Course Descriptions

EMBALMING ARTS AND SCIENCES

This series intertwines the basic and public health sciences with embalming and restorative art, in order that the prospective embalmer can develop expert competencies in the preparation of human remains, while effectively protecting his/her own health and in the broadest sense, the health of the general public whom they represent.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND TECHNICAL

Anatomy 1 -MSCI 1201 | 3 quarter hours

In this course, the student will learn correct terminology and the basic organ systems of the body.  Topics include skeletal, digestive, excretory, respiratory, integumentary, endocrine, reproductive, and nervous, systems. (33/0/0/3)

Anatomy 2- MSCI 1202 | 3 quarter hours | Prereq: Anatomy I MSCI 1202 or equivalent

A continuation of the study of the systems of the body, the student will learn the muscular. lymph, and circulatory systems. (33/0/0/3)

Embalming 1 and Lab- MSCI 1203 | 3 quarter hours | Prereq: Occ. Safety MSCI 1115

The student will learn the history of embalming, early contributors to the field and their influence to the embalming procedures.  The student will learn the instruments, equipment, and chemicals used in the embalming process.  The student will learn how to perform case analysis and determine which procedure(s) will be used. The student is required to actively participate in the arterial and cavity embalming of fifteen (15) human remains minimum.  Cases must be completed under the direct supervision of Commonwealth Institute’s clinical supervisor.  Cases are available at Commonwealth Institute’s preparation room or at off-campus embalming location(s).  Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus site(s). (33/0/10/3)

Embalming 2 and Lab- MSCI 1204 | 3 quarter hours | Prereq: Embalming 1 MSCI 1203

The student will learn linear and anatomical guides and anatomical limits and how they will apply them to the embalming process.  They will learn methods of creating injection pressure and how to calculate solution strengths.  They will learn the various chemicals and their properties used in the embalming process.  The student will learn how to perform cavity embalming and the importance of this procedure.  The student is required to actively participate in the arterial and cavity embalming of fifteen (15) human remains minimum.  Cases must be completed under the direct supervision of Commonwealth Institute’s clinical embalming instructors or Commonwealth’s clinical supervisor.  Cases are available at Commonwealth Institute’s preparation room or at off-campus embalming location(s).  Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus site(s). (33/0/10/3)

Embalming 3 and Lab MSCI 1005 | 2 quarter hours | Prereq: Embalming 2 MSCI 1204

The student will learn the embalming treatment and the handling of special cases.

Forensic Pathology- MSCI 1306 | 4 quarter hours

Student will learn general disease processes including terminology related to disease; causes of disease, cellular reaction to injury; structural abnormalities, inflammation and repair; neoplasms and cysts; various diseases of the blood, heart, blood vessels, digestive system, respiratory tract, urinary and reproductive systems, nervous system, bones and joints, and endocrine glands. (44/0/0/4)

Microbiology- MSCI 1307 | 4 quarter hours

Students will learn aspects of microbiology related to the causative agents of disease, methods of transmission, and techniques for disinfection and sterilization including, but not limited to, beneficial microorganisms, pathogens, host-parasite interactions, natural and acquired immunity, bacterial morphology, and physiology. (44/0/0/4)

Restorative Art 1- MSCI 1208 | 2 quarter hours

An orientation and introduction to restorative art.  The student will learn terminology, terms of anatomical direction, bones and muscles of the cranium, facial proportions, facial profiles, geometric head shapes and detailed study of the parts of the features.  Also included are the classifications and descriptions of facial markings.(22/0/0/2)

Restorative Art 2 and Lab- MSCI 1109 | 2 quarter hours | Prereq: Restorative Art 1 MSCI 1208

A continuation of Restorative Art. 1, the student will learn color theory, cosmetic applications, wax treatments, suturing, non wax treatments, hair restoration, hypodermic tissue building, and death masks.  The laboratory is designed to supplement the theoretical information provided in the lecture class.  Students model facial features from clay and affix to a plastic skull, and practice mixing and applying cosmetics to a facial mask. (22/11/0/2)

Thanatochemistry- MSCI 1310 | 4 quarter hours

Students will learn the fundamental concepts of chemistry, atomic structure, the periodic table, valence, and chemical equations.  They study types of solutions, are introduced to organic chemistry and biochemistry and will learn how chemistry is used in the embalming process. (44/0/0/4)

MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

This series of courses is designed to develop the prospective funeral director into an effective management person, capable of making intelligent and ethical business decisions based upon the application of good business principles.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Funeral Directing- MSCI 1212 | 3 quarter hours

A course in directing the various types of funeral services.  The student will learn funeral service professional ethics and the role of the funeral director in conducting various religious, fraternal, military, traditional, non traditional, and humanistic funeral ceremonies including cultural, ethnic, and geographic customs.(33/0/0/3)

Funeral Merchandising- MSCI 1313 | 4 quarter hours

A course in funeral home management and practice that reviews the aims and objectives of the funeral home practitioner.  The student will learn the component parts and the construction of caskets and outer burial containers and how to professionally arrange the selection room and the methodology for pricing funeral service merchandise.  Various experts from the funeral service profession provide special presentations and/or field trips that will incorporate the theoretical with practical aspects of funeral service merchandising. (44/0/0/4)

Mortuary Administration- MCSI 1314 | 4 quarter hours | Prerequisite: Operating a Business BUSI 1302

A course in funeral home management and practice.  The student will learn contemporary code of ethics for funeral service, various facets of funeral service practice including: the steps from first call to final disposition, funeral records and forms, Social Security and Veteran benefits, professional relationships, establishing and maintaining funeral home facilities and equipment, and supervision and training personnel.  The student will also learn the techniques in conducting the funeral arrangement through role-play exercises. (44/0/0/4)

Occupational Safety- MSCI 1115 | 2 quarter hours

The student will learn workplace safety guidelines as related to funeral service personnel.  This will include: Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for Hazard Communication Standard, Formaldehyde Monitoring, Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, Infection Control and Preparation Room Requirements. (22/0/0/2)

Office Accounting- OFAD 1307 | 4 quarter hours

This course is designed to develop an understanding of an accounting system.  The student will learn how to analyze business transactions and how they relate to the accounting cycle, primarily a small service and merchandising business.  The student will learn journalizing, posting, preparing a trial balance, completing financial reports and computing payroll and payroll taxes, and use of the computer as a business tool. (44/0/0/4)

Operating a Business- BUSI 1302 | 4 quarter hours

The student will learn the practical considerations involved in starting and operating a business.  Topics include analyzing potential market, acquiring financial backing, establishing record-keeping systems, making marketing and pricing decisions, managing financial and human resources, purchasing, controlling inventory, sales forecasting, meeting legal requirements, and using professional resources. (44/0/0/4)

SOCIAL SCIENCES

This series of courses is designed to: (1) develop an appreciation of funeral practices in terms of their origin and development, as well as their present and future place in society; (2) develop an understanding and sensitivity of the needs of the bereaved at the time of death; and (3) to develop the proficiency to meet those needs in a professional and meaningful manner.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

Business Communications- BUSI 2304 | 4 quarter hours

The student will learn the principles of effective written and oral business communications.  Activities include writing business messages for a variety of business situations, writing both formal and informal business reports and presenting business data orally. (44/0/0/4)

Counseling/Dynamics of Grief- MSCI 1316 | 4 quarter hours

The student will learn how grief affects the deceased family and the role of the funeral in grief resolution.  Grief reactions, grief cycles, and the various stages of grief will be explored.  The student will learn an understanding of the basic methods and procedures of grief counseling and the many elements that a funeral director brings into the counseling session.  The student learns to recognize and understands his/her own personal resources for coping with loss situations. (44/0/0/4)

History of Funeral Service- MSCI 1317 | 4 quarter hours

This course traces the development of funeral service from the ancient Egyptians to modern times.  The students will learn the historical roots of modern practices. (44/0/0/4)

Sociology of Funeral Service- MSCI 1118 | 2 quarter hours

A general survey of sociology, the orientation, definition, application and purpose of culture, mores, folkways, and the study of the family unit.  The students will learn how each of these impact death rituals. (22/0/0/2)

LEGAL REGULATORY AND ETHICAL


Business Law – BUSI 2301 | 4 quarter hours

Board Review is a course customized to acclimate each student to the expectations of licensure examinations. Including both current rules and regulations of the state(s) in which they intend to seek licensure and subject matter found on National Board Examination (or comparable board examination).  As applicable, this course will help prepare, through simulated board examinations, the student for academic success on state law exam(s) required of individuals seeking licensure in the various parts of the country and on the National Board Examination. (44/0/0/4)

Mortuary Law – MSCI 1219 | 3 quarter hours | Prereq: Business Law 2301

This course will provide the legal fundamentals that apply to funeral service.  The students will learn the corporative state laws, rules, and regulations that pertain to funeral service; laws regarding the rights and duties and responsibilities of funeral service professional; and licensure requirements for funeral directors, embalmers and funeral establishments. (33/0/0/3)

Board Review- MSCI 1020 | 1 quarter hour

This course is customized to acclimate each student to the current rules and/or regulations of the state(s) in which they intend to seek licensure.  As applicable, this course will better prepare the student for academic success on state law exams(s) required of individuals seeking licensure in the various parts of the country. (11/0/0/1)

GENERAL EDUCATION CORE

Biology 1 – BIOL 1408 | 6quarter hours | Prereq: none

A contemporary course in which the student will learn the applications of the scientific method, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, classical and human genetics, and virology. (66/0/0/6)

College Algebra – MATH 1314 | 4 quarter hours | Prereq: none

Topics include quadratics, polynomial and exponential functions, graphing, linear equations & inequalities, factoring techniques and algebraic fractions. (44/0/0/4)

Composition and Rhetoric 1- ENGL 1301 | 5 quarter hours | Prereq: none

This course provides students with the rhetorical foundations that prepares them for the demands of professional writing.  The student will learn how to recognize and deploy the strategies and processes that translate into effective written products in a variety of contexts for a variety of purposes. (55/0/0/5)

General Psychology – PSYC 2301 | 5 quarter hours | Prereq: none

The student will learn the elementary principles of human behavior. (55/0/0/5)

United States History II – HIST 1302 | 4 quarter hours | Prereq: none

A survey of U.S. history from the end of Reconstruction to the present.  The student will learn how the United States emerged as a world power and the subsequent assumption of international responsibilities. (44/0/0/4)

To earn the AAS degree, the student must fulfill all requirements for the General Education Core of 24 quarter/16 semester hours as outlined below, plus the Specialized and Related Courses.

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES

(completed prior to admission or taken at Commonwealth Institute)

BIOL 1408 Biology 1
MATH  1314 College Algebra
ENGL 1301 Composition and Rhetoric
PSYC 2301 General Psychology
HIST 1302 United States History II

SPECIALIZED AND RELATED COURSES:

1st Quarter

MSCI 1201 Anatomy 1
BUSI 2304 Business Communication
MSCI 1212 Funeral Directing
MSCI 1317 History of Funeral Service
MSCI 1115 Occupational Safety
BUSI  1302 Operating a Business

2nd Quarter

MSCI 1202 Anatomy 2
BUSI  2301 Business Law
MSCI 1203 Embalming 1 & Externship
MSCI 1307 Microbiology
MSCI 1314 Mortuary Administration
MSCI 1118 Sociology of Funeral Service

3rd Quarter

MSCI 1204 Embalming 2 & Externship
MSCI 1306 Forensic Pathology
MSCI 1313 Funeral Merchandising
MSCI 1219 Mortuary Law
MSCI 1208 Restorative Art 1

4th Quarter

MSCI 1316 Counseling/ Dynamics of Grief
MSCI 1005 Embalming 3
OFAD 1307 Office Accounting
MSCI 1109 Restorative Art 2 & Lab
MSCI 1020 Board Review
MSCI 1310 Thanatochemistry

Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service · 415 Barren Springs Drive · Houston, Texas 77090 · www.commonwealth.edu