Iridology is a diagnostic technique in which variations in the colors, patterns and other characteristics of a patient's iris are used to gather health information. There are no master's programs in iridology, but interested students can pursue master's degrees in alternative medicine. Some of these programs offer iridology classes, in which students learn how different parts of the iris relate to different anatomical systems and how to use iris characteristics to predict a patient's susceptibility to illness. It is important to note that there is no rigorous scientific evidence for the accuracy of iridology, and it is not formally recognized by the medical community or regulated by the government.
Prior to enrolling in a master's degree program in alternative medicine, students who are intent on studying iridology should check to make sure that the subject is covered. Typically, alternative medicine programs focus on non-traditional medical practices such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, acupuncture and herbology. They may also provide basic medical training because alternative medicine is increasingly practiced in tandem with traditional medicine. Before applying to one of these programs, students need a bachelor's degree, preferably in a medicine-related field, and they must submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.
Master's in Alternative Medicine
In order to earn a master's degree in alternative medicine, students must fulfill core course requirements. Those who are particularly interested in iridology may seek out electives that emphasize eyesight and diagnostics. Common subjects include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Mind and body connection
- Holistic health science
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies alternative health practitioners as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. The median annual wage for these workers was $74,710 as of May 2015. Employment for all healthcare occupations was expected to grow by 19 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the national average.
Even though students cannot pursue a master's degree in iridology alone, a master's degree in alternative medicine can prepare them for health diagnostic work in the future. Keep in mind that this field is not formally recognized, so training in traditional medicine is usually offered in conjunction with alternative medicine programs.