May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog 
2023-2024 College Catalog

Mortuary Science, A.A.S.

Associate in Applied Science
HEGIS #5299.20
Department Chairperson: Lori Q. Purcell
Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center, Room 011, (518) 629-7334

The Mortuary Science degree program is designed to educate graduates as contemporary funeral directors capable of performing current caretaking and managerial roles.

Successful completion of the Mortuary Science degree program entitles the student to sit for the national board examination and/or a state board. The Mortuary Science associate degree program at Hudson Valley Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097; (816) 233-3747; The program is approved and registered with the New York State Department of Health.

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. 

ABFSE Directory of Programs-New York

All program students must register with the New York State Department of Health within 15 days of program acceptance and will not be allowed to begin any Mortuary Science course without such. Any student denied registration will be withdrawn from the program.

Students are required to take the National Board Examination within one semester (including summer) of completion of all courses required for the Mortuary Science degree program. In order to receive approval to take the NBE exam beyond the one semester limit, students are required to retake and pass the MTSC 250 Pre-Professional Mortuary Seminar  course.

All National Board Examination results can be found at the American Board website.

After passing the National Board Examination with a satisfactory grade, the prospective New York State funeral director must then serve one year as a registered resident before becoming a licensed funeral director.

Transfer students may be able to complete the program in less than four terms with proper planning and advisement preceding enrollment.

State Licensure Notice

All applicants must meet the legal and educational requirements prescribed by the laws of the state in which they intend to practice. Review the different state requirements for the most up to date information. Below are list of the New England and Northeast states with their respective state licensure links. Disclosure of the intended State of Licensure is the responsibility of the student.

New York
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
All Licensing Boards & Requirements Link

Admission Procedures

Admission to the Mortuary Science program will require a complete application for admission to be on file at the Admissions Office no later than Feb. 1 if a student wishes to be a candidate for admission. Qualified applications received after Feb. 1 will be considered on a space available basis. Applications are accepted for admission into the fall term only and are determine through a qualified selective admission process.

Applicants should mail their applications to the Admissions Office well in advance of the Feb. 1 deadline to assure receipt of all materials. For more information, contact the Admissions Office.

Please note additional policies regarding Heath Science programs: Unsatisfactory pre-clinical, clinical, practicum and academic performance will result in students being dismissed from a health science program. The respective health science program faculty will make all recommendations for readmission. All decisions will be based upon an individual student review process. Readmission will require students to successfully repeat previous clinical, practicum and/or academic courses that faculty require. In addition, if a student is dismissed from the program, the student may be required to provide evidence of growth in necessary areas as identified by the faculty at the time of dismissal. Dismissed students must reapply under the program’s current admission procedure. Students who fail any MTSC science course will be required to repeat all previous co-requisite and pre-requisite courses required for that course.

Once a student has been readmitted to a program, core curricular courses must be completed in term sequence without interruption. Any student who misses a term may not be permitted to continue in the program.

Students who are dismissed from Health Science Programs at Hudson Valley or other institutions due to inappropriate or dangerous clinical behavior and/or personal misconduct during patient interactions will not be allowed admission to any Hudson Valley Health Science program or Health Science course with a clinical component. A notation will be placed on the student’s academic transcript indicating the student was dismissed from the Mortuary Science degree program.

Statement of Purpose For The Mortuary Science Department

The Mortuary Science Department at Hudson Valley Community College is dedicated to the single purpose of educating and preparing students for entry into the funeral service profession.

Program 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.

ACTG 100 , BADM 110 , BADM 200 MTSC 134 , PSYC 100 , and SOCL elective must have been taken within five years in order to be applicable toward this degree program. Mortuary Science courses must be taken at Hudson Valley.

Program Entrance Requirements

Courses Entry Term Special Notes H.S. Average
Algebra or 1 unit of equivalent academic math, biology and chemistry w/labs (a grade of “B” or better in each course; courses must have been taken within five years) OR HVCC BIOL 109 Biology of The Human Organism  and HVCC CHEM 095 Essentials of Chemistry  (a grade of “B” or better in each course; courses must have been taken within five years) Fall only Social science electives recommended. 80 or above

The estimated cost of books for the student enrolled in the first full-time term as outlined would be approximately $605.

Total Credits Required: 70

Major Requirements*

*or specific course equivalents as approved by Department Chairperson.
**A grade of “B” or better in selected MTSC courses is required for program completion.
***A grade of “C” or better is required for program completion.

Total Credits Required: 70

Suggested Course Sequence for Full-Time Study