Mortuary Sciences and Funeral Directing Services Program
What is Mortuary Science?
Funeral directors, sometimes referred to as morticians, are the professionals who help care for the deceased and their families. Funeral directors arrange services and direct funeral practices and rites, and include the wishes of the deceased and their family members. A funeral director is responsible for removing the deceased and preparing remains, directing a ceremony that honors the deceased and addresses the spiritual needs of the family, and carrying out the final disposition of the deceased.
In addition, funeral directors may need to develop obituary notices, arrange for pallbearers and clergy, work with the cemetery to schedule grave openings and closings, decorate and prepare the service sites and provide transportation to the deceased and family members.
Many funeral directors are also trained, licensed and practicing embalmers who have had an education in the sanitary, cosmetic and preservative process.
Associate Degree Program
Pima Medical Institute's Mortuary Science program will prepare students to become competent, ethical, team-oriented, entry-level funeral service professionals. During the program, students will receive classroom instruction that will include topics such as microbiology, pathology, embalming, restorative art, funeral directing, management, law and the psychology of grief. Students will also be able to gain hands-on experience through internships before they graduate. Upon graduation from Pima Medical Institute's Mortuary Science program, students will earn an associate degree.
The Mortuary Science program has developed its mission, aims, and objectives to be in sync with the mission of Pima Medical Institute and specific to the professional community that it serves. The program and curriculum are dynamic to meet the continuously changing needs of the community and funeral service profession. The aims of the Mortuary Science program include the recognition of the importance of funeral professionals and future graduates 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/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines (in the geographic area where they practice).
- Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.
- 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 described in the aims of the program.
- 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.
An 80 percent minimum score on mathematics screening exam, passing of the Wonderlic examination, a high school diploma or GED and an interview with the program director are required. Please reference the Pima Medical Institute academic catalog for additional admissions practices and policies.
|CSK 100||Study Skills||15||1.0|
|CCB 120||Computer Applications||15||15||1.5|
|BIO 115||Anatomy & Physiology||45||30||4.0|
|MSE 101||Introduction to Funeral Services||15||15||1.5|
|MSE 120||History of the Funeral Profession||30||2.0|
|Sequence I Total||255||60||19.0|
|MSE 155||Embalming I||30||30||3.0|
|BUS 101||Introduction to Business||45||3.0|
|BUS 135||Business Law||45||3.0|
|MSE 140||Funeral Service Options||45||15||3.5|
|MSE 175||Clinical I||60||1.0|
|Sequence II Total||210||45||60||16.5|
|MSE 205||Embalming II||30||30||3.0|
|MSE 180||Restorative Art I||45||3.0|
|MSE 160||Sociology of the Funeral Profession||30||2.0|
|MSE 170||Ethics in the Funeral Prof. & Fed. Trade Com.||30||2.0|
|MSE 185||Funeral Directing||60||4.0|
|MSE 200||Clinical II||60||1.0|
|Sequence III Total||225||30||60||17.0|
|MSE 255||Embalming III||30||30||3.0|
|MSE 220||Restorative Art II||30||15||2.5|
|MSE 210||Funeral Management||60||4.0|
|MSE 215||Funeral Law||30||2.0|
|MSE 240||Funeral Service Merchandising & Sales||45||15||3.5|
|MSE 225||Clinical III||80||1.5|
|Sequence IV Total||195||60||80||16.5|
|MSE 280||State Law Review||15||1.0|
|MSE 260||Psychology & Dynamics of Grief||60||4.0|
|MSE 275||Funeral Service Professional Review||40||2.5|
|Sequence V Total||115||400||16.0|
Job opportunities for funeral directors and embalmers are expected to be good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best job opportunities are for funeral directors who also embalm. Employment of mortuary science graduates is expected to increase by 18 percent nationally through 2020, due to aging population and the need to replace funeral directors who retire or leave the occupation.*
Licensure and Certification
All states, except Colorado, require that funeral directors be licensed. Some states require all funeral directors to be licensed in embalming, while others have separate licenses for directors and embalmers. Some states also require apprenticeships, which can last from one to three years. The American Board of Funeral Service Education accredits mortuary science programs and graduates from accredited programs are eligible to apply to sit for the National Board Exam for Embalmers and Funeral Directors, administered by the International Conference of Funeral Services Examining Board (ICFSE), 1885 Shelby Lane, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72704.
Approximately 18 months
For more detailed information on PMI's Mortuary Science program specifics and financial aid eligibility, please visit your local campus below.
Pima Medical Institute is applying for candidacy through the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Ave, Suite G, St. Joseph MO. 64506. Caution: Students applying for admission to the Mortuary Science program should contact their respective state boards of funeral service regarding that state board’s approval of this particular program of instruction.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Funeral Directors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/funeral-directors.htm