Top Schools for Aromatherapy - Alternative Medicine

Read about alternative medicine programs in aromatherapy, which is the use of natural oils and scents to promote physical and mental health. Learn about the instructional options at three colleges and universities, and find a list of other schools in the United States that provide training in aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy can be used as an adjunct procedure by massage therapists, acupuncturists, naturopaths and healthcare professionals; estheticians or bodyworkers may also work with oils and scents. While there's no standard academic requirement to practice aromatherapy, some schools offer certificate or continuing education programs in aromatherapy, as well as holistic or natural health studies that include training in this alternative therapy.

School Information

The three schools highlighted below include one community college, one naturopathic medical university and a private university, each of which offer short-term certificate programs or courses in aromatherapy. These schools are notable because they offer focused training in the field.

Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, CO

School Highlight: Students in the A.A.S. Holistic Health program are exposed to a wide variety of holistic health areas like yoga, Reiki, and wellness coaching, along with aromatherapy.

Front Range Community College offers the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Holistic Health program, which prepares students for alternative medicine careers that include aromatherapy practice. Students in the A.A.S. program take general education classes and required courses in holistic health, anatomy, physiology and business operations over the course of 4-5 semesters. Electives include classes in aromatherapy theory and applied aromatherapy. The school also offers a 1-semester natural health certificate program in aromatherapy and is accredited by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy.

Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA

School Highlight: The continuing education courses in aromatherapy are ideal for people already working in the holistic healthcare world who want to expand their horizons.

Bastyr University is a private nonprofit school and a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges. It offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in natural health, such as exercise or herbal science, acupuncture, naturopathy, Oriental medicine and nutrition. The school also provides continuing education courses in aromatherapy, as well as other disciplines that incorporate aromatherapy, like meditation and yoga. The classes are intended for massage therapists, estheticians, acupuncturists, physicians and related healthcare professionals, although students and members of the general public interested in alternative medicine are welcome.

Parker University in Dallas, TX

School Highlight: The school offers a continuing education course in aromatherapy.

At Parker University, students can take a continuing education course in Aromatherapy and Massage Raindrop Therapy. The course provides six hours of continuing education credits and is intended for licensed massage therapists. Current massage school and chiropractic students may also attend, provided that they have taken specific prerequisite courses. The program covers historical and current uses of essential oils as well as the benefits and contraindications of aromatherapy and raindrop therapy.

Top Aromatherapy Schools

Here are some more schools where students may find relevant training in aromatherapy:

  • Blue Sky School of Professional Massage & Therapeutic Bodywork in Fredonia, WI, offers short workshops on a rolling basis that cover topics like aromatherapy, reflexology, and sound healing.
  • Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC, offers certificate and associate degree programs in massage therapy that include introductory aromatherapy courses as electives.
  • At Metropolitan State College of Denver in Denver, CO, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Complementary and Alternative Medicine program offers coursework in aromatherapy.

Although aromatherapy programs are not widely available, there are a few dedicated instructional programs, which may be offered as standalone programs or within a broader alternative medicine curriculum.

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