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1819 N. Main St.
San Antonio TX, 78212
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    San Antonio College
  Jul 23, 2017
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San Antonio College Schedule/Catalog 2012-2013 [Archived Catalog]

Mortuary Science

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Felix B. Gonzales, Chairperson
NTC 124, 210-486-1137

The Mortuary Science Program is the first college-based funeral service education program to be offered in Texas. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree Program at San Antonio College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), located at 3414 Ashland Ave., Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506, 816-233-3747,  Membership is maintained in the University Mortuary Science Education Association. Students achieving the standards for the curriculum are conferred the AAS Degree in Mortuary Science by the college and are eligible for examination by the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) and the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (ICFSEB) and provisional licensure registration.  A student seeking licensure in the state of Texas should refer to the TFSC at and confer with a faculty advisor.

The Mortuary Science Department at San Antonio College has as its central aim recognition of 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, and local regulatory guidelines.
  • Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.

The department’s 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 help 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 research in the field of funeral service.

The Mortuary Science Department also offers a Funeral Directing Certificate. This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs. It is not accredited by the ABFSE owing to the fact that it does not include instruction in embalming, restorative art, microbiology, pathology, chemistry, and anatomy. Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination (NBE) or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE-accredited program is required. However, the certificate is recognized by the TFSC. The commission will accept successful completion of the Texas State Board of Funeral Directing exam for registration as a provisional funeral director licensee.

Students enrolled in mortuary science courses which include external learning experiences are required to comply with the program dress code. A copy of this dress code will be provided when the interview for admission is conducted. Students are also required to purchase personal protective equipment for courses in which exposure to biohazards exists.

Courses must be taken according to a degree plan or as indicated by a faculty advisor. Beginning in Fall 2010, each student will be required to take and pass the NBE as a requirement of graduation from the Mortuary Science Program. The Mortuary Science Department at San Antonio College requires any student seeking graduation to take the NBE within 30 days from the last official day of the semester or session in which course work is completed and satisfactorily passed for the associate degree to be posted in that semester. A student who does not take the NBE as provided in the foregoing statement must re-apply for graduation prior to the deadline for the next semester or session and must satisfy NBE preparation protocols that are in effect at that particular time.

Effective in Fall, 2010, a grade of B is established as the minimum grade in any course whose number and title are preceded by the letters MRTS. Any single examination score in any MRTS course lower than 75% is recorded as a zero. Additionally, a grade of C or higher is required for the following courses contained in the Associate in Applied Science in Mortuary Science degree:

  •     BIOL 2370 or MDCA 1302
  •     BIOL 2404
  •     BIOL 2420
  •     PSYT 1325 or SOCI 1370

Letter grades are based on percentage values as follow:

  •     A = 93-100%
  •     B = 84-92%
  •     C = 75-83%
  •     D = 66-74%
  •     F = 00-65%

No credit shall be allowed for any MRTS course that was attempted longer than five years prior to any current enrollment, irrespective of the grade earned. No credit shall be allowed for the courses listed in the preceding paragraph, irrespective of the grade earned.

A minimum period of one year must elapse before any MRTS course is attempted for the second time. Any MRTS course that is attempted for the second time and that does meet the minimum grading requirements of the Mortuary Science Department will cause the student to be dismissed from the Department.

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:

Funeral Director Certificate Program: 33-Hour Certificate

This certificate option is designed for those individuals who desire to practice only funeral directing in the state of Texas. If a student so desires, he or she may return to earn the AAS Degree in Mortuary Science. This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs. It is not accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE-accredited program is required. For further information, please see the individual program’s enrollment and admission requirements.

Admissions Information

Students must do the following no later than one month prior to the anticipated enrollment date:

  • Submit an application for admission to the program.
  • Arrange for an admissions interview with the department chair or faculty advisor.
  • Provide proof of graduation from high school (or proof of GED).
  • Submit transcripts of previous college credits.
  • Provide proof of a complete hepatitis B vaccination series (or submit a Waiver/Declination Form).
  • Present proof of entry-level competencies established by an acceptable assessment (such as Accuplacer, etc.).
  • Present a counseling card from the Department of Counseling and Student Development.

Programs and Courses - Mortuary Science


Mortuary Science


Associate of Applied Science

Level I Certificate


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