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Mortuary Science

Carl Sandburg College offers both a two-year and an accelerated associate degree program for students interested in a career in mortuary science. Students receive instruction in all phases of funeral service, with special attention being given to the high ethical standards within the funeral service profession. These goals are accomplished through a wide variety of educational experiences aimed at developing the essential skills needed in order to successfully serve within the funeral service profession.

This curriculum is based upon the American Board of Funeral Service Education curriculum outlines. Several of the mortuary science classes require some outside work as well as research about various aspects of the funeral service profession. Upon completion of the mortuary science program, each graduate will have attained those skills necessary to uphold and foster the dignity of the funeral service profession. 

Admission requirements for the Mortuary Science program

The Mortuary Science program has specific admission requirements and a separate application process. Students must apply and be accepted into the program in order to enroll. Admission to the program is on a rolling basis, but new students are only admitted for the fall semester each year. Mortuary science admission requirements are:

  • Meet all admissions requirements of Carl Sandburg College. Complete the general application to the college.
  • Complete the online application form for the Mortuary Science program. This can be found in mySandburg.
  • Submit official high school/GED and college transcripts to the Records Office.
  • Submit proof of interview with a licensed funeral director.
  • Submit official documentation that you have received the Hepatitis B vaccination 3 shot series.
  • Complete ENG 101 Freshman Composition 1 and submit an official transcript if a course is taken at a college other than Sandburg.
  • Set up an appointment to meet with the advisor for the Mortuary Science program to sign the Admissions Checklist.

There are six general education courses that are required for this program. They are:

  • ENG 101 Freshmen Composition 1
  • CHM 100 Concepts of Chemistry
  • BIO 111 Anatomy & Physiology Fundamentals
  • BLA 202 Business Law
  • BUS 205 Management Fundamentals
  • ACC 100 Procedural Accounting

All of these courses must be completed with a grade of C or above. The only one that needs to be completed before you start this program would be ENG 101. We do encourage students to get as many of the general education courses done prior to enrolling in the Mortuary Science program. We find that students that complete some or all of them are more successful once they are actually in the program. You may consider getting these courses completed at your local community college ahead of time.

Enrollment in the program is limited to a specific number of students due to accreditation requirements. Students who enroll in the program must earn a minimum grade of "C" (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) in all courses required in the mortuary science program. Failure to attain these grade requirements will result in dismissal from the program with an option to reapply to the program only available on a one-time basis.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. Title IX Coordinator Rick Eddy, 309.341.5234; Jacob Runge, 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact:
Welcome Center



Opportunities are excellent with many openings in the funeral service profession. These include, but are not limited to

Funeral directors
Funeral Service directors
Funeral attendants

Working conditions

Funeral directors arrange the details and handle the logistics of funerals. They interview the family to learn what they desire with regard to the nature of the funeral, the clergy members or other persons who will officiate, and the final disposition of the remains. Most funeral directors are also trained and licensed embalmers. Embalming is the cosmetic and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment. Most funeral homes are family-run businesses, and the funeral directors either are owner-operators or employees of the operation.


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Sample course schedules for the mortuary science program

Sample schedule for Mortuary Science AAS degree

Sample schedule for Accelerated Mortuary Science AAS degree

Courses in this program are offered face-to-face in the classroom and through practicum experiences in funeral homes.

Estimated costs for the mortuary science program

Students are expected to purchase the required clothing or protective equipment used in the program. Additional living and incidental expenses should be expected by the student.

Mortuary Science cost sheet

Accelerated Mortuary Science cost sheet

Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, visit our financial aid page for more information.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to inquire if you qualify for financial support. 

  • Hancock County 550 N. Madison St., Carthage, IL 217.357.6749      
  • Warren/Henderson County 1025 S. 2nd St, Monmouth, IL 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building, 311 E. Main, Suite 612, Galesburg, IL 309.343.9832               
  • McDonough County 440 N. Lafayette, Macomb, IL 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award over $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners, and returning students - everyone is eligible to apply. Apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year. We encourage all students to apply. 

Frequently asked questions

Can this program be completed part-time?

No. This program must be completed exactly like the curriculum states. Students pick the 2-year program or the Accelerated program.

Is this an online program?

No. There are online sections available for some of the general education courses, but the Mortuary Science courses are only available at the main campus in Galesburg, IL.

Are there certain grade requirements?

Yes. All courses in the program, as well as the six general education courses, must be completed with a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale). Failure to attain these grade requirements will result in dismissal from the program with an option to reapply to the program only available on a one-time basis.

What is the accelerated program?

The accelerated program is available to any student who has successfully completed all of the prerequisite courses contained within the Mortuary Science program course of study. These courses must be completed prior to being admitted to the program. All 51 credit hours of the program are then completed in two semesters - 27 credit hours in the fall semester and 17 credit hours and the 8-week practicum during the spring semester.

What are the general education courses required for the program?

ENG 101 Freshman Composition 1
BIO 111 Anatomy & Physiology Fundamentals
CHM 100 Concepts of Chemistry
BUS 205 Management Fundamentals
ACC 100 Procedural Accounting
BLA 202 Business Law 

All of these courses must be completed with a grade of C or above.




Graduates from the Mortuary Science Program will be eligible to take the National Board Examination as administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, Inc. This exam allows our graduates to apply for the Illinois Funeral Directors and Embalmers license. For other state licensure requirements, please contact the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, Inc. or the state in which licensure is sought.

Sandburg's Mortuary Science program is accredited through the American Board of Funeral Services Education (ABFSE). National board examination rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available on the ABFSE website. To request a printed copy of this program’s pass rates and employment rates, contact:

Tim Krause
Coordinator of the Mortuary Science program
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401

Initial accreditation was in 1997. Our last comprehensive review was in 2017. Our next comprehensive review will be in 2024.

Re-accreditation: April 2018 for a period of 7 years with one stipulation.

Most recent accreditation decision: April 2019 – accepted progress report providing evidence of faculty evaluation to satisfy April 2018 stipulation.

Meet the instructors

Tim Krause
Professor/Coordinator, Mortuary Science

Matthew Kendall
Associate Professor, Mortuary Science


Department of Health Professions
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401

Student Organizations

Sigma Phi Sigma

The purpose and mission of Sigma Phi Sigma are to promote professionalism, knowledge, and fellowship within the mortuary science profession.

Advisor: Tim Krause 309.345.8501 or

PROGRAM INFORMATION for Carl Sandburg College

Graduation rates



Total enrolled  

# of New Students 

# of Grads  

Timely Grad*  

Graduation rate 

Did not finish**  

Overall % Employed  

Employed In FS      




























 *Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.

**Left before completing the program; did not finish.


NATIONAL BOARD STATISTICS for Carl Sandburg college

Board Scores

3-year average    

% Pass Arts

% Pass Sciences

2016 - 2018



2015 - 2017



2014 - 2016



Most recent

# Takers

# Passed

2018 Arts



2018 Sciences