Northampton Community College's Funeral Service Education program 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. It typically takes students six semesters to complete this associate degree, which is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. This degree can be completed at our Bethlehem location.
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. 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 Curriculum
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. Northampton Community College 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.
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Careers in Funeral Service Education
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 Service Education Career Paths
- Funeral Director
- Pre-Need Funeral Counselor
Degrees We Offer
- Associate in Applied Science | 2 years
- This entire program can be completed at our Bethlehem Campus
State Licensing for Funeral Service Education
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.Program Details view official course information in our 18-19 college catalog Program Map View Funeral Service Suggested Semester Map (PDF) Program Map View Funeral Service - Business Suggested Semester Map (PDF)