Mortuary Science Associate in Science Degree

Financial Aid Eligible

To be eligible to write the National Board Examination, the student must be completing the Associate in Science Degree in Mortuary Science. National Board Examination (NBE) pass rates, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at To request a printed copy of this program's rates, go the Mortuary Science Department Office, TE 3 Building, Room 215 or you may visit the Mortuary Science Department website to make the request. Or you may email the Mortuary Science Department ( or call the Mortuary Science Department at (714) 484-7278.

Prerequisites (12-13 units)
ENGL 100 CCollege Writing4
BIOL 210 CAnatomy and Physiology4-5
or BIOL 231 C General Human Anatomy
MATH 120 CIntro Probability Statistics4
or MATH 120PC Intro to Probability and Stats
Total Units12-13
MORT 201 CFuneral Directing5
MORT 202 C Funeral Service Administration I4
MORT 203 CMethods of Disposition4
MORT 214 CFuneral Service Sciences5
SEMESTER 2 (19 Units)
MORT 204 C Funeral Service Administration II4
MORT 215 CEmbalming5
MORT 234 C Funeral Services Ethics and Laws I4
MORT 248 CFuneral Service Thanatology6
SEMESTER 3 (13 Units)
MORT 216 CRestorative Art5
MORT 236 C Funeral Service Ethics and Laws II4
MORT 288 C Funeral Service Capstone (formerly MORT 297 C)4
Total Units50

Winter Intercession - Optional (5-16 Units): MORT 085C and MORT 281C
Summer Session - Optional (5-16 Units): MORT 085C and MORT 281C

Outcome 1: Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve

Outcome 2: Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.

Outcome 3: Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.

Outcome 4: Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.

Outcome 5: Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.

Outcome6: Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies.

Outcome 7: Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.


The Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College has as its central aim recognition of the importance of funeral service personnel as:

  1. members of a human services profession,
  2. members of the community in which they serve,
  3. participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession,
  4. professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, and local regulatory guidelines, as well as
  5. professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains.


  1. To enlarge 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 to develop proficiency and skills necessary for the profession, as defined in the Preamble at the beginning of Chapter 9 of the Manual on Accreditation.
  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 post secondary level of instruction.
  6. To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service; and,
  7. To qualify students for professional licensure examinations.


  1. Eligibility for admission to Cypress College.
  2. Official High school transcript, GED test with an average score of 450 on the five-test battery, or high school proficiency examination.
  3. Present evidence of good physical and mental health.
  4. Completion of College Writing (ENGL 100 C) with a grade of C or better.
  5. Completion of college Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 210 C) or General Human Anatomy (BIOL 231 C) with a grade of C or better within the most recent 5 year time period prior to program application.
  6. Completion of Intermediate Algebra (MATH 40 C) or higher with a grade of C of better.
  7. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in all college courses attempted.


  1. In addition to the Cypress College application form, a separate application is required for admission into the Mortuary Science Program. Applications must be completed online. Please see the Health Science Application link on the Mortuary Science home page.
  2. A total of 30 new students are selected each spring and fall semester. Applicants may exceed the available seat space.
  3. Applicants must submit signature page in person or by US mail. Please bring photo ID; Official high school transcripts, GED or high School Proficiency sent directly from the institution you attended; Official college transcripts (except Cypress and Fullerton Colleges) sent directly from the institution you attended.
  4. All Official transcripts are required (high school and college)


Students will be selected using a point system based on the number of general education/graduation courses completed at the time of application and the date of completed application.

The Associate in Science Degree in Mortuary Science program is a course of study designed for students who wish to prepare for a career and employment as an embalmer/funeral director in a mortuary and to prepare the student for state licensure where statutory law requires successful completion of the Associate in Science Degree in Mortuary Science and compliance with statutory pre-mortuary science educational requirements.

The Mortuary Science degree program at Cypress College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, (816) 233-3747, and meets the mortuary science or funeral service educational requirements for most states. The ABFSE is an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Scholarship and general program information can be found on the ABFSE’s website. The National Board Examination is written and governed by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, Inc. (ICFSEB), Fayetteville, AR, 73707 (888) 222-2737,; Study guide and preparatory information can be found on the Conference’s website. Eligibility to write the licensure examination in some states may be contingent upon compliance with additional statutory requirements. Please consult the department for more specific information, or, for further information, contact a Health Science Counselor (714) 484-7270.

To earn the Associate in Science Degree in Mortuary Science, students must complete:

  1. all major course requirements with a grade of C or better;
  2. Cypress College Native General Education requirements; California State University General Education Breadth requirements (CSU GE Breadth) or IGETC General Education requirements;
  3. take the National Board Examination (students need to submit National Board Examination results to Admissions and Records for the semester the student is applying);
  4. the cultural diversity and reading requirements;
  5. any elective courses to complete a minimum of 60 units; and,
  6. have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all college level courses attempted and at least 50% of all major course work must be completed at Cypress College.