Liberal Arts AA and AS Degrees

Emphasis Area – Pre-Mortuary Science

Working as a funeral director requires various skills including meeting and consoling families requiring funeral services for their loved one, business skills, and embalming skills. Mortuary science programs prepare students for careers in the funeral industry.

Mortuary science programs typically require students to complete a two-year degree (or equivalent) before starting their program. Hawkeye's Liberal Arts - AA degree Pre-Mortuary Science emphasis provides the proper background to start a mortuary program.

The recommended courses below will help provide you with an appropriate background for mortuary course work, as well as some of the challenges of being a funeral director.

Planning Your Class Schedule

Students should consult with an advisor in Student Services or a faculty advisor to select courses, make a transfer plan, and periodically review their progress towards their degree completion.

Students are also encouraged to contact the admissions office at the college to which they plan to transfer during their first year at Hawkeye in order to obtain specific program and transfer requirements.

Not all courses may be required for or transfer to your future major.

Courses and course cost calculations are subject to change.

General Education courses
Course has a prerequisite and/or corequisite. See the course description for more details.

Pre-Mortuary Science Transfer Courses
BIO163 Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology 4 $711.00
BUS102 Introduction to Business * -OR- 3 $533.25
BUS180 Business Ethics * 3 $533.25
CHM122 Introduction to General Chemistry 4 $711.00
CSC110 Introduction to Computers * 3 $533.25
PSY111 Introduction to Psychology 3 $533.25
REL101 Survey of World Religions 3 $533.25
SOC110 Introduction to Sociology 3 $533.25
SOC135 Death and Dying 3 $533.25
SOC205 Diversity in America 3 $533.25
* Recommended courses, but do not count towards your Liberal Arts Core requirement.

Course Cost Calculation:
2017–2018 resident tuition and fees x course credits + course fee if applicable.

The course cost calculation does not include:

Funeral Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on various careers including how much growth in employment will be occurring in the field.

Career Coach

Explore local data on wages, employment, job postings, and more!

Schooling Required to Become a State Licensed Funeral Director

To become a state licensed funeral director a student must complete one to two years of mortuary coursework in a mortuary program and then pass the National Board Exam.

A one year internship at a funeral home is required in Iowa and neighboring states.

Volunteer work at a funeral home is recommended before a student starts their mortuary program. The pre-mortuary advisor can help to arrange this service work.

Mortuary Programs in the Region

Des Moines Area Community College – DMACC Des Moines, IA
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
Worsham College Wheeling, IL

Program Contacts

Department Secretary

Emily Oldfather
Grundy Hall 266
Email me

Faculty Mentor

Patrick Ashwood
Black Hawk Hall 108
319-296-2329 ext.1113
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Student Success Specialist

Kay Wenzel
Grundy Hall 285
319-296-2329 ext.1063
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Academic Advisor

J. Heim
Student Services
Hawkeye Center 208
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Cynthia Bottrell
Grundy Hall 266
Email me