Mortuary Education

Funeral directors provide compassionate, proficient and individualized professional services to meet the needs of families facing the death of a loved one. Their career satisfaction comes not only from the work itself, but from seeing the results of helping families during a devastating time. Funeral directors make a difference in their communities and take great pride in what they do.

For information about a career in funeral service, contact IFDA and ask for one of our free Funeral Service Career brochures or visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Mortuary School Grants

The Illinois Funeral Service Foundation provides scholarships to each of the four schools of mortuary science in Illinois each year, based on the prior fiscal year’s educational contributions.

The school has the responsibility for determining which student should receive the award. This is based generally on academic achievement. Where achievement is equal, the schools typically take into account the need of the individual. Most of the schools do not provide upfront awards but rely on academic history to determine merit.

The schools are responsible for indicating the availability of the scholarship to the students. Any applications which are used are provided by the school. Students should contact the school they are attending and make application for the grant through them. An officer from the IFDA Board of Directors will present the grant in a formal ceremony at the school or at graduation.

There are no limitations or restrictions on the class of individuals who are eligible recipients, except that the scholarships are awarded to individuals who reside in Illinois. The purpose of the scholarships is to promote educational excellence among prospective Illinois licensees.

The checks are made payable to the individual scholars who have been selected by the school. The schools through which the grants are provided are Southern Illinois University School of Mortuary Science, Carbondale; Malcolm X College, Chicago; Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling; and Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg.

Illinois Requirements For Funeral Director/Embalmer License

As stated in the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Licensing Code, Section 10-10, a person who meets all of the following requirements is qualified to receive a license as a funeral director and embalmer:

(a) Is at least 18 years of age.

(b) Has successfully completed one academic year in a college or university and has successfully completed a course of instruction of at least one year duration in a professional school or college teaching the practice of funeral directing and embalming that is recognized and approved by the Department.

(c) Has studied funeral directing and embalming in this State under a funeral director and embalmer, licensed under this Code or any prior Act, for at least one year. Nevertheless, no credit shall be given for the study of funeral directing and embalming in this State as an intern unless the applicant during the period of study was a licensed funeral director and embalmer intern.

(d) Is satisfactorily versed in approved measures used by the practice for the prevention and against the spread of disease and has the skills reasonably involved, and is adequately and properly protected against communicable diseases by means usually adopted and approved by medical science.

(e) Has passed an examination developed or acquired by the Department and conducted by the Department or its designee to determine the fitness of an applicant to receive a license as a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

For further information on new licenses, contact the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation at 800-560-6420. Ask for Technical Assistance.

Review a complete copy of the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Licensing Code.