Mortician Training and School Information

Morticians - also known as embalmers, funeral directors or undertakers - are responsible for the preparation and disposal of the deceased, as well as attending to the survivors by organizing funeral and burial services. Mortician training programs focus on preparing students by training them in the classroom as well as providing on-the-job training.

How to Select a Mortician School

There are very few schools in each state that offer programs in mortuary science, so the selection process is limited. Individuals may find associate and bachelor's degree programs in this subject at select community colleges and universities. Students should consider the following when selecting a mortician school:

  • Search for programs that have been accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE,, which is the only accrediting organization for morticians accepted by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
  • Research state licensure requirements and how a mortuary science degree can help an individual earn licensure.
  • Consider pursuing an internship that may help that acquire state licensure.

Mortician Program Overviews

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Mortuary Science program typically lasts 2.5-4 years. Students must have completed general education requirements prior to enrollment in an AAS program, and most programs specify that students have completed introductory courses in psychology, accounting and anatomy. Students will receive their associate degree after successfully completing the program and passing the National Board Examination. Mortuary science programs provide additional training in the sciences and business, covering topics such as:

  • Microbiology and pathology
  • Embalming and restorative art
  • Mortuary law and management
  • Counseling

Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science

A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mortuary Science program typically lasts four years. During the first two years, students must complete their general education requirements; the last two years are spent within the mortuary science program. Programs prepare students for the National Board Examination and provide practical knowledge and training through lectures and labs. The curriculum includes an examination of these topics:

  • Funeral service and history
  • Embalming and restorative art
  • Anatomy, chemistry and pathology
  • Marketing
  • Management and law

10 Schools with Mortuary Science Programs

College/University Institution Type
University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Funeral Service Program 2-year, Public
Miami-Dade College 3-year, Public
Southern Illinois University 4-year, Public
Community College of Baltimore County 2-year, Public
University of Minnesota 4-year, Public
Hudson Valley Community College 2-year, Public
Fayetteville Technical Community College 2-year, Public
Mount Hood Community College 2-year, Public
American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service 2-year, Private
Mercer County Community College 2-year, Public

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