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.
Colleges with Mortuary Science Programs
These colleges offer mortuary science programs at the associate and bachelor's degree levels.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016*|
|American River College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Associate||$1,104 in-state, $7,440 out-of-state|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$13,790 in-state, $22,210 out-of-state|
|Gannon College||Erie, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$29,258|
|Nassau Community College||Garden City, NY||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,854 in-state, $9,388 out-of-state|
|Mount Ida College||Newton, MA||4-year, Private||Associate's, Bachelor's||$32,300|
|Mount Hood Community College||Gresham, OR||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,841 in-state, $10,016|
|Point Park University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$28,250|
|Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College||Cumberland, KY||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,624 in-state, $12,456 out-of-state|
|St Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$3,352 in-state, $11,607 out-of-state|
|Jefferson State Community College||Birmingham, AL||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,380 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state|
Sources: *School websites, National Center for Educational Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Considerations for students include the following:
- 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, so students should research those prerequisites before applying to a program they may not qualify for.
- Students will want to make sure their school is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).
- Students should consider programs that offer internships.
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.
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.
Mortuary science degrees typically take two-to-four years to complete, and prepare students to become morticians, undertakers, embalmers and funeral home directors. Students should look for accredited programs that will prepare them to become licensed morticians.