It is difficult to find accredited degrees in Ayurveda at any level in the U.S. Usually degree programs in Ayurveda are offered at schools that are not accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). However, some Ayurveda training may be available through accredited bachelor's or master's degree programs in alternative medicine, massage therapy or related fields.
Prerequisites for these programs may include a GED or high school diploma as well as SAT or ACT scores for bachelor's degrees. Master's programs ask for a bachelor's with a related degree and experience in the medical field.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's programs in alternative medicine are typically intended for students planning additional graduate-level study, and undergraduate programs may not prepare students for state licensure in alternative medicine.
In an alternative medicine program, students can expect to learn about the history of alternative or holistic medicine and how treatments are delivered. These programs often include Ayurvedic training, and Ayurvedic classes teach meditation to help develop a peaceful mind, yoga to develop the physical body and improve circulation, and the preparation and administering of herbal formulas.
Because many programs are parts of premedical or physiology programs, students should expect to log some clinical and laboratory time as well. Here are some classes that might appear in an alternative medicine program:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Alternative diagnostic procedures
Master's Degree Programs
Training in Ayurvedic methods is also available at the graduate level. It's often offered via massage therapy, holistic health studies or Ayurvedic sciences programs. Some schools may also offer Ayurveda training in certificate programs. Whether offered in degree or certificate form, these programs are usually intended for practicing medical professionals because Ayurveda isn't a recognized specialty in the U.S. Therefore, its practitioners typically need licensure in related discipline to incorporate Ayurvedic treatment into patient care.
Regardless of the program's title and focus, master's-level programs that include Ayurvedic training typically offer classes similar to those at the bachelor's degree level. The difference between the two is that master's-level courses go into greater detail and often introduce more advanced topics. These classes may also teach more advanced diagnosis techniques and treatments.
Classes at the master's level will vary depending on the student's background and career goals. Some classes that may be offered include:
- Advanced healing methods
- Ayurveda and massage
- Research methods
- Advanced herbalism
Popular Career Options
Graduate Ayurvedic programs often require applicants to be licensed healthcare professionals. With additional training, those with a background in alternative medicine and Ayurvedic methods might find employment as:
- Massage and physical therapists
- Stress reduction coach
- Herbal practitioner
- Healthcare aide
Students interested in Ayurveda may find relevant education through bachelor's and master's degrees in alternative medicine. These programs look at anatomy and medicine for a holistic and herbal perspective, going over several topics and methods of alternative healing. Graduates may continue to careers in nursing, physical therapy, stress reduction, and more.