An associates degree in funeral service or mortuary science is typically required to become eligible for licensure as a Funeral Director in New York State. Coursework focuses on ethics, grief counseling, funeral service, and law. It is also not uncommon for mortuary science programs to include elements of public speaking, mathematics, anatomy, biology and public health. Students will also participate in skills elements to learn the sciences of embalming and restoration work.

The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accredits funeral service and mortuary science programs, most of which offer a 2-year associate’s degree at many community colleges. Some programs offer a bachelor’s degree. Programs of study can be completed in-person, via distance learning (online), or by a combination of methods based upon the program’s established curriculum.

Upon completion of an accredited mortuary science program candidates in New York State must:

  • successfully complete the National Board Examination which is divided into two phases; Arts, and Sciences.
  • undertake a 12-month post-graduate residency at a New York State registered funeral firm under the direct supervision of a licensed Funeral Director
  • successfully complete an examination on the laws of funeral directing administered by the New York State Bureau of Funeral Directing

The American Board of Funeral Service Education has accredited these programs within New York State.
For pre-requisites, program information, or to apply please contact the program administrator.

NCC Logo

Nassau County
Community College
Mortuary Science Department

357 East Road
Garden City, NY 11530
Administrator: Michael Mastellone

Phone: (516) 572-7727
Fax: (516) 572-0626

Canton Logo

State University
of New York

34 Cornell Drive, Cook 109
Canton, NY 13617
Administrator: David Penepent, PhD

Phone: (315) 386-7170
Fax: (315) 386-7959


American Academy
McAllister Institute
of Funeral Service Education

1501 Broadway, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10035
Administrator: Donald Cymbor

Phone: (212) 757-1190
Fax: (212) 765-5923