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Funeral Service

Associate of Applied Science

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A compassionate way to make a difference

TCC's Funeral Service Program is one of two accredited funeral service programs in Virginia

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If you are sensitive person with excellent communication skills seeking a career that makes an impact in the community, consider becoming a funeral director.

A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects associated with funeral service, including support for the bereaved, preparing the body according to the wishes of the survivors and requirement of the law, and securing all the essential information for legal documents.

TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service combines technical education with the business skills necessary for you to become successful in a field where jobs are plentiful. The accredited program features a diversified curriculum that addresses the evolving needs and demands of funeral directing, embalming and business management.

Program head Frank Walton has been a funeral services practitioner for 25 years and gives workshops on restorative art and embalming in 40 states.

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to sit for one or more exams administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examination Boards.

View program curriculum
IMPORTANT Additional admission requirements

Your acceptance as a Tidewater Community College student does not guarantee admission to this program. We want you to be aware of these additional requirements and important information for this program.

Entrance requirements include:

1. Placement into English (ENG) 111 College Composition and Math Essentials (MTE) 5 or higher based on the results of your Virginia Placement Test (VPT).

2. Completion of these courses with a grade of C or better:

  • Accounting (ACC) 211 Principles of Accounting
  • Chemistry (CHM) 110 Survey of Chemistry
  • Funeral Service (FNS) 121 Anatomy for Funeral Service I

3. Once prerequisite courses have been successfully completed, completion of the Funeral Service Program Application.

Get program application

4. Upon entering FNS 111 and 112, Theory of Embalming I & II, you are expected to have begun receiving the 3-shot Hepatitis-B vaccine, or have declined the vaccine in writing.

What does this program cost?

You can complete a 2-year associate degree for less than the cost of 1 year at a 4-year college or university.

TCC's Funeral Service Program consists of 4 semesters of full-time study, with classes held mainly on the Virginia Beach Campus.

If your schedule doesn't permit full-time attendance, you may also take classes part time.

Estimated Program Cost*:
67 credits x $185.35 per credit = $12,418.45 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Where can you go?

TCC's program has a 76% employment rate. In addition to funeral homes, you may find opportunities with medical examiners' officers, mortuaries, tissue banks, eye banks, and related organizations.

You can pursue a bachelor’s in mortuary science or a related field such as psychology, biology, theology or business administration at a four-year institution.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • have excellent communication skills
  • are detail-oriented
  • embrace a flexible schedule
Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships are available for students interested in funeral services at American Board of Funeral Service Education, Epsilon Nu Delta Fraternity, Inc., One Hundred Black Women of Funeral Service, Virginia Funeral Directors Association and at Service Corporation International.

Program objectives
  • To maintain a high level of post-secondary education designed to prepare students for successful careers as funeral service professionals.
  • To provide an extensive curriculum designed to address all aspects of funeral service, thereby helping students develop a level of skill and proficiency necessary to compete in this ever changing field.
  • To instill in students the desire and knowledge to serve the public with the highest ethical standards.
  • To encourage and provide a forum where students and industry professionals may conduct research related to funeral service.
  • To promote a positive image of the profession and its practitioners.
  • To serve the funeral service community by providing continuing education and life-long learning.
  • To make students ever mindful of their responsibilities to the profession and the clients they serve.
  • To encourage students to contribute to the community in which they serve by providing outstanding service, while cognizant of all regulatory issues pertinent to the health, public safety, and “care of the deceased.”
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

Fanned-out money

Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

Learn about the Program Completion Rates

Program outcomes

Students have paid internships at area funeral homes, and many are hired prior to graduation

Hands-on learning in the state-of-the-art embalming lab on the Virginia Beach Campus

National accreditation

TCC's funeral service program is accredited by The American Board of Funeral Service Education

Student success

Employed before graduation, Patrina Felts wants to help you through the worst day of your life.


Women a good fit for funeral service industry. Just ask alumna Sterling Oliver.