Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Vincennes University Catalog 
2023-2024 Vincennes University Catalog

Funeral Service Education 6050, A.S. Career/Tech

A Two-Year Program Leading to the A.S. Degree

This program adheres to the institutional commitment to student success in both human development and achievement of educational goals. The challenge is met by providing a comprehensive program, which includes a wide variety of educational experiences aimed at developing skills necessary for practice in funeral service, as well as knowledge that is basic to the ideal of good citizenship. This program enables students to develop the proficiency and skill necessary for entry level placement in funeral service. It also addresses those measures of public health and ethical conduct required to uphold and foster the dignity of funeral service. The program will adhere to ethical practices in all student-related matters. Upon completion of their studies at Vincennes University, the funeral service education students will be able to comply with the goals of the program. The goals of the funeral service program are: 1) the student will demonstrate the cognitive knowledge necessary for satisfactory performance in an entry-level funeral service position; 2) the student will demonstrate an ability to perform basic embalming techniques; 3) the student will be able to apply the cognitive knowledge in a practical setting working in an entry-level funeral service position; and 4) encourage students and faculty to perform research in the field of funeral service. Successful completion of the A.S. Program allows students to transfer to a baccalaureate institution.

The Funeral Service Education Degree Program at Vincennes University is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ  08097 (816) 233-3747. Website: www.abfse.org

National Board Examination scores, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org. To request a printed copy of this program’s scores and rates, go to the Funeral Service Education Degree Program office, located in the Center for Health Sciences building, Room 215, or by email at hshp@vinu.edu, or by telephone at 812-888-5469.

All students, including Distance Education students, will be required to travel to approved Indiana preceptor locations to complete required embalmings, embalming certification, and the restorative art principles application review during the final spring semester of the program. Students will schedule the embalmings with preceptors at approved sites with permission of the Program Chair. Students are required to complete a minimum of 10 embalmings under Preceptor and Chair supervision. 


The Vincennes University Funeral Service Education Degree Program recognizes the importance of funeral service personnel as:

  • Members of a human services profession.
  • Members of the community in which they serve.
  • Participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession.
  • Professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic area where they practice.
  • Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.


The Vincennes University Funeral Service Education Degree Program objectives are to:

  • Enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  • Educate students in every phase of funeral service, and to enable them to develop the proficiency and skills necessary for the profession.
  • Educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large.
  • Emphasize high standards of ethical conduct.
  • Provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction.
  • Encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of an accredited program, students will be 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 ceremonies.
  • 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.

Admission Requirements

  1. Meet admission requirements for the University.
  2. Qualify for minimum placement into MATT 109  with no co-requisite as determined by appropriate placement tests, or receive appropriate transfer credit.
  3. Qualify for placement into ENGL 101  with no co-requisite or higher as determined by appropriate placement tests, or receive appropriate transfer credit.
  4. Applicants with a GED may be admitted based on appropriate placement scores.
  5. Hold no grade less than a C in any required course in the Funeral Service Education Curriculum.
  6. GPA Requirements
    a.   High School students must have a high school GPA of at least 2.3.
    b.   Students with completed college level courses must hold a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

Orientation Information

Admitted students will be required to attend a virtual Funeral Service Education Degree Program orientation the Friday before classes begin. Students selected for admission will be provided additional details via email.


Compliance with all criteria does not guarantee admission to the program. 

Students that are selected for admission to the program will need to meet additional requirements in order to begin the program. These requirements for FSE include, but are not limited to:

  1. Submitting required health forms/immunizations as directed.
  2. Submitting Student Handbook Signature Page.

Criminal History Statement

Students who have a felony conviction could be denied by licensing boards to obtain a funeral director/embalmer license. It is the student’s responsibility to investigate board policies in advance of applying for the Funeral Service Education Degree Program.

Standards for Progression and Graduation

  1. Funeral Service Education students must achieve a minimum grade of C in each Funeral Service Education (FNRL) course, and Science course and maintain a 2.0 semester average, based on grade point average (GPA) for current semester.
  2. Age limits on courses:  Only BIOL 107 - Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology  and  BIOL 107L - Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory ; CHEM 110 - General, Organic and Biochemistry  and  CHEM 110L - General, Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory ; and BIOL 205 - Survey of Microbiology  taken less than five years prior to admission to the Funeral Service Education Program will be considered for credit.

Readmission Standards

Readmission standards apply to any student that was unsuccessful in passing or withdrew from an FSE course (FNRL) following admission into the Program or any student failing to maintain the Standards for Progression and Graduation.

  1. Applicants may be readmitted to the program one time only.
  2. Applicants seeking to reenter the program at the point in which they withdrew, must reenter the program within one year and complete the program within 3 years total. Otherwise, the student may apply for readmission, if eligible, to begin the program in its entirety.
  3. The effective catalog for students readmitted to the program in courses beyond the first semester will be the effective catalog at the time of the first admission.
  4. Qualified applicants will be readmitted on a space-available basis. In the event that the number of applicants exceeds available space, positions may be offered to applicants with higher qualifications.
  5. Applicants for readmission must submit a readmission application by the deadline established by the Funeral Service Education Department.
  6. All applicants must have a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 in order to be considered for readmission.
  7. Applicants that have received a grade less than a C in more than one Funeral Service Education course are not eligible to reapply for admissions.
  8. Students not successfully completing FNRL 130  must reapply to the program and will be considered alongside all other applicants.
  9. Applications are reviewed on an individual basis by the Funeral Service Education Department.
  10. In accordance with the University Grievance Policy, applicants who believe they have extenuating circumstances to these readmission standards may submit a letter of appeal to the Funeral Service Education Department Admissions Committee to explain the situation.

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Total Hours: 67