Mortuary Science (B.S.)

Mark T. Evely, Program Director
313-577-1202; evely@wayne.edu

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
www.abfse.org

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org. 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 fundappsciences@wayne.edu 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 Learning Outcomes

  1.  Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.
  2.  Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.
  3.  Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.  
  4.  Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.
  5.  Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.
  6.  Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies.
  7.  Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.
  8.  Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.
  9.  Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.
  10.  Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice.

Traditional and Online Courses

Students may complete the program in a traditional, online or hybrid format.  Please see the Handbook for Online Students for additional requirements.

Academic Advising and Transcript Evaluations

Academic advising, transcript evaluations, and questions regarding transfer credits are available through email to cphsinfo@wayne.edu 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. Courses in the Professional Program may only be retaken once.

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.

Mark of 'I'

A mark of 'I' indicates that course requirements were not completed or submitted as required. The mark is given at the discretion of the instructor.  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 requirements. Failure to complete requirements by the established deadline will result in the 'I' mark being converted to an 'F'.

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. Students must complete the Program within two years of initial admission.

 

Degree Requirements

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

  1. Sixty-four credits of Program-Specific Prerequisites and General Education requirements listed below;
  2. Fifty-six credits in the Mortuary Science professional program curriculum;
  3. Take both the Arts and Sciences parts of the National Board Examination within thirty 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 prerequisites1; and (2) University General  Education requirements. The professional curriculum in Mortuary Science consists of fifty-six credits, so an applicant must earn sixty-four 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-four credits, elective courses must be taken to complete the sixty-four total credits needed prior to entering the program. This sixty-four plus fifty-six 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 Mechanisms4
BIO 2870Anatomy and Physiology5
CLS 3330Medical Terminology1
CHM 1000Chemistry and Your World4
COM 1010Oral Communication: Basic Speech3
PH 2100Introduction to Public Health3
COM 2200Interpersonal Communication3
MGT 2530Management of Organizational Behavior 23
ENG 1020Introductory College Writing3
ENG 3010Intermediate Writing3
PSY 1010Introductory Psychology4
PHI 1050Critical Thinking3
SOC 1010Understanding Human Society3

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
  4. obtaining a MACRAO stamp, or
  5. completing courses in satisfaction of the University General Education requirements.

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 64 credits, including all program specific pre-requisites and University General Education requirements. 
  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

All professional courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. The National Board Examination (NBE) is a degree requirement and must be taken within thirty (30) days of completing MS 5996. All professional courses must be completed within two years of initial admission to the Program. 

Plan of Study Grid
Fall SemesterCredits
MS 3100 Thanatochemistry 2
MS 3500 Embalming I 2
MS 3600 Restorative Art I 3
MS 3800 Funeral Directing 3
MS 3830 Psychology of Death and Dying 3
MS 3970 Practicum I 3
MS 4050 Anatomy for Mortuary Science 2
 Credits18
Winter Semester
MS 3300 Religions, Values, and Death 2
MS 3400 Funeral Service Law and Ethics I 3
MS 3510 Embalming II 2
MS 3610 Restorative Art II 2
MS 3810 Funeral Service Marketing and Merchandising 3
MS 3980 Practicum II 3
MS 4250 Pathology and Microbiology for Mortuary Science 3
MS 5350 Funeral Service Communications 1
 Credits19
Spring/Summer Semester
MS 3410 Funeral Service Law and Ethics II 3
MS 3620 Preparation for Disposition 2
MS 3760 Funeral Service History and Trends 2
MS 3840 Psychosocial Aspects of Grief 3
MS 4000 Practicum III 3
MS 4450 Funeral Service Management and Accounting 3
MS 5996 Professional Review 3
 Credits19
 Total Credits56

Licensure in Michigan

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 on the LARA website.

MS 3100 Thanatochemistry Cr. 2

Discussion, problem solving, and application of general inorganic, organic and biochemistry to postmortem changes, biologic preservation, and embalming chemistry. Course includes a problem-based laboratory and case studies with correlations to embalming chemistry. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: CHM 1000 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3300 Religions, Values, and Death Cr. 2

Various religious, secular, and philosophical views regarding the value of life, the meaning of death, and life after death. Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science, BS in Pathologist Assistant or PBC in Forensic Investigation programs.

MS 3400 Funeral Service Law and Ethics I Cr. 3

Business law and legal environment affecting funeral service. Introduction to American legal system, court structure, and civil & criminal procedure. Contract law, property law and UCC Articles 2, 3, and 9. Survey of tort law. Discussion and problems based on the ethical responsibilities of funeral practitioners Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3410 Funeral Service Law and Ethics II Cr. 3

Legal principles affecting funeral service including legal status of a deceased, rights and responsibilities affecting disposition, licensing laws, regulatory compliance, preneed and probate law. Funeral service torts and discussion and problems on due diligence, best practices, and ethical responsibilities of funeral practitioners. Offered Spring/Summer.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3500 Embalming I Cr. 2

Theories, practices, and techniques of biologic preservation and disinfection of human remains; case analyses; methods of application of embalming chemicals; use of instruments and equipment; special case embalming. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

Course Material Fees: $200

MS 3510 Embalming II Cr. 2

Dynamics of decomposition; influence of disease and its treatment on the embalming process; public health considerations; anatomical embalming; disaster response. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: MS 3500 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

Course Material Fees: $200

MS 3600 Restorative Art I Cr. 3

Theories, methods, and techniques used in the restoration of superficial tissues and features. Color theory, cosmetology, facial proportions, skin tones correlated with reconstruction. Clay and wax modeling. Case studies in restorative art. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

Course Material Fees: $50

MS 3610 Restorative Art II Cr. 2

Continuation of MS 3600. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: MS 3600 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

Course Material Fees: $35

MS 3620 Preparation for Disposition Cr. 2

Preparing the decedent for disposition, including handling of personal effects, refrigeration, container selection, identification viewing, dressing, transportation and special ceremonial preparation. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: MS 3610 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

Course Material Fees: $200

MS 3760 Funeral Service History and Trends Cr. 2

Basic human need to memorialize the dead, examined throughout history. Funeralization as a process affected by social and religious change. The funeral service professional in a socio-temporal context. Possible future practices based on understanding of historical records and current trends. Offered Spring/Summer.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3800 Funeral Directing Cr. 3

Funeral service operations. Practical applications including field trips. Funeral service process from first call to final disposition. Terminology, government regulations, ethics, professional conduct, vital statistics records, necessary forms. Religious, ethnic, fraternal and military variations. Computer technologies and applications. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3810 Funeral Service Marketing and Merchandising Cr. 3

Marketing, merchandising, public relations, pre-need planning, personnel management, job-seeking skills, licensing requirements; planning, building and establishing of funeral home. Government regulations. Offered Fall.

Prerequisite: MS 3800 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3830 Psychology of Death and Dying Cr. 3

Various social and cultural perspectives; psychosocial changes related to death, dying, and disposition; special cases: sudden, violent or unexpected death. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3840 Psychosocial Aspects of Grief Cr. 3

Psychology of funeral service practices; social role of funeral service practitioner in the dynamics of grief; psychosocial interpretations of changing attitudes toward death; normal and abnormal grief responses; sociology of funeral service. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: MS 3830 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3970 Practicum I Cr. 3

Student placement in licensed funeral service facility to acquire practical experience in basic funeral service skills. Offered Fall.

Prerequisites: May be taken concurrently: MS 3510 with a minimum grade of C and MS 3800 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 3980 Practicum II Cr. 3

Continuation of the Practicum I course. Students are placed in a licensed funeral service facility to acquire practical experience in advanced funeral service skills. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: MS 3970 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 4000 Practicum III Cr. 3

Continuation of the Practicum II course. Students are placed in a licensed funeral service facility to acquire practical experience in advanced funeral service skills and evaluation of clinical embalming competency. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: MS 3970 with a minimum grade of C and MS 3980 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 4010 Forensic Laboratory Standards Cr. 3

The forensic lab, its organization, accreditation, and regulation; quality control, safety, and documentation; discussion and demonstration of methods for collection and processing of specimens. Specimen extraction techniques and analyte-specific analytical instrumentation used in forensic laboratory. Basis for the forensic logic tree. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Forensic Invest and Policing or Forensic Investigation.

MS 4011 Interview and Interrogation Techniques Cr. 3

Appropriate and effective techniques for conducting interviews in forensic investigations. Effective and efficient techniques for interviewing witnesses and interrogating defendants. Legal issues surrounding investigations; strategies in gathering information and obtaining confessions. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Forensic Invest and Policing or Forensic Investigation.

MS 4050 Anatomy for Mortuary Science Cr. 2

Detailed systemic study of human anatomy. Laboratory work consists of demonstrations and selected dissections; emphasis on vascular anatomy and adjacent structural relationships; anatomic guides. Material Fee As Indicated In The Schedule of Classes. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

Course Material Fees: $30

MS 4200 Introduction to Forensic Anatomic Pathology Cr. 3

Role of medical examiner, early signs of death, medical investigation of cause of death, methods for identification of remains, medicolegal aspects of forensic science, toxicology specimen techniques, legal issues in anatomic/forensic pathology. Offered Spring/Summer.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the Pharmacy and Health Sciences; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant or PBC in Forensic Investigation programs.

MS 4250 Pathology and Microbiology for Mortuary Science Cr. 3

Discussion and application of pathogenic microbial agents; host-parasite relationships; disinfection-decontamination; immunology; epidemiology of infectious disease; and public health issues. Basic study of disease states and processes that may negatively impact restorative art efforts or the success of preservation through embalming. Lecture and problem-based laboratory/case studies. Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 4450 Funeral Service Management and Accounting Cr. 3

Financial aspects of starting and operating a funeral business; basic accounting principles; dealings with fellow professionals and government agencies. Offered Spring/Summer.

Prerequisite: ACC 3010 with a minimum grade of D-

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 4500 Clinical Autopsy Pathology Cr. 6

Autopsy procedures, including data retention, dissection techniques, selection of tissue for microscopic examination, and methods of body restoration prior to release. Course addresses clinical Gross Anatomy Techniques and Gross Pediatric Pathology techniques. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant program.

MS 4600 Clinical Forensic Pathology Cr. 3-5

Assisting pathologist in determining cause of death; basic methods for identifying remains with regard to age, sex, and race; techniques of photographic record keeping. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant or PBC in Forensic Investigation programs.

Course Material Fees: $30

MS 4650 Clinical Surgical Pathology Cr. 5

Principles, theories, and clinical practices related to gross surgical dissections. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant program.

MS 4700 Clinical Pathology Cr. 3

Fundamental processes in benign and malignant hematopathology and lymphoid tissue; interpretation of clinical chemistry values, tumor markers, laboratory values, and the evolution of clinical and pathology case studies. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant program.

MS 4800 Clinical Photography Cr. 2

Techniques required to photographically record gross and microscopic specimens as presented from surgery. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant program.

MS 4850 Clinical Academic Pathology Cr. 6

Principles and theories of surgical diagnostic pathology and mechanisms of disease. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment limited to students in the BS in Pathologist Assistant program.

MS 5010 Forensic Analysis Cr. 2

New developments in the forensic laboratory; current areas of research and potential applications. Forensic logic trees and forensic case applications; novel techniques in crime scene investigation and analysis. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: MS 4010 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Forensic Invest and Policing or Forensic Investigation.

MS 5011 Forensic Investigation of Firearms, Ballistics, and Explosives Cr. 4

Introduction to firearm operation, identification, ballistics and explosive materials and devices from the perspective of forensic evaluation. Principles of forensic evidence collection and analysis discussed in lab. Offered in collaboration with Bioengineering Center Ballistic Research Laboratory. Offered Winter.

Prerequisite: MS 4010 with a minimum grade of C or MS 6010 with a minimum grade of C

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Forensic Invest and Policing or Forensic Investigation.

Course Material Fees: $40

MS 5350 Funeral Service Communications Cr. 1

Survey of professional communication in funeral service, including: verbal and non-verbal communication strategies, email and written communication, principles of customer service, public relations, networking, conflict resolution, workplace and professional expectations. Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 5550 Special Topics in Mortuary Science Cr. 1

Lectures and discussions; invited speakers on current topics in the profession. Topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Offered Yearly.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science or PBC in Forensic Investigation programs.

Repeatable for 3 Credits

MS 5990 Directed Study Cr. 3

Library and/or laboratory study of current or pending professional development; study of an existing problem, study or development of new procedures or techniques. Assigned project under the guidance of departmental/program faculty member. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science or PBC in Forensic Investigation programs.

MS 5996 Professional Review Cr. 3

A comprehensive review and assessment in preparation for the National Board Examination consisting of assigned questions and in-class discussion and assessment, culminating in the Practice National Board Examination. Students receive a grade of Y at the conclusion of the course and have 30 days to take the National Board Examination after completion of the Mortuary Science professional coursework. Offered Spring/Summer.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the BS in Mortuary Science program.

MS 6010 Forensic Analysis for the Toxicologist Cr. 3

Introduction to the field for the analytical toxicologist. Design, organization, quality control, quality assurance, safety, documentation in forensic laboratory; specimen collection; handling of biological and other evidentiary specimens. Offered Fall.

EVELY, MARK T.: J.D., Thomas M. Cooley Law School; B.S., Wayne State University; Clinical Assistant Professor