Funeral Service Education

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Start a new career where you’ll make a difference in other people’s lives.

Licensing: Prepare for the national board exam – accepted in 48 states as well as Missouri.

Prior funeral service background not required, rather, a passion for helping people.


Licensure: Graduates are eligible to take the Funeral Service Arts and Funeral Service Sciences sections of the National Board Examination. Upon successful completion you’ll be licensed as a funeral service professional in most states.

Learn technical skills: Gain practical experience at modern facilities at local funeral homes as well as in the classroom. Skills include: mortuary law, restorative art, funeral directing, embalming and psychology of grief.

Business Fundamentals: Learn the business fundamentals necessary for a successful career in funeral services.

Convenience: Many classes are offered online, and evening classes are also available.

Stackable: If you’ve earned a certificate of specialization in Funeral Directing, your credits can apply toward this AAS degree.

More than one million students have attended STLCC. It’s the largest institute of higher education in the region, and the second largest in Missouri.

To find out if STLCC is right for you, we invite you to visit. You can meet with one of our faculty members, tour the campus, and get answers to any questions you might have. CLICK HERE


Job Resources:

  • For information on the job outlook in the funeral services industry, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and search specific job titles. Also available: information on median pay, entry-level education, number of jobs and more.
  • To learn about the top openings in specific cities across Missouri visit the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
  • For specific real-time information on wages and job prospects in the STLCC region, visit STLCC Career Coach.

STLCC provides a top quality education at a much more affordable cost than for-profit institutions.

  • St. Louis Community College provides a comprehensive financial aid program funded by federal, state and private agencies. READ MORE
  • STLCC provides a Net Price Calculator to help students estimate costs. READ MORE
  • For information on STLCC Scholarships READ MORE.
  • FAFSA Apply online

divider-faculty David Coughran, M.A.T.
Program Director
Phone: 314-644-9327


Prior to applying for admission to the STLCC Funeral Service Education program, students must satisfy several requirements, including the completion of at least 40 hours of documented job shadowing under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director and embalmer. To learn more about these requirements we invite you to meet with an STLCC advisor or program coordinator.

Funeral Service Education (AAS) - 66 Credits

Program total 66 credits
I. Career General Education 25 credits
ENG:100 Career English (or)
ENG:101 College Composition I 3
COM:101 Oral Communication I 3
BIO:103 Problems in Anatomy 3
XXX:xxx Missouri State Requirement 3
PSY:200 General Psychology 3
IS:116 Computer Literacy 3
MTH:108 Elementary Applied Mathematics 3
BIO:111 Introduction to Biology 4
II. Physical Education Activity 2 credits
III. Area of Concentration 39 credits
ACC:100 Applied Accounting 3
FSE:101 History and Sociology of Funeral Service 3
FSE:103 Funeral Directing 2
FSE:107 Funeral Service Merchandising 2
FSE:104 Funeral Directing Practicum I 2
FSE:106 Mortuary Law and Ethics 3
FSE:105 Funeral Directing Practicum II 2
FSE:102 Dynamics of Grief 3
FSE:201 Funeral Home Management 2
FSE:202 Embalming I 2
FSE:203 Embalming Practicum I 2
FSE:204 Embalming II 2
FSE:205 Embalming Practicum II 2
FSE:207 Microbiology and Pathology for Funeral Services 3
FSE:206 Restorative Art 4
FSE:208 Funeral Service Seminar 2

We invite you to meet with an STLCC advisor for one-on-one help in planning your pathway to this rewarding career. Click Here

Related Programs
Funeral Directing


STLCC’S Funeral Service Education Committee is made up of funeral directors, embalmers, and officers of the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association. These professionals work with the STLCC faculty to ensure that the curriculum keeps pace with the employment requirements of the field.

Mr. Ron Durbin
Funeral Director (Retired)

Ms. Ozella J. Foster
Foster’s Services for Funerals, LLC

Mr. Dennis Giamalya
Criswell Casket Company

Mr. John Hutchens
Hutchens Mortuary

Mr. Herman Kriegshauser
Funeral Director (Retired)
Kriegshauser Brothers Funeral Service

Mr. Trey Kriegshauser
Kriegshauser Brothers Funeral Service

Mr. Dale A. Kurrus
Kurrus Funeral Home

Mr. Todd Mahn
Mahn Funeral Home

Mr. Don Otto, Jr.
Executive Director
Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association

Mr. John Pautz
Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association

Mr. Roger Richie
John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Home

The Department of Funeral Service Education is also a member of the University Mortuary Science Education Association.


ABFSE Accreditation

The Associate in Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, 816-233-3747. National Board Examination scores, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at To request a printed copy of this program’s scores and rates, go to the Funeral Service Education program office in Room E-411 at the Forest Park campus, or by email at, or by telephone, 314-644-9327.

STLCC’s Funeral Service Education program is a 66-credit-hour curriculum leading to the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree.

Prerequisites: Prior to applying for admission to the Funeral Service Education program, the student must submit a program application, three professional character references, a written personal narrative and complete a minimum of 40 hours of documented job shadowing which has been completed and verified under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and which must also occur an unaffiliated and licensed funeral service establishment. In addition, the student is required to meet with the program director and/or other Funeral Service Education faculty for a personal interview.

For additional information, please email David Coughran, M.A.T., Funeral Service Education Program Director,

Program Objectives

At the completion of program, students are expected to know and be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency as a funeral director/embalmer, as defined by nationally accepted standards.
  • Explain how the treatment, handling, and disposition of the dead human body meet the sociological, psychological, theological, physical, and legal needs of the family and the community.
  • Apply knowledge of the state and federal laws regulating funeral service practice.
  • Demonstrate proficiency by successful completion of both national and state licensing examinations.
  • Identify and provide varieties of funeralization rites and ceremonies, as seen in major religious and ethnic subcultures, fraternal, and military groups in the United States.
  • Counsel families about funerals prior to a death, during the time of the funeral, and continue to assist as long as needed.
  • Demonstrate an active role in the community to provide service and be a community resource to client families.
  • Demonstrate professionalism and constantly be aware of their role as guardians of the public health and those measures of safety which must be followed when dealing with dead human remains.
  • Recognize the high standards of ethical conduct, which must be adhered to in order to promote the dignity of funeral service.
  • Utilize research to expand knowledge in the field of funeral service.
  • Establish an active role in promoting and attending continuing education programs offered in the profession.

Persons interested in funeral service education should possess emotional stability, the desire to serve others and be in good physical health to withstand the irregular working hours and stresses of the job. Good grooming habits also are important. In most states, graduates are required to work as interns under the supervision of a licensed funeral director or embalmer for a specified period of time.


The Funeral Service Education program is offered at our Forest Park campus. However, for added convenience, students may take general education classes toward this degree at any of our four campuses, our five education centers, and online.


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