Schools with Holistic Medicine Programs: How to Choose

Programs in holistic medicine, also called integrative or alternative medicine, incorporate whole body approaches to health and treatment methods. Holistic medical training at these schools combine physical, mental, emotional and spiritual considerations. Certificate programs, associate's and bachelor's degrees may be available for students and physicians interested in this field.

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Holistic health degree programs often include coursework in both invasive and non-invasive procedures, as well as sensory and nutritional remedies. These programs can be found at a range of institutions, from 2-year community colleges to natural health institutes to traditional 4-year universities.

Schools with Holistic Health or Related Programs

Here's a list of schools with holistic medicine programs for various levels of study:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2015-2016*
Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids, Minnesota 2-year, Public Associate, certificate $5,022 undergraduate
California Institute of Integral Studies San Francisco, California 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, graduate certificate $19,008 graduate
Everglades University Boca Raton, Florida 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $16,648 undergraduate
Johnson State College Johnson, Vermont 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergraduate in-state $11,018
Out-of-state $23,714
Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver, Colorado 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergraduate in-state $6,420
Out-of-state $20,057
National College of Natural Medicine Portland, Oregon 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, master's $8,385 undergraduate (2016-2017)**
$19,799 graduate
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan 4-year, Public Graduate certificate Approximately $9,983.70 total program cost for the certificate (2016-2017)**
University of New Mexico - Taos Campus Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 2-year, Public Undergraduate certificate Undergraduate in-state $1,872
Out-of-state $4,854

Source: *National Center of Education Statistics, **School websites

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Acupuncture and Acupressure
  • Alternative and Complementary Medicine
  • Herbalist
  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Movement Therapies
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Traditional Eastern Medicine and Herbology
  • Yoga Therapy and Instructor

School Selection Criteria

Many health care professionals, including doctors, dentists, nurses, occupational therapists and chiropractors, may integrate holistic medicine into their practice, so there are a variety of programs available to suit their needs. Some considerations to look at while choosing a program include the following:

  • A bachelor's program in a holistic health field may be complementary to other interests; for example, potential chiropractic medicine students may wish to study acupuncture.
  • Graduates who have completed a 4-year medical residency can look for fellowship programs that emphasize holistic practices.
  • Some schools offer online curricula and interdisciplinary studies in many affiliated hospitals, laboratories and research centers.
  • Upon completion of a program, medical practitioners may receive board certification or specialized credentials demonstrating abilities in integrative medicine.

Certificate in Holistic Medicine

Certificate programs in holistic medicine are typically designed for graduate students of an allied health program or those currently working in a medical profession. These programs may be completed in two or three semesters. Coursework varies based on the specialty, though students typically review subjects such as anatomy, physiology and nutrition. Certificate programs may be found for holistic disciplines such as acupuncture, yoga and oriental massage. Practical experience or internship participation may be required.

Bachelor's Degree in Holistic Medicine

Bachelor's degrees in holistic medicine prepare students for continuing education opportunities or immediate employment as holistic health consultants or practitioners. Students may be required to complete an internship and attend a seminar to graduate. Coursework may include both Eastern and Western approaches to medicine.

Fellowship Program in Holistic Medicine

Fellowship programs typically accept physicians and nurses who have completed a medical residency. Fellows in an integrative medicine program perform extensive research and learn complementary healing and communication techniques.

Students interested in holistic medicine programs should research specialty options, fellowship availability and certification preparation while choosing a school. A prospective student's educational and professional background - whether they're a physician, a nurse or someone new to the field - will also guide their choice of school and program.

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