Funeral direction in the United States is controlled by state licensing boards, and requirements for licensure vary considerably from state to state.

Licensure in Iowa requires completion of:

  • 60 semester hours, not including vocational courses, at an accredited college with a Grade-Point Average of 2.00 or higher
  • A mortuary education course of 12 months or longer
  • A 12-month internship under the supervision of a board-approved mortician
  • Registration with the Iowa State Board of Mortuary Science

If you would like to obtain licensure in the state of Iowa, contact the Iowa Board of Mortuary Science and register with the board before enrolling in a mortuary education program.

If you are interested in practicing in another state, visit the American Board of Funeral Service Education and the National Funeral Directors Association websites or contact the board in the state where you would like to practice to learn more about that state's regulations.


The University of Iowa does not offer a degree program in mortuary science, but does offer course work to help students prepare to enroll in mortuary education programs elsewhere.

Courses that may be useful include those in writing and speaking, the natural sciences (general chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology), business, and the humanities.

An adviser at our Academic Advising Center will help you plan appropriate course work. Visit the Academic Advising Center website for more information.