AAMI requires admitted students to complete all courses in the curriculum. All courses are listed below with the pre-requisites (i.e., a course or courses that must be taken before another course) and co-requisites (i.e., a course required to be taken in conjunction with another course), if any.

The required sequence for enrolling in courses is listed in the first column on the left of the chart. A student wishing to attend full-time or part-time, and also to be assured of completing the program in the required 4-years, should follow the course listing in the categories A through K as follows:

SequenceCourse # / Course NameCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
1 GEN 101 Communication Skills2nonenone
2 SOC 102  Death & Human Development2nonenone
3 GEN 102  Introduction to Science2nonenone
4SOC 101  History of Funeral Service2nonenone
5BUS 101  Principles of Mathematics3nonenone
6LAW 101  Professional Ethics1nonenone
7LAW 201  Business Law2nonenone
8PHT 201  Principles of Embalming I2nonenone
9SOC 201 Funeral Service Psychology & Counseling3nonenone
10BUS 201  Funeral Home Directing2nonenone
11GEN 313  Introduction to Chemistry2GEN 102none
12BUS 202  Small Business Management2nonenone
13GEN 211   Anatomy I3GEN 102none
14GEN 212  Introduction to Microbiology2GEN 102none
15 PHT 412  Clinical Embalming1PHT 201none
16PHT 301   Color and Cosmetics2nonePHT 201
17BUS 311   Accounting I2BUS 101none
18PHT 411  Chemistry for Embalmers2GEN 313none
19SOC 202  Sociology of Funeral Service1nonenone
20PHT 312  Microbiology for Embalmers3GEN 212none
21BUS 411 Accounting II2BUS 311none
22BUS 312  Funeral Home Mgmt & Merch2BUS 201none
23GEN 311  Introduction to Pathology2GEN 102none
24BUS 314  Funeral Directing Practicum1noneBUS 312
25LAW 412  State Rules & Regulations1noneBUS 312
26 BUS 313  Crematory & Cemetery Ops BUS 201BUS 312
LAW 201
27GEN 312   Anatomy II2GEN 211none
28LAW 411   Mortuary Law2LAW 201none
29  PHT 313  Principles of Embalming II  2  PHT 201none
GEN 211none
PHT 411none
30GEN 411  Anatomy III2GEN 312none
31PHT 413  Pathology for Embalmers2GEN 311GEN 411
32 PHT 414  Principles of Embalming III PHT 313PHT 415
SOC 411
33  PHT 415  Restorative Art  3  PHT 301PHT 414
PHT 413SOC 411
GEN 312
34 SOC 411  Comprehensive Review All CoursesPHT 414
PHT 415
Total Required Credits69


BLB 001 Introduction to Blackboard — 0 credits

This course is REQUIRED and is designed to help online and campus students become familiar with Blackboard. This course is designed to introduce the student to the learning environment online and on campus. Topics covered include AAMI policies and procedures and guides to successful learning. This course covers study skills, time management, stress management and creating an effective learning environment. The course for online students also enables the student to understand different online elements. Topics include correspondence, communication, navigating an online course, online testing and understanding your own technology. This course must be completed prior to students beginning their online learning and students must pass this course or they will not have access to their online courses. This course is offered Pass/Fail.

BUS 101 Principles of Mathematics — 3 credits

This course develops arithmetic concepts and skills, particularly in the areas of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents. An emphasis is placed on problem solving skills, especially in the determination of the mathematical calculation of the cost of a Funeral Service contract including the calculation of percentage discounts, and interest determination on time payments.

BUS 201 Funeral Home Directing — 2 credits

Introduction to basic services performed by the funeral director from first call to final disposition of the deceased; survey of ceremonies and procedures of various religious, fraternal and other organized groups; inter-professional relationships with clergy, medical personnel and public agencies; the dual role of the funeral director as an effective caregiver and manager; business, social and ceremonial etiquette.

BUS 202 Small Business Management — 2 credits

Topics include, planning, organizing, staffing and directing a successful business. Management issues affecting the funeral director are discussed including the use of computers and applicable software packages. Other topics include: business problems and risks; market analysis; layout requirements; advertising; employee relations.  Emphasis is placed on business decisions regarding client family needs.

BUS 311 Accounting I — 2 credits

Prerequisite: BUS 101

This course introduces the fundamental accounting equation and its application to accounting theory. The accounting equation and the accounting cycle are presented as well as the format and preparation of the books of account, and the presentation of financial statements.

BUS 312 Funeral Home Management & Merchandising — 2 credits

Prerequisite: BUS 201

Federal Trade Commission regulations; filing of death certificates and other legal forms; special consideration from medical examiner cases; glossary of accepted funeral service terminology; funeral service merchandise including caskets and other burial containers; merchandising definition, purpose, pricing, displays, service and price quotations; funeral home management and insurance and funeral service practice. Tests will include material from Funeral Home Directing.

BUS 313 Crematory and Cemetery Operations — 3 credits

Prerequisites: BUS 201 and LAW 201; Co-requisite: BUS 312

This course introduces the fundamentals of crematory and cemetery operations as they relate to funeral service. Students will learn the history of cremation, basic terminology, crematory equipment, legal issues and the utilization of best practices. It will also explore various contemporary disposition issues affecting funeral services.

BUS 314  Funeral Directing Practicum — 1 credit

Co-requisite: BUS 312

This course combines funeral service topics that pertain to everyday job requirements in the funeral home. Weekly topics include FTC, arrangements, death certificates, veteran paperwork. There will be weekly lectures, tests and assignments as well as a lab component that will be completed during the Capstone. This course is only offered PASS/FAIL.

BUS 411 Accounting II — 2 credits

Prerequisite: BUS 311

This course discusses areas of special journals, subsidiary ledgers, banking procedures, payroll procedures, petty cash and other cash procedures. The course concludes with a study of ratio analysis. Tests will include material from Accounting I.

GEN 101 Communication Skills — 2 credits

Fundamentals of English composition coupled with business theories and practices that underlie effective correspondence; the student receives practice in composing many types of business letters with emphasis on letters of inquiry, reply, acknowledgement, adjustment and collection. Emphasis is also placed on career specific communications such as resume preparation and industry-related communications including but not limited to Veteran’s Administration, Social Security, and various insurance companies.

GEN 102 Introduction to Science — 2 credits

This introductory course provides the student with a working knowledge of the basic concepts and principles of scientific terminology. Students will become familiar with terms to be used in all the required science courses with emphasis on the human body and circulatory system.

GEN 211 Anatomy I — 3 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 102

Introduction to terminology and terms of reference used in anatomical description; preliminary discussion of tissues, organs and organ systems; vascular system, including heart, blood vessels, lymphatic system; musculature system.

GEN 212 Introduction to Microbiology — 2 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 102

Study of the structure and functions of microorganisms; influence of environmental factors on their growth and their role in disease; survey of the pathogens and diseases they cause; factors concerned with infection and the defense mechanisms of the human body.

GEN 311 Introduction to Pathology — 2 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 102

Introduction to general pathology; nature of disease and its effect on the human body, including inflammation, degenerative changes, necrosis, disturbances in circulation and neoplasms.

GEN 312 Anatomy II — 2 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 211

A detailed study of the skeletal system including the histology of bone, splanchology of the digestive system in terms of its gross anatomy with some discussion of histology and physiology. Tests will include material from Anatomy I.

GEN 313 Introduction to Chemistry — 2 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 102

Basic concepts such as structure and forms of matter; the nature of chemical changes, chemical nomenclature; use of symbols; formulas and equations, consideration of selected topics such as oxidation – reduction, solutions, ionization, acidity and alkalinity, diffusion and osmosis.

GEN 411 Anatomy III — 2 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 312

Study of the respiratory, excretory, nervous, endocrine, integumentary, and reproductive systems. Introduction of pre-natal development. Each system is described in terms of its gross anatomy with some discussion of histology and physiology. Tests will include material from Anatomy I & II.

LAW 101 Professional Ethics — 1 credit

Individual development and evaluation of funeral service professional system of ethics; professional ethics in community relationships; ethics in regard to the deceased; ethics within funeral service operations; factual and dignified publicity and promotion procedures; pre-arrangement ethics; pre-finance ethics; education; competitor relationships; associations.

LAW 201 Business Law — 2 credits

Nature and development of law, emphasizing the broad field of contracts, their nature, classification, operation and effects; negotiable instruments and sales.

LAW 411 Mortuary Law — 2 credits

Prerequisite: LAW 201

Bailments, agency, partnership, insurance, wills, burial rights and obligations, rights and wrongs concerning the body and burial; cemetery law, zoning restrictions and damages. Tests will include material from LAW 201 Business Law.

LAW 412 State Rules and Regulations — 1 credit

Co-Requisite: BUS 312

Introduction to the specific laws, rules and regulations governing the practice of embalming and funeral directing; licensing procedures. This course is customized based on the State in which the student intends to be licensed.

PHT 201 Principles of Embalming I — 2 credits

Introduction to embalming; historical and contemporary perspectives; moral, ethical and legal consideration; definitions and objectives of embalming; terms associated with death; types, signs and tests for death; pre-embalming changes; pre-embalming diagnosis and techniques; instruments and equipment utilized in basic embalming procedures.

PHT 301 Color and Cosmetics — 2 credits

Co-Requisite: PHT 201

Principles of color theory in pigments, vision and illumination; principles of cosmetology; consideration of cosmetic media; complexion types and deviations from normal complexion types; introduction to the influence of bony structures upon surface forms; facial proportions and variations in head form and their effect upon physiognomy.

PHT 312 Microbiology for Embalmers — 3 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 212

Study of yeasts, molds, protozoa and viruses and their role in disease and decomposition; methods of communicable disease control and prevention; the role of the practitioner in promotion of Public Health; basic concepts in vital statistics; death rates and their impact on funeral service; major causes of death, emphasis given to types of disinfection and sanitary safeguards in the preparation room; consideration of other health measures such as water purification and waste disposal. Tests will include material from Introduction to Microbiology.

PHT 313 Principles of Embalming II — 2 credits

Prerequisites: PHT 201, PHT 411 and GEN 211

Factors influencing fluid distribution and drainage; types of embalming fluids; composition and usage; vascular anatomy including linear and anatomical guides.

PHT 411 Chemistry for Embalmers — 2 credits

Prerequisites: GEN 313

Introduction to organic chemistry including a survey of the classes of organic compounds of concern to the embalmer; the nature of decomposition; formulation of embalming fluids and function of the various components; introduction to toxicology and its importance.

Tests will include material from Introduction to Chemistry.

PHT 412 Clinical Embalming — 1 credit

Prerequisite: PHT 201

Demonstrations and practical applications of Principles of Embalming under the supervision of AAMI faculty. Students are required to participate fully in a hands-on experience involving the completion of a minimum of 10 embalmings. This course is only offered PASS/FAIL. A clinical embalming fee is charged for PHT 412.

NOTE: AAMI strongly recommends that a pregnant student NOT enroll in PHT 412, ENTER AN EMBALMING ROOM OR PARTICIPATE IN ANY EMBALMINGS during pregnancy or within six months after birth in order to protect the fetus, the new born and the mother from potentially toxic fumes and chemicals.

PHT 413 Pathology for Embalmers — 2 credits

Prerequisite: GEN 311; Co-Requisite: GEN 411

Principles of special pathology applied to the study of disease of the various organ systems, emphasizing those creating specific embalming problems; introduction of forensic pathology and the importance of the autopsy as a tool in medical instruction and research. Tests will include material from Introduction to Pathology.

PHT 414 Principles of Embalming III — 2 credits

Prerequisite: PHT 313   Co-Requisites:  PHT 415, SOC 411

Case analysis and treatment of special problem cases; local, state, and national (OSHA) regulations and requirements examined.

PHT 415 Restorative Art — 3 credits

Prerequisite: PHT 301 PHT 413 and GEN 312   Co-Requisites: PHT 414, SOC 411

Practical consideration of restorative techniques; special problems caused by abrasions, burns, lacerations, excision, etc. are discussed and treatment presented; modeling techniques and practical application. Tests will include material from Color and Cosmetics. Online students complete the lab portion of the class when they attend the Capstone in New York.

SOC 101 History of Funeral Service — 2 credits

Early mortuary behavior including funeral customs of ancient civilizations; death and burial through the middle ages and renaissance; medical embalmers and the rise of the English undertakers; rise of American funeral behavior from early colonial practices to the development of embalming and funeral transportation; pattern of late nineteenth century funerals; associational development among funeral directors; institutional growth and contemporary funeral practice.

SOC 102 Death & Human Development — 2 credits

An examination of death and coping skills which are developed at each stage of life; the special problems surrounding the loss of a member of the nuclear family and those major supporters of the bereaved; a major focus of the understanding of grief by the funeral director to cultivate a sensitivity to those in mourning at each stage of development; discussion and review of the funeral service profession in assessing and fulfilling the needs of the bereaved.

SOC 201 Funeral Service Psychology & Counseling —3 credits

The bereavement process and special life problems associated with it; definitions of counseling, grief reactions; goals of counseling; types of counseling; the funeral director as a counselor; crisis intervention counseling including types, developments and characteristics of a crisis; the ABC method of counseling, family typology; qualities of effective counselors; self-actualization; facilitating communication; grief counseling; grief of the counselor; referrals and visual aids.

SOC 202 Sociology of Funeral Service — 1 credit

Historical growth and development of death concepts, mourning and funeral practices from early to modern western civilization; contemporary social attitudes toward death and the funeral; consideration of different customs, reactions, beliefs and expressions of grief; salient concepts relevant to funeral service are explored and related to the daily practice of the funeral director.

SOC 411 Comprehensive Review — 2 credits

Prerequisite: All Courses     Co-Requisites:  PHT 415, PHT 415

This course is designed to review course work previously taken as well as to prepare students to take AAMI’s Comprehensive Exam and the National Board Exam.

This course is only offered PASS/FAIL. This course is to be taken in the student’s last semester and must be taken with the following co-requisites: PHT 414, Principles of Embalming III and PHT 415, Restorative Art.


You will be required to travel to New York City once in the last semester of your program for approximately two weeks for the Capstone. During your stay in New York you will participate in Restorative Art Lab and Comprehensive Review requirements.

Beginning with the semester following the successful completion of PHT 201, Principles of Embalming I, it is strongly recommended that each student identify an embalming clinical site (for example: a funeral home or other AAMI approved site) where the required 10 embalmings and required tasks for PHT 412, Clinical Embalming, will be completed.

Such arrangements must be coordinated with the Coordinator of Clinical Embalming to ensure that the proper documents and procedures are followed. In no instance can any embalming take place before the student has the approval of the Coordinator of Clinical Embalming.