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Bachelor's Degree in Herbology: Program Overviews

There are few bachelor's degree programs in herbal science available at accredited universities, as they are more commonly offered through postgraduate Chinese herbal medicine certificate programs designed for licensed acupuncturists.

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Essential Information

Bachelor's programs in herbal science require that students have a high school diploma and give students foundational knowledge of plants and their use in medicine. In addition to classes in herbology, students learn about anatomy, pharmacology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. These programs also require completion of general education courses. Postgraduate certificate programs in Chinese herbology require a bachelor's degree and take about two years to complete. Through classwork and many hours of clinical training, students learn about herbal treatments, including when to prescribe them and how to calculate doses.


Bachelor of Science in Herbal Sciences

A bachelor's degree program in herbal science provides students with scientific knowledge and personal understanding of plants and their medicinal uses. Students learn from master herbalists and gain a holistic understanding of herbs in regards to human organization and function. The program includes coursework in the historical and social perspectives of botanical medicine, the use of herbal science in health maintenance and disease prevention, the current issues in manufacturing and quality assurance and the cultivation of herbs.

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Plant identification
  • Botany
  • Herbal preparations

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Chinese Herbology Certificate

Including didactic courses and clinical practice, the certificate program provides students with knowledge and skills in the principles of Chinese herbology. Graduates of a certificate program have gained diagnostic skills and are prepared to use herbal therapies. Students are introduced to over 300 different herbs and their therapeutic substances, as well as a variety of herbal formulas.

  • Herbal Formulation
  • Herbal Therapeutics
  • Toxicity and Safe Use of Herbs
  • Botany
  • Individual Herbs

Possible Career Options

Graduates of degree programs in herbal sciences often find work in laboratories or for herbal products companies.

  • Herbal products manager, manufacturer or representative
  • Researcher
  • Herb cultivator
  • Herbal quality assurance specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As the interest in alternative and natural medicine continues to increase, so will the need for acupuncturists with an added herbology credential. A post-graduate certificate in Chinese herbology allows licensed acupuncturists to treat their patients more effectively, and in turn, become more valuable to their clientele. According to PayScale.com in January 2016, acupuncturists had a average salary of $49,000, while herbalists had a average of $40,963.

Continuing Education

Individuals can state up-to-date on the latest advances in herbology and refresh their skills through a variety of seminars, workshops, and other courses offered by the American Herbalist Guild and similar organizations. Graduates may also choose to pursue higher levels of education in other fields of alternative medicine.

Students wishing to learn more about herbology and Chinese medicine can choose to pursue a graduate level degree in Oriental medicine to further their knowledge and increase their scope of practice. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs are available in the field of Oriental medicine.

A Bachelor's in Herbology will prepare students for a career in Chinese medicine or for related postgraduate degrees. Coursework involves classes in plant medicine, as well as general science courses.

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