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.