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Funeral directors are health care professionals who serve others during a time of loss, pain and grief. The mission of the Program is to skillfully combine the study of behavioral, physical and applied sciences for the goal of preparing graduates for careers as knowledgeable, skilled and innovative funeral service professionals. Program graduates will be prepared to serve bereaved members of their communities in a manner that is proficient, dignified and caring.


The Program of Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota states as its central aims the recognition of the importance of funeral service personnel as:

  • members of a human services profession;
  • members of the community in which they serve;
  • participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession;
  • professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic area where they practice;
  • professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.


The Program recognizes an obligation to students, the profession and the community. Its objectives have been adopted by the Program’s Advisory Board and conform with the accreditation standards set forth by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

The objectives of the Program are:

  1. To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession;
  2. To educate students in every phase of funeral service, and to help enable them to develop proficiency and skills necessary for the profession;
  3. To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large;
  4. To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct;
  5. To provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction;
  6. To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service;
  7. To encourage faculty and students to be advocates for the profession of funeral service.


The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program with a major in mortuary science at the University of Minnesota is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506 (816) 233-3747. Web: www.abfse.org. The annual passage rate of first-time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the ABFSE Web site (www.abfse.org).

For more information please visit the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Catalog.

For information about the history of the program, click here.


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