Mortuary Science – AAS

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

Students applying for admission to the Mortuary Science (MS) program at the University of the District of Columbia Community College should contact the District of Columbia Board of Funeral Directors regarding its approval of this particular program of instruction.

The MS program at the University of the District of Columbia Community College is a candidate for accreditation with the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). Accreditation is required for a student to be eligible to take the National Board Examination. If the MS program obtains accreditation with the ABFSE, the effective date shall be the date that candidacy was awarded. Students who complete all coursework after the date candidacy is awarded but before accreditation is obtained will be permitted to take the National Board Examination after accreditation is obtained and, with all requirements completed, be considered graduates from an ABFSE accredited program. (more info)

Program currently ineligible for Federal Title IV Aid

Thank you for your interest in the Mortuary Science Program.  The program is accepting applications for its Fall 2017 enrollment.   Pre-requisites for admission to the Mortuary Science Program are offered at the Community College (801 North Capitol Street NE).   Core courses are offered at the Van Ness Campus (4200 Connecticut Avenue NW, Building 44).

The program’s mission is to provide students with a comprehensive education in mortuary science and prepare graduates to enter the funeral service profession as competent funeral service practitioners.  It is designed to encompass the managerial and technical aspects of funeral service and its allied areas.  It also provides the basis for further study in thanatology, pathology, grief counseling, postmortem examination, forensic psychology, and mortuary science instructor.  Careers in mortuary science include jobs such as: funeral director, embalmer, autopsy technician, and funeral merchandise marketing.

The mission of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Mortuary Science at the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC CC) is to prepare competent practitioners to meet the funeral service-related needs of the diverse citizenry of the District of Columbia and for society at large. Graduates are able to practice in a variety of settings and attend to funeral service needs of all age groups with respect to the disposition of human remains.

Aims and Objectives of the Mortuary Science Program 

  1.  The central aims of the funeral service program are to prepare industry personnel who are:
    1. Members of a human services profession;
    2. Members of the community in which they serve;
    3. Participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession;
    4. Professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic area where they practice as well as,
    5. Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.
  1. The objectives of the program are:
    1. To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession;
    2. To educate students in every phase of funeral service and to help enable them to develop proficiency and skills necessary for the profession, as defined in the Preamble at the beginning of this chapter;
    3. To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large;
    4. To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct;
    5. To provide a curriculum at the postsecondary level of instruction; and
    6. To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate compassionate, fair, and ethical regard for the bereaved and the members of the community being served.
  2. Understand and execute all aspects of embalming techniques, including anatomy, sanitation, preservation, and restoration of the body for public view and final disposition.
  3. Recognize and adhere to all OSHA Regulations and Standards governing public health and safety in the funeral industry workplace.
  4. Articulate and demonstrate knowledge that governs professionalism and sound funeral business management practices, which includes FTC Rules and Regulations.
  5. Assemble, formulate, and submit appropriate and complete information for death certificates, obituaries, and other necessary forms and documents using appropriate technologies.
  6. Demonstrate ethical practices in the conduct of every aspect of the funeral service profession.

Graduates are able to practice in a variety of settings and attend to funeral service needs of all age groups with respect to human remains.

Program of Study | Mortuary Science Student Handbook | Faculty | UDC Library HoldingsMortuary Science Advisory Board |  | Resources | University Student Handbook | Student Complaints | Sexual Harassment Policy | Grade Appeal Policy | Anti-Bullying Policy | Tuition and Fees

Mortuary Science Advisory Board

The UDC-CC Mortuary Science Program Advisory Board functions to support the program in remaining abreast of practices and further developments in the industry.

Comprised of a wide variety of funeral service professionals,as well as other community members, the Board provides support in the form of information regarding the latest trends in the funeral service industry, recommendations regarding the hiring of faculty, a range of resources, and other support services to the program. Many of the practicum (clinical) experiences for students are provided in the funeral homes that are owned and operated by many of our advisory board members. The practicum sites are inspected to ensure compliance with local regulations and Program requirements. (Exhibit 2._Clinical Site Inspection Form).

The Mortuary Science Advisory Board Members are:

  1. Mr. Duane L. Calloway, CHAIR Interim Program Director, Mortuary Science
  2. Mr. John Kirksey, Vice CHAIR Professor
  3. Ms. Michelle Chandler, SECRETARY Student Alumni Member
  4. Dr. Tony Summers, Chief Community College Officer, UDC-CC (ex-officio)
  5. Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, Dean, Office of Academic Affairs (ex-officio)
  6. Dr. Naciem Yousif and Dr. Bushra Ahmad Saeed, Program Coordinators, Allied Health, Life and Physical Sciences (ex-officio)
  7. Dr. Roger Mitchell, District of Columbia Chief Medical Examiner
  8. Mr. Donnell Harvin, Assistant to the District of Columbia Medical Examiner
  9. Ms. Lynn Armstrong Patterson, Funeral Director, President of D.C. Board of Funeral Directors and Owner – Bianchi Funeral Services
  10. Mr. Zebulon Brooks, Funeral Director
  11. Mr. Shelton Hackett, Funeral Director, Owner, Hackett’s Funeral Home
  12. Mr. Duane Hills, President of Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC
  13. Ms. Belva Jenkins, Funeral Director, Co-owner, Johnson & Jenkins & J.B. Jenkins Funeral Homes
  14. Mr. Lawrence Johnson, Jr.,  Funeral Director
  15. Mr. Geary Powell, Business Owner, Arlington Chemical Company
  16. Mr. Phillip Powell, Co-owner, Arlington Chemical Company
  17. Mrs. Michelle Wiseman, Funeral Director, Owner, Wiseman’s Funeral Chapel
  18. Dr. Joanna Ellsberry, Adjunct Professor
  19. Mr. Lenard Kent, Adjunct Professor
  20. Ms. Vernika Roberts, Current Student Member

Advisory Board By-Laws | Meeting Minutes (May 2017)

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UDC Library Holdings

To explore career opportunities and employment trends

Epsilon Nu Delta (Mortuary Fraternity)

National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, Inc.

National Funeral Directors Association

District of Columbia Board of Funeral Directors

Maryland Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors

Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers

Virginia Funeral Directors Association

Maryland State Funeral Directors Association

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Name Title Email Phone Location
Duane L. Calloway,  MA, FD Acting Program Director 202.274.5858 Bldg 44, Suite 200-28
John Kirksey, MPA, FD Associate Professor 202.274.5929 Bldg 44, Suite 200-25
Lenard Kent, BA, FD Adjunct Professor 202.274.5651 Bldg 44, Suite 200-25
Joanna Ellsberry, JD, FD Adjunct Professor 202.274.5651 Bldg 44, Suite 200-25