Embalming Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Students seeking embalming training often enroll in mortuary science or funeral science degree programs. Besides preparing students for exams, an embalming program teaches students to prepare and present bodies for a funeral. Keep reading to find out more about preparation for this career.

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A number of schools around the country offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in mortuary science and funeral science. Students who wish to pursue an education in embalming would ultimately seek a license in funeral services, since the two areas are covered under the same program and cannot be separated.

Ten Colleges with Mortuary Science Programs

These community colleges and universities have undergraduate programs in mortuary science or funeral science:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2015-2016*
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,790 in-state, $22,210 out-of-state
Nassau Community College Garden City, NY 2-year, Public Associate's $4,854 in-state, $9,388 out-of-state
Amarillo College Amarillo, TX 2-year, Public Associate's $2,010 in-district, $3,042 in-state, $4,578 out-of-state
Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, NC 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $2,394 in-state, $8,538 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 out-of-state
Point Park University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $28,250
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City, UT 2-year, Public Associate's $3,569 in-state, $11,337 out-of-state
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

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students should consider the following points when selecting a program:

  • Students may want to research schools that are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, which selects and approves the curriculum for programs in the field.
  • Aspiring embalmers can also look for schools that prepare them to take the national funeral director exam administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.
  • Students should consider programs that offer internships, practicums, or clinical experiences in real funeral homes, which can help them apply their knowledge and also enhance their resumes for job hunts after graduation.
  • Students should be aware before applying for programs that schools may conduct preliminary interviews and background checks for mortuary science programs, as well as require previous education in the sciences.

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

In an associate degree program, embalming school students complete coursework in microbiology, chemistry, pathology and restorative art. They study funeral psychology, funeral service administration, mortuary law, ethics and accounting. Students learn how to conduct a funeral, and they acquire knowledge of basic embalming chemicals and techniques. Students study facial feature restoration, feature construction and cosmetic alterations. Some schools offer facilities such as restorative arts laboratories, casket selection rooms and cremation rooms.

Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science

Students enrolled in a 4-year mortuary science program receive knowledge in the areas of mortuary law, management, ethics, psychology and counseling for grieving families. Students also learn about funeral arrangements and laws, marketing and merchandising and funeral practices. Restorative art and mortuary anatomy are also covered. Embalming chemistry, microbiology and embalming theory courses are included in these programs.

Mortuary science programs teach students about how to conduct funerals, embalm bodies, make funeral arrangements. Students should look for accredited programs that prepare them for licensure, and they may wish to seek internships at area funeral homes as well.

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