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Embalming Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Students seeking embalming training often enroll in mortuary science or funeral science degree programs. Besides preparing students for exams, an embalming program teaches students to prepare and present bodies for a funeral. Keep reading to find out more about preparation for this career.

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How To Choose an Embalming School

Students who wish to pursue an education in embalming would ultimately seek a license in funeral services, since the two areas are covered under the same program and cannot be separated. A number of schools around the country offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in mortuary science and funeral science.

Considerations

  • Accreditation
  • Licensure
  • Level of degree program

Accreditation

Students may want to research schools that are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. The board selects and approves the curriculum for school.

Licensure

Aspiring embalmers can also look for schools that prepare them to take the national funeral director exam administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. Graduates might also be required to take a state exam. Because requirements for licensure vary, students might want to focus their school search on a specific state when choosing a school for funeral services.

Level of Degree Program

Students who wish to learn the craft of embalming might consider an associate degree program in mortuary science, which can provide the knowledge needed to sit for national and state exams, if required. For individuals who plan to eventually enter in funeral service management, a bachelor's degree could provide the proper educational background.

Embalming School Program Overviews

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

In an associate degree program, embalming school students complete coursework in microbiology, chemistry, pathology and restorative art. They study funeral psychology, funeral service administration, mortuary law, ethics and accounting. Students learn how to conduct a funeral, and they acquire knowledge of basic embalming chemicals and techniques. Students study facial feature restoration, feature construction and cosmetic alterations. Some schools offer facilities such as restorative arts laboratories, casket selection rooms and cremation rooms. Coursework specific to embalming covers:

  • Postmortem body changes
  • Body positioning
  • Signs of death

Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science

Students enrolled in a 4-year mortuary science program receive knowledge in the areas of mortuary law, management, ethics, psychology and counseling for grieving families. Students also learn about funeral arrangements and laws, marketing and merchandising and funeral practices. Restorative art and mortuary anatomy are also covered. Embalming chemistry, microbiology and embalming theory courses are included in these programs. Aspiring embalmers study:

  • Cavity embalming
  • Embalming treatments
  • Chemical changes in human remains
  • Sanitation
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