Funeral Service Education

Are you interested in the funeral services program? Fill out our interest form.

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education program is designed to prepare the student for a career as a funeral director and embalmer. Coursework equips the student with a broad understanding of funeral home operations, funeral directing, public health, and embalming, covering everything from the business fundamentals of the industry to grief counseling.

The Funeral Service Education Program is approved by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Committee on Colleges (SACS-COC) and is a candidate for accreditation by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

After the funeral service program is accredited, graduates will be eligible to take the National Board Examination. Graduates must successfully complete an apprenticeship and the State of Tennessee funeral service law exam to become a licensed funeral director or embalmer.

CAUTION: Students applying for admission to the Funeral Service Program at Southwest Tennessee Community College should contact their respective state licensing agency regarding that state agency’s approval of this particular program of instruction.


Classes are offered at our Whitehaven Center, 1234 Finley Road.


The program will have 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, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic areas where they practice
  • Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains

Learning Outcomes

The program will have at least the following learning outcomes:

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

Want More Information?

How to Apply

Apply now at our apply online page.

Financial Aid

Students who meet certain requirements are eligible to attend tuition-free through the successful application of federal and state-funded financial aid programs including Pell, Tennessee Hope, Promise and Reconnect scholarships.

Access the Finanical Aid page for more information.

Contact Information

Chair: Ron Johnson
Phone: (901) 333-4122

Whitehaven Center
1234 Finley Rd.
Memphis, Tennessee 38116

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson, Funeral Service Education Chair