See the 7 Top Mortuary Schools in the United States

Mortuary Schools in the United States

People often have the wrong idea about mortuary science, also called funeral service.

In spite of what some people think, this job includes more than just taking care of dead people.

Instead, mortuary science offers gratifying and impactful work, assisting people in distressing situations.

Thus, this article provides insights into the top accredited mortuary science schools in the United States and other valuable information regarding the mortuary scientist career.

What is Mortuary Science?

Mortuary science, sometimes called funeral service or mortuary affairs, is the study and practice of taking care of the dead, getting them ready for burial or cremation, and helping families who are suffering.

This unique and important job is essential for making sure that the final wishes of the dead are carried out and that grieving families get the help they need during one of the hardest times in life.

Is Mortuary Science a Good Career Path?

Mortuary science is a promising career path. It delves into the study of deceased bodies and various aspects of funeral practices.

If you want to work in this area, you will learn about human biology, how to examine cadavers, and how to preserve and prepare bodies for medical or research purposes or for funerals.

The job opportunities open to those who venture into a mortuary science degree are endless, with jobs such as funeral service directors and morticians who are top of the field.

What is the Average Salary of a Mortuary Scientist in the United States?

According to research, the average annual wage for morticians is about $50,000.

This means you can make more money working as a mortuary scientist than in several other careers in the United States.

What is the Cost of Enrolling in a Mortuary School in the United States?

On average, tuition and fees for enrolling in a bachelor in funeral service or mortuary science program at a school within the United States amount to about $30,000 per session.

How do you know a Mortuary School in the United States is authorized?

For any school in the United States to run a Mortuary or funeral service program, they must be accredited by The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

The US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation recognize ABFSE’s accrediting function.

What are the Requirements for Mortuary Schools in the United States? 

The requirements for Mortuary Science Programs in the United States can vary slightly from one institution to another, but generally, they encompass several common elements such as:

1. High School Diploma:

Most Mortuary Science Programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent (such as a GED).

Some programs may also prefer students with a background in science, biology, or related fields.

2. Documentation:

Prospective students must complete the application process, which often includes submitting an application form, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and sometimes a personal statement or essay.

3. Admission Exam:

Some schools might require students to take an admission exam, such as the National Board Examination (NBE) or a program-specific entrance test.

4. Health Requirements:

Given the nature of the work, many programs require students to meet specific health requirements, including vaccinations and medical examinations.

This ensures that students can handle the physical demands of the profession.

5. Essential Skills:

Applicants are expected to possess specific skills, such as compassion, communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to handle emotionally challenging situations, as these are crucial for success in the mortuary science field.

How Long Does it Take to Study at a Mortuary School in the United States?

The duration of studying Mortuary Science in the US can vary depending on the type of program you choose, whether it’s an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or a diploma/certificate program.

An associate’s degree in Mortuary Science typically takes about two years.

This program provides a comprehensive foundation in mortuary science and includes classroom instruction and hands-on practical training.

On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science can take around four years to complete.

This program is more in-depth and often includes a broader range of coursework, including business management and advanced topics in mortuary science.

Finally, some institutions offer shorter diploma or certificate programs in Mortuary Science.

These programs can vary in length but are generally designed to provide focused training in specific areas of mortuary science.

They can range from several months to around 1-2 years.

What are the Best Mortuary Schools in the United States?

1. American River College

American River College is one of the best mortuary schools in the United States.

This school’s funeral service program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

This program prepares those wanting entry-level jobs in the mortuary science field.

Students are also taken through an extensive theory-based academic syllabus and engage in relevant practical activities that empower them with knowledge of the latest trends in the industry.

The vast academic curriculum adequately prepares students to become seasoned funeral directors and embalmers after graduation.

It covers essential areas such as biology, chemistry, funeral service management, embalming, restorative art, fundamentals, counseling, accounting, law, and ethics.

While local students pay $46 tuition fees to attend American River College, out-of-state students pay $257 tuition fees to attend the school.

It takes about two years to complete the funeral service program at American River College.

2. Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe Community College is another world-class addition to this list of the best mortuary schools in the United States.

This school offers an engaging program that adequately prepares students to become mortuary science practitioners, funeral directors, or embalmers.

The Mortuary Science Program at Arapahoe Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

Students engage in learning experiences that empower them with the skills that will enable them to relate effectively with bereaved families and acquire the knowledge of federal, state, and local regulatory guidelines.

Additionally, the mortuary science program that Arapahoe Community College offers grooms students on all aspects of funeral service and enables them to develop valuable skills for this profession.

This school also devotes a large chunk of its resources towards research in this field, which is rare.

Besides their small class sizes that make learning very conducive, faculty that teach here are national conference presenters with published best sellers with over 30 years of clinical embalming experience.

The tuition cost of enrolling in the Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science degree at Arapahoe Community College is $358.55/credit hour; It takes at least two years to complete this program.

3. Cypress College

The Mortuary Science Department at Cypress College adequately grooms people for mortuary science and its related careers.  

Students of this school acquire the knowledge they need to work as funeral directors and embalmers or fill in any other profession in this field.

The American Board of Funeral Service Education accredits the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College.

Their broad learning curriculum covers several knowledge areas, such as Orientation to Funeral Service, Funeral Service Pathology, Embalming Anatomy/Pathology, Funeral Service Thanatology, Funeral Service Management, Restorative Art, Funeral Services Ethics/Laws, and others.

The tuition fee at Cypress College for mortuary science students is $46 and $236 for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively.

4. Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science

The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is an institution that is highly recommended for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the mortuary science field.

This school commits to providing a world-class learning experience in an academic setting that empowers students with the knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen careers.

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science trains students on several funeral service practices that enable them to relate with the families and communities they serve adequately.

They also understand how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral services.

Furthermore, students at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science engage in lessons that equip them with technical skills such as embalming and restorative art, which are vital for handling dead bodies.

The tuition cost of enrolling at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is $17,775 for all classes of students.

The American Board of Funeral Service Education accredits this program.

5. University of Central Oklahoma

The University of Central Oklahoma is one of the best places to study funeral services in the United States.

This school stands out for its world-class learning facilities that feature most of the trending technologies in mortuary science.

Getting to learn in these well-stocked facilities adequately prepares students for their careers.

The tuition cost of enrolling in the funeral service program that the University of Central Oklahoma offers is $7,489 for in-state students and $18,376 for out-of-state students.

6. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is one of the top mortuary schools in the US.

The goal of the Program of Mortuary Science is to prepare graduates for jobs as knowledgeable, skilled, and creative funeral service workers by combining the study of behavioral, physical and applied sciences in a smart way.

Graduates of the program will be able to help grieving people in their communities in a skilled, respectful, and caring way.

The University of Minnesota’s Bachelor of Mortuary Science program is approved by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), which can be reached at 816-233-3747 or 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097.

7. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

SIU’s online Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service degree requires an A.A.S. degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service.

Southern Illinois’ program has a strict admissions process to meet industry standards.

The program follows tight accrediting criteria for students interested in state-of-the-art facilities, internship sites, and a low faculty-student ratio to attend one of the few colleges in the nation with such a program.

Students must meet SIU’s regular admission requirements to enter the program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Mortuary Schools in the US

Which jobs are available after the funeral and mortuary service and science degree programs?

Finishing with a funeral service and mortuary science degree will qualify you for several careers in helping survivors memorialize their dearly departed.

What do Funeral Service managers do?

Funeral service managers supervise all day-to-day operations at funeral homes and hire needed staff on budget.

Who is an embalmer in funeral services?

Embalmers preserve the corpse for funeral viewings by replacing bodily fluids with unique chemical solutions.

What are the services of Grief Counselors in Funeral Service?

Grief counselors provide short or long-term emotional support to sorrowful loved ones during their mourning.


To excel in any of the schools above, make sure that you take practical sessions seriously, put your best into your academics, and be open to research prospects.

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