Natural remedies practice is a form of alternative medicine, also referred to as herbal or botanical medicine, herbology or phytotherapy. Natural remedies programs are usually found at specialty schools, such as Oriental or herbal medicine schools, but some 4-year colleges and universities offer them.
Natural Remedies Schools
Here's a list of schools with applicable programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016*|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||Coon Rapids, Minnesota||2-year, Public||Associate, certificate||$5,022|
|California Institute of Integral Studies||San Francisco, California||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Master's||$19,008|
|Front Range Community College||Westminster, Colorado||2-year, Public||Associate, certificate||In-state $3,527
|Georgian Court University||Lakewood, New Jersey||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Master's, certificate||$15,102|
|Maryland University of Integrative Health||Laurel, Maryland||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Certificate, master's, doctorate||$18,230|
|Ohio Institute of Allied Health||Huber Heights, Ohio||<2-year, Private, not-for-profit||Diploma||$21,400|
|Red Rocks Community College||Lakewood, Colorado||2-year, Public||Associate, certificate||In-state $3,429
|University of New Mexico-Taos Campus||Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $1,872
|Western Michigan University||Kalamazoo, Michigan||4-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $11,029
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students interested in schools offering natural remedy programs may want to consider the following:
- Students may want to consider whether a school is accredited, as this ensures that the program is quality and will be accepted by more potential employers.
- Program options for herbal remedies vary drastically due to the lack of standardized credentials, and because of this, students can choose a program focus and level that best suits them.
- Program content also varies and students can choose to specialize in a number of different areas as they progress through their education.
Certificate Programs in Natural Remedies
Courses in a certificate program might include classes in medical risk management, herbal clinical medicine, herbal dispensary management and herbal formulation strategies. A strategies course may narrow the focus onto one herbal system, such as Chinese herbal medicine, or it might present an integrated regimen using a comparative medicine approach. Students may also be required to complete clinical internship hours under close supervision from a practicing herbal professional. Admission requirements vary among schools. However, students should expect to provide proof of a high school diploma or GED, and to complete some form of admissions test. Certificate programs are generally completed in 12 months.
Associate's Degree Programs in Natural Remedies
Associate's degree programs in natural remedies generally require 18-24 months to complete. Course topics include herbal formulation strategies for various population groups. Along with the study of herbal medicines, an associate's degree program may include courses in communications, business and entrepreneurship. Course credits in an accredited program are more likely to be transferable to bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. Students may also be required to complete internships.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Natural Remedies
The study of natural remedies for a bachelor's degree may require an additional 18-24 months of work beyond an associate's degree. Students are often prepared to take professional exams from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Master's Degree Programs in Natural Remedies
The purpose of the master's degree program in natural remedies and herbology is to prepare practitioners of herbal medicine to function as independent, primary health care providers. Graduates are prepared with scientific knowledge, clinical skills, and the medicinal craft to make plants into safe, effective remedies. Such programs enable graduates to take any state licensure exam or national certification examination and function as integral members of modern health care systems. Clinical internships and observations may be included.
Admission typically requires a bachelor's degree with a major, minor or a significant number of credits in natural remedies or a closely-related field. Because of the didactic hours, research projects and case studies, as well as the large number clinical hours required for a master's program (up to 1000 or more), completion of the program can take 24-36 months beyond the bachelor's degree.
Doctoral Degree Programs in Natural Remedies
Individuals can expand their expertise in natural remedies beyond the master's degree through doctoral studies. A doctoral degree program usually requires an additional 24-36 months beyond the master's program, with a significant number of clinical hours earned through clinical rotations and internships. Students will also be required to complete formal case reviews and participate in mentorships and preceptorships.
Those interested in natural remedies programs should ensure that a school is accredited and that the coursework aligns with career goals.