.2 Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.   
2.1.3 Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.  
2.1.4 Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.  
2.1.5 Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.  
2.1.6 Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies.   
2.1.7 Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.  
2.1.8 Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.  
 2.1.9 Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.  
2.1.10 Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice. 

Program Schedule  
Students are admitted once a year, in the fall semester (August) for enrollment. Fall applicants are applying for the 18-month day program (8:00 a.m. - 3:20 p.m./Monday - Thursday). Fall applicants must meet the 18-credit hour prerequisite course requirements for acceptance.​ 


Aims of the Program 

Central aim recognizes the importance of funeral service education 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, and local regulatory guidelines as well as professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, and welfare in caring for human remains.

Objectives of the program

  • 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 by the Preamble above; 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; and to encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service.   


Successfully completing the curriculum, exit examinations, and capstone course qualifies students to take the Conference Examination (National Board Exam). This is the licensing exam, which is necessary in order to intern and practice funeral directing and embalming.    

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