Mortuary Science – AAS

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science


The Mortuary Science associate degree program at the University of District of Columbia 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. Web:

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this program are available at

To request a printed copy of this program’s pass rates, please email the Program Director, visit the Mortuary Science Program at 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Building 44, Suite 200-28, Washington, DC 20008 or call 202-274-5651.

Thank you for your interest in the Associate Mortuary Science Program.  Annually, the program application cycle begins November 1st and closes March 1st. Please contact the Program Director for an application. Pre-requisites for admission to the Mortuary Science Program are offered at the Community College (5171 South Dakota Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017).   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 to prepare graduates to enter the funeral service profession to serve the diverse citizenry of the District of Columbia and for society at large.  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, post-mortem examination, forensic psychology, and mortuary science.  Careers in mortuary science include funeral director, embalmer, autopsy technician, and funeral merchandise marketing.


Upon completion of the UDC-CC Mortuary Science Program, students will be able to:

1. Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.

2. Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.

3. Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.

4. Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.

5. Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.

6. Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies

7. Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.

8. Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.

9. Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment

10.  Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice.

Application | 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 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, and additional resources and services. Many of the practicum (clinical) experiences for students are provided in the funeral homes that are owned and operated by our advisory board members. The practicum sites are inspected to ensure compliance with local regulations and program requirements.

The Mortuary Science Advisory Board Members are:

  1. John Kirksey, Assistant Professor, Program Director
  2. Marilyn Hamilton, Dean of Academic Affairs (ex-officio)
  3. Bushra Ahmad Saeed, Division Director, Division of Nursing, Allied Health, Life and Physical Sciences (ex-officio)
  4. Francis Diaz, District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  5. Lynn Armstrong Patterson, Former President, D.C. Board of Funeral Directors; Owner, Bianchi Funeral Service
  6. Shelton Hackett, Owner and Funeral Director, Hackett’s Funeral Home
  7. Duane Hills, Funeral Director and President, Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC
  8. Belva Jenkins, Owner and Funeral Director, Johnson & Jenkins Funeral Home & J.B. Jenkins Funeral Home
  9. Lawrence Johnson, Jr., Funeral Director
  10. Geary Powell, Business Owner, Arlington Chemical Company
  11. Phillip Powell, Owner, Arlington Chemical Company
  12. Michelle Wiseman, Owner and Principal Mortician, Wiseman Funeral Home and Chapel
  13. Lenard Kent, Alumni
  14. Donna Horton, R.N. Horton’s Funeral Service
  15. Dr. Martin Burks, Alumna
  16. Ernest Boykin, Consumer Advisor
  17. Brian L. Cable, Location Leader Rapp Funeral Home and Services, MD and VA
  18. Melanie Galloway, Funeral Director, Virginia
  19. Derrick Slocum, Slocum Funeral Services, Maryland
  20. Johnny Johnson, Funeral Director, Owner of Horizon Funeral Home, Virginia
  21. Tiffany Johnson, Student Representative

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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 (202) Location
John Kirksey, MPA, FD Program Director 274.5929 Bldg 44, Suite 200-25
Dr. Donna Austin Assistant Professor


The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Mortuary Science Program at the University of the District of Columbia meets the state education requirements for a Funeral Director’s license in the states of Virginia and Maryland and the District of Columbia. The University of the District of Columbia has not determined if its AAS Mortuary Science Program meets the state education requirements in any other state or any U.S. Territory. Contact the state regulatory agency for any other state or U.S. Territory to determine whether completion of the licensure program at the University of the District of Columbia meets such state requirements  BEFORE applying for admission to the University of the District of Columbia’s AAS Mortuary Science program.