Although there are very few 4-year bachelor's programs available in herbal studies, they are becoming more popular as more people are seeking alternatives to traditional pharmacology. Students gain a broad understanding of holistic health by studying biological and chemical properties of plants and herbs, among other areas of interest. Students learn valuable information on herbal properties, healthy diets and other areas of natural health. Prerequisites include a high school diploma, in addition to SAT or ACT scores.
Undergraduate Degree in Herbal Studies
An herbal studies undergraduate degree program will prepare students to treat patients using natural remedies. The program will include traditional life science courses like biology, anatomy and physiology. Students will also study natural medicine through courses in botany, vitamins and minerals. Common courses include:
- Herbal research and case studies
- Plant and herbal identification
- Herbal medicine and ethnobotany
- Medical terminology
- Natural pharmacology
Popular Career Options
With a bachelor's degree in herbal studies, students can find various careers within alternative medicine centers, herbalist's offices and health and wellness clinics. As herbal science specialists, students can inform patients and other medical professionals on the benefits and effects of various plants and herbs. Popular career choices include:
- Holistic health practitioner
- Health and wellness instructor
- Health care assistant
- Herbal science consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists herbalists under the broad category of health diagnosing and treating practitioners. The BLS stated that in May 2015, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $76,760.
Continuing Education Information
Students can pursue a master's degree in alternative medicine or herbal studies after obtaining an undergraduate degree. A master's degree allows students to find postsecondary herbal studies teaching positions with health schools and alternative medicine centers. A master's degree can also lead to various high-level herbal medicine practices that require intensive research on herbal sciences.
Undergraduate herbal studies will cover areas like biochemistry, botany, natural pharmacology, and herbal research. Graduates of these programs may find entry-level positions as health care assistants or herbal consultants, among other options. They may also pursue master's programs in related fields.