Top Mortuary Schools
Mortuary schools offer specialized training in business topics such as funeral home management as well as technical procedures like cremation and embalming. Here are a few examples of the training institutions listed by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards:
- American River College (Sacramento, Calif.)
- Arapahoe Community College (Littleton, Colo.)
- Bishop State Community College (Mobile, Ala.)
Students at various top mortuary schools have been honored by industry organizations. For example, the Funeral Service Foundation granted a 2012 scholarship to a student at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. The International Order of the Golden Rule made awards to students at Mesa Community College (Mesa, Ariz.) and Worsham College of Mortuary Science (Wheeling, Ill.)
Learn more about mortuary science
Mortuary programs at the community college level provide associate degrees designed to meet the requirements for many entry-level careers in funeral service. College and university programs may also offer bachelor's degrees in mortuary science, educating students in the various aspects of the profession. The minimum requirement for funeral directors is an associate degree, but a growing number of employers prefer a bachelor's degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012). Funeral directors, also called morticians and undertakers, must complete an apprenticeship or residency and acquire a state license, the BLS reports.
Programs at mortuary schools encompass the history of funeral service, practices and procedures, rules and regulations of state and federal governments, organization and management, business law, marketing and merchandising. Studies include topics like the following:
- Business: finance, cemetery operations, legal compliance, personnel management
- Interpersonal skills: counseling, religions and cultures, diversity, grief and bereavement, psychology
- Science: human anatomy, microbiology, health sciences, physiology, forensic pathology
- Technical training: cremation, restorative art, embalming
Professionals employed in this field typically seek continuing education with courses on wide-ranging topics such as communicable disease, ethics and standards of conduct, public speaking and death care marketing.
If you are interested in learning more about mortuary schools and programs of study, please search our site for information and resources. Schools should be accredited by approved organizations like the American Board of Funeral Service Education and should meet state licensure requirements.