Associate in Science

Funeral Service

Our accredited Funeral Service Program prepares you for a rewarding career in a field that is both respected and essential. Our program includes bereavement support, embalming, restorative arts, final disposition, celebrant practices, legal & ethical responsibilities, and more. We offer hands-on learning using lab simulations as well as practicums in clinical settings.

At 4Cs, you can earn an Associate Degree in Funeral Service, as well as Certificates in Bereavement Support, Embalming, Funeral Administrant, and Funeral Celebrant. Our Funeral Service facility is located at Bridgewater State University.

IMPORTANT NOTE: COVID Vaccination Statement 
Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for the Funeral Service program. Read the full statement: COVID-19 Vaccination Statement.

Learn more about the program at Associate in Science - Funeral Service
How to Apply: Funeral Service Admissions


First Semester

Item #
Sub-Total Credits

Students must earn a minimum grade of "C" in each Board tested course to progress in the Funeral Service program: BIO105, FSR128, ACC100, BUS100, FSR131, FSR132, FSR129, FSR134, FSR232, FSR140, BUS120, FSR150, FRS209, PSY210, FSR294, FSR239, FSR298

Total Credits
Career Outlook

Students with an Associate degree in Funeral Service, upon passing the National Board Examination and completion of apprenticeships, are eligible for licensure as funeral directors and embalmers in many states. Graduates of the Associate degree in Funeral Service program are also positioned to be employed by or to own and operate their own funeral homes; they may also qualify to work within a corporate setting serving the funeral service profession. In addition, students have the opportunity to complete a bachelor degree and pursue more advanced studies.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Cape Cod Community College A.S. Funeral Service program, students are able to demonstrate a factual, conceptual and applied understanding of:

  • Funeral Directing: The funeral directing curriculum focuses on the basic duties, responsibilities and expectations of those practicing funeral service including: notification of death, transfer of remains, conduct of the arrangement conference, prefunded/preplanned funerals, religious practices, fraternal funerals and military honors, shipment of remains, cremation, aftercare and regulatory and legislative compliance.
  • Funeral Service Marketing and Merchandising: The curriculum for funeral service marketing and merchandising is designed to introduce the funeral service student to the basics of marketing and merchandising as they apply to the funeral profession. This curriculum considers both service and merchandise as the products provided by funeral service practitioners.
  • Business Management Practices: The principles of small business management are explored. Attention is given to a business plan, marketing, human resources, financing, operations, and the use of technology. The basic principles of funeral service management are examined with an emphasis on general management technique and theory, and specific guidelines for funeral service management. Additionally, the curriculum includes an introduction to the basic principles of accounting with applications to funeral home operations.
  • Funeral Service Counseling: Funeral service counseling examines the basic principles of psychology and counseling as they relate to funeral service. Especially stressed are the psychological concepts in the areas of grief, bereavement, mourning, aftercare, and crisis intervention with particular emphasis on the roles of the funeral director.
  • Historical and Sociological Perspectives in Funeral Service: This aspect of the curriculum explores the basic principles of sociology as they relate to funeral service. Especially stressed are family structures, social structures, and the factors of change that    relate to funeralization. A survey of the history of funeral service is presented with emphasis on individuals and events that have influenced contemporary funeral principles and practices, and the progression of associations and education within funeral service.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The curriculum for regulatory compliance is designed to introduce the student to the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the funeral service practitioner and funeral establishment.  The basic principles of business law as they relate to funeral service are also presented. Especially stressed are the bodies of law and the judicial system found in the United States. Additionally, the curriculum is designed to familiarize the student with the Federal Trade Commission and the Trade Regulation Rule on Funeral Industry Practices.
  • Cemetery and Crematory Operations: The cemetery and crematory operations curriculum focuses on the history, laws, and regulations that apply to cemetery and crematory operations, as well as the important considerations involved when assisting others with choosing between forms of disposition.
  • Embalming : The embalming curriculum examines the process of chemically treating the dead human body to reduce the presence and growth of microorganisms and to temporarily inhibit organic decomposition, and to restore an acceptable physical appearance. The subject examines procedures and treatments for handling and embalming difficulties encountered due to disease and pathological changes, autopsied and procurement cases, organ and tissue donation cases, and various conditions encountered in the dead human body.
  • Restorative Art: The curriculum examines the basic principles of restorative art as they relate to funeral service, and emphasizes the techniques of restoring and recreating an acceptable physical appearance of the deceased for the benefit of surviving family m embers.
  • Preparation for Disposition: The various methods and means of disposition of the dead human body are explored, including how the handling, treatment and disposition of the body meets the sociological, psychological, theological, physical and legal requirements of family and community.
  • Funeral Service Sciences: The funeral service sciences focus on  those systems providing  the foundation for  embalming, pathology, public health and restorative arts; the chemical principles and precautions involved in the  preservation  and disinfection of the dead human body; the basic principles of microbiology as they pertain to sanitation, disinfection, public health, and embalming practice; and those conditions which relate to or affect the embalm i ng or restorative art process.

*Note: With permission of the American Board of Funeral Service Education, these Program Outcomes are based on the ABFSE Curriculum Guidelines Subject Descriptions.


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Associate in Science Degree in Funeral Service, students are able to:

  • 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 disposition of remains.
  • 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.