Distance Learning Doctorate Degree in Naturopathic Medicine

Distance learning is not currently an option for completing a doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine. Instead, get info about on-campus programs in naturopathic medicine. Read about program requirements, course topics, and licensing requirements.

Essential Information

Naturopathic physicians are required to have a degree from a 4-year naturopathic medical school program. Since there are currently no legitimate online programs available resulting in a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.), interested students must enroll in a traditional classroom program.

Naturopathic medicine training programs are designed to produce primary care physicians who focus on using natural methods, as well as those that are minimally toxic or invasive. These programs cover all elements of individual and family care, from prenatal to geriatric; prevention and self-care techniques are also included.


First Year

The first year of a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program includes introductory courses in the history and philosophy of naturopathic medicine as well as natural therapeutics. Other courses include the following:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Histology
  • Embryology

Second Year

Clinical and lab diagnosis methods, pathology of diseases and research methods are covered during the second year. Also pursued in this year are studies in naturopathic modalities such as the following:

  • Botanical medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Homeopathy
  • Oriental medicine
  • Manipulation

Third Year

The third year is generally an expansion of study in naturopathic and organ systems modalities with case management. Clinical training also begins.

Fourth Year

The fourth year of the doctorate program is primarily practical clinical training, with further classroom training in naturopathic content and methods. Although post-graduate residencies are not required, many graduates are choosing to enter an additional 1-2 year residency program.

Licensing Requirement

After completing an approved training program, aspiring naturopathic physicians must pass the rigorous Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX). This is offered through the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners.

There are no distance learning options available to students who would like to get a doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine. Students will instead work through four years of a doctorate program and then an additional 1-2 years of a residency program before becoming a licensed physician.

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