Master's Degree Programs in Herbal Medicine

A master's degree program in herbal medicine can train you to use herbs and alternative medicine to treat illness and help people improve their overall health and wellness. Read on to learn more about available programs, prerequisites, common courses and careers. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Master's Degrees in Herbal Medicine are Available?

Master of Science programs in herbal medicine are available, though not common. You can also obtain training in herbal medicine practices through master's degree programs in Oriental medicine and complementary and alternative medicine, which are more common. There are a few schools that offer these degree online, but these programs do not incorporate clinical experiences.

A master's degree in herbal medicine doesn't prepare you to practice medicine. In order to become a medical doctor, you must meet rigorous educational, clinical and licensing requirements.

Master's Programs Herbal medicine, Oriental medicine, complementary and alternative medicine
Prerequisites Commonly require a completed bachelor's degree or 60-90 credits, must have basic science classes (psychology, biology, chemistry), recent Tuberculosis test
Common Courses Plant identification and use, herbal preparations, practical treatment, acupuncture, massage
Additional Requirements Most programs require clinical labs, as well as requiring an internship
Career Options Herbalist, herbal medicine practitioner, consultant at health clinic or spa, acupuncturist (may require an additional certificate)

What are the Prerequisites?

Most - but not all - schools offering master's degree programs in herbal medicine require a completed bachelor's degree. Some only require that you've completed 60-90 credits of an undergraduate program, including courses in psychology, biology and chemistry. You must also have had a recent Tuberculosis (TB) test.

What Courses Will I Take?

Courses in these programs teach you how to identify and use medicinal plants. You'll learn about their nutritional value and how their various properties heal, promote wellness, analyze imbalances and restore balance. Some programs include other forms of alternative or complementary medicine, such as acupuncture and massage. A large portion of a master's degree program in herbal medicine is spent completing clinical experiences and a clinical internship, during which you learn to treat patients using Oriental herbs and other techniques. Some courses and topics could include:

  • Theory of Oriental medicine
  • People, plants and seasons
  • Qi Gong, Tai Ji and Tui Na
  • Herbal preparations
  • Toxicology and safety in herbal medicine
  • Herbal pharmacology
  • Identifying plants and botany
  • Disease patterns

How Can I Use This Degree?

With a master's degree in herbal medicine, you can work as a professional herbalist or herbal medicine practitioner. You might work independently or at a spa or health care center, recommending herbal treatments for skin conditions, headaches, arthritis and other ailments. You can also earn a Diplomate in Chinese Herbology Certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental 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:

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