Online Schools and Colleges for an Aspiring Mortician

Jan 02, 2019

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online mortician school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, apprenticeship avenues, and common topics offered for the field of study.

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Select an Online Mortician School

Review some of the things schools in mortuary science and funeral services can prepare you for, such as what degrees you can earn and the in-person requirements of these programs, then look at a few of the schools that offer them.

Students considering online mortician schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Morticians work in funeral homes arranging a funeral with a family, embalming, and laying the dead to rest at a gravesite. Only a handful of online programs are available in mortuary science or funeral services administration. Most online programs are offered at community and four-year colleges. However, some mortuary science degree programs are offered at schools specializing in mortuary science. Students must then weigh the in-person requirements.

Program Level

Students looking to become morticians or funeral directors can earn a bachelor's or associate's degree in mortuary science. This degree can be completed online with some work to be done either at a local funeral home or on the school's campus. Those completing a two-year or four-year online degree can work as an apprentice to a mortician, which involves arranging and directing the funerals and burials of the dead. A bachelor's degree program includes more general education courses, which may help students to better succeed in the business side of their career.

In-Person Requirements

Every online mortuary science degree program is a hybrid program in which students take introductory courses completely online and then complete an internship with a local funeral home or spend about eight days on the school's campus to conduct clinical embalming training. The American Board of Funeral Service Education requires schools to have visited the funeral homes at which a student is placed.

Online Programs for Morticians

Online Associate's Degree in Mortuary Science or Funeral Services Administration

Most programs are two years in length. Graduates usually enter into apprenticeship programs with funeral homes in their area. Classes include the psychology of death, world religions, business law, embalming chemistry, and microbiology. Other coursework includes:

  • Human anatomy
  • Funeral management
  • Embalming
  • Professional issues
  • Funeral service history

Online Bachelor's Degree in Mortuary Science or Funeral Services Administration

An online bachelor's degree program is similar to an associate's degree program, though it requires more general education and business courses. These courses may help aspiring morticians to better familiarize themselves with the challenges of managing a funeral parlor. Students study the science of embalming, funeral home management, and bereavement counseling. Sample courses include:

  • Embalming and aseptic techniques
  • Funeral home management
  • Human response to death
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Funeral service law

Students may enroll in the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service's hybrid associate's degree program in funeral services. This program includes both online courses and in-person training that will teach student how to conduct funeral ceremonies, recognize different funeral customs, complete preservation and restoration processes on bodies, and fill out the appropriate paperwork with surviving family members. After completing this 12- to 15-month program and passing the National Board Exam, students may earn an Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service and find entry-level employment as embalmers and funeral directors.

Canton State University of New York offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Technology in Funeral Services Administration. This program has two paths of completion. One is made for working professionals in the funeral home industry who are wanting to earn a bachelor's degree and seek career advancement. This online completion program requires applicants to have been a licensed funeral director for more than three years, have passed both sections of the National Board Exam, and have a degree from an American Board of Funeral Service Education accredited program. The other option is for students new to the field and provides opportunities for real-life, in-person training experiences.

Most programs in mortuary science and funeral services have both an online and in-person component. These programs may offer an associate's degree and prepare you for the National Board Exam or help you earn a bachelor's degree and seek promotion.

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