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Mortuary Science Program Application Information

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Build Your Future as a Mortuary Science Professional

The Mortuary Science Department at Cypress College prepares people for a career that cares for the dead and comforts the living. As a mortuary science student, you will prepare for employment as a funeral director and embalmer. The Cypress College Mortuary Science Program prepares the students to take the National Board Examination, California Embalmers Examination, and the California Funeral Directors Examination.

In support of this mission the following are the Program’s 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.

The Mortuary Science Program objectives are as follows:

  • 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 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;
  • To educate students concerning the responsibilities of funeral service profession to the community at large;
  • To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct;
  • To provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction;
  • To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service;
  • To qualify students for professional licensure examination.

Cypress College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 3402 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa CA 95403; (707) 569-9177, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.  

The college and its instructional programs are also approved by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and by the State Department of Education for training veterans. A college or university is accredited if it has been evaluated by recognized accreditors and determined by their peers to meet acceptable levels of educational quality.  

Courses offered at an accredited institution generally are transferable to other institutions and qualify for financial aid.  

The Mortuary Science associate 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

Program Information — Cypress College

Year Total enrolled # of New Students # of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation Rate** Did not finish*** Overall % employed Employed in FS
2022 148 64 33 26/33 52% 26 91% 79%
2021 152 23 39 29/39 59% 28 90% 87%
2020 153 69 26 20/26 38% 17 77% 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.

National Board Statistics — Cypress College

Arts Takers School Pass Rate National Pass Rate Sciences Takers School Pass Rate National Pass Rate
2022 33 91% 69% 2022 32 97% 64%
2021 37 92% 68% 2021 37 97% 57%
2020 24 92% 73% 2020 24 83% 64%

School pass rate is based on first time test-takers within one year of graduation.

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at in the Directory of Accredited Programs. To request a printed copy of this program’s rates, go to the Mortuary Science Department, Technical education III Building, Room 215, by telephone (714) 484-7278, or by email: 

Mortuary Science Office, Room 215
Technical Education III Building – Health Science Division

Frequently Asked Questions

The Mortuary Science Department offers an Associate in Science degree in mortuary science and a Bachelor of Science degree in funeral service.

Depending on the program and the number of units taken, completing the associate in science degree program can take about two years after taking prerequisites and being admitted into the program. The program is designed to be completed in three semesters of major coursework once the general education subject matter areas are satisfied.

The Mortuary Science Associate in Science degree is $46 per unit for California residents, not including books, fees, and supplies. Units vary by course, but the average is three units per course. The unit cost for the associate degree will vary depending upon the number of prerequisites needed. For the bachelor’s degree, please contact the department coordinator. Most students also qualify for some form of financial aid.

Students work in funeral homes.

Program Mapper: View course options for these programs, below.

  • Eligibility for admission to Cypress College
  • Official High school transcript, GED test with an average score of 450 on the five-test battery, or high school proficiency examination
  • Evidence of good physical and mental health
  • Completion of ENGL 100C College Writing with a letter “C” grade or better
  • Completion of BIOL 210C Anatomy and Physiology (with lab) or completion of BIOL 231C Anatomy (with lab) with a letter “C” grade or better and completed within the most recent 5 year time period.
  • Completion of Math 040 Intermediate Algebra or higher with a letter “C” grade or better
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in all college courses attempted

This is designed as a full-time program. Students are encouraged to enroll in at least 12 units each semester in order to complete the program in a timely fashion.

Students who qualify to apply for the Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service will have met the following prerequisites:

  • Graduation from an ABFSE-accredited program of Funeral Service Education and ICFSEB NBE Certification
  • CSU GE or IGETC Certification or a bachelor’s degree from a California State University
  • Embalmer and Funeral Director License or Funeral Service Practitioner Certification, CFSP

Please consider attending an information workshop about Cypress College Health Science Programs. The Health Science Workshop Schedule and Reservations link is here.