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Herbal Studies: Overview of Adult Education Programs

Adult education programs in herbal studies teach the history and use of herbal remedies. Learn what types of herbal studies programs are available for adults and where to find them.

Explore some of the different educational opportunities for herbal studies available at various kinds of institutions. We discuss available programs and the differences between the organizations that offer them.

Program Information

Adult education programs in herbal studies include formal undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, as well as non-credit classes and workshops. For the convenience of working adults, many of these programs are offered in the evenings, on weekends or online. Classes vary by sponsoring organization and class type, but many cover topics in plant and herb identification, herbal formulations, origin and history of herbal studies and medicinal plants. Programs length varies greatly, from classes that take a few hours, to certificate programs that can take up to a year to complete. Find out more information here.

Programs At a Glance

Herbal Studies

  • Available as undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, they can vary in length from about 8-12 months.
  • These programs are available on-campus and online.

Herbal Medicine

  • This graduate certificate consists of 15 credits.
  • The program is available online.

Types of Programs

Adult students can find herbal studies programs at their local library, horticulture society, community college, natural health school or university. Those who want college credit should attend an accredited school, while those taking classes for personal interest might find a local or online offering. Students can participate in certificate programs, classes, workshops and more. Programs can vary in length from hours to months.

Accredited Schools and Colleges

Certificate and degree programs in herbal studies are offered by a few accredited schools. Adults with accredited bachelor's degrees can complete online graduate certificate and degree programs in herbal studies and related fields, such as herbal medicine, for credit. Non-credit courses and certificate programs are also available for those who want to learn more about herbs and their uses. Some of these certificate programs may be paired with other certificate or degree programs, such as a Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism.

Non-Accredited Schools

There are many non-accredited schools that offer classes and certificate and degree programs. The American Herbalists Guild (AHG) suggests that accreditation may not matter when choosing an herbal education program, but AHG also states that accreditation by a regional or professional accrediting body helps provide some assurance that the school is operated in a legal fashion. They also suggest choosing a program that provides plenty of training in clinical skills for hands-on learning.

Non-Academic Organizations

Professional societies and organizations focused on nature, horticulture, gardening or herbalism often offer lectures, workshops, nature walks or classes through their adult education programs. Other sources of herbal studies classes for adults are botanic gardens and nature centers. These programs might take place at libraries, parks or other public venues, and they might have a small fee associated with them. Topics may include aromatherapy, native medicinals and more.

Students interested in studying herbal studies can pursue classes, workshops, certificate programs and more in various topics of the field. These can be offered from accredited and non-accredited schools, as well as non-academic organizations.


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