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Find a Rewarding Career in Funeral Services

The associate in applied science degree in funeral service education prepares students for an entry-level position as a funeral director and embalmer in a funeral home. The program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. 
Through this program, students learn about mortuary law, restorative art, funeral directing, embalming and the psychology of grief. STLCC is the premier funeral service education school in the region. 

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What is Funeral Service Education at St. Louis Community College? 

Funeral service education involves academic and practical training to prepare students for careers as funeral service professionals. Students learn the necessary skills to provide funeral and memorial services, handle the deceased with care, offer grief support to families and manage funeral home operations.  

Funeral Service Professional Skills: 

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Crisis management
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Professionalism
  • Legal knowledge
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility 
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What Can You do with a Funeral Service Education Degree? 

A funeral service education associate degree prepares you for various roles in the funeral industry, such as a funeral director, embalmer or mortician. You'll be equipped to provide funeral services, handle deceased individuals, support grieving families and manage funeral home operations. 

Program Objectives:

  • Students learn the importance of 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 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.
  • Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services and ceremonies.
  • Students learn the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.
  • Students acquire methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.
  • Students learn about the management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.
  • Students will demonstrate verbal and written communication and research skills needed for funeral service practice. 

AAS in Funeral Service Education

  • Degree offered: Associate in applied science 
  • Locations: Forest Park
  • Hours to complete: 74
  • Program contact name: David Coughran
  • Program contact email: STLCC-FuneralServices@stlcc.edu
  • Accreditation:
    The funeral service education associate degree program at St. Louis 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. National Board Examination scores, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE accredited programs are available at the ABFSE website. To request a printed copy of this program's scores and rates, visit the funeral service education program office at the Forest Park campus, room W407, email dcoughran@stlcc.edu or call 314-644-9327. 

Cost of Attendance

Tuition for district residents is $122 per credit hour for in-district students. Find out more about our straightforward and low-cost tuition structure.


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 in an unaffiliated and licensed funeral service establishment, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in high school or for 15 hours of college work (100 level or higher). Students with fewer than 15 hours of college credit must have both a 2.75 GPA in high school and a 2.75 GPA in college. In addition, the student is required to meet with the program director and/or other Funeral Service Education faculty for a personal interview.

Funeral Service Education Program Admission Requirements

Program Outcomes

Year Total Enrolled # of New Students # of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation Rate** Did not finish*** Overall % Employed Employed in Funeral Service
2023 43 20 12 12/12 86% 2 42% 42%
2022 41 15 13 13/13 100% 0 69% 62%
2021 41 13 12 12/12 79% 3 58% 50%
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*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.

National Board Statistics

Single Year School Pass Rate National Pass Rate
2023 Arts 86% 78%
2022 Arts 50% 69%
2021 Arts 44% 68%
2023 Sciences 27% 69%
2022 Sciences 44% 64%
2021 Sciences 25% 57%
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Why You Should Choose STLCC's Funeral Service Program

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Caring for Students

STLCC goes beyond academics with support services, ranging from stress and anxiety management to grants for childcare, emergency crisis support, clothing and free meals through Archers' Market and Brown Bag Café food pantry. We offer free tutoring on campus or online.

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Graduate with Little or No Debt

We believe cost should never be a barrier to achieving your potential. Save over $4,700 per year with tuition that's one-third less than than other local institutions. 

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Access A+ Scholarship

The Missouri A+ program covers tuition for eligible high school graduates up to 18 credit hours per semester for full-time students, minus any Pell grants or federal aid.

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Ramp Up High-Wage Skills

STLCC offers career-focused programs for high-wage, high-skill and in-demand jobs. STLCC provides opportunities for college transfers, career development and workforce training. 

Come as you are. See what you become.

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