Herbal Pharmacology Degree Programs and Courses

Herbal pharmacology degree programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Continue reading for more details about these varying types of programs and the courses you may take during your studies. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

Herbal pharmacology is a field that offers several career choices. As an herbal pharmacologist, you can work indirectly with patients by growing and selling herbs, serving as a consultant, researching, writing, or educating. You can also work directly with patients as a naturopathic doctor, doctor of Oriental medicine, or other medical staff.

Degrees BA in herbal medicine, master's degree in acupuncture or Oriental medicine, doctorate in acupuncture or Oriental medicine
Courses anatomy, biology, botanical pharmacology, chemistry, nutrition, ethics, herbal therapy, holistic health, homeopathy, physiology, research methods, traditional Chinese medicine
Licensing Some states may require naturopathic doctors to be licensed

Source: Association of Herbal Practitioners, American Herbalists Guild

How Do I Choose an Herbal Pharmacology School?

You'll want to look for a program recognized by the health care facilities for which you might work and by professional associations. Some careers in herbal pharmacology or complementary and alternative medicine require licensing, so you'll also want to make sure your degree prepares you for any licensing requirements that apply.

If you choose a naturopathic medicine program, look for one accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. Such programs are comparable to standard medical school programs, in that they undertaken after completing a bachelor's degree program in a science area.

If you choose a program in Oriental medicine, it should be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. You can also look for programs approved by the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), although the AHG itself is a professional organization and not an accreditation body.

What Careers Will This Field Prepare Me For?

Herbal pharmacology work is applicable to a variety of careers. As an herbalist, you might grow your own herbs, purchase herbs for a retail outlet or manage a retail herb business. You could also use your training in a consulting role, providing knowledge of herbal remedies to businesses and consumers. You could work as a researcher, educator or writer.

If you choose a program more focused on medical applications of herbs, you could work within the health care field as a medicine manufacturer, herbal therapy practitioner, holistic nurse, medical assistant, naturopathic doctor or doctor of Oriental medicine.

Which Degree Level Should I Pursue?

Bachelor's degree programs in herbal pharmacology prepare students for careers that don't involve direct patient care. They can provide you with a good background education, if you intend to pursue a master's degree or additional undergraduate schooling in nursing or medical assisting.

If you choose a master's degree-level program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, this will prepare you to sit for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) examination. By passing this exam, you'll earn the certification required to become an independent herbal practitioner. You might choose to continue your education through a Ph.D. in acupuncture and oriental medicine, especially if you want to work in a leadership position in herbal pharmacology.

To become a naturopathic doctor (ND), you'll be required to complete a 4-year, accredited, graduate-level program. Licensing is required for NDs in 17 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What Courses Will I Take?

As an herbal pharmacology student, you'll be introduced to the scientific studies of both the human body and the herbal medicines you'll use to treat patients. Some of the courses you might take include the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Botanical pharmacology
  • Chemistry
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Ethics
  • Herbal therapy
  • Holistic health
  • Homeopathy
  • Physiology
  • Research methods
  • Traditional Chinese medicine

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

  • The George Washington University

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Johns Hopkins University

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  • Capella University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Penn Foster Career School

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  • South University

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Colorado Technical University

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