Relevant educational programs in holistic health are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some programs allow students to specialize their studies in a particular aspect of the field.
10 Schools with Holistic Health or Related Programs
Here are a few schools that either offer education in holistic health:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Johnson State College||Johnson, VT||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$11,018 (in-state)|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||Denver, CO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,420 (in-state)|
|Western Michigan University||Kalamazoo, MI||4-year, Public|| Bachelor's
| $11,029 (in-state, undergraduate)
$12,727 (in-state, graduate)
|Bastyr University||Kenmore, WA||4-year, Private not-for-profit|| Bachelor's
| $24,198 (undergraduate)
|California Institute of Integral Studies||San Francisco, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's||$19,008|
|Everglades University||Boca Raton, FL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$16,648 (in-state)|
|National College of Natural Medicine||Portland, OR||4-year, Private not-for-profit|| Master's
|Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences||Tempe, AZ||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||N/A|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||Coon Rapids, MN||2-year, Public|| Certificate
|University of New Mexico - Taos Campus||Ranchos de Taos, NM||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,872 (in-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Prospective students who are considering holistic health programs should consider the following:
- It can be helpful to find out whether the program allows students to concentrate their studies in a particular area of interest, such as clinical aromatherapy, Vedic psychology, Ayurveda, medicinal herbalism or acupuncture.
- Prospective doctoral students should make sure that the program has been accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).
- Students may want to find out about the school's facilities, such as clinical training and research labs, to ensure that they will have access to industry-standard equipment and technologies.
- Working professionals who want to bolster their careers through holistic health studies should look for programs that are available in online or hybrid formats.
Associate's Degree Programs
In associate's degree programs that cover holistic health, such as Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Complementary Alternative Medicine programs, students gain foundational education in human anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, and they learn how alternative medical techniques can be used to restore and maintain health. Possible specialization options include aromatherapy, herbal medicine and holistic spa. An alternative associate-level option is a degree that focuses on the way a particular practice, such as massage, can be used to promote holistic health. In total, associate's degree programs take two years to complete and require students to fulfill general education requirements.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in holistic health and related topics educate students about a broad range of healing practices, as well as the historical, social and ethical aspects of utilizing alternative therapies to promote health. Students may also have the opportunity to conduct research in the field. Some programs are available online.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in holistic health provide students with the opportunity to take advanced courses in wellness-related topics. These degrees may be pursued by individuals who want to launch a career in the field or health professionals who want to build on their previous education with holistic health studies. In order to accommodate the needs of full-time workers, courses may be offered online or in the evenings. Prior to graduation, students may be required to complete a capstone project.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Aspiring naturopathic doctors must earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree. In four-year ND programs, students take advanced courses in the biomedical sciences alongside holistic health-focused classes. They also complete extensive clinical training requirements. Upon completion, graduates are prepared to take the Naturopathic Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) so that they can practice in the field. It is important to note that there are only five accredited schools in the United States for ND programs.
Certificate programs in holistic health are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Like undergraduate degree programs, undergraduate certificates provide a broad introduction to the field, but without general education requirements. Graduate certificates allow students to take more advanced courses in the field without committing to a full master's degree program. There are also certificates that allow students to specialize their expertise in a particular aspect of holistic health, such as nutritional consulting.
When choosing between holistic health programs, students must consider specialization options and keep their career aspirations in mind.