Anyone looking to pursue a career as a mortician/funeral director must first obtain a degree in mortuary science. Degree programs in mortuary sciences offer students the opportunity to gain both theoretical knowledge as well as practical training.
At present, there are 60 accredited mortuary science program in the United States. Mortuary science programs are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. The majority of mortuary science degrees are 2 year associate’s programs, but those looking to pursue a more in-depth study of the mortuary sciences can also complete bachelor’s degrees at a number of institutions.
Here’s a quick look at 3 of the most popular mortuary science schools in the country.
1. The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is accredited by the ABFSE, and also recognized by the Ohio Board of Regents as an Institution of Higher Learning. Founded in 1882, the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is not only one of the top mortician schools in the country, but also the oldest. Students have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in 12 months, or a Bachelor’s of Mortuary Science Degree in 15 months, with college transfer credits.
The program focuses on providing a well-rounded education that covers all aspects of funeral services, as well as hands-on experience with embalming. Coursework ranges from basic classes in Accounting, Business Law, and Pricing, to classes that examine the social and psychological aspects of death and morning, to anatomy and practical training in embalming skills. The full curriculum can be viewed here.
The application deadline for applying for the mortuary sciences program is Feb 28 for the upcoming school year, and the application fee is $50. Students must forward any official academic transcripts, an application form, a completed health certificate form, and evidence of state board registration (if applicable).
2. Worsham College of Mortuary Science
Founded in 1911, Worsham College of Mortuary Science is a private college that offers an Associate’s degree in Mortuary Science, which can be completed in 12 months. The program is accredited by the ABFSE.
Classes are generally held from Mondays to Thursday, from 8:00AM to 2:10PM, though this schedule may be variable in the latter half of the program due to laboratory classes. Courses range from basic accounting and business law classes, to speech communications classes, to funeral service counselling, to courses on embalming. A full listing of the course curriculum is available here.
Applications to Worsham College can be made year round, though the college only accepts students into their program in September and March of each year. The application fee is $30.00, and prospective students must submit the following in order to apply:
- Completed application form
- Official college transcripts
- Completed health certificate
- 2 letters of recommendation
- Short essay explaining why they want to enter the funeral services as a profession.
More details on applying and admission is available here.
Students must meet the pre-requisite requirements of their state board (it varies state to state). For students looking to practice in the State of Illinois, they must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of college, which must include 20 hours of arts and/or science courses, prior to enrolling.
3. Dallas Institute of Funeral Service
The Dallas Institute of Funeral Service is accredited by the ABFSE and approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The program offers The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service, The Funeral Director’s Diploma Program. The credits at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service are also transferable to Ottawa University for individuals looking to complete a Bachelor’s degree.
The program includes both a theory portion as well as a practical, hands-on program as part of its well-rounded curriculum.
The Dallas Institute of Funeral Service also offers a number of its courses online. A full listing of the courses available for completion via distance education is available
You can find out more about how to become a mortician here.
Listing of Mortuary Schools By Program Size
|Rnk||School||#||Phone||Program Director||Total Cost|
|1||Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science||111||513-761-2020||Teresa Dutko (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$22,500|
|2||Worsham College of Mortuary Science||111||847-808-8444||Karl F. Kann (email@example.com)||$20,700|
|3||Dallas Institute of Funeral Service||107||800-235-5444||James Shoemake (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$12,000|
|4||American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service||100||212-757-1190||Meg Dunn (email@example.com)||$12,740|
|5||Fayetteville Technical Community College – Funeral Service Education Department||82||910-678-8301||M David Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$3,968|
|6||Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service||76||281-873-0262||Jason Altieri (email@example.com)||$10,904|
|7||Mid-America College of Funeral Service||63||812-288-8878||John R. Braboy (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$9,050|
|8||Jefferson State Community College – Funeral Service Education Program||41||205-856-7844||Venus N.R. Smith (email@example.com)||$5,974|
|9||Cypress College – Mortuary Science Department||36||714-484-7278||Glenn A. Bower (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$2,552|
|10||John Tyler Community College – Funeral Service Program||36||804-706-5118||Rhonda Keyes Pleasants (email@example.com)||$4,752|
|11||John A Gupton College||34||615-327-3927||Donna Collard (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$25,233|
|12||Des Moines Area Community College – Mortuary Science Program||32||515-965-7171||Kevin Patterson (email@example.com)||$15,620|
|13||Mercer County Community College||32||609-570-3472||Robert C. Smith III (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$4,450|
|14||Milwaukee Area Technical College – Funeral Service Program||32||414-456-5320||John Pludeman (email@example.com)||$5,218|
|15||Arapahoe Community College – Mortuary Science Program||31||303-797-5954||Martha Thayer (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$4,474|
|16||Mesa Community College – Mortuary Science Program||29||480-988-8501||Dr. Thomas R. Taggart (email@example.com)||$3,054|
|17||Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science Inc||28||412-362-8500||Eugene C. Ogrodnik (firstname.lastname@example.org)||–|
|18||Northampton Community College – Funeral Service Education||26||610-861-5388||Patricia Werner (email@example.com)||$15,999|
|19||Mt Hood Community College – Funeral Service Education||26||503-491-7363||Doug Ferrin (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$5,779|
|20||University of Minnesota – Program of Mortuary Science||26||612-624-6464||Michael LuBrant (email@example.com)||$24,050|
|21||Kansas City Kansas Community College – School of Mortuary Science||25||913-288-7607||Wiley Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$3,268|
|22||Amarillo College – Mortuary Science Program – West Campus||25||–||Scott Rankin (email@example.com)||$3,188|
|23||American River College||22||916-484-8158||Alicia Ashabran (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$2,628|
|24||Nassau Community College||22||916-484-8158||Alicia Ashabran (email@example.com)||$5,423|
|25||Miami Dade College – W.L. Philbrick School of Funeral Service Education||20||305-237-1244||Loretta Adoghe (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$5,414|
|26||Lincoln College of New England-Southington – Mortuary Science Program||18||860-628-4751||Paul Warren (email@example.com)||$29,483|
|27||St. Petersburg College – Funeral Services Programfirstname.lastname@example.org||$4,588|
|28||FINE Mortuary College LLC||17||781-762-1211||Louis Misantone (FINE@fine-ne.com)||$18,900|
|29||Simmons Institute of Funeral Service Inc||17||315-475-5142||Maurice C. Wightman (email@example.com)||$11,600|
|30||University of Central Oklahoma – Department of Funeral Service Education||16||405-974-5001||John Fritch (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$16,119|
|31||Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana – Mortuary Science Program||15||317-921-4325||Brian Miller (email@example.com)||$4,424|
|32||St. Louis Community College at Forest Park – Department of Funeral Service Education||15||314-644-9327||Steven Koosmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$3,640|
|33||Vincennes University – Funeral Service Education Program||15||812-888-5469||Jonathan E. DeHart (email@example.com)||$16,619|
|34||Community College of Baltimore County – Mortuary Science Program – Catonsville Campus||14||410-840-4924||Brian Burke (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$4,692|
|35||Tidewater Community College – Funeral Service Program||14||757-822-7074||J. F. Walton (email@example.com)||$5,000|
|36||East Mississippi Community College – Funeral Service Technology||14||662-476-5100||Don Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$7,270|
|37||Piedmont Technical College – Funeral Service Education||13||864-941-8774||David B. Martin (email@example.com)||$4,723|
|38||Southern Illinois University Carbondale – Mortuary Science & Funeral Service Program||13||618-453-7212||Anthony Fleege (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$23,467|
|39||Mount Ida College – New England Institute||12||617-928-4714||Jeffrey Megna (email@example.com)||$42,169|
|40||Florida State College at Jacksonville – Funeral Service Program||12||904-766-6622||Robert J. Dean (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$4,628|
|41||Hudson Valley Community College – Mortuary Science Department||10||518-629-7113||D. Elaine Reinhard (email@example.com)||$5,676|
|42||Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College – Funeral Service Technology Department||9||601-528-8919||Bill D. Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$9,612|
|43||Holmes Community College – Funeral Service Technology Program – Ridgeland Campus||9||601-605-3323||Tony Moore (email@example.com)||$9,938|
|44||University of Arkansas Community College at Hope – Funeral Service Program||14||870-722-8206||Karen Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$4,280|
|45||Northwest Mississippi Community College – Funeral Service Technology Program – DeSoto Center||8||662-280-6137||Larry Anderson (email@example.com)||$9,910|
|46||Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest – Mortuary Science Program||7||219-392-3600||Nhemya C. Ward (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$4,424|
|47||Delgado Community College – Department of Funeral Service||6||504-671-6244||David Coughran (email@example.com)||$4,530|
|48||San Antonio College||5||210-486-1137||Felix Gonzales (firstname.lastname@example.org)||$3,852|
|49||Bishop State Community College – Funeral Service Education Program||1||251-405-4439||Dr. William Thompson (email@example.com)||$5,580|