Mortuary Science Program Details

The DMACC Mortuary Science Program offers students the following:

  • Hands-on activities and discussions to assist in the learning process
  • Various instructional methods to include on-campus and funeral home based options
  • State-of-the-art preparation room
  • Funeral directing experience including arrangement conferences, visitations, and funerals
  • Embalming experience
  • Practicum experience at a licensed funeral home

Practical Embalming Experience

  • Each student will participate in a weekly embalming clinical arranged through a funeral home. During this clinical, the student will participate in Embalming, Transfer of Remains, Cosmetics, and Casketing of Human Remains under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director.

Practical Funeral Directing Experience

  • Each student will participate in a variety of funeral home activities to include: Setting up a Visitation Room for different religious groups or non-religious groups; completing the required paperwork (including death certificates); making transfers of remains; completing obituaries and register books; learning to use technology in the profession; and conducting funeral and graveside services.

Practicum Experience

  • In addition to the practical experience gained through the embalming clinicals, each student will complete a Practicum, similar to an internship under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director. During this time, the student will participate in embalming and funeral directing experiences, which will include all aspects of the profession.

Mortuary Science Program Details

In order to be admitted to the program for the Fall semester, items #1 through #5 on the Program Entry Checklist need to be completed by August 1st.

The Mortuary Science program is sequenced to begin in the Fall semester. However, students that are unable to begin in the Fall semester, may apply for a Spring semester start on a space available basis. After applying for admission for Fall semester, and completing items #1-4 on the Program Entry Checklist, students can express an interest in starting in Spring semester with the Program Chair during the Program Conference (item #5). If approved, the Program Chair will notify the Admissions Office to change the start date from Fall s​emester to Spring semester. In order to be admitted for Spring semester, items #1 through #5 on the Program Entry Checklist need to be completed​ by ​December 1st.

If a student submits the Program Entry Checklist items after the dates listed above, we may not be able to get the student admitted for the requested semester.​​

Program Entry Checklist

  1. Complete a DMACC Application. Go to the online application.
    ​​​Note - If you need to complete college-level credits or an associate degree prior to admission to Mortuary Science, apply for the Liberal Arts AA degree with an area of interest in Mortuary Science​. 

  2. Submit college transcript(s) of all completed college work and/or your high school transcript. 
    Colleges and universities need to send the transcript directly to the DMACC Admissions Office electronically to; or by mail to 2006 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny IA 50023.

    For more information, see the DMACC Transfer Credit page.

    For the Funeral Services AAS option,submit college transcript(s) of all completed college work and/or your high school transcript. Each student must have a high school diploma or a minimum of 9 college-level credits with a 2.0 grade point average to begin the Funeral Services AAS program.  The Credentials office will verify any credits you have already obtained and apply them toward the AAS degree.​

    For the Mortuary Science Advanced Standing Diploma option, the Credentials office will verify that you have already obtained:
    • A minimum of 15 credits earned in general education, that includes one communications course, one mathematics or science course, and one social/behavioral science or humanities course; and Evidence of the awarding of a minimum of an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution, or a minimum of 64 credits from a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average of 2.0. 

Because BIO 733 or BIO 164 is required within the program, it will not be counted toward the general education courses required for admission.

  1. Submit the Career Exploration form
    The recommendation must be on the form linked below and must be completed and signed by a licensed funeral director.
    Career Exploration form

  2. Once items #1-#3 are completed, contact the Program at​​ to confirm everything is completed and to schedule a Mortuary Science Program Conference. The Program Conference will include a discussion of the state in which you plan to become licensed as well as your proposed schedule of courses leading to graduation.​
  3. At the time of the Program Conference, the Program Chair will send you a link to required forms needing to be completed and returned to the Program office prior to registration.
  4. Complete the DMACC Orientation / Registration requirements.

Transfer Credit

The DMACC Mortuary Science Program does not accept transfer credits from other institutions for Mortuary Science courses other than MOR 215 - Funeral Law I, MOR 331 – Funeral Home Management, and MOR 366 – Funeral Pathology​​​​

The DMACC Mortuary Science Program funeral home based option is designed for students who are working in a funeral home. Students in the funeral home based option will be required to have a funeral home with which they are affiliated. If you are not employed at a funeral home, it is the responsibility of the student to locate a funeral home at which to complete the requirements. As part of the affiliation, the student will be able to gain practical experiences as required in the program. 

By selecting this option, you will be completing the program with the following provisions: 

  1. Identify a funeral home which will allow you to work with or job shadow a funeral director.
    This ideally would be the funeral home with which you work. Otherwise, you can utilize a funeral home close to your location.
    Courses which require a funeral home affiliation:

    MOR 324 – Funeral Home Operations I
    MOR 334 - Funeral Home Operations II
    MOR 336 - Embalming I Clinical
    MOR 341 - Embalming II Clinical 
    MOR 941 - Funeral Practicum

  2. ​Identify a funeral director to serve as preceptor. During the orientation process, the student begin the electronic Affiliation Agreement and once completed, it will be forwarded to the Funeral Director for his/her electronic signature.
  3. Exams are required to be proctored through an online proctoring service utilized by the program or through a college/university Testing Center.
  4. Take online courses. Each student must have a computer with reliable internet access​.
  5. The Mortuary Science Program requires specific activities to be completed at the funeral home with which the student has an affiliation agreement. For the following courses, you will be required to document at least a set number of hours in the funeral home.​ Courses and hours required are:​​​

    MOR 324 - Funeral Home Operations I  - 30 hours​
    MOR 334 - Funeral Home Operations II - 30 hours
    MOR 336 - Embalming I Clinical – 45 hours
    MOR 341 - Embalming II Clinical – 30 hours
    MOR 941 – Practicum – 24​0 hours​

  6. Students will have opportunities to meet with faculty members and in some courses may be required to meet with faculty members.
  7. Have access to a webcam, to allow for two-way interaction during a portion(s) of the curriculum.
  8. Complete on-campus residency requirements.

    Be available in Ankeny, Iowa for residency periods during the program.

    Each residency will be 4 to 5 days on campus.
  9. By accreditation standards, we are required to visit or conduct a video tour of each location where students may be completing activities. To accomplish this verification process, the student will be required to complete a form (which will be sent at the time of admission) and create a video tour of the funeral home to be submitted to the program prior to the completing any activities in that funeral home.​

The DMACC Mortuary Science Program on-campus option utilizes classes taught on campus, online, and at local funeral homes. ​This blended approach minimizes the number of trips a student needs to make to campus allowing for more work time and less commute time.

As there are numerous learning resources (e.g. lesson notes, videos, etc) provided to the student, every class (except the clinicals) has an online component.

Any student who wishes to take online courses as part of their on-campus program is permitted to do so. If the course does not require a funeral home affiliation agreement, the student need only register for the online section. If the course is one of the courses requiring a funeral home affiliation, the student must submit an affiliation agreement prior to registering for the funeral home based section.

VERY IMPORTANT: Certain courses are only offered in an online format. At times, on campus sections may be cancelled at the discretion of the dean due to low enrollment.  To enable students to stay on schedule, anyone registered in a cancelled on-campus section will be offered the option to take the course online or wait until the next on-campus offering of the course.

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at the American Board of Funeral Services Education in the Directory of Accredited Programs. To request a printed copy of this program's scores and rates, you may print from the links above, or you may contact the program at the Mortuary Science office (Ankeny campus, Building 17, Room 10A), by email at​, or by telephone at ​515-965-7171.​

Exam # Takers # Passing Pass Rates
2023 Arts 66 61 94%
2023 Sciences 65 56 86%
2022 Arts 64 ​56 88%
2022 Sciences 65 54 ​83%​
2021 Arts ​55 52 ​95%
2021 Sciences ​55 45 82​%
2020 Arts 59 54 92%
2020 Sciences 60 45 75%
2019 Arts 58 57 98%
2019 Sciences 59 ​49 ​83%
2018 Arts ​34 ​31 91%
2018 Sciences​ ​35 ​26 74%
2017 Arts 42 37 88%
​2017 Sciences 45 ​35 ​79%
2016 Arts ​38 35 ​92%
2016 Sciences ​34 29 85%
3-Year Average % Pass Arts % Pass Sciences
2020-2022 91% 80%
2019-2021 95% 80%
2018-2020 94% 78%
2017-2019 93% 79%
2016-2018 90% 79%
Year Total Enrolled # of New Students # of Grads Graduation Rate Online Grad Rate On-Campus Grad Rate Employed in FS Online Employment Rate
2023 253 118 66 92.9% 92.9%   98% 98%
2022 206 90 68 81% 81%   93% 93%
2021 213 112 53 81% 81%   94% 94%
2020 198 85 68 93% 94% 86% 82% 95%
2019 202 89 65 89%     86%  
2018 175 101 36 87%     97%  
2017 157 77 47 73%     87%  
2016 144 65 41 82%     85%  
2015 156 45 52 91%     89%  
2014 147 75 43 83%     79%  


Additional Resources