Naturopathy Degrees in Los Angeles, CA with School Overviews

Nov 29, 2018

There are fewer than 10 schools in the Los Angeles, California, area that have naturopathy degree programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info at three schools, the most distant about 100 miles away, and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Los Angeles Naturopathy Schools

Only a few schools in the Los Angeles area offer programs related to naturopathic medicine and healing. This article looks at the programs offered by three schools. The closest is less than 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, while the most distant is nearly two hours from the city. All three of the schools on this list are accredited and offer naturopathic degree programs that prepare students for California's licensing and certification requirements to practice in the field. There is also a table of information about them, such as school type, size and costs. At the end of the article is a list of a few more schools that offer naturopathic medicine programs.

  • Students can earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree by enrolling at the San Diego campus of Bastyr University, about 107 miles from Los Angeles.
  • Students who are looking for a master's degree program in acupuncture and oriental medicine or a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program can study at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, which is 13 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
  • Just under 20 miles from the city center is South Baylo University. It offers master's and doctor's degree programs in acupuncture and oriental medicine.

Comparison of Schools

The following table showcases information about these three schools that prospective students should consider.

Bastyr University - San Diego Southern California University of Health Sciences South Baylo University
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 1,195 (Kenmore and San Diego campuses combined)* 1,096* 522*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Graduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $25,455* $23,785* $10,735*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Bastyr University

Students at this school gain clinical experience through the Bastyr University Clinic, which is located in San Diego and serves the Southern California community. The university's campus includes a whole-food teaching kitchen and a botanical medicine laboratory.

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

The degree program combines research and clinical training to give students practical experience that is rooted in theory. The program typically lasts 4 years for full-time students and offers the same curriculum as the university's primary Washington campus program. Students take classes in anatomy, physiology, naturopathic theory and practice, behavioral medicine, medical pharmacology, immunology, pathology, and homeopathy. Students take clinical observation classes to gain hands-on understanding of naturopathic medicine. By the end of the program, students have undergone about 1,200 clinical hours of training and seen 600 patients.

Southern California University of Health Sciences

Students can take classes through the school's College of Chiropractic and College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Programs offered by both colleges give students clinical experience through internships and supervised training programs. The university offers an on-campus anatomy lab, which allows students practical experience in understanding the human body. As a whole, the university focuses on training practitioners for the 21st century and encourages students to take part in research to understand the best holistic approaches to health and wellness for their clients.

Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Students who want to earn this degree must complete 166 trimester units, including 990 hours of clinical training. In this program, students learn about the history of health care, principles of Oriental medicine and herbology, Western medicine, anatomy, physiology, relevant research methods, practice management, and ethics. There are numerous classes on various acupuncture methods and usage of acupuncture materials with patients. Students take part in clinical observations and practice.

Doctor of Chiropractic

As part of this program, students take classes in histology, anatomy, neuroscience, biomechanics, nutrition, and physiology. There is an emphasis on ethics and professional development. Many classes focus on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment process, and how to manage patients and practices. As part of the program, students receive clinical experience by participating in clinical rotations and preceptorships at the school's on-campus health center and off-site locations like health clinics, college campus health centers, and homeless shelters. Students must pass a series of competency exams before receiving the degree.

South Baylo University

The university was established more than 30 years ago and has grown to become the United States' largest acupuncture and Oriental medicine school. The school offers instruction in Chinese, English, and Korean. Students have access to a complete anatomy laboratory that includes 2 plastinated human bodies to help students understand how the human body works. Students can also view X-rays, slides, and models to see how naturopathic medicine affects the body. Outside of classes, students gain first-hand experience by taking part in training at the school's area clinics so they can have direct experience with patients.

Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Students who want to earn this master's degree complete a total of 212 units of coursework followed by 48 units, or 960 hours, of clinical training. As part of their classes, students learn about herbal practice, anatomy, chemistry, acupuncture, nutrition, pathology, pharmacology, principles of Oriental medicine, internal medicine, and diet. Many of the classes also teach students about case management and how to meet the needs of patients. As part of the clinical training, students work in supervised and independent settings to treat patients with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

For this program, students are required to complete 93 units of coursework (1,260 hours). In general, students need to be licensed or certified before they enter the training part of the program. The curriculum focuses on teaching students about traditional internal medicine, herbology, integrative pediatrics, integrative immunology, and medical microbiology. Students can choose from elective courses that cover nutrition, holistic wellness, acupuncture orthopedics, and sports medicine. In addition to coursework, students gain clinical experience in research, patient care, and treatment.

Other Schools in the Area

Students have a few more options for pursuing naturopathic study in the Los Angeles area. Dongguk University has a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine degree program, also offered in Chinese, Korean, and English. The school is located about 5 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles. A second option is Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is about 16 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The university offers master's and doctoral degree programs in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

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