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    Florida State College at Jacksonville
  May 31, 2023
2022-2023 Catalog [Aug. 2022-Aug. 2023] 
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2022-2023 Catalog [Aug. 2022-Aug. 2023]

Funeral Services (2161) (A.S.)

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Associate in Science

This is a Limited Access program.


To educate students in every phase of funeral services so that program graduates are prepared for entry-level employment in funeral service. 

The Program

The Funeral Services Program is an Associate in Science degree (A.S.) program. It is offered in an innovative and flexible learning environment to develop students who have an interest in becoming professional end-of-life care givers. The curriculum integrates entry-level knowledge of funeral directing, technical skills, and scenarios in an on-campus laboratory. The program has an active practicum learning environment by partnering with area funeral professionals to allow the student to experience firsthand and receive knowledge of actual funeral procedures. The program is committed to encourage lifelong learning in a positive non-discriminatory and supportive environment to enhance community involvement, scholarly research, and a better-quality life, and respect for the dead.

This A.S. degree program in funeral services requires a minimum of two years of college education, but students who have completed all general education courses upon admission to the professional phase of the program may be able to complete the program in a minimum of 16 months. Because the funeral services program includes mortuary science and basic science courses, high school preparation should include biology and chemistry. In addition, the program includes courses in liberal arts (such as English, humanities, and ethics), sciences (such as anatomy and pathology), and clinical sciences (such as embalming and restorative arts). The Florida licensure process requires passing the National Board Examination (a written comprehensive examination), serving a one-year internship under the direction of a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and passing a Florida examination on rules and regulations.

All courses in the funeral services program are offered online except for three lab classes in Restorative Art and Embalming which are held on the FSCJ North Campus. In addition, the professional practicum provides experience in simulations and/or in the funeral home under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director/embalmer. A minimum grade of C or higher is required in all Professional Coursework with the exceptions of the following: All laboratory courses, FSE 2100L , FSE 2140L  and FSE 2120L , along with FSE 2946  and FSE 2930 , which require a grade a grade of P (pass). Students must achieve a minimum of 85% to pass FSE 2930 .    

National Board Examination Statistics

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.

Year Total Enrolled # New Students # of Grads Timely Grad Graduation Rate Did Not Finish Overall % Employed Employed in F.S.
2021 26 14 8 7 52% 4 100% 45%
2020 22 8 9 9/9 60% 3 100% 78%
2019 30 15 9 7/9 47% 8 78% 78%


Year Arts Sciences
School Pass Rate National Pass Rate School Pass Rate National Pass Rate
2021 89% 68% 56% 57%
2020 50% 73% 67% 64%
2019 67% 72% 33% 63%

Embedded Certificate(s)

A technical certificate, Florida Funeral Director (6154) (T.C.) , is included as an option within this degree program. Students may pursue the A.S. degree and earn the technical certificate while completing the requirements for the degree, or pursue the certificate to develop or upgrade their skills. Contact an advisor to determine the career education path that is best for you. 

Please note that by being enrolled in this degree program you may automatically meet the requirements for the aforementioned technical certificates. If you meet the requirements for the technical certificate, as a result of being enrolled in this degree program, you may automatically be awarded the technical certificate upon meeting its requirements as well. If you choose to opt out of this automatic awarding of a technical certificate, please contact an advisor to do so.

This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs.  It is not accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.  Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE accredited program is required.

The Career

Funeral directors interview the family members of the deceased to facilitate and assist with the arrangements for the funeral services. Services include coordination with clergy members or other persons who will officiate, the logistics of funerals, preparing obituary notices and having them placed in newspapers, arranging for pallbearers and clergy, scheduling with the cemetery the opening and closing of a grave, decorating and preparing the sites of all services, and providing for the transportation of the remains, mourners, and flowers between sites. They also direct preparation and shipment of remains for out-of-state burial. Embalming is a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment. Funeral directors also handle the paperwork involved with the person’s death.

Upon completion of coursework, Florida State College at Jacksonville does not guarantee employment or salary in a given field of study. Any jobs or salaries mentioned are given as examples of potential employment not a representation of guaranteed income. Graduates may need to seek employment outside the local area.


Licensure in the State of Florida is regulated by the Florida Division of Cemetery and Consumer Services. Florida Law requires that a student graduate from an accredited ABFSE Funeral Services program (A.A. or A.S. degree or higher) and must apply for licensure as a Funeral Director Intern, or as a dual licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer intern. (Note: All applications are reviewed by the Division and referred to the State Board for approval or disapproval.)

Applications for internship can be found at the Divisions website at or by calling 1-800-323-2627 for more information on which forms to use. The internship must be served at a funeral establishment that is licensed by the State of Florida as a training facility.

Funeral services students who have successfully completed 75% or more of their funeral services education and are currently enrolled to complete their program may also apply for an internship (with verification from their college). Intern applications are required by the state to submit fingerprints and to go through a criminal background check. Any criminal conviction(s) must be disclosed on the application. A criminal conviction may impede an individual’s approval by the Division or Board at their discretion.

Applicants may take their National Board Examinations any time after completion of the Funeral Services program (with College approval). Before the completion of their internship, individuals must have taken and passed all sections of the National Board Examinations with a score of 75% or better on each section and have passed the Florida Laws and Rules Examination with a score of 75% or better and complete their one-year internship to be eligible to apply for licensure as a Florida Funeral Director or Funeral/Director Embalmer as well as meet all criteria as put forth in Florida Statute 497 Part III (497.365 to 497.393). Exam study materials are available from the Florida Division of Cemetery and Consumer Services at (Note: Students are recommended to purchase a copy of the study guide directly from the Division.)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Funeral Services Program at Florida State College at Jacksonville, students will be able 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. 

Program Accreditation

The Associate in Science in Funeral Services degree program at Florida State College at Jacksonville 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 Examinations pass rates, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at

Application Procedure

Acceptance into the Funeral Services program is based upon academic performance and other criteria. To be considered as a qualified applicant, individuals must complete the following by the application deadline:

  1. Acceptance to Florida State College at Jacksonville.
  2. A minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale in all college work to be used for the degree.
  3. Submit current Health Education Systems, Inc. Admission Assessment (HESI/A2 Elselvier A2 Preadmission Test Scores). Note: A complete HESI/A2 administration is required and is made up of nine (9) sub-tests that must be completed in one sitting. Scores are taken from a single complete administration that is most advantageous to the applicant. Average scores of 65% on three combined sub-tests is required: grammar, reading comprehension and vocabulary.
  4. Completion of the Funeral Services program application.
  5. Proof of high school completion required. If applicable, all postsecondary transcripts are required.
  6. Completion of 7-credit hours of prerequisite coursework prior to the application deadline for the Funeral Services program and prior to beginning the Professional coursework (FSE prefix) phase of the Funeral Services program.

Note: Admissions preference is given to fully qualified candidates who have met all entrance criteria, including the satisfaction of prerequisite courses. Should seats remain available in the program cohort, applicants who fulfill admissions criteria prior to the start of the program will be considered next, followed by those with the highest number of completed prerequisite courses. Qualified applicants with pending prerequisite course requirements will receive a conditional acceptance letter outlining the remaining criteria for full program admission.

Application Deadline(s)

The application deadline is May 15 of each year with classes starting in the fall term.

Need More Information? Contact:

Call (904) 713-4545


Prerequisite Coursework

Students must complete the following Prerequisite Coursework prior to program admission. Upon program admission, Prerequisite Coursework credit will be applied to the General Education Coursework area of the student transcript.  

General Education Coursework

Credit Hours: 23

Professional Coursework

Credit Hours: 41

All courses in the Funeral Services program are only offered online except for FSE 2100L , FSE 2140L  and FSE 2120L  which are held on the FSCJ North Campus. In addition, the professional practicum provides experience in simulations and/or in the funeral home under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director/embalmer. A minimum grade of C or higher is required in all Professional Coursework with the exceptions of the following: All laboratory courses, FSE 2100L , FSE 2140L  and FSE 2120L , along with FSE 2946  and FSE 2930 , require a grade of P (pass). Students must achieve a minimum of 85% to pass FSE 2930 .   

Professional Elective Coursework

Credit Hours: 8

A minimum grade of C or higher is required in all Professional Elective coursework.

Total Credit Hours: 72

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen

Most clinical agencies require students to undergo drug screen and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Failure to qualify for and meet clinical requirements at clinical sites may prevent completion of the program. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

Some practice settings may have additional requirements including health insurance, a volunteer application, references, additional fingerprinting and background check (e.g. the Jessica Lunsford Act for school environments), drug testing, flu shot, Covid-19 testing/vaccine and/or an interview prior to the start of the clinical experience. The additional requirements are the responsibility of the student, including expenses.

The cost of the background check(s) and drug screen(s) is borne by the student. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to have all paperwork completed by the program’s published deadline.

Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into Limited Access or Selective Access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition and fees.

A physical examination will be required upon acceptance to the program.  It is the students’ responsibility to renew their annual physical examination as well as tuberculosis (TB) test.

Record of Conviction of a Crime

Effective July 1, 2009, pursuant to Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes, health care review boards shall refuse to renew a license, certificate or registration, issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant has been convicted or plead guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of adjudication, to a felony violation of: chapters 409, 817, or 893, Florida Statutes; or 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396, unless the sentence and any probation or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the application, terminated for cause from Florida Medicaid Program (unless the applicant has been in good standing for the most recent five years) or terminated for cause by any other State Medicaid Program or the Medicare Program (unless the termination was at least 20 years prior to the date of the application and the applicant has been in good standing with the program for the most recent five years). The Florida nursing or allied health licensure or certification application requires disclosure of any criminal history and the disposition of all cases prior to board review. Being convicted of, or having entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, any of the listed felonies in Florida Statute 456.0635 or termination for cause from the statutorily-described Medicaid programs will preclude an applicant from obtaining a nursing or allied health license or certification in the state of Florida. Entry and acceptance into the nursing or allied health program does not guarantee licensure or certification in the state of Florida.

Graduation Requirements

In order to be awarded the associate in science degree, students must have met the following requirements:

  1. Fulfill all academic requirements for the chosen program of study as outlined in the Florida State College at Jacksonville catalog and curriculum.
  2. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) at Florida State College at Jacksonville in courses eligible toward the Associate in Science degree programs, excluding developmental education courses (A.S. Florida State College at Jacksonville GPA).
  3. Earned an all-college cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) on a 4.0 scale on all courses attempted. This includes Florida State College at Jacksonville college-credit semester hours and transferred credits (excluding developmental education) in lower division courses (All college cumulative).
  4. Complete a minimum of 25 percent of the total hours required for the program in residence at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Credit by examination and credit for prior learning do not count toward this residency requirement.
  5. Complete the required semester hours, as specified by the degree, of which a minimum of 15 semester hours must be General Education requirements.
  6. Demonstrated competency in civic literacy in accordance with s. 1007.25, Florida Statutes (F.S.) at and State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.02413, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) at Pursuant to guidelines established by Senate Bill 1108, competency is demonstrated by completion of one of two civic literacy courses (either AMH 2020  or POS 2041 ) with a grade of C or higher AND by achievement of the standard score on a state-approved assessment.
  7. Earned a grade of a C or higher in each course used to satisfy the general education requirements and any other area designated with a C or higher requirement.
  8. Fulfill all obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College before graduating.
Note: Students are cautioned to pay particular attention to the following statements.
  • A student’s graduation date will be the date of the end of the College term in which the student has fulfilled all academic requirements. (The removal of an incomplete grade does not affect students’ graduation dates since the grade change is effective at the end of the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned rather than the term in which the incomplete work was made up.)
  • Students who enter under the (2022/2023) catalog will be assigned to the degree or certificate requirements in effect during the 2022/2023 academic year. The student’s assigned catalog year will remain in effect as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment. Changes to requirements as mandated by law or by rule of the District Board of Trustees may supersede this provision.
  • Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite and/or corequisite courses which are listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.
  • Students who place into developmental education courses are required to complete designated developmental education courses with a grade of C or higher regardless of program of study.

Baccalaureate Transfer

The Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree programs are intended primarily for students who desire to complete an Associate in Science degree or an Associate in Applied Science degree and become employed. Students who decide to pursue baccalaureate transfer study must meet certain course and test requirements. For details, visit the Transfer Services page at or refer to the Baccalaureate Transfer Guide at

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