Funeral Service Education


Embalmer Certificate

The Embalmer Certificate includes the study and practice of the history and fundamentals of embalming. The embalming process will be practiced within the provincial framework and the acts and regulations governing funeral service in Alberta.

If you are interest in applying, please visit "Programs Offered" and select "Occupational Diplomas & Certificates" to check on the status of the application period.

Students considering this certificate should contact the program team prior to application,  in order to discuss suitability.


Complete 9 courses (450 hours) with a minimum grade of C in each course to receive your Certificate. The program is completed through part-time studies within 1 year but must be completed within 6 years.

Step by Step Registration Guide:

  1. Look up courses via MyMRU> Register & Pay> Look up Courses
  2. Search by term (e.g.  Fall 2017 CREDIT or Winter 2018 CREDIT) and then Submit
  3. Select the subject:  e.g. Funeral Service and then Course Search. Tip: You can choose multiple subjects by holding CTRL while selecting each subject.
  4. Find the course name and number (e.g. XFDC 10001) and click on View Sections.  All of the scheduled sections in the term will display.  If there is a tutorial or laboratory connected to the lecture, there will be a note. 
  5. Select your courses for the semester and Submit.


Program Planning Guide

Please see the attached guide to help you with program planning.
Program Planning Guide - Embalmer Certificate
Review Practicum and Work Experience requirements for your program.

Course Descriptions

64 hours, online
This course provides a systematic survey of the structure of the human body. Topics include cells and tissues of the body, plus the anatomy of the skeletal, articular, muscular, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, circulatory, nervous, integumentary and endocrine systems.
48 hours, online
Embalming Theory I will include the study of health and safety issues including infectious agents, the chain of infection, disinfection, exposure and follow-up requirements. The death process, ante-mortem and post-mortem changes will be studied. The embalming process and procedures will be studied including the use of chemicals and hazardous waste.
86 hours, practicum
Students participate in instructor-led embalming labs within Calgary funeral homes. Students residing outside of Calgary complete course at an Intensive Institute.
48 hours, online
Students will be introduced to fundamental chemical principals, the importance of water to life, the basis of organic chemistry and biochemistry. Chemical changes that occur after death will be examined and the effects of thanatochemistry introduced.
48 hours, online
Embalming Theory II will build on the principles of Embalming Theory I examining the specific situations including effects of long term illness and trauma on the body, autopsy, and the decomposition process. Skills such as suturing and care of body fluids will be studied.

16 hours, online
Restorative Art I will begin the study of facial reconstruction and restoration. Facial and cranial proportions and suturing skills as related to facial reconstruction will be studied. The use of various chemicals, art materials and art instruments will be examined in relation to preparation of the deceased for viewing.

48 hours, online
This course will introduce students to the world of microbiology and infectious disease. Review potential risks associated with the embalming process: explore the determinants of disease and infection, disease prevention, disease processes, sterilization processes, specific modes of action of antibiotics and chemical anti-microbials and the function of the human immune system and other defenses. Select organisms will also be examined for their role in human disease.
20 hours, lecture
Building on principles studied in Restorative Art I, this course emphasizes the restructuring of various facial features for cosmetic purposes. Special skills involving the use of wax modeling, tissue building and bleaching techniques will be included. Students residing outside of Calgary complete course at an Intensive Institute.
72 hours, off campus
The Embalmer work Experience is a synthesis of academic work, practicum experience and experiential learning. Apply the fundamentals of embalming using appropriate health and universal safety precautions. Skills such as critical assessment, suturing and the care of body fluids will be further developed. Apply the laws and regulations governing funeral service and increase knowledge, confidence and skills within the embalming preparation room. Students are responsible for securing employment within a licensed funeral home.

Program Outcomes

  • Exhibit a high standard of professional conduct and ethics
  • Apply a broad based knowledge of biology and social science
  • Demonstrate reconstruction and restorative art techniques
  • Complete the embalming process with appropriate infection control procedures
  • Document the arterial injection embalming of up to 50 individual cases through an embalming log
Ready to get started?
Get a head start on your program.  Contact us for details.

Contact us

For more information about this program:
403.440.6867 or 1.866.616.3606
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB T3E 6K6