Funeral Service (A.A.S.)

The Funeral Service Education program provides the educational foundation needed to seek a South Carolina or other state licensure, both as a funeral director and an embalmer.  It is highly recommended that a student pursuing the Funeral Service Associate degree is currently working in a funeral home or has done so in the past.  Preferably that student is currently in or has completed his or her apprenticeship.

The Funeral Service Education degree program at Piedmont Technical 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:  

National Board Examination scores, graduation rates and employment rates, for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at  To request a printed copy of this program's scores and rates, go to room 114V or by email at:, or by telephone:  (864) 941-8774.

Passage of the National Board Examination (NBE) or a state approved ARTS or SCIENCE Examination is required by the State of South Carolina for licensure as a funeral service provider. If you live or move outside of South Carolina, you must consult the licensing board in that state to confirm whether this program meets your states requirements prior to enrolling. More information on accredited mortuary programs and the NBE can be found at the American Board of Funeral Service Education’s website:


Required Courses

Courses Credit Hours
ENG 101 English Composition I 3.0
MAT 155 Contemporary Mathematics 3.0
SPC 205 Public Speaking 3.0
  Elective Humanities/Fine Arts 3.0
  Elective Social Science/Behavioral Science 3.0
Subtotal   15.0
FSE 101 Introduction to Funeral Service 2.0
FSE 112 Anatomy and Physiology for Funeral Service 3.0
FSE 165 Sociology of Funeral Services 2.0
FSE 205 Funeral Counseling 3.0
FSE 210 Funeral Service Management and Merchandising I 3.0
FSE 211 Funeral Service Management and Merchandising II 2.0
FSE 213 Microbiology/Pathology for Funeral Service 3.0
FSE 215 Funeral Services Directing I 3.0
FSE 216 Funeral Services Directing II 2.0
FSE 220 Regulatory Compliance 3.0
FSE 225 Principles of Embalming I 3.0
FSE 226 Principles of Embalming II 3.0
FSE 240 Restorative Art I 3.0
FSE 241 Restorative Art II 3.0
FSE 300 Board Preparations 2.0
Subtotal 40.0
AHS 102 Medical Terminology 3.0
ACC 101 Accounting Principles I 3.0
CPT 101 Introduction to Computers 3.0
MGT 120 Small Business Management 3.0
Subtotal   12.0
Total Credit Hours   67.0

Updated 3/31/2017


Additional Program Information

National Board Examination scores, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE accredited programs are available at To request a printed copy of this programs scores and rates, go to room 114V or by email at: or telephone; (864) 941-8774.

Year Total Enrolled # of New Students # of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation Rate Did Not Finish** Overall % Employed Employed in FS
2019 34 34 14 14/14 82% 0 100% 79%
2018 50 26 22 21/22 79% 1 91% 91%
2017 49 31 26 19/26 90% 1 92% 92%


3-Year Average % Pass Arts % Pass Sciences
2017-2019 69% 62%
2016-2018 67% 59%
2015-2017 67% 75%
Most Recent # Takers # Passed
2019 Arts 14 11
2019 Sciences 10 8

Candidates for the associate degree or the certificate in Funeral Service Education must meet the requirements for graduation of the college. In addition, students enrolled in the Funeral Service Education program leading to the associate degree or the certificate must progress in meeting the requirements of their program according to the following policy:

  1. Students must complete all of their required classes with a "C" or better. Students may repeat a specific Funeral Service Education course one time to achieve a grade of "C" or better. Students who need to repeat a Funeral Service Education course are required to submit an appeal to the Funeral Service Education Department.
  2. Students must have acceptable health status that allows required performance within the practicum or clinical environment. Students must inform the Funeral Service Education program of any pre-existing conditions that could interfere with completion of the embalming practicum class.
  3. If the student plans on working in South Carolina, they are allowed to complete their two year apprenticeship concurrently while attending Piedmont Technical College.
  4. Students must obtain a Student Permit from the South Carolina State Board of Funeral Service. Failure to obtain the Student Permit will limit your ability to complete certain classes within the program.
  5. All academic transcripts must be submitted to Student Records prior to starting the FSE curriculum.
  6. Students will be required to pay a lab fee for each semester they are on campus.
  7. Students will be required to conform to a dress code. 
  8. The SC Board of Funeral Service may refuse to issue or renew a license or student license to an individual with a conviction of a felony or a crime involving fraud or moral turpitude.
  9. All students must have a valid driver's license to be accepted into the Funeral Service program.

In accordance with the South Carolina State Board of Funeral Service, an individual must be at least 18 years old; have a high school diploma or the equivalent; have completed at least a 60-credit program of study with an accredited school and approved by the board (with a full associate degree required for an embalmer); have completed two years of approved apprenticeship; not have been convicted of a violent crime, felony or crime of moral turpitude; and have successfully passed the South Carolina and National Examining Board licensing examinations for embalming and/or funeral directing.

All graduates are asked to complete the Graduate Survey.

Employers are asked to complete the Employer Survey.


General Aims and Objectives of Funeral Service

In accordance with the American Board of Funeral Service Education, Piedmont Technical College and the Funeral Service Education program aims and objectives recognize the importance of Funeral Service Education 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, provincial/territorial and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic area where they practice as well as
  • professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains.


  • To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  • To educate students in every phase of funeral service, and to enable them to develop the proficiency and skills necessary for the profession, as defined in the Preamble above.
  • 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 post-secondary level of instruction.
  • To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service.

Health Requirements:

Students enrolled in Funeral Service Education courses are required to provide evidence of annual tuberculosis screenings and evidence of vaccination against tetanus within the last 10 years. Students shall have on file prior to entry into the practicum courses or clinical work, one or more of the following: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) immunization record or antibody titer showing a positive antigen response to HBV. Students are not eligible to participate in the practicum or clinical works until this information
is completed and on file.

Transportation to Practicum Sites:

Each student is responsible for transportation to and from any practicum or clinical sites.

Attendance Requirements:

The Funeral Service Education program adheres to the college's attendance policy. In addition, students are expected to attend all practicum activities. Make-up time for missed practicum experiences will be determined at the discretion of the faculty and availability of practicum facilities. Faculty may require withdrawal of any student who has missed sufficient practice to prevent completion of the practicum objectives.


Program Student Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Funeral Service Degree is to educate and prepare individuals not only to contribute to the funeral service profession, but also the community in which they serve. We strive to give students the knowledge, principles, and skills which are essential to become a funeral director and embalmer.

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

2.1.1  Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.

2.1.2  Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.

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

2.1.4  Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.

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

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

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

2.1.8    Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.

2.1.9    Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.

2.1.10  Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice.

Updated 10/29/2020

Advisement Information

Program Notes

If a student is not ready to take college-level courses, he or she should enroll in the appropriate developmental or transitional coursework.  All of these prerequisite courses may not be available online.

Excellent reading comprehension, communication and critical thinking skills are vital for program success and for passing National or State Examining Board licensing exams.


Notes about individual classes

The English required for this program is ENG 101.  Students will follow this progression, with their starting point being determined by their placement test scores:  ENG 032/012 and/or RDG 032/012 (or RWR 032/012) > ENG 100 and/or RDG 100 (or RWR 100) > ENG 101.

The math course required for this program is MAT 155.  Students will follow this progression, with their starting point being determined by their placement test scores:  MAT 032/012 > MAT 155.

FSE courses are scheduled in the late mornings and afternoons and generally meet only two days per week.  During the last three semesters, FSE classes will run either on a Monday, Tuesday or a Wednesday, Thursday schedule. Students must meet their health requirements before entering into these classes. 

FSE students must complete all General Education and FSE courses with grades of “C” or better. Students may repeat FSE courses one time to achieve a grade of “C" or better.

All transfer courses from another mortuary college will need to be approved by the PTC Funeral Service Education department.

For the associate degree, students must complete all general education coursework before starting in their funeral service coursework.  Students must also come to the campus to meet the faculty and tour the facilities before starting their first FSE coursework.  Call (864) 941-8774 to arrange a visit.

Students will not be registered into any FSE courses within 10 business days of the start of any semester, unless all their paperwork is complete.

For the Funeral Director's Certificate and the Embalmer's Certificate, students must either have completed their apprenticeship, or be in the process of completing their apprenticeship, in order to take any South Carolina licensure exam. In order to complete the Embalmer's Certificate, a student must be actively be working at a funeral home and have permission to complete their required embalming cases at that location.

Graduation Plans

2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021 Semester-by-Semester Graduation Plans

Starting with the Fall 2019 cohort, Associate Degree students must complete a competitive secondary application process to proceed to the FSE coursework.  Call (864) 941-8774 for full details.

Funeral Service (FSE3) - Fall Program Start
Funeral Service (FSE3) - Spring Program Start


You can find the name of your assigned academic advisor by reviewing Degree Works or your Class Schedule. To learn more about advising visit the Advising webpage.

Contact Funeral Services Program Director David Martin or Dedrick Gantt for more information about the Funeral Services degree.

You may also contact Nancy Wilke for information about this program.

Please email if this advising guide needs corrections or update

Advisement Information updated/reviewed 4/2020