Bachelor of Science in Holistic Health: Online & Campus-Based Programs

Obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in holistic health will prepare you with skills to diagnose and treat health problems through acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic medicine. Read on to learn what courses are taught, online availability, and possible further education within this field of study. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Programs Are Available?

Holistic health is a form of alternative medicine that emphasizes the promotion of mental and spiritual wellness in healing physical maladies. Holistic health practitioners evaluate, diagnose and treat patients just like medical practitioners do; they just use different methods in their treatment. For instance, Eastern herbal remedies are often used to treat or prevent physical or mental health problems. Holistic medicine also advocates lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, meditation and other forms of stress reduction, over traditional medical treatment methods like prescription medication and surgery.

Most higher education programs in holistic science or alternative medicine are of the master's degree or graduate certificate variety. You can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of arts degree in alternative health or a related area, like alternative medicine, from an accredited university; however, your options may be limited. Degrees are conferred in both online and campus-based formats.

Degree Types Bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and graduate certificates are available
Common Courses Homeopathic medicine, reflexology, detoxification, naturopathy
Online Availability Online and hybrid programs are available
Career Options Acupuncturist, naturopathic practitioner, and chiropractor (doctorate degree needed)

What Courses Will I take?

Topics covered in mandatory courses may include biology, anatomy, physiology and nutrition. These studies provide you with a solid foundational understanding of the biological systems that holistic medicine is intended to treat. You'll also be required to take numerous courses in alternative medicine. Some of these courses will teach you alternative methods of traditional clinical skills, including those used for patient assessment or evaluation.

The majority of your course requirements will be in concepts specific to holistic health, such as homeopathic medicine, reflexology massage, detoxification and naturopathy. You'll also learn about Eastern-based holistic concepts like herbal health remedies, Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, and feng shui. Last but not least, you'll learn how to apply holistic solutions to common health and wellness problems, such as nutritional deficiencies, physical mobility problems, heart disease and excessive stress.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Exact structure and delivery modes vary from one online holistic health program to the next, but most institutions use online teaching and learning systems to transmit all courses and course materials. Simply logging into your school's course delivery system will allow you to access or submit lectures, readings, assignments and exams. You'll also generally have access to message board, chat and e-mail functions to participate in class discussions or to ask questions. In some cases, software programs like Microsoft Windows or Adobe Reader may be needed to conform with course requirements.

What Are My Options After Graduation?

According to the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA), a professional organization for holistic health practitioners and patients, holistic health professions include acupuncture, naturopathy and chiropractic medicine (www.ahha.org). These areas generally require graduate-level education, but a holistic health B.S. program in holistic health can help prepare you for such studies.

The AHHA and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that each of the three fields is regulated in the majority of U.S. states, meaning licensure or certification is required in order to practice them (www.bls.gov). Licensure regulations for holistic health and alternative medicine professions vary from one state to the next, so it's a good idea to check into your state's requirements for the holistic field in which you'd like to work before enrolling in a professional graduate program.

If you're interested in naturopathy or chiropractic medicine, you'll need a Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.) or Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree to meet your licensing requirements. If you're interested in acupuncture or general holistic herbology, a master's degree program may help prepare you for the required certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

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  • Capella University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Colorado Technical University

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • American InterContinental University

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