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Top Schools for Alternative Medicine

Read about programs in alternative medicine, which can lead to a Master of Complementary and Alternative Medicine or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Learn about the training options at four universities, as well as what's available at other U.S. schools that offer programs in alternative medicine.

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Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Acupuncture and Acupressure
  • Alternative and Complementary Medicine
  • Herbalist
  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Movement Therapies
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Traditional Eastern Medicine and Herbology
  • Yoga Therapy and Instructor

School Information

Students in alternative medicine programs learn how to integrate the biological, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of health and promote the body's capacity to heal itself. Some alternative medicine practices include acupuncture, herbal supplementation and meditation. Programs devoted to a number of these specialized practices can be found at the three private universities featured below. Students at Bastyr and Georgetown universities can also earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

1. Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA

School Highlight: The Bastyr University Research Institute helps students develop and increase their proficiency in the scientific study of natural medicine.

Bastyr University is accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges and offers a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program. The ND program includes clinical training at the university's Bastyr Center for Natural Health, the largest integrative healthcare facility in the region. The school also offers a post-doctoral residency program and a 5-year dual-degree track, which combines the ND with a master's degree in acupuncture or a master's degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Bastyr has received multiple research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

2. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

School Highlight: Georgetown University offers a graduate level Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program.

Georgetown University ranked in the top 25 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best colleges for 2015. The complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) program at Georgetown's School of Medicine focuses on the scientific evaluation of alternative healing modalities. The university offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, as well as a 5-year Medical Doctor (M.D.)/M.S. joint degree program. The master's program is designed to be completed in two semesters and a summer segment and includes an 8-week internship.

3. National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL

School Highlight: The National University of Health Science offers graduate level on-campus chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy programs.

Dedicated exclusively to the study of natural and integrative medicine, the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) offers interdisciplinary courses of study in massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care, among other fields. The school is a member of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges and has received research funding from the NIH. NUHS offers a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program, as well as master's programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The ND program includes a 1-year internship at the school's health clinic or at one of two Chicago non-profit clinics that partner with the university.

Top Schools with Programs in Alternative, Integrative or Naturopathic Medicine

School Name Distinction Location
Everglades University Online Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine program Boca Raton, FL
Johnson State College Lecture series in alternative medicine and wellness Johnson, VT
Metropolitan State College of Denver Bachelor's degree program in complementary and alternative medicine includes an internship Denver, CO
National College of Natural Medicine Offers a master's degree in integrative medicine research with a focus on alternative medicine Portland, OR
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences Collaborative partnership with the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture allows students to earn an ND and a master's degree in acupuncture or Oriental medicine Tempe, AZ
University of Bridgeport Co-developed the Center of Excellence in Generative Medicine to study the self-healing tendencies of organisms Bridgeport, CT
University of Minnesota Houses the Center for Spirituality and Healing Minneapolis, MN
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