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Natural Medicine Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Students interested in natural medicine should first consider what career path they wish to take. Natural medicine encompasses acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurveda medicine and Chinese medicine. Training in these fields can be accomplished through 2-year and 4-year schools. Many of these schools teach natural medicine only and offer a variety of degrees.

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How to Select a Natural Medicine School

In the United States, there are just five schools that are accredited or candidates for accreditation by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), although there are many schools nationwide offering natural medicine programs. The accredited schools offer four years of study in biomedical science and clinical studies that lead to a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) degree. Successful completion of the 4-year program prepares graduates to sit for the licensing examination administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE).

Schools should prepare graduates for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX). Administered by NABNE, the license is required by 16 states for naturopathic practice. There are currently three levels to the examination. Levels are dictated by the hours and type of coursework the examinee has earned.

Because natural medicine is so diverse, prospective students have many options. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used along with conventional treatment. For example, acupuncture may be used to help relieve the side effects of cancer treatment.

CAM covers healthcare systems and practices that are not recognized by conventional medicine. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that 38% of Americans use some form of CAM ( Because CAM is beginning to receive recognition by insurance companies, individuals who train in CAM may increase job opportunities.

Schools Ranked by Student Population

College/UniversityStudent PopulationInstitution Type
University of Bridgeport5,3234-year, Private not-for-profit
Bastyr University9884-year, Private not-for-profit
Northwestern Health Sciences University8774-year, Private not-for-profit
National University of Health Sciences6914-year, Private not-for-profit
South Baylo University5514-year, Private not-for-profit
Southern California University of Health Sciences4754-year, Private not-for-profit
Tai Sophia Institute4444-year, Private not-for-profit
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences3314-year, Private not-for-profit
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine3224-year, Private not-for-profit
New England School of Acupuncture1914-year, Private not-for-profit
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine1394-year, Private not-for-profit
National College of Natural Medicine714-year, Private not-for-profit
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