Schools with Taxidermy Programs: How to Choose

Dec 05, 2019

Taxidermy is the art of preserving and displaying dead animals for private collections, art galleries or museums. Short-term certificate and vocational programs that prepare students to become taxidermists are available at select schools around the country.

Taxidermy programs can prepare students for work as a professional taxidermist or to pursue their hobby. Getting valuable educational and practical experience is important for those wishing to pursue taxidermy professionally.

Top Schools with Taxidermy Programs

The following schools offer continuing education courses, certificate or diploma programs in taxidermy. Tuition rates are based on the 2016-2017 school year:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Pennsylvania Institute of Taxidermy Ebensburg, PA 2-year, Private Certificate, Diploma $22,000
Montgomery Community College Troy, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $2,537 (in-state), $8,681 (out-of-state)**
Surry Community College Dobson, NC 2-year, Public Continuing education $183 per course
Finger Lakes Community College Canandaigua, NY 2-year, Public Certificate $5,158**
Vermilion Community College Ely, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $5,325 (MN, ND, Manitoba residents), $6,506 (non-residents)
Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC 2-year, Public Continuing education $190 per course
Johnston Community College Smithfield, NC 2-year, Public Continuing education $170-$270 per course
North American School of Taxidermy Cushing, MN 4-week, Private 4-week course must contact school
Missouri School of Taxidermy Winfield, MO 8-week, Private 4-week course, 8-week course $2,500-$15,000

Sources: *School websites, **College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

Individual taxidermy skills courses, offered at several community colleges and technical schools in the U.S., are designed for those looking to learn taxidermy as a hobby or to improve their professional skills.

Take the following into consideration when looking into taxidermy schools:

  • Comprehensive one-year certificate or diploma programs are rare, but potential taxidermists without additional postsecondary education may want to seek them out.
  • Students may want to consider the programs which qualify graduates for state or federal taxidermist licenses.

Taxidermy Certificate or Vocational Diploma

Certificate or diploma programs in taxidermy can take 6-12 months to complete depending on their academic rigor and scope. Students will receive training in tool and chemical use, mount production, habitat re-creation and color restoration, among others. Shorter programs focus on one or two specific skills such as fish, bird or mammal preservation, while longer programs are comprehensive and may require some general education courses or electives.

Several community colleges and private schools offer taxidermy courses or programs. Tuition rates vary greatly between private and public schools, so students should carefully consider which programs is best for their goals and if the program qualifies graduates for licensing.

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