Bachelor's Degrees in Ayurveda

Certificate and bachelor's degree programs in Ayurveda and alternative medicine are available through online and traditional on-campus formats. Learn more about ayurveda, get details about education options and common areas of study, and learn what you can do with your knowledge and training. Schools offering Complementary & Integrative Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn an Accredited Degree in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a complementary and alternative medicine that originated in India and uses herbs, massages and special diets to promote health. Though there aren't many accredited bachelor's degree programs in the United States that offer training in Ayurvedic medicine, several unaccredited programs exist. You can also study Ayurvedic principles and healing methods through an accredited bachelor's degree program in alternative studies. There are also many certificate programs available that are standalone or offered as complementary to a degree.

Though accredited training is an option for this field, the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that there are concerns in the medical field about the practice of Ayurveda (nccih.nih.gov). According to the NCCIH, these concerns focus on the potential toxicity of herbs used in Ayurvedic therapies and concern over the interactions Ayurvedic medicines might have when used together. Additionally, the NCCIH says that this field of alternative medicine lacks appropriate scientific evidence for its effectiveness.

Degree Levels Available Certificates, graduate level certificates, limited bachelor's programs
Online Availability Some fully online, and some blended with online courses and in-person labs
Common Courses Basic Ayurvedic principles, herbology, acupuncture, disease management, massage
Career Options Health consultant at a private clinic, herbalist, massage therapist, continue studies to be naturopath or doctor

What Other Learning Options Exist?

Since there are a limited number of bachelor's degree options in Ayurveda, you might consider taking independent classes for credit that can lead to a certificate. These courses are available as short-term learning programs, so you can complete them by going to class only a day per week for a few months. You can also become a certified Ayurveda practitioner by earning a graduate-level certificate that takes 20 months to complete as is a hybrid program, with in-class learning two days per week and online coursework that you can complete on your own time.

What Courses Will I Take?

Through most Ayurveda programs, you will study different diseases and natural treatments that use herbology, acupuncture and nutrition. Classes may also cover topics in alternative medicine that familiarize you with Indian culture. You will learn to use oils, massages and herbs to treat patients. Online programs usually have hands-on clinical components that require you to apply what you've learned in an in-person setting.

Since Ayurveda has to do with maintaining balance in the body, you will study personality, body core, spirituality, diet, lifestyle and healing methods. The courses will teach you how to maintain wellness despite illness. Some topics covered could include:

  • Ayurvedic herbology
  • Basic Ayurveda principles
  • Balance through color therapy and massage therapy
  • Diagnosis and pathology in Ayurveda
  • Discovering and using your dosha
  • Disease management
  • History and philosophy of Ayurveda
  • Making lifestyle adjustments
  • Principles of preventative medicine
  • The relationship between the body, mind and soul
  • Using natural herbs and nutrition
  • Yoga and massage in Ayurveda

How Can I Use this Major?

According to the NCCIH, you can go into a research sector of Ayurvedic medicine with a bachelor's degree. This could include finding ways to set standards for practical use of Ayurveda in hospitals or health spas or studying ways to use herbs to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's and arthritis. You could also use what you've learned to promote healthy living as a health spa or alternative clinic employee. If you're interested in continuing your healing studies, you may be interested in meeting the requirements to attend medical school and become a naturopathic or medical doctor.

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:

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