Associate Degree in Funeral Service
American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service
The Associate Degree in Funeral Service from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service is a great way to start a career in the field of funerals, with its graduates boasting over a 90 percent completion rate since 1995 on the National Board Exam for the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. A great option for working adults, this program can be completed in 3 years by a student taking 8 credit hours a semester, or faster with the maximum-offered online course load of 14 credits. The American Academy McAllister Institute accepts transfer credit for general education courses. Aside from clinical experience in Restorative Art and Embalming and the Comprehensive Review for the National Board Exam, which require students to stay in New York City for a two week Capstone experience, the entirety of this degree is offered online. Online classes harbor the same requirements and offer the same content as their on-campus iterations.
Courses are designed with group discussion as a central facet, so communication with professors and fellow students in encouraged. Students applying must have their high school diploma or equivalent, as well as any additional requirement processes specific to their state. There is also a Special Student Policy; students enrolled as such are able to take up to 5 credits without being in the Funeral Service program, before submitting transcripts, allowing applicants to take a few classes if they are unsure if the Associate Degree is right for them.
Once enrolled in the Funeral Service program, students will complete courses focusing on 5 central areas of education: Public Health and Technical Study, Social Sciences, Business Management, Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Law, and General Education. Courses under these headings include instruction in communication skills, professional ethics, anatomy, embalming, microbiology, restorative art, and a slew of other classes. Exams are taken online, and most will have a time-limit in which to be completed. The clinical components of Restorative Art and Embalming, which students complete in New York City, are completed at Bellevue Hospital.
Degree Level: Associate
Delivery Format: Hybrid
Accreditation & Licensing
American Board of Funeral Service Education, Committee on Accreditation
The national accrediting association for funeral service education (The American Board of Funeral Service Education).
All but two courses in the degree program are available online. As required by the national accrediting association for funeral service education (The American Board of Funeral Service Education), the clinical portion of the two courses (i.e. Restorative Art and Embalming) must be taken on-site in New York City. Students also participate in the on-campus Comprehensive Review course. To accommodate online learners, these courses are compressed into a two-week Capstone experience in the student's final semester.
The clinical portion of the two courses (i.e. Restorative Art and Embalming) must be taken on-site in New York City.
At this time, international students are not accepted into the online program.
The McAllister School of Embalming, founded in 1926, was one of five funeral service schools in New York City in the early twentieth century. Three of the funeral institutions closed following the conclusion of World War II. The two remaining, McAllister School and The American Academy of Embalming and Mortuary Research merged in 1964, creating the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, Inc. Today, AAMI, a private, not-for-profit, two-year institute, remains the only funeral service school in New York City.
The American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service offers on-campus and online Associate’s degrees. The on-campus program allows students to complete degrees in 12 or 16 months. In addition to traditional classroom lectures, students participate in hands-on learning through labs and clinicals, held in conjunction with Bellevue Medical Center. Online students complete similar fields of study, and then complete a two-week Capstone clinical at the AAMI campus and Bellevue Hospital. Students engage with peers and faculty via discussion boards and email. In addition, AAMI supports a Continuing Education division that offers on-going programs and courses to enhance the skill sets of funeral service professionals.
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