Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Funeral Services, AAS

Location(s): Ankeny

The Funeral Services AAS will prepare students to work within the funeral service profession. The Funeral Services program is a field of human and community services that prepares an individual to become a funeral director.

The Mortuary Science associate degree and diploma programs at Des Moines Area Community College are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097 (816) 233-3747.  Web:  www.abfse.org.

Please note that all General Education courses must be completed as a pre-requisite for MOR 301  .

Program Details

Pathway: Public & Community Services

More information on this Pathway.

Students start Fall semester

This program offers a funeral home-based option. This option allows students to take many courses online with a few courses requiring meetings at the Ankeny campus.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete a DMACC Admission Application.
  2. Submit college transcript(s) of all completed college work and/or your high school transcript. Each student must have a high school diploma or a minimum of 9 college-level credits with a 2.0 grade point average to begin the Funeral Services AAS program.
  3. Each student must submit the program’s Career Exploration form signed by a licensed funeral director on a form approved by the Funeral Services program.
  4. After items 1, 2 and 3 are completed, applicants will complete a Program Conference: Applicants will complete a conference with the Program Chairperson in person or via phone or video conferencing for the purpose of confirming the state in which licensure is sought and any additional requirements of that state.
  5. Upon completion of the Program Conference, the student will submit a Program form that is provided during the Program Conference.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Funeral Services AAS, a student must:

  1. Complete all coursework as prescribed, maintain a 2.0 grade point average.
  2. Earn a grade of “C” or above in all courses in the program including Anatomy.
  3. Complete all MOR courses through DMACC.  The following courses may be granted an exception and allowed to be transferred into the program if approved by DMACC:  MOR 215  Funeral Law I, MOR 331   - Funeral Home Management, and MOR 366    - Funeral Pathology. 

Semester 1

Semester 2

May Semester

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

Semester 6

Students are required to come to campus for MOR 940  .

Total Credits Required to Complete the Funeral Services, AAS Degree - 64*

*Total credits are calculated using the least number of credits needed to satisfy the option requirements.

Additional Information

Students who have previously completed an equivalent course in Human Anatomy or MOR 215  - Funeral Law I, (as determined by DMACC) will not be required to take it during the first semester, thus reducing the course load for the Fall semester.

DMACC does not offer a completely online anatomy course. 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 or BIO 175 at Indian Hills Community College (www.indianhills.edu).

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org in the Directory of Accredited Programs. To request a printed copy of this program’s scores and rates, go to the DMACC Mortuary Science website at https://mortuaryscience.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……………………………………………………………………………………..$185.00 per credit

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

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6
Books (approximate) 500 500 140 450 220  60
Clinical & Classroom Supplies 100 100   300 80 75
Practicum/Accreditation Travel Expenses       250    
Hepatitis B Vaccine       200    
Proctoring Fee       100    
Online Student-Technology Fees 360 360 60 390 480 210
Practice National Board Examination Fee           120

Approximate total for the program (on-campus): $15,025**

Approximate total for the program (online): $16,895**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate costs

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.
  • Interpersonal skills when assisting and caring for others during counseling and consultation sessions.
  • 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 Degree program?

  • 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).
  • Students in the funeral home based program are required to complete two on-campus residency requirements for a period of 2-5 days each in Ankeny, Iowa.
  • 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.
  • Anticipated starting salary $35,000 (2014-2015 Placement Report).

Program Competencies

The central objective of the DMACC Mortuary Science Program is to educate students in every phase of funeral service and thus prepare the Graduates for entry-level employment in funeral service.

In support of this objective, the Mortuary Science Program has adopted the following competencies (learning outcomes):

  1. Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.
  2. Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.
  3. Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.
  4. Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.
  5. Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.
  6. Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies.
  7. Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.
  8. Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.
  9. Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.
  10. Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice.


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. 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. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at https://www.dmacc.edu/pathways/.(2021)