About Mortuary Science
Enhance your career qualifications with an undergraduate foundation in biology.
The mortuary science program is a cooperative curriculum program between PennWest California and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS), located in downtown Pittsburgh.
The program requires three years of study at PennWest California in which you receive a liberal science background in biology, focusing on zoology, botany, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, human anatomy, and human physiology.
Our cooperative program provides you with outstanding training in mortuary science.
The final year of the cooperative program is spent at PIMS, where you learn how to be a funeral home director and an embalmer. Upon completion of the one year at PIMS (which, unlike PennWest California, is based on a trimester system running from August to August), you'll receive an Associate in Specialized Technology degree from PIMS. Your credits taken at PIMS transfer back to PennWest California, and upon graduation you'll also earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with a concentration in mortuary science from PennWest California.
Students completing the PennWest California and PIMS program must then do a one-year apprenticeship with a licensed funeral home director before being eligible to sit for the Pennsylvania state licensing exam - the test required to become a licensed funeral home director and embalmer.