Mortuary Science

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates
Department: Protective Services
Institute: Public Service
College: SAC

What is the program?

An educational and training opportunity for those seeking a career in the expanding death-care industry.

What will I learn?

A funeral director/embalmer works with the bereaved, providing sensitive, effective intervention during a time of emotional need. He/she is a professional caregiver who enables families and communities to express their concern for life and the living. The embalmer will prepare human remains according to the wishes of the survivors and the requirements of the law. 

What can I do with this course of study?

Students achieving the standards for the curriculum are conferred the Associate in Applied Science in Mortuary Science degree by the college and are eligible for examination by the Texas Funeral Service Commission and the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards and provisional licensure registration.

What's special about the program?

The Mortuary Science Department is the first college-based funeral service education program to be offered in Texas. Our Department was established in 1961. Membership is maintained in the University Mortuary Science Education Association.

First college-based funeral service education program to be offered in Texas

The Mortuary Science, A.A.S. is accredited by the:
American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
Phone: (816) 233-3747

Initial Accreditation 1963 / Last comprehensive review 2017 / Next comprehensive review 2024.

  • Re-accreditation: October 2017 for a period of 7 years.
  • Most recent Accreditation decision: October 2017 re-accreditation with no stipulations.

ABFSE Self-Study 2017 | pdf, 2017
ABFSE Self-Study Onsite Demonstration | pdf, 2017

The Funeral Director, Level II Certificate consists of 33 credit hours: 12 in liberal arts and up to 21 credit hours in the funeral directing curriculum. The certificate program is for those students who want to limit their practice only to funeral directing. This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs. It is not accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education 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 or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE accredited program is required. However, the certificate is recognized by the Texas Funeral Service Commission.

Program Information

Program Information - San Antonio College


Year Total Enrolled # of New Students # of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation Rate** Did not Finish *** Overall % Employed Employed in FS
2021 167 76 26 23/26 88% 2 92% 62%
2020 78 63 15 15/15 100% 1 73% 53%
2019 114 89 24 24/24 100% 1 100% 21%

* Timely graduation = complete program in 1 1/2 times designated program length.
** Graduation rate reflects cohort graduation rate (% of students from original cohort completing in the designated year)
*** Left before completing the program; did not finish

National Board Statistics

National Board Statistics - San Antonio

Single Year School Pass Rate National Pass Rate Single Year School Pass Rate National Pass Rate
2021 Arts 71% 68% Sciences 63% 57%
2020 Arts 91% 73% Sciences 64% 64%
2019 Arts 56% 72% Sciences 52% 63%

Program Accredited by ABFSE: Associate in Applied Science - Mortuary Science
Initial Accreditation 1963 / Last comprehensive review 2017 / Next comprehensive review 2024
     Re-accreditation: October 2017 for period of 7 years.
     Most recent Accreditation decision: October 2017 re-accreditation with no stipulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the program learning outcomes?

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.

Read more about Mortuary Science in our Course Catalog.

How much does tuition cost?

Tuition is based on the amount of credit hours a student is enrolled in per semester and if he/she is a in district/out of district or international student.

For information on tuition rates visit:

How is tuition paid?

Tuition is paid by semester based on the amount of credit hours a student is enrolled in.  He/she may provide payment  either in full, by payment plan, VA benefits, financial or loans. It is recommended to speak to the specific department such as Veteran Affairs or Financial Aid for more details.

I am not a Alamo College student yet, where can I see the course schedule for both Mortuary Science and general education courses?
  1. Visit the following link:  Click here
  2. Once you arrive to the site, click on the term you are seeking to look up classes. (EX: Summer 2018, Fall 2019, etc.) Click submit.
  3. Do not select those listed as CE. These are strictly for continuing education courses only.
  4. Select MRTS for Mortuary Science courses. (Mortuary Science is only offered at San Antonio College)
  5. Click Class Search
  6. Students who are students of the Alamo Colleges District can see the schedule through their ACES account.
Do you offer online courses?

We only offer 1 course, MRTS 1171 Introduction to Technical Procedures, online.

Do you offer evening courses?

The following courses are offered in the evening:

MRTS 1330 Funeral Service Internship Orientation

MRTS 1301 Contemporary  Funeral Service Practices

MRTS 1342 Mortuary Management I

MRTS 2342 Mortuary Management Ii

MRTS 2335 Mortuary Jurisprudence

MRTS 1272 Funeral Service Arts Board Preparation

What are your certificate and degree options?

Our Department offers two career paths a student can choose in our department. Students seeking a career in funeral directing can complete this by choosing the Funeral Director's certificate. Alternatively, students can also seek an Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science. This career option will allow the student to complete curriculum both in funeral directing and embalming.  To see the degree plan for the Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science, click here. To see the Funeral Director's certificate plan, click here. 

Can I just take classes only to become an embalmer?

We do not offer certificate or degree options solely for embalming. In order to complete the embalming part of the curriculum, a student will need to opt for the Mortuary Science Associate of Applied Science Degree. This degree covers both funeral directing and embalming.

Contact Us

Mary Mena
Program Coordinator
Nail Technical Center (NTC) 238A
(210) 486-1136

Mortuary Science Main Office
NTC 238
(210) 486-1131


For Additional Assistance: Call the call center (210) 212-5266



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