Mortuary Science program to offer online degree path

In fall 2018, Wayne State University’s Mortuary Science program will introduce an online bachelor’s geared toward students who require a flexible academic schedule due to work-life commitments. The curriculum has also been designed for those whose geographical location prevents them from being on campus.

Reviewed and approved by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), the online program will also give out-of-state students in-state tuition. Mortuary science’s traditional, in-class program will continue to be offered.

“We have been working diligently to design courses that are student-centered and provide a meaningful student experience in an online format,” said Mark Evely, Mortuary Science program director in Wayne State’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “We are very proud of the history and tradition of our program, and we are excited to expand its reach beyond the traditional borders.”

Students enrolled in the online degree pathway will attend an orientation and also be on campus for approximately two weeks at the end of the program. The program works with the student to certify a funeral home near where the student lives as a preceptor site. Once certified, the student completes the embalming and funeral directing clinical requirements at the funeral home.

The online program is unique in that it offers a bachelor’s that is accredited by the ABFSE, with Wayne State also holding regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. With states moving toward increasing educational requirements for licensure, a bachelor’s is critical. Regional accreditation is also important because credits earned in the program are transferable if a student later wishes to further their education or apply credits toward another degree.

Wayne State’s mortuary science program began in 1939 and is one of the first programs of its kind. Today, it remains the only accredited undergraduate degree program leading to state licensure in Michigan. In addition, it is one of the three programs in Carnegie Research Universities’ (very high research activity) core-based accredited programs in the nation.

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