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Mortuary Science Schools

Related Areas of Study

A degree in mortuary science and embalming is necessary for those who plan to work as morticians and funeral directors. Mortuary science and embalming deals with the restoration and preservation of bodies prior to funerary services. A mortuary science and embalming program does not just educate the student in working with dead bodies, but also with the consolation of the friends and families of the deceased. Mortuary science and embalming programs include coursework in business management and ethics.

Classes in mortuary science and embalming include:

  • Restorative Art
  • Funeral Service Orientation
  • Principles of Embalming
  • Psychology of Grief
  • Descriptive Pathology

Upon completion, programs assist individuals with apprenticeship placement, a necessity for eventually obtaining licensure. All states require licensure for funeral directors, though some states may require separate licenses for embalming and funeral direction. The governing body for program accreditation is the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

A career in mortuary science and embalming can be financially rewarding. Embalmers receive an average salary of $44,000 per year, with starting wages being approximately $26,000 per year. Funeral Directors received an average of $52,000 dollars per year, with lowest 10% receiving less than $29,000 per year and the highest 10% receiving more than $92,000 per year. The salary of a funeral director is dependent on experience, services performed, level of education and number of facilities operated. Additionally, funeral directors operating in large cities will make more than those in smaller or rural areas.

It is important to note that due to the nature of the field there are negative aspects in pursuing a career in mortuary science:

  • Some students may feel isolated from their non-mortuary science peers due to their major.
  • One of the more difficult aspects of mortuary work is the various odors in the work place.
  • The danger of working with infectious cadavers (Can be avoided with proper precautions)
  • Emotional and psychological stress brought on by working with bodies, especially those of children.
  • There is a high dropout rate for mortuary students primarily because of the mental toll it takes.

Top Colleges that Offer Mortuary Science by Number of Graduates

Listed below are the most popular schools in the U.S. that have mortuary science programs. Schools can be filtered by clicking the drop-down menu below and selecting a state.

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C = Certificate or Award | A = Associate Degree | B = Bachelor's Degree | M = Master's Degree | D = Doctor Degree (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Showing 1-20 of 4 Schools
Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service

Decatur, GA

Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service operates as a two-year private institution dedicated to providing a solid education for students located in and around Decatur. The largest program offered is the mortuary science associate's degree program, with more than 390 students graduating in the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,000
  • Type: Career College
  • Students Enrolled: Less Than 1,000
  • Telephone: (770) 593-2257

Programs Offered

  • Mortuary Science (A)

Carl Sandburg College

Galesburg, IL

Carl Sandburg College, located Galesburg, Illinois, was founded in 1966 to serve residents in its service area of west-central Illinois. The school maintains a second campus in Carthage, an extension location in Bushnell, and several off campus learning center sites in...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $5,398
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (309) 344-2518

Programs Offered

  • Mortuary Science (A)
  • Cosmetology (A)
  • Cosmetology, Barber and Nail Instructor (A)

University of the District of Columbia

Washington, DC

UDC is a public historically black institution located in Washington, DC. Most historically black colleges and universities (also known as HBCUs) were founded after the civil war to provide newly freed African Americans with educational opportunities. As a land grant institution this school is...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,244
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (202) 274-5012

Programs Offered

  • Mortuary Science (A)

Malcolm X College - City Colleges of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Malcolm X College (MXC) is the first of the seven City Colleges of Chicago. Founded in 1911 as Crane Junior College, it was renamed in 1968 at the behest of the local community. Today, it is one of the premier institutions in the city providing comprehensive technical and academic education...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $5,961
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (312) 850-7000

Programs Offered

  • Mortuary Science (A)

Source: IPEDS Survey 2008-2011: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.