Funeral Services
Associate Degree

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Why Choose the Funeral Services Program at NCC?

NCC’s Funeral Service Education associate degree program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). The program, which can be completed at our Bethlehem location, is designed to give students a broad understanding of funeral home operation, funeral directing, public health, and embalming for their internships and careers in the field. Funeral Service operates as a business, but also requires professionals in the field to exhibit sensitivity and compassion in dealing with bereaved families. Funeral home employees must be open-minded about the ways in which people of different faiths and cultures express their feelings and practice their beliefs.

What You’ll Learn

Students not only develop a comprehensive understanding of the preparation of a body and ceremony according to the wishes of the survivors, but also learn to prepare financial accounts, file death certificates and legal documents, and direct individuals into post-death counseling or support group activities. Our funeral service program strives to educate students on every aspect of mortuary science. NCC students in the Funeral Service Education program take a variety of classes in subjects such as accounting, philosophy, chemistry, and more. These classes include Chemistry of Life, Accounting I, and On Death and Dying. In the last couple of semesters, students take Funeral Directing, Embalming Theory, and U.S. and PA Funeral Law to prepare them for a 12-month internship.

Acceptance into the program is competitive, and applicants must have completed minimum admission requirements of high school biology and chemistry labs with a C or with an overall high school GPA of 2.5 or better.


Funeral Service Education is a fall-start clinical program. The application opens October 1 and must be completed by February 1.


This is a selective program, please carefully review all provided information and requirements.


Admission Requirements

Program Details

Semesters: 6

Credits: 94

College Catalog: View Curriculum

Program Map: Download PDF

Locations: Bethlehem

Program Overview:

Funeral Service Education provides you with a comprehensive understanding of all phases of funeral service necessary to serve the bereaved in a professional and ethical manner. The need for funeral directors and embalmers will escalate over the next twenty years and the earning potential has never been better.

Semesters: 4

Credits: 61

College Catalog: View Curriculum

Program Map: Download PDF

Locations: Bethlehem

Program Overview:

The Pre-funeral Service degree ensures you complete the required courses for acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program. Northampton Community College students preparing to enter the Funeral Service Education program take various classes in subject areas, including science and business. These classes include Accounting, Business Law, Business Communication, Anatomy, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Responding to the Bereaved.

State Licensing

If you are a Northampton Community College student living outside of Pennsylvania or intending to complete an internship or clinical placement outside of the state in a NCC program leading to professional licensure, you should review requirements on the state board website to make sure that the program qualifies.


Licensure requirements vary from state to state and you may require additional authorization from the professional licensing agency in that state. Participating in a program from outside of Pennsylvania, if not properly authorized by that state's professional licensing board, could result in loss of licensing eligibility. If you need help or have questions, please contact the Program Director for more information.

Future Career Paths

Graduates with an associate degree in Funeral Service Education are qualified to take positions as resident interns, funeral directors, morticians, and embalmers. The scope of the work takes place mostly in funeral homes and crematories, with on-call hours including nights and weekends. Funeral directors arrange the details and logistics of a funeral or services to honor the deceased. They also handle the paperwork involved with a person's death.

  • Funeral Director
  • Pre-Need Funeral Counselor
  • Embalmer

Student Spotlight

The funeral services program is a hands-on learning experience. The professors are extremely thorough in their explanations, and they are genuinely interested in helping the students succeed.

Alexis Brown, Alumni
Funeral Services

Alexis Brown

Need Help Deciding?

Not sure if this is the right program for you? Take advantage of the resources we have available for students to help hone in on what path to pursue.

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