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Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education

Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education

Getting started...

You're on your way to a career in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science! Getting started can seem overwhelming - here you'll find information and answers regarding the education needed to begin your career.

Who is the ABFSE?

The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) is the national accrediting body for college and university programs in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education. They offer a comprehensive directory of accredited funeral service programs in the United States.

Education-related questions

Each state determines the amount of education required, ranging from no college to four years of college, however, an Associate Degree in Funeral Service Education is most typically required. Contact the licensing agency for the state in which you plan to work, or contact one of the accredited college programs for more information.

Academic degrees will require a specific amount of academic course work. Typically, most degrees for funeral directors require at least 25% of course work that is general and non-technical. Most programs also require the successful completion of practicum time (internship) within a funeral home. Course subjects include:

  • Sciences, including microbiology, pathology, chemistry, anatomy, embalming and restorative art
  • Business and funeral home management, funeral directing, accounting, business communications and computer applications for funeral service
  • Social Sciences, including history and sociology of funeral service, funeral service psychology and counseling
  • Law and Ethics, including business law, funeral service law and funeral service ethics

There are different choices of programs offered. Remember to check with the licensing board in your state to make sure the program you're considering meets the requirements.

  • Associates or two year degree - this is the degree required by most states. This degree requires 60 semester hours of academic course work.
  • Baccalaureate or four year degree.
  • Distance or online learning.