Herbal Medicine Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Herbal medicine is the study of holistic and herbal remedies as they relate to treating illnesses and ailments. Students have relatively few herbal medicine schools to choose from in the U.S., though those they can choose from are highly specialized.

How to Select an Herbal Medicine School

It's important that individuals seeking an herbal medicine school find a curriculum that combines modern science with both Eastern and Western herbalism. This type of comprehensive program helps students understand how plants can affect a person's overall health. Some courses of study within these programs may include manufacturing herbs, identification of herbs, the history of botanical medicine and the sociopolitical perspectives regarding botanical medicine. Students also study anatomy, physiology and disease prevention by way of medicinal herbs.

Since most schools offering herbal medicine programs are highly specialized, they often have on-campus gardens that give students an opportunity to cultivate their own herbs and understand how these herbs develop. Some schools may add this process of cultivation to their clinical repertoire. The clinical portion allows students to practice assessing, diagnosing and planning treatment remedies for patients. Prospective students may want to check if the coursework involves any business training, since many herbal medicine graduates go on to work in herbal medicine shops and other businesses related to holistic care.

Lastly, accreditation is important, because it lets potential employers know that the student has received education adhering to national standards. Accreditation can be earned from the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) and certain local accreditation agencies. Schools traditionally note their accredited status on their websites; the CNME also maintains a list of accredited programs on its website.

Schools in the U.S. by Overall Student Population

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts 1,309 2-year, Private for-profit
Bastyr University 988 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Northwestern Health Sciences University 877 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine - New York 480 4-year, Private for-profit
Tai Sophia Institute 444 4-year, Private not-for-profit
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine 322 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine 218 4-year, Private for-profit
New England School of Acupuncture 191 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Tri-State College of Acupuncture 169 4-year, Private for-profit
Midwest College of Oriental Medicine 156 4-year, Private for-profit
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine 139 4-year, Private not-for-profit
American Institute of Alternative Medicine 134 2-year, Private for-profit
New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine 129 4-year, Private not-for-profit
East West College of Natural Medicine 120 4-year, Private for-profit
Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture 119 4-year, Private for-profit
Midwest College of Oriental Medicine 117 4-year, Private for-profit
Southwest Acupuncture College - Boulder 116 4-year, Private for-profit
Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine 96 4-year, Private for-profit
Southwest Acupuncture College - Albuquerque 82 4-year, Private for-profit
Southwest Acupuncture College - Santa Fe 56 4-year, Private for-profit

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