Mortuary Science

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Mortuary Science program includes studies in public health; business management; natural sciences; legal, ethical and regulatory concerns; and clinical requirements associated with the mortuary field. The curriculum combines coursework in mortuary science with a general education component. The AAS in Mortuary Science degree is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, 816-233-3747, Completion of the courses in the program prepares the student to sit for the National Board examination and begin state internship requirements.


Field of Interest
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Degree Type
Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Academic Plan
Mortuary Science (DEG)
Academic Plan Code
Total credits required
Catalog Year
Effective Term
Fall 2022
Admissions criteria

Formal application and admission to the program is required. Prior to applying to the program, students must have proof of high school graduation or GED and must complete the following required coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.75 prior to entry into the Mortuary Science (MSP) cohort coursework: [(ACC107 or ACC111), BIO160 or (BIO201 and BIO202), (BPC+++++ or CIS+++++) (BPC110 or CIS105 recommended), (COM100 or COM110 or COM225 or COM230), (CRE101 or equivalent), (ENG101 or ENG107), (ENG102 or ENG108), GBS205 or GBS206 or GBS207 or PHI214, GBS151 or MGT175 or MGT251 or MGT253, (PSY101 or PHY132 or PSY156), Mathematics (any approved), and Humanities (REL100 recommended)] or have permission of Program Director


Students must earn a grade of C or better in each course in the program.

What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  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.

Successful completion of this degree may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Arizona-based annual median wages* for this program. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information.

Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Arrangers


* Wage information sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program. Updated May 2021.

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your Student Center to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include FYE101 and FYE103. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.
  • Consult with your faculty mentor or academic advisor to determine educational requirements, including possible university transfer options, for your chosen career field.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
ACC107 or
Bookkeeping Theory And Practice or Accounting Principles I 3–4
BPC+++++ or
Any BPC Business-Personal Computers course or Any CIS Computer Information Systems course BPC110 OR CIS105 recommended 1–3
ENG101 or
First-Year Composition or First-Year Composition for ESL FYC 3
GBS205 Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory Issues in Business 3
MAT112 Mathematical Concepts and Applications OR equivalent or satisfactory completion of a higher level mathematics course.
Note that students who desire to transfer should choose from the MAT14+ or MAT15+ options.
MGT253 Owning and Operating a Small Business 3
AAA/CPD115 or
AAA/CPD150 or
Creating College Success or Strategies for College Success or Educational and Career Planning or Career and Personal Development 0–3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BIO160 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology Critical course SQ 4
COM100 or
COM110 or
COM225 or
Introduction to Human Communication or Interpersonal Communication or Public Speaking or Small Group Communication Course must be completed prior to entering the program SB or L 3
CRE101 College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking OR Equivalent as indicated by assessment L 0–3
ENG102 or
ENG108 or
First-Year Composition or First-Year Composition for ESL or Technical and Professional Writing FYC or L 3
HU Humanities, Fine Arts & Design REL100 recommended. HU 3
PSY101 or
Introduction to Psychology or Understanding Death and Dying Students who desire to transfer should choose PSY101. SB 3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
MSP101 Introduction to Mortuary Science Gateway course 1
MSP105 Crematory Operator Training 0.5
MSP201 History and Sociology of Funeral Service 3
MSP202 Embalming Critical course 3
MSP202LL Embalming Lab Critical course 1
MSP203 Microbiology for Mortuary Science 3
MSP204 Chemistry for Mortuary Science 3
MSP205 Mortuary Administration I 3

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
MSP206 Mortuary Administration II 3
MSP207 Mortuary Science Restorative Art 3
MSP207LL Mortuary Science Restorative Art Lab 1
MSP208 Legal, Regulatory, and Ethical Issues in Mortuary Science 3
MSP209 Pathology for Mortuary Science 3
MSP210 Psychology, Counseling, and Mortuary Science 2
MSP211 Compendium for Mortuary Science 2
Course Area Key

Gateway Course = Generally the first major-specific course in a pathway.

Critical Course = A course that is highly predictive of future success in a pathway.


Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD’s curriculum website for the Associate in Applied Science in Mortuary Science (

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

Previous Catalog Years

The pathway map presented above is for the current catalog year and is the intended pathway map for new students. All previous catalog years for this pathway map are available at the link below.