If you’ve always been fascinated by funeral rites and practices, the best colleges with mortuary science can be helpful. These programs prepare students to work with deceased bodies and prepare them for funeral services. You’re most likely to find employment as a funeral director or mortician with this degree.
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With that said, you must find the top programs in the country to help you develop your specialty skills. We’ve found five of the best colleges to consider if you want to explore mortuary science in deeper detail. Each of these schools meets the following criteria:
- An average annual cost of no more than $11,000
- A median starting salary no lower than $35,000 after graduation
- Has accredited programs by recognized bodies
5 Best Funeral Service And Mortuary Science Colleges
1. Salt Lake Community College
2 to 4 Year; Salt Lake City, UT
Average Annual Cost: $6,963
With the mortuary science degree from Salt Lake Community College, students will acquire entry-level skills needed for careers in funeral homes. Throughout your studies, you’ll work with restorative art and embalming using state-of-the-art, on-campus facilities. Another massive benefit of enrolling in their program is providing a real-world experience in funeral homes.
All of your courses will be specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills for quantitative literacy, communication, and funeral arts. Students will also have a strong foundation in regulatory compliance and how to assist the bereaved effectively. Overall, it’s a well-rounded program to help students delve into the field of mortuary science.
If you’re interested in transferring to another institution, you can bring your Salt Lake Community College credits with you. They are a part of the Northwest Commission on College and Universities, allowing you to move onto a four-year program. This process is essential for students looking to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
2. Lake Washington Institute of Technology
4 Year; Kirkland, WA
Average Annual Cost: $7,713
When enrolled at Lake Washington Institute of Technology for mortuary science, students will be a part of the Funeral Service Education program. You can choose from three learning pathways: a Certificate of Completion, Associate of Applied Science, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Funeral Service Education.
With a BAS in Funeral Service Education, students will have plenty of professional opportunities upon graduation. Many graduates develop fundamental skills for providing emotional support, counsel, and service to the bereaved. With that said, your coursework will also revolve around the management of funeral homes, such as business management.
As an alternative, you can opt to acquire a Certificate of Completion. With a certificate, you can work in all areas of funeral homes that don’t require licensure. For example, funeral attendants and funeral ambassadors often benefit significantly from having a CoC in Funeral Service Education.
There are various concepts students will be expected to grasp in their mortuary science program. You’ll learn how to conduct visitations and services and work within federal, state, and local laws through your courses. You will also learn the procedures for cremation and burial and understand the standards for funeral services.
3. Hudson Valley Community College
2 to 4 Year; Troy, NY
Average Annual Cost: $8,548
Hudson Valley Community College’s mortuary science degree pathway is unique as it adapts to the modern expectations for funeral service practitioners. You’ll explore a variety of tenets during your studies, such as preparing the deceased, working with the bereaved, and learning laws and regulations. After completing your program, you can take the national or state board examination to receive your degree.
One of the more unique elements of this program is that it consists of both online and in-person coursework. You’ll find it’s simpler to adapt your learning pathway to your personal schedule with distance learning. Also, the in-person instruction includes hands-on experiences to help you diversify your employable skills.
As with any mortuary science program, there is an assortment of classes you’ll take during your time in school. Some of the most common courses include:
- Embalming Theory and Practice
- Public Speaking
- Mortuary Law
- General Psychology
- Restorative Art
- Color and Cosmetics
- Funeral Service Management
- Funeral Directing and Merchandising
4. Mesa Community College
2 to 4 Year; Mesa, AZ
Average Annual Cost: $9,669
The mortuary science degree program from Mesa Community College provides students with an AAS (Associate in Applied Science) after graduation. You’ll find the diverse curriculum touches on several disciplines, including natural science, business management, public health, and clinical requirements. With a curriculum that includes coursework with hands-on education, it’s a well-rounded option.
Students will be required to take up to 75.5 credits before graduation to get their degrees. Also, the school requires all students to maintain a C average or higher to complete their learning pathway. You can expect to learn a vast collection of fundamentals at Mesa Community College, including:
- Learning how to arrange conferences, services, visitations, and ceremonies
- Understand the requirements for the final disposition of human remains
- Interpret local, federal, and state laws for funeral services
- Develop relationships with communities and families of the deceased
You can then take the licensing exam when you’ve completed the AAS program for mortuary science. With a passing grade, graduates find a few career options to be the most beneficial. Your degree can help you with employment as a funeral home manager, embalmer, undertaker, funeral arranger, or mortician.
5. Arapahoe Community College
2 to 4 Year; Littleton, CO
Average Annual Cost: $10,119
Arapahoe Community College’s mortuary science program is ideal for students looking for an empathetic approach to working with the deceased. The majority of this school’s curriculum revolves around human services and communication with the bereaved. It also comprises fundamental concepts to help you develop into a well-rounded funeral home employee.
At Arapahoe Community College, you’ll have access to smaller class sizes, ideal for one-on-one education. There is also a collection of online course options, making it easier to fit your schooling into your schedule. In total, the school boasts over 30 years of embalming experience, helping you learn from the best.
Upon completing your program, you’ll be given an Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science. Some of the most common courses you can expect to take include:
- Funeral Directing and Counseling
- Introduction to Funeral Service
- Interpersonal Communication
- Mortuary Law and Compliance
- Restorative Art with Lab
- Funeral Merchandising