Skip to Navigation
    Des Moines Area Community College
   
 
  Sep 19, 2017
 
 
    
2016-2017 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mortuary Science-Advanced Standing Diploma


The Mortuary Science program will prepare students who have earned a minimum of an Associate Degree to work within the funeral service profession. The Mortuary Science program is a field of human and community services that prepares an individual to become a funeral director.

The Mortuary Science diploma program at Des Moines Area Community College is 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 central aim of each graduate of the DMACC Mortuary Science program is to recognize that they are community members who are sensitive to their responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains. As members of the human services profession, graduates must be knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state and local regulations, as they participate in the relationship between themselves and the bereaved families they serve.

The Mortuary Science Aims and Purposes are:

  1. To enhance the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  2. To educate students in every phase of funeral service and to help them develop the proficiency and skills necessary of the profession.
  3. To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large.
  4. To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct.
  5. To provide a curriculum at the postsecondary level of instruction.
  6. To encourage research in the field of funeral service.

For more information about the Mortuary Science program, please visit our website at funeral.dmacc.edu.

Location: Ankeny

Classes start Fall semester only.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy DMACC’s general assessment requirement.
  3. Attend any required information/registration session.
    1. Submit a transcript of all completed college work that indicates the awarding of a minimum of an Associate degree (AA, AS, AAS, AGS) from a regionally accredited college or university, or
    2. Submit a transcript of all completed college work that indicates having earned a minimum of 64 college credits from a regionally accredited college or university with a grade point average of “C” or above.
  4. Submit evidence of a minimum of 15 credits earned in general education core. This includes one Communications course, one Mathematics or Science course and one Social & Behavioral Sciences or Humanities course. A list of courses that meet general education core requirements can be found in the DMACC catalog or at the Mortuary Science program website at funeral.dmacc.edu.
  5. Each student must submit an admission recommendation from a licensed funeral director on a form approved by the Mortuary Science program.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Mortuary Science-Advanced Standing Diploma, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed, maintain a 2.0 grade point average, and earn a grade of “C” or above in all courses in the program including Anatomy.

To complete the program in the minimum number of semesters allowed by accreditation standards and state laws, students may complete the required human anatomy course (BIO 733  or BIO 164 ) and MOR 215 - Funeral Law I  prior to admission to the Mortuary Science program. If these courses have not been taken prior to admission to the program, the student will register for an anatomy course and Funeral Law I during the Fall semester of the program.

Semester 1


May Semester


(This term is between the Spring and Summer semesters.)

Semester 3


Total Credits Required to Complete this Advanced Standing Diploma - 46


Additional Information


Students who have previously completed Human Anatomy or MOR 215 - Funeral Law I , will not be required to take it during the first semester, thus reducing the course load for the Fall semester.

Because BIO 733  or BIO 164   is required within the program, it will not be counted toward the 15 credits of general education courses required for admission.

DMACC does not offer any anatomy courses in the online format. Students in the funeral home-based (online) option will need to take Anatomy on campus or at another institution. If you are looking for an online course, we suggest you take BIO 161 at Indian Hills Community College (www.indianhills.edu).

During MOR 390 - Professional Review  , each student is required to take the National Board Exam as a graduation requirement.

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 scores and rates, go to the DMACC Mortuary Science website at http://funeral.dmacc.edu or the DMACC Mortuary Science office, Ankeny campus, Building 17, Room 10A, or by e-mail at kepatterson@dmacc.edu, or by telephone 515-965-7171.

State licensure requirements vary from state to state. Applicants must meet all state requirements. For complete licensure requirements, contact the State Board of Professional Licensure in the state where you intend to practice. In Iowa, call 515-281-4287.

Fixed Costs


Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$147.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs


  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4
Books (approximate) 400 350 150  
Clinical & Classroom Supplies   200 150 100
Practicum & accreditation Travel Expenses 150     100
Hepatitis B Vaccine 200      
Online Student-Technology Fees 325 375 275 110
On-Campus Student-Technology Fees 195 225 165 110
National Board Examination Fee       500

Approximate total for program (on-campus): $9,573*
Approximate total for program (online): $9,963*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?


  • Consult with families and/or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral details.
  • Offer counsel and comfort to bereaved families and friends.
  • Plan, schedule and coordinate funerals, burials and cremations.
  • Obtain information needed to complete legal documents.
  • Manage funeral home operations, including hiring and supervising staff or employees.
  • Maintain financial records, order merchandise and prepare accounts.
  • Provide information on funeral service options, products and merchandise.
  • Remove remains from place of death, prepare body for cremation, or if embalming, complete restorative work, apply cosmetics, dress, and arrange body in    casket in preparation for burial.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?


  • Time management skills of one’s own time and the time of others.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to direct and coordinate the activities of employees to accomplish work tasks.
  • Good interpersonal skills when assisting and caring for others during counseling and consultation sessions.
  • Good understanding of the procedures for preparing human remains for funeral, burial and cremation.
  • Be able to lift 50 pounds.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?


  • The DMACC Mortuary Science program has two instructional delivery options: Funeral home-based program (which requires a funeral home affiliation and utilizes meetings on campus and online courses) and On-campus (which utilizes classroom, online and clinical instruction).
  • DMACC Mortuary Science program National Board Exam Pass Rates:

                                                                                                                                        NBE Arts                                NBE Sciences

Year Graduates Passing Pass Rate Passing Pass Rate
Total since beginning of Program 315 274  87% 274  87%
2014  43  36  84%  36  84%
2013  42  34  83%  39  93%
2012  34  30  86%  31  91%
2011  28  22  79%  22  79%
2010  32  25  78%  24  75%
2009  31  25  81%  24  77%
2008  27  25  93%  23  85%
2007  26  25  96%  25  96%
2006  35  35 100%  33  94%
2005  17  17 100%  17 100%
  • Each student must begin the Hepatitis B vaccine series prior to entering the embalming clinical.
  • In most states an internship under the direction of a licensed funeral director is required following completion of the Mortuary Science program.
  • During MOR 390-Professional Review, each student is required to take the National Board Exam as a graduation requirement.
  • Anticipated starting salary $32,440 (2013-2014 Placement Report).

Nondiscrimination Policy


Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in employment, hiring practices or the provision of services, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator may be contacted at 515-964-6857.  For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850. (2016)