Ayurvedic medicine certificate programs are unavailable in the U.S. in either online or on-campus formats. Ayurvedic practitioners are typically trained in India through bachelor's degree and doctoral programs. However, partially online certificate programs are available in other complementary and alternative medicine disciplines, as well as online degree programs. Students also have the opportunity to complete holistic health classes online or in a hybrid format.
These programs may be designed as supplemental education for those who've already met the educational and licensing requirements for a medical specialty, such as nursing or acupuncture. Because of the hands-on nature of medicine, these programs may allow for some coursework to be completed online, but often require some kind of supervised lab work, apprenticeship, internship or field experience.
Certification is not available for practicing ayurvedic medicine in the United States. Ayurveda is a traditional Indian form of alternative holistic medicine. Thus, many practitioners pursue ayurvedic training in India. In India, degree programs for ayurvedic medicine are available at the bachelor's and doctorate levels.
Some colleges in the U.S. do offer courses dedicated to teaching ayurvedic medicine, and it is important that potential students check whether or not the program they are considering is from an accredited university. There are continuing efforts supporting the advancement of Ayurveda as an independent profession, as well as the certification of practitioners and the accreditation of schools. Certificate programs are readily available for other holistic medical practices.
Alternative medicine covers a wide range of healing techniques based on natural medicine and procedures. Everything from nutrition to herbal remedies and physiology is considered in holistic and alternative healing processes. Most alternative and holistic medicine degree and certificate programs do not grant the licensure needed to practice medicine. Certificate programs and degree programs in alternative medicine, such as holistic healing, are meant to provide principles and philosophies that can be used to supplement methods of licensed healthcare, such as acupuncture or psychology.
Many schools offer courses teaching the fundamentals of alternative medicine, online and on-campus. However, although coursework is typically available online for certain degree programs, any students seeking licensing as a healthcare practitioner must complete significant fieldwork and training under the supervision of a professional in the field.
Many states require a person seeking licensure in acupuncture to attend an accredited acupuncture program and complete an apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed professional in the field. It is important for someone pursuing acupuncture to look at the varying license requirements for each state.
Obtaining a license to practice psychology typically requires a doctoral degree in the field and passage of the National Psychology Licensing Exam. The next step is completing hands-on experience in the field under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist. License requirements vary by state, so it is important that prospective psychologists review the requirements for their areas.
Naturopathic medicine encompasses traditional medical science and naturopathic approaches. Practices in acupuncture and psychology are often integrated with naturopathic medicine programs. Because of the arduous work involved in covering a multitude of medical practices, hands-on clinical experience is required to complete programs in the field.
Certain forms of alternative medicine are typically intertwined with some sort of licensed practice. Acupuncture, psychology and naturopathic medicine are professions that tend to use more alternative and natural approaches to medicine. Someone interested in this type of approach may seek to earn a degree or certificate in some form of alternative medicine in addition to standard medical education. Proper education, examinations and hands-on experience are required to obtain licensure in any healthcare field.
Students wishing to study ayurvedic medicine can enroll in similar online certificate or degree programs in alternative medicine disciplines to learn about naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and more. Graduates will typically need licensure and formal medical education to work as a healthcare provider.