The Diploma Program (Embalming and Funeral Directing)

A twelve month (3 trimester) course of study available to those who desire licensure in a state whose law requires it. There is no requirement for prior college credit.

Associate in Specialized Business Degree (Funeral Service Management)

The Associate in Specialized Business Degree (ASB) is available to students who complete five trimesters of study, including Trimester “A”. This alternate trimester of study may be taken before or after the sequence of the first through fourth trimesters. In lieu of taking Trimester “A” at PIMS, a student may elect to transfer sixteen credits into Pittsburgh Institute from another institution of higher learning, as long as they are earned from a regionally accredited college or university and meet the distribution requirements below.

If the student desires to complete sixteen semester credits from another institution, these credits from the sending institution must come from the following two general areas:

Area I

12 semester (18 quarter) credits

  • Biology or other Life Sciences
  • Business Mathematics
  • Public Health
  • Allied Health Science
  • Chemistry
  • Behavioral Science
  • Zoology
  • Sociology
  • Business Administration
  • Environmental Health
  • Political Science
  • Religion
  • Other related areas
Area II

4 semester (6 quarter) credits

  • English Literature
  • College Mathematics
  • English Composition
  • Computer Science
  • Public Speaking
  • Education
  • History
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Languages
  • Humanities
  • Philosophy
  • Other related areas

Prospective students who have questions regarding course selection are requested to seek assistance from Institute officials. The Pittsburgh Institute reserves the right to classify the distribution of credits for students applying for the ASB Degree.

Associate in Specialized Technology Degree (Funeral Service Arts and Sciences)

The Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) Degree was developed to recognize the efforts of many students who had already earned in excess of 30 semester (45 quarter) credits but who never earned a graduation award in the process. The AST Degree in Funeral Service Arts and Sciences requires the student to earn a minimum of 30 semester (45 quarter) credits from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the three trimester sequence of courses that take a year to complete at PIMS (Trimester 1,2,3). Out of the 30 semester credits required, 21 must be subjects under Area I. The Associate in Specialized Technology Degree must meet the following distribution requirements for the 30 semester (45 quarter) credits prerequisite to study at PIMS:

Area I

21-24 semester (32-36 quarter) credits

  • Biology or other Life Sciences
  • Business Mathematics
  • Public Health
  • Allied Health Science
  • Chemistry
  • Behavioral Science
  • Zoology
  • Sociology
  • Business Administration
  • Environmental Health
  • Political Science
  • Religion
  • Other related areas
Area II

6-9 semester (9-14 quarter) credits

  • English Literature
  • College Mathematics
  • English Composition
  • Computer Science
  • Public Speaking
  • Education
  • History
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Languages
  • Humanities
  • Philosophy
  • Other related areas

Upon documenting that this distribution requirement is met, the student would then be able to pursue the balance of the AST Degree program (the final sixty semester credits at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science) via PIMS’ core program.

*Because colleges and universities title courses differently, it is not always easy to determine by the course title in which distribution category a course might apply. Therefore course outlines or syllabi may need to be analyzed to properly distribute the credits. This “other related area” category within each distribution area would enable PIMS to distribute the credits appropriately when such a doubt exists. The above subjects are only representative samples of the types.

Cooperative Bachelor Degree Programs

The student can combine course work from the Pittsburgh Institute with education from one of the four cooperative college programs. Participating schools are Point Park University, California University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University and Thiel College. College credit is given for training received at the Pittsburgh Institute.

Bachelor of Science Degree Option: Point Park University (PPU) Capstone Program

Obtaining a total professional education cannot be accomplished any faster than through the creative approach developed by the officials from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and Point Park University.  To better meet the needs of students who have a personal goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree the two schools have developed a “must consider” capstone approach to earning this award.

The novel approach to earning the degree requires the student to matriculate at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science into its Specialized Business Associate Degree Program for five semesters. During the professional education, the student is able to take all of the “core” courses in embalming and funeral directing, as well as advanced study in psychology (Death and Children, Gerontology, Psychology of Death, Social Psychology), business management (Economics, Funeral Service Marketing, Risk Management, Human Resource Management), comparative religious study and Environment Health. Upon successful completion of this part of the program the student could earn both the Diploma in Embalming and Funeral Directing as well as the Associate in Specialized Business Degree in Funeral Service Management.

The student would make application to Point Park University for the “capstone” cooperative program. Further upper division study in the humanities, as well as a focus in either business administration or environmental health may be taken. These upper division studies should enable the student to graduate over the next 2-3 semesters with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Specialized Professional Studies.