Mortuary Science (B.S.)

Mark T. Evely, Program Director

The Mortuary Science degree Program at Wayne State University is accredited by:

The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
(816) 233-3747

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at To request a printed copy of this program's rates, go to Room 114 of the Mortuary Science Building, 5439 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202 or by e-mail at or telephone 313-577-2050.

Wayne State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and complies with its provisions on ethical and responsible conduct as defined in Higher Learning Commission Assumed Practices, Number CRRT.B.10.020.

Program Objectives

  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; and,
  6. To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service.

Program Aims

The Wayne State University Mortuary Science Program recognizes the importance of funeral service personnel as:

  • Members of the 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

Academic Advising and Transcript Evaluations

Academic advising, transcript evaluations, and questions regarding transfer credits are available through email to or by calling 313-577-1716.

Grading Policy

Minimum Grade

Students in the Mortuary Science Program are required to maintain a program curriculum minimum GPA of 2.50 for continued enrollment and satisfactory completion. Your GPA will be calculated at the end of each semester to determine whether continued enrollment is possible. Each class must be passed with a grade of "C" or better. A grade of less than "C" will require that the course be retaken.

Grade of 'F'

A grade of 'F' indicates that required class was failed. No credit will be given for the course. Receiving a grade of F will result in dismissal from the program.

Grade of 'I'

A grade of 'I' indicates that required class and/or laboratory assignments were not completed or submitted as required.The grade is given at the discretion of the instructor in lieu of grading on the assignments submitted during the course. The student is required to meet with the instructor and submit a written Plan of Work confirming the agreement regarding the method, manner and timing of completing the assignments. The incomplete assignments must be completed by the end of the succeeding semester for a grade change to be given for the class. Failure to complete within the succeeding semester will result in a grade change appropriate for the assignments submitted during the class.

The following scale will be used in course grading:

93 - 100% A
90 - 92% A-
87 - 89% B+
83 - 86% B
80 - 82% B-
77 - 79% C+
73 - 76% C
70 - 72% C-
67 - 69% D+
63 - 66% D
60 - 62% D-
below 60% F

Grades may be viewed in Academica. Grades are usually posted within 24 hours of an instructor submitting them. You will receive an e-mail informing you when grades are posted. 

Time Limitations

While students are strongly encouraged to enroll full-time for three consecutive semesters, part-time enrollment will be limited to six consecutive semesters and is permitted only at the discretion of the Mortuary Science Program Admission Committee.


Degree Requirements

The candidate for the Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science must satisfactorily complete:

  1. Sixty-five credits of Professional Prerequisites and General Education requirements listed below;
  2. Fifty-five credits in the Mortuary Science professional program curriculum;
  3. Take both the Arts and Sciences parts of the National Board Examination within sixty days of completion of coursework.

All prerequisite, general education, and professional courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. The overall GPA for the professional courses must be 2.5 or higher.

Pre-professional Program

There are two components of coursework that must be completed prior to beginning the Mortuary Science program: 1) program specific prerequisites; and 2) University General  Education requirements. The professional curriculum in Mortuary Science consists of fifty-five credits, so an applicant must earn sixty-five credits, including the program prerequisites and general education requirements before entering the program. If the General Education and program prerequisites do not add up to sixty-five credits, elective courses must be taken to complete the sixty-five total credits needed prior to entering the program. This sixty-five plus fifty-five formula equals the 120 total credits required for the Bachelor of Science degree. The courses below are listed by their title and course number at Wayne State University. For comparable courses at other colleges, students should consult the Office of Transfer Credit.

Specific mortuary science professional curriculum prerequisites must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better.

Program-Specific Prerequisites

BIO 1510Basic Life Mechanisms 14
BIO 2200Introductory Microbiology5
BIO 2870Anatomy and Physiology5
CHM 1000Chemistry and Your World 14
ACC 3010Introduction to Financial Accounting3
COM 1010Oral Communication: Basic Speech3
COM 3300Business and Professional Presentations3
ENG 1020Introductory College Writing3
ENG 3010Intermediate Writing3
PSY 1010Introductory Psychology 14
PSY 2600Psychology of Social Behavior4
ANT 3100Cultures of the World3
CSC 1000Introduction to Computer Science3

University General Education Requirements

General Education courses are required for every graduate of Wayne State University. Applicants may satisfy the general education requirements in one of the following ways:

  1. earning a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution,
  2. earning an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Liberal Arts (ALA), Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Baccalaureate Studies (ABS) degree from a Michigan community college,
  3. obtaining a Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) stamp, or
  4. obtaining a MACRAO stamp.

The following General Education courses must be satisfied:

Historical Studies (HS)1
American Society and Institutions (AI)1
Social Science (SS)
Foreign Culture (FC)1
Visual and Performing Arts (VP) Philosophy and Letters (PL)
Critical and Analytic Thinking (CT)1


Indicates courses or requirements that may be satisfied by examination or CLEP. Contact the WSU Office of Testing, Evaluation and Research for further information.

Professional Program

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum of 2.50 GPA
  2. All pre-professional coursework must be completed with a grade of "C" or better
  3. All science and math coursework must be completed within six years of the time of application to the professional program.
  4. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)-required only if English is not your first language
  5. Minimum of 65 credits, including all program specific pre-requisites and University General Education requirements. A maximum of 64 credits can be transferred from a community college.
  6. Pre-professional coursework taken at an accredited college or university is acceptable
  7. Completion of all pre-professional courses by the end of the spring/summer semester before admission to the program (unless an exception is granted by the program)
  8. All applicants must attend one monthly Information Meeting at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. 

How to Apply

Students must submit the Mortuary Science Program Application. The application deadline is May 15th of the year an applicant wants to enter the program.

Health and Immunization Record

All applicants, including transfer students from Colleges within Wayne State University, are required to submit to the Mortuary Science Program the results of a TB test administered within six months preceding their entrance into the program and a copy of their immunization history. Immunization against Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is strongly advised; enrollees declining immunization are required to do so in writing.

Professional Curriculum

Plan of Study Grid
Fall SemesterCredits
MS 3100 Thanatochemistry 2
MS 3420 Funeral Arranging 2
MS 3500 Embalming I 3
MS 3600 Restorative Art and Modeling I 2
MS 3800 Funeral Directing 3
MS 3830 Psychology of Death and Dying 3
MS 4050 Anatomy for Mortuary Science 2
Winter Semester
MS 3300 Religions, Values, and Death 3
MS 3400 Funeral Service Law and Ethics I 3
MS 3510 Embalming II 3
MS 3610 Restorative Art and Modeling II 2
MS 3810 Funeral Service Marketing and Merchandising 3
MS 3970 Practicum I 1
MS 4250 Microbiology for Mortuary Science 2
MS 5350 Grief Dynamics and Aftercare 2
Spring/Summer Semester
MS 3410 Funeral Service Law and Ethics II 3
MS 3620 Presentation and Cosmetics 2
MS 3760 Funeral Service History and Trends 2
MS 3840 Psychosocial Aspects of Grief 3
MS 3980 Practicum II 2
MS 4300 Pathology for Mortuary Science 2
MS 4450 Funeral Service Management and Accounting 3
MS 5996 Professional Review 2
 Total Credits55

Licensure in Michigan State

To become eligible for a mortuary science license in the State of Michigan, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Complete at least three years of prescribed undergraduate coursework, including an accredited Mortuary Science Program;
  2. Pass national and state examinations;
  3. Fulfill the requirements for resident training;

Further information regarding licensure may be found at online