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Mortuary Science

Earn an Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science and provide services and support for those who have experienced the death of a loved one.

ACC Mortuary Science faculty using a dummy to demonstrate procedures at ACC's Littleton Campus.

Empathy, communication, and an interest in human services are a few of the qualities that our Mortuary Science students possess. Our mission is to educate you in every phase of funeral service to develop both the social and technical skills necessary to be successful in the profession. We are nationally recognized because of our high standards, small class sizes, and online course options and we have the only program of its kind in Colorado. Our faculty are national conference presenters, widely published, and have over 30 years of clinical embalming experience. With your Associate of Applied Science degree in Mortuary Science, you will be one step closer to helping the deceased and their loved ones in such a crucial time.

ACC Mortuary Science Program Information

Mortuary Science Application Deadline

The application process for the Mortuary Science program will be available on December 1 through March 31 for the following fall semester each year. 

How to Apply

If you are an ACC student already, login to your ACC application account. Start a new application with “Mortuary Science, Associate of Applied Science” as the major and select the semester for program start. The MOR program ONLY admits students in Fall semesters, so you must select a Fall semester. Once you complete the new application, you will get follow-up emails about the supplemental items and further instructions. If you are new to ACC and have all of your appropriate prerequisite coursework nearing completion, login to or begin the ACC application. Start a new application with “Mortuary Science, Associate of Applied Science” as the major and select starting semester.

CIP 120301 (MOR)

Mortuary Science is a field of human and community service which offers a variety of work, intellectual challenge and satisfaction of helping the bereaved through life's most trying period. The program prepares individuals to become a mortuary science practitioner, funeral director and embalmer.

Accreditation Status: The Mortuary Science Program at Arapahoe Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). The Board can be reached at 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, 816.233.3747, www.abfse.org.

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org.

Admission Requirements

Aims and Purposes

The ACC Mortuary Science Program recognizes mortuary science 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 and local regulatory guidelines.
  • Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains.

In addition, the program objectives are:

  • 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 the proficiency and skills necessary of the profession.
  • 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 postsecondary level of instruction.
  • To encourage research in the field of funeral service.

Program Requirements

Major Courses (39 credit hours)
Note(s):

*HPR 1058 and MOR 1000 are open enrollment with completed prerequisites; enrollment in all other Major Courses requires official acceptance into the Mortuary Science program.

Total: 66 credit hours

Graduation Requirements

  • All MOR courses must be completed within four years of starting the Major Courses.
  • All major, general education and other courses required for this degree must be completed with a "C" or better to meet graduation requirements (major courses may only be repeated once).
  • Apply for graduation online at www.arapahoe.edu/graduation.
  • As a graduate of a Career and Technical Education program you will be contacted by an ACC employee in approximately six months to verify your employment information. This information gathering is a federal requirement to ensure that ACC receives certain federal funding.

ACC academic plans will help guide you through your chosen program. The academic plan will provide you with important information, like which semesters courses are offered if there are any prerequisites or co-requisites for courses, program outcomes, course sequence recommendations, notes for the program, graduation requirements, and other important information. These are updated annually, so we recommend downloading a copy of yours to keep on track to graduation.

The Mortuary Science associate degree program at Arapahoe Community College is 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.

National Board Examination scores, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org.

Criteria PointsPoints Earned

General Education / Prerequisite GPA
Maximum Points = 4

GPA is calculated on required general ed / prerequisite classes only. ACC 1021 (3 credits); BIO 2101 and 2102 (4 credits EACH); BUS 2016 (3 credits); MAN 1028 (3 credits); ENG 1021 (3 credits); PSY 1001 (3 credits); COM 1250 (3 credits).

(Grade Value A=4, B=3, C=2. Multiply grade value by number of credits for each class. Divide by total number of credits for GPA.)
Mortuary Science Employment
Maximum Points = 5
(may include other deathcare-related roles)

(0 years = 0 points
2-5 years = 3 points

Under 1 year = 1 point
5 or more years = 5 points
1-2 years = 2 points)

Essay
Maximum Points = 4
(Points determined by faculty)
Outstanding = 4 points
Above Average = 3 points
Average = 2 points
Below Average = 0 points

Number of Gen Ed / Prerequisites Completed by Fall 2023 Semester
(Courses outstanding will be counted here if proof of registration for Spring 2023 is provided) 

Maximum Points = 4

All Gen Ed/Prereqs Completed at Time of Application: 4 points

1 Gen Ed / Prereq outstanding at time of application: 3 points

2-3 Gen Ed / Prereqs outstanding at time of application: 2 points

4-5 Gen Ed / Prereqs outstanding at time of application: 1 point

More than 5 Gen Ed / Prereqs outstanding at time of application: 0 points

To Best Fill Our Limited Number of Seats, We Give Preference to Those Taking Full-Time Classes

Maximum Points = 1

Intends to take Full-Time classes: 1 pt

Intends to take Part-time Classes: 0 pts

Criteria Total Points

Maximum = 18

Total Points from Ranking Criteria

 

  • Complete a Criminal Background Check through ACC. View disqualifying events information
    Note: Criminal background checks require a fee and the applicant's social security number. Should the background check reveal any disqualifying factors or a positive drug screen, the student will be required to drop the program.
YearTotal Enrolled# of New Students# of GradsTimely Grad*Grad RatesDid Not Finish**Overall % EmployedEmployed in FS
2023119574343/4397%291%91%
2022115474141/4195%598%90%
2021105513232/3291%384%81%

*Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.

**Graduation rate reflects cohort graduation rate (% of students from original cohort completing in the designated year)

***Left before completing the program; did not finish.

Visit ACC's ABFSE page for more information.

Single YearTakersSchool Pass RateNational Pass Rate
2023 Arts3190%78%
2022 Arts3155%69%
2021 Arts2361%68%

 

Single YearTakersSchool Pass RateNational Pass Rate
2023 Sciences3194%69%
2022 Sciences3158%64%
2021 Sciences2365%57%

 

School pass rate is based on 1st time test takers within one year of graduation.

Contact the program directly for information regarding success of Distance Education graduates.

Visit ACC's ABFSE page for more information.

The mission of the ACC Mortuary Science Program is 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, the program as adopted the following Learning Outcomes:

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

You'll also be eligible to take the National Board Exam (NBE). Compare NBE statistics.

To learn more, please review the licensure information provided for the program of interest on our Professional Licensure page.

Job Opportunities in Mortuary Science

ACC Mortuary Science students at Committal Service at Fort Logan National Cemetery

Tuesday, April 16, ACC Mortuary Science students were invited to attend and participate in a committal service at Fort Logan National Cemetery alongside Stork-Morley Funeral Home, in which 17 sets of unclaimed veteran cremated remains were laid to rest with proper honors and ceremony.

ACC Mortuary Science students at Committal Service at Fort Logan National Cemetery

Grimes has earned one of 5 Harvey Leavitt III NBE scholarships

L. Frankie Grimes, ACC Mortuary Science student, has earned one of 5 Harvey Leavitt III NBE scholarships. This is a very competitive scholarship with hundreds of applicants each round. Harvey Hamilton Leavitt, III volunteered on The Conference’s National Board Examination Committee for 22 years. He was a dedicated funeral director and embalmer from Wadesboro, North Carolina, where he owned and operated Leavitt Funeral Home, established in 1914, as a third generation funeral practitioner. Harvey defined professionalism, was an eternal optimist and his volunteer spirit was catching. He is remembered for his honesty, integrity and generosity of time and talent. In 2023 the board of directors officially named the National Board Examination Scholarship program in his memory.

L. Frankie Grimes, ACC Mortuary Science Student

ACC Welcomes Back Mortuary Science Graduate Amanda Marie Eilis King

ACC Mortuary Science is thrilled to welcome back 2017 program graduate Amanda Marie Eilis King! Amanda Marie Eilis King, CFSP, MBIT, is an Embalmer and Funeral Director holding licensure in multiple states. She completed her embalming apprenticeship under Vernie R. Fountain, as well as extensive training in postmortem reconstructive work. In addition to her AAS in Mortuary Science from ACC in Colorado, Amanda holds a BS from Skidmore College for Studio Art and Biology, and a Post-Baccalaureate degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is also an educator who specializes in and teaches reconstructive work and cosmetic application. Her contributions in the field outside of the funeral home include articles, illustrations, and photography for trade journals. Currently she is a Funeral Director and Embalmer for B.C. Bailey Funeral Home, and also does freelance work as AMEK Graphics, as well as being an embalming specialist with Frigid Fluid Company. Amanda will be presenting a virtual class to our Restorative Art students on Jan 25, where she will speak on color theory and give tips and pointers on using the cosmetic kit she recently developed for Frigid Fluid Company.

Amanda Marie Eilis King

Listen to ACC MOR Program Chair Faith Haug on A Brush With Death Podcast

ACC's Mortuary Science Program Chair Faith Haug and Joe Finocchiaro join A Brush With Death podcast host, Gabe Schauf, in a candid discussion about how funeral education is evolving. Both share some of their experiences and provide opinions on where it might be headed and what we can all do to help make it better for everyone. Whether you have been in the profession for some time or are just starting out - If you're curious about the state of funeral education, this episode is for you.

Listen to the Podcast

A Brush with Death Podcast logo

Myklebust Completes Train the Trainer Program

Beth Myklebust, instructor in the ACC Mortuary Science program, has recently completed the Train the Trainer program with Insight Institute's Certified Celebrant Program. Beth, a graduate of the ACC Mortuary Science Program herself, has been an instructor in the program since January 2020. In addition to her degree in Mortuary Science, she has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management and administration, is a Certified Crematory Operator, a Certified Funeral Celebrant, and a Certified Mortuary Science Practitioner. As a result of completing the Insight Institute training, Beth will now be integrating this specialized training into our curriculum, providing students with a unique opportunity to excel in the art of guiding families through meaningful and personalized funeral ceremonies and graduate as certified celebrants. This enhancement to our program reinforces our commitment to comprehensive education and sets ACC students apart as they enter the profession.

InSight | Certified Celebrants logo

Haug elected to Board of Directors for National Home Funeral Alliance

ACC Mortuary Science Program Chair / Faculty Faith Haug has been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Home Funeral Alliance.

NHFA Board of Directors

Faith Haug, ACC Mortuary Science faculty

Meet the Mortuary Science Faculty and Instructors

Faith
Haug
Program Chair / Faculty
Ally
Cabrera
Faculty
Blanca
Eberhardt
Instructor
Alexandra
Guidera
Lab Instructor
Beth
Myklebust
Instructor
Ren
Scherling
Instructor