Students can find associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in integrative medicine and closely related fields at traditional colleges and universities as well as alternative health-focused institutions.
Schools with Integrative Medicine Programs
The table below lists a few of the colleges and universities that offer programs in integrative medicine. Use it to discover the school locations, programs offered and average tuition.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (In-State, 2015-2016)*|
|Metropolitan State College of Denver||Denver, CO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,420 (Undergraduate)|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Graduate Certificate||$31,519 (Graduate)|
|Front Range Community College||Westminster, CO||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,527 (Undergraduate)|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||Coon Rapids, MN||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$5,022 (Undergraduate)|
|Red Rocks Community College||Lakewood, CO||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,429 (Undergraduate)|
|Quinsigamond Community College||Worcester, MA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,302 (Undergraduate)|
|Plymouth State University||Plymouth, NH||4-year, Public||Graduate Certificate||$9,540 (Graduate)|
|University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport, CT||4-year, Private||Doctorate||$16,450 (Graduate)|
|St. Catherine University||Saint Paul, MN||4-year, Private||Graduate Certificate, Master's||$13,878 (Graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for integrative medicine schools:
- When considering different programs, it is important for students to ensure that the program is consistent with their career goals.
- Students may want to find out about the school's clinical and laboratory facilities in order to ensure that they will have access to industry-standard medical technologies.
- Working healthcare professionals who want to advance their careers by pursuing a graduate-level integrative medicine program may want to look for schools that offer programs in online or hybrid formats.
- Students who are interested in a particular subfield of integrative medicine should find out if they can choose a formal concentration or research specialization in that area.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in integrative medicine introduce students to the basics of using alternative medical techniques to maintain health and treat disease. Students take foundational courses in human anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, and they may have the opportunity to choose a concentration in a particular area of interest, such as aromatherapy, herbal medicine, holistic spa or massage. Prior to graduation from one of these two-year programs, students must also fulfill general education requirements.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Similar to associate's degree programs, Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in integrative medicine provide students with a broad overview of the field, but they also allow students to more thoroughly explore particular aspects of the field. Beyond core coursework, students may have the opportunity to learn more about specific healing modalities, such as homeopathy or Ayurveda, or they may take advanced courses in healthcare ethics or psychology. Some programs also provide internship opportunities in the field. There are also programs that are specifically intended for students who plan to enter a graduate program in the field upon graduation.
Master's Degree Programs
There are several types of master's degree programs in integrative medicine. One option is a research-focused Master of Science (MS) in Integrative Medicine, in which students conduct publishable research in a topic such as nutrition, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy or acupuncture. These programs culminate in a final master's thesis. An alternative is an MS program that includes a series of advanced courses that cover advanced topics in the field and common research methods. Students in these programs also gain clinical experience through practicums. These programs often appeal to trained healthcare professionals who want to boost their careers by increasing their knowledge in alternative health, so they are often offered in online or part-time formats.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Education for aspiring naturopathic doctors is available through Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree programs. These four-year programs include a combination of traditional biomedical coursework and alternative health-focused classes. In addition to classroom and lab-based studies, students also fulfill extensive clinical training requirements. When they finish, they are prepared for the Naturopathic Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) so that they can practice in the field. An alternative doctoral program for experienced nurses is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a specialization in integrative health and healing. In these three-year programs, students learn about the scientific, organizational, social and political aspects of integrative medicine.
Students can find both undergraduate certificates and graduate certificates in integrative medicine. Undergraduate certificates typically cover the same basic topics as associate's degree programs, but they do not require students to complete general education classes. At the graduate level, certificates allow students to take more advanced courses in the field without committing to a full master's degree. These programs are typically aimed at experienced healthcare workers who want to expand their knowledge of the subject, and they are commonly available online.
Students who wish to integrate alternative healing methods into traditional practices may pursue programs ranging from undergraduate certificates to doctoral degrees at a number of colleges and universities around the country.