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Funeral Services AAS

The template below is for students declaring a major for the catalog year 2018-19. The Advising Sheet Archive contains printable advising sheets for the catalog years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19. Students already with a declared major should view their advising report in SIS for appropriate course selection.

Submit an Application for the Funeral Services Program   »

Applications for the funeral services program are accepted March 1 - May 15 for fall admission.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

C Career & technical education programs for job training = Career & technical education programs for job training, guided by Advisory Committees


The Funeral Services Program is designed to provide the necessary technical skills, academic background, hands-on experience, and professional attitudes that will help the student become a fully-licensed funeral director and embalmer. The Funeral Services Program aims are to help students:

  1. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as members of a human services profession.
  2. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as members of the community in which they serve.
  3. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession.
  4. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic area where they practice.
  5. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.

The Funeral Services Program objectives 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.
  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 post-secondary level of instruction.
  6. To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral services.

Graduates of the funeral services program will be able to:

  1. Describe the service needs for the pre-need, at-need, and aftercare time frames by evaluating the needs of those who are making funeral arrangements.
  2. Create and plan activities and ceremonies designed to meet the needs of those who mourn.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of funeral and cremation memorialization and merchandise options.
  4. Conduct an analysis of the human remains to determine the proper current embalming and restorative art procedures.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of safety requirements when working in the preparation room.
  6. List necessary information for death certificates.
  7. Demonstrate understanding of legal, professional, and ethical issues regarding funeral service.
  8. Demonstrate the "soft skills" required to be an effective member of the funeral service profession including having effective verbal and written communication skills, collegiality, and a professional work ethic and behavior.


The Funeral Services Degree Program at John Tyler 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: and is approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia  Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.

Graduation rates, employment rates, and the annual passage rate of first-time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the ABFSE web site.

Initial/Last/Next Accreditation: 1973/2015/2018

Program Information - John Tyer Community College

Year Total Enrolled # of New
# of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation Rate Did Not Finish ** Overall % Employed Employed In FS
2016 88 67 14 12/14 86% 27 86% 64%
2015 61 20 31 23/31 79% 2 68% 55%
2014 67 29 23 19/23 82% 2 74% 61%

* Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.

** Left before completing the program; did not finish.

National Board Statistics - John Tyler Community College

3 Year Average % Pass Arts % Pass Sciences
2016 - 2014 75% 58%
2015 - 2013 69% 56%
2014 - 2012 63% 53%
Most Recent # Takers # Passed
2016 Arts 11 7
2016 Sciences 12 8

To request a printed copy of this program’s rates, go to Moyar Hall, Room 117 D (Chester Campus) or by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 706-5066.

Unique Aspects of the Funeral Services Program

The funeral services program at John Tyler has been in existence for over 45 years, and is one of two funeral services programs in Virginia. Because there are limited options for studying funeral services in the Commonwealth, the College’s program is designed to be accommodating for students who may be traveling for class and/or working while enrolled in the program. Traditional classroom funeral services courses at John Tyler are offered in a one-day-a-week format, rather than the traditional two- or three-day-a-week format. This type of scheduling alleviates the need for students to attend classes on the Chester Campus more than three times per week. In addition, the program offers some evening courses and courses during the summer semester. The program has an on-site embalming lab, used to train students through hands-on experiences. We also have affiliation agreements with Mountain Empire Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College and Blue Ridge Community College where students in those areas can access our courses on those campuses via compressed video.


Program Requirements and Special Conditions

  1. Students must contact the Advising Center about placement in the Funeral Services Program. In addition to completing a general application to JTCC, students must also complete a Funeral Services Program Interest Form before being placed into the Funeral Services Program. Students who do not meet the requirements for full admission to the Program (see below) will be provisionally admitted.
  2. To be considered for full admission into the Program, students must:
    1. Be 18 years of age or older.
    2. Complete all the non-FNS classes as well as FNS 110, FNS 121 (or its equivalent BIO 145) and CHM 110 with a grade of “C” or better.
    3. Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in all courses that count toward the A.A.S. in Funeral Services. Multiple course attempts will be averaged.
    4. All official transcripts from high school and other colleges attended must be received by the registrar prior to full admission.
    5. Must provide documentation of completion of the Hepatitis-B vaccination series (have completed two of three doses) prior to beginning FNS 113, FNS 114 or FNS 214. Students who do not wish to receive the Hepatitis-B vaccination must sign a declination statement.
  3. If there are a limited number of slots for full-admission into the A.A.S. in Funeral Services Program, students will be ranked by GPA and whether they are currently employed in a funeral home. Students who are missing a few pre-requisite courses, with the exception of FNS 110, FNS 121 or its equivalent and CHM 110 may be considered for admission if space is available.
  4. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue in the Program. Students who fail to receive a minimum grade of “C” in any two courses with the prefix FNS will be removed from the Program. A minimum grade of “C” is required for all courses in the Funeral Services Program.
  5. Once receiving full admission into the Funeral Services Program, full-time students will have 4 semesters (including summer) to complete the Program. Part-time students must complete the Program within 6 semesters (including summer).  Exceptions may be made by the Funeral Services Dept. Chair on a case-by-case basis.
  6. All Funeral Services courses taken previously at JTCC or any other ABFSE accredited program must have been completed within 5 years of applying for full admission to the Program.

printer iconPrintable Advising Sheet

Required Courses CR. Pre-requisite Courses Co-requisite Courses Approved Course Substitutions
Students who have not completed the following 12 Pre-FNS courses will be admitted to the Funeral Services Program on a Provisional Basis (see Note 1)
ACC 211 Principles of Accounting I 3     ACC 105
BUS 100 Introduction to Business 3      
BUS 241 Business Law I 3      
CHM 110 Survey of Chemistry 3      
ENG 111 College Composition I 3      
FNS 121 Anatomy for Funeral Service I 3     BIO 145
FNS 110 Introduction to Funeral Service 2      
PSY 116 Psychology of Death and Dying 3      
REL 230 Religions of the World 3      
SDV 100 College Success Skills 1     SDV 101
SOC 200 Principles of Sociology 3      
MILESTONE: Students who complete the above courses are eligible to apply for full admission into the A.A.S. in Funeral Services Program (see Note 2)
FNS 111 Theory of Embalming I 3 Full Admission to FNS Program FNS 113  
FNS 113 Theory of Embalming Laboratory I 1 Full Admission to FNS Program FNS 111  
FNS 112 Theory of Embalming II 3 FNS 111, FNS 113 FNS 114  
FNS 114 Theory of Embalming Laboratory II 1 FNS 111, FNS 113 FNS 112  
FNS 125 Microbiology for Funeral Service 3 Full Admission to FNS Program    
FNS 126 Pathology for Funeral Service 3 Full Admission to FNS Program    
FNS 213 Restorative Art 3 Full Admission to FNS Program    
FNS 214 Restorative Art Technical Applications 1 FNS 213    
FNS 231 Principles of Funeral Management I 4 Full Admission to FNS Program    
FNS 232 Principles of Funeral Management II 4 FNS 231    
FNS 236 Funeral Service Law 3 Full Admission to FNS Program    
FNS 270 Funeral Service Review 3 See Note 3    
FNS 290 Coordinated Internship 1 See Note 3    
Total Minimum Credits to Complete 63  


  1. General education courses and prerequisite courses can be taken in any order.
  2. Completion of the general education, FNS 110, FNS 121 and CHM 110 courses does not guarantee full admission to the Funeral Services Program (see admission requirements above).
  3. FNS 270 and FNS 290 can only be taken in the last semester. Students must have approval to take these courses from the Funeral Services Program department chair.
  4. In order to receive the Funeral Service license in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an individual must:
    • Complete an accredited program of mortuary science or funeral services;
    • Pass the National Board Examination for funeral services as administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining with a minimum score of 75 on the Arts Section and 75 on the Science Section.
    • Complete a 3000-hour internship with a licensed funeral services provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia as prescribed by the Regulations of the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers; and
    • Pass the Virginia State Board Examination after completing the educational requirements, the internship, applying and being approved by the Board.
  5. For additional information on this program, contact the Division of Mathematics, Natural and Health Sciences at 804-706-5084 (Chester) or 804-594-1500 (Midlothian).

Additional Resources

FNS Application   »

Your Right to Know

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia requires colleges to provide information on graduation rates. The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to publish gainful employment consumer information for career/technical programs.

Get More Information:
Division of Mathematics, Natural and Health Sciences
Chester: 804-706-5084
Midlothian: 804-594-1500

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