In 2021, mortuary schools saw a 24% increase in enrollment rates – are you interested in enrolling yourself?
If so, here are 7 of the best mortuary science programs to consider in 2023, not ranked in any particular order.
Small disclaimer: every school is different, and everyone ultimately prefers a different program. We recommend taking several factors into account: location, cost, networking opportunities, accreditation, pass rates for the National Board Examination (NBE), and much more. If you put in the work upfront, you will be successful regardless of which mortuary science college you decide to attend.
Plus, you’ll want to make sure that you equip yourself with the right tools (such as Gather) post-graduation to ensure your steady success for years to come.
ACC is a public community college that offers a Mortuary Science program in-person, online, and via a hybrid model. In 2021, they had 105 total enrollees, a 91% graduation rate, and over 80% of graduates who are employed in funeral services. The NBE pass rate for sciences in 2021 was 8 percentage points higher than the national average, at 65%.
Additionally, they’ve implemented Gather into the curriculum to help students get an in-depth look into the daily operations of a funeral home, and how they can provide a better experience for families. This innovative program combines a mortuary science curriculum with applied learning in an environment that values diversity and inclusivity, exposing students to current trends and modernizations, and encouraging individual interests within deathcare through mentorship and student-led learning.
Arapahoe Community College is located in Littleton, Colorado. Littleton is home to 45,000 people and is 25 minutes outside of Denver. It’s also only an hour and a half away from Breckenridge, which is a world-renowned location for alpine skiing and snow sports. For students who attend ACC Littleton, there are plenty of historic buildings, cozy eateries, and businesses owned by independent artists.
The average tuition for Mortuary Science students at Arapahoe Community College is approximately $4,000 for in-state students and $15,000 for out-of-state students.
ACC offers an Online Program that is also fully accredited by the ABFSE. All major courses are offered online. For each lab, students are required to travel to the college at their own expense to participate in a 3 day, off-campus embalming lab.
The last lab is a 4.5-week funeral home internship that can be completed at an out-of-state funeral home for online students or a Colorado funeral home for in-state students. Plus, they are great at helping you find work opportunities post-graduation.
ACC students can earn their AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree in Mortuary Science.
If you’re interested in learning more about ACC’s Mortuary Science program, you can email Faith Haug, their program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (303) 797-4222.
The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is a private, 2-year institution that has been a leader in funeral service education since 1882. They are ABFSE-accredited and also accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. They offer helpful comparison chart resources and alumni stories so you can see if CCMS is the right fit for you. Their student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, allowing for an in-depth education for every student.
CCMS is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over 2 million people live in Queen City, which boasts several exciting amenities like professional sports teams (including America’s oldest baseball team), cultural events, and historical museums. It’s also known as the capital of cornhole and chili.
The average annual tuition (in 2022-2023) for an undergraduate student at CCMS comes in at right around $16,000, not including financial aid or textbook expenses.
After performing some research, it appears that CCMS does not offer online degrees at this time.
As stated on its website, the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science offers on-site lab facilities for premier hands-on experience and unique learning opportunities with Mortuary Science Capstone and the Funeral Service Co-op.
CCMS students can enroll in two different degree programs, either an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) or BMS (Bachelor of Mortuary Science). Additionally, students can earn a certification in Crematory Operations and Funeral Celebrants. Their 2021 graduation rate was just under 90%, with over 85% of those graduates being employees in funeral service.
To learn more about their faculty and how to apply, you can email email@example.com or call (513) 761-2020.
The Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service is a private, non-profit institution that has been providing top-class funeral service education to death care professionals since 1936. As stated on their website, “Commonwealth has a state-of-the-art clinical embalming facility, a restorative art laboratory, a funeral merchandise display room, a library, a computer lab, and newly remodeled classrooms; along with leading licensed funeral service practitioners employed as faculty.”
The Institute is located in Houston, Texas. Home to over 2 million people and a booming economy, Houston is a great place to kickstart your career and network with people from all over the world.
First-time undergraduate students can expect tuition to cost around $14,000 per year on average.
The Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service is one of the first mortuary science programs to offer both in-person courses and online courses for people.
At The Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service, students can complete and earn a certificate in funeral director and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in two years. If you want to become a funeral director or embalmer, or both, you can achieve that here.
If you’d like to speak with someone and get more information on the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (281) 873-0262.
After starting in 2018, the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education and helps students learn about funeral directing, mortuary law, embalming practice and theory, restorative art, ethics, and much more.
As a public university, they have a reputation for providing a strong education to those who are interested in a future career as a mortician.
Cypress College is located in Cypress, California. Cypress (home to 50,000 people) is 10 miles from Long Beach and 20 miles outside of Los Angeles.
According to Google, first-time undergraduate students can expect tuition to cost around $6,100 per year on average, after aid.
In order to see if the Cypress College Mortuary Program offers online courses, we recommend giving their team a call at (714) 484-7278.
During the program, students will receive plenty of premier hands-on experience in the workplace.
According to the department’s website, they offer an AS degree in mortuary science and a BS degree in funeral service. After all factors have been considered, the program can take anywhere between 1.5 to 2 years to complete.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College, you can email email@example.com or call (714) 484-7278.
The Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, a notable member of Pierce Mortuary Colleges, was one of the first original schools of embalming in the United States (it was then known as The Dallas School of Embalming). The Institute is accredited by the ABFSE and is home to rich history and tradition. From 2019 to 2021, their enrollment rate increased by 109%. Over the same three-year time period, their average graduation rate is 69%.
The Institute is located in Dallas, Texas. Dallas is home to nearly 1.4 million people, with top industries in tech, financial services, and defense.
The average tuition for undergraduate students at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service is estimated at approximately $15,000 per year for the associate’s program. They provide a tuition calculator to help interested students budget for school and offer several scholarship and financial opportunities as well.
The Institute offers distance learning for students who are looking to complete their program online, with multiple pathways available.
Work experience and internship opportunities are available to students. The Institute’s employment rate for students post-graduation in 2021 was 85%.
The Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science offers multiple degrees for students:
FMC, a private institution, is known for providing an amazing education to people who are interested in mortuary science for over 25 years. Their program is currently offered online and in-person. Terms begin seasonally 4 times per year: February, May, August and November, and they are accredited by the ABFSE (American Funeral Service Education Board.)
FINE Mortuary College is located in Norwood, Massachusetts. Norwood, home to nearly 30,000 people, is only 13 miles away from Boston.
According to Google, first-time undergraduate students can expect tuition to cost around $21,000 per year on average, after aid.
FMC offers distance education for students who need flexible schedules and cannot attend classes physically.
As their website states, “the program provides academic and real-world experiences for tomorrow’s funeral service professionals.”
After completing their two-year program, students will receive their AAS in Funeral Service.
The Mid-America College of Funeral Service is a member of Pierce Mortuary Colleges and is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. From 2019 to 2021, their enrollment rate increased by 94%.
Despite the fact that their 2021 graduation rate was just shy of 70%, their overall employment rate was incredible at 92%. Mid-America College of Funeral Service has been providing funeral service education to students for over 115 years, one of the longest-standing educational institutions for people who are interested in entering the profession.
Mid-America College of Funeral Service is located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Jeffersonville sits alongside the Ohio River and is home to 50,000 people. Fun fact: it was indeed named after Thomas Jefferson the year he took office as president. It offers a smaller-town vibe compared to some other schools that are located in big cities.
New students who are looking to attend Mid-America College of Funeral Service can expect to pay nearly $12,000 per year in tuition. According to their website, books and supplies are provided free of charge. They provide financial aid and scholarship information (both school-exclusive and national scholarships) that are available to students.
Students can complete several different courses online.
Students will have plenty of hands-on and clinical opportunities when studying at the Mid-America College of Funeral Service, their catalog is linked here. As with most mortuary science programs, they also regularly post job listings that are available in an effort to support alumni post-graduation.
Mid-America College of Funeral Service offers several different degrees and certificates:
As stated on its website, Mid-America College of Funeral Service welcomes admission applications from all prospective freshmen. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, or call (812) 288-8878.
Mt. Hood Community College’s Funeral Service Program, which is ABFSE-accredited and a 2-year program, has been providing a stellar education to students since 1970. Students are exposed to a variety of knowledge that includes embalming, microbiology, pathology, funeral directing, counseling, and management. For students who are interested in the growing number of choices for disposition and memorialization, MHCC’s program is constantly exploring these new areas of focus.
MHCC is located in Gresham, Oregon. Sitting between the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood, Gresham is home to over 110,000 people. Gresham is near Portland, and a 3-hour drive away from one of the top vacation destinations in the pacific northwest: Newport.
Students who attend MHCC can expect to pay approximately $6,500 per year in tuition, depending on if they are in-state or out-of-state. They provide financial aid and scholarship opportunities as well.
Some courses are offered and can be completed online, but we recommend following up with their faculty advisor Doug Ferrin (Doug.Ferrin@mhcc.edu) for more information.
Students will have plenty of hands-on experience when studying at Mt. Hood Community College, and they can even elect to take the Funeral Service Clinical Practicum internship (for 3 credits) in any two terms.
Students in the Mt. Hood Community College Funeral Service Education program can earn their AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree in Funeral Service Education.
As stated on its website, Mt. Hood Community College welcomes new students to its Funeral Service Education degree program. For questions about admissions, you can email LRAdmissions@mhcc.edu or visit their website for more information.
The Pittsburgh Insitute of Mortuary Science, also known as PIMS, has been providing a phenomenal education to those who are interested in mortuary science for over 75 years. Their classrooms see around 17 students per instructor, so you’ll get in-depth knowledge and training in every course. Annually, over 500 embalmings are completed on their campus. In 2018, they were rated one of the top trade schools by Forbes.
Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is home to over 300,000 people, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
The average annual cost of tuition for an undergraduate student at PIMS is estimated to be nearly $20,000. They offer a resource page on their website to help educate students on their options for financial aid.
Online classes are offered at PIMS to help accommodate students who are unable to attend classes in person.
PIMS offers both clinical embalming and funeral practicum (over 30 contact hours) experience for students, where mentors will be present to help teach students the skills that are necessary to be a successful funeral director or mortician.
PIMS graduates can earn a Celebrant Certificate, Funeral Director License, Bachelor’s Degree in Mortuary Science, and even an Associate’s Degree in Specialized Technology.
Your education matters. It’s also incredibly important to equip yourself with the right tools to be successful in the field. As your professors and colleagues will tell you, you’ll wear several different hats in the profession.
We recommend that you explore Gather and see how funeral homes can use it to expand their capabilities, especially when it comes to case management, body tracking, funeral live streaming, and collaborating with families.
Also – know of any other mortuary science programs that we should include on this list? Email us at email@example.com.