Mortuary Science Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Students can find associate and bachelor's degree programs in mortuary science at 4-year universities and 2-year community colleges through schools' health services divisions.

How to Select a Mortuary Science School

Morticians, undertakers, funeral directors and embalmers have all received their training from mortuary science programs. Since funeral directors must deal with the reality of preserving or disposing of human remains along with the survivors of the deceased, mortuary science programs feature a wide range of education, from psychology to microbiology.

Considerations for students can include:

  • Students should consult the National Funeral Director's Association (NFDA) to gain information on which schools will satisfy all state regulations and what other education, training or licenses they may need outside of the mortuary science degree.
  • Schools typically conduct preliminary interviews and background checks for mortuary science programs, as well as require previous education in the sciences.
  • Students will want to make sure their school is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

Mortuary Science Program Overviews

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Mortuary Science program lasts around 2-4 years. Most associate degree programs require students to have completed general education courses prior to enrolling in the AAS program. Prior to becoming a licensed mortician, all students must pass the national board exam for funeral directors. Courses offered cover topics in:

  • Psychology
  • Pathology
  • Embalming and restorative art
  • Mortuary law
  • Management

Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science

Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science programs last four years, including general college courses. Undergraduate programs not only prepare students for the national board exam and provide mortician education and laboratory experience, but they often require that students take on internships in local funeral homes. Throughout the program, students learn to support the bereaved, prepare bodies, secure legal documents, advise survivors and manage business. Courses taken include:

  • Funeral service rules and regulations
  • Embalming theory
  • Community health
  • Funeral business
  • Human anatomy

Ten Colleges with Mortuary Science Programs

College/University Institution Type
American River College 2-year, Public
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 4-year, Public
Gannon College 4-year, Private
Nassau Community College 2-year, Public
Mount Ida College 4-year, Private
Mount Hood Community College 2-year, Public
Point Park University 4-year, Private
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College 2-year, Public
St Petersburg College 4-year, Public
Jefferson State Community College 2-year, Public

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