Naturopathy Certification and Classes

Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach to preventing disease or illness. Explore the education and training programs available to those seeking a career in naturopathy. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Accredited doctoral degree programs are available in naturopathic medicine and can prepare you to become a naturopathic doctor. As a Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.), you'll work to treat the whole patient using natural therapies and preventative methods. Due to the in-depth nature of the coursework and the clinical requirements, you'll typically find accredited on-campus N.D. programs.

Classes Biochemistry, anatomy, pathology, neuroscience, clinical portions; history of naturopathy, Eastern and Oriental medicine
Degrees Doctoral degrees in naturopathic medicine
Licensing 20 U.S. states require licensing in order to practice as a naturopathic doctor; Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam administers that process

What Classes Will I Take?

To understand naturopathy, you must have knowledge of the body's functions and interactions. You can expect to take advanced science courses like biochemistry, neuroscience and pathology, as well as courses in the various branches of medicine.

During an N.D. program, you'll take classes on the history of naturopathy, as well as Eastern and Oriental medicine. Naturopathic coursework explores the relationship between the mind and the body, treating humans as a whole rather than just looking at individual symptoms. Because of naturopathy's reliance on nature and holistic remedies, you'll learn how to use herbs and plants as medicine. You'll also examine the relationship between diet and overall health. Course titles often include the following:

  • Histology
  • Medical ethics
  • Philosophy and history of natural medicine
  • Physiology
  • Botanical pharmacy
  • Anatomy

What Classes Will I Take in a Clinical Setting?

In addition to obtaining a degree from an accredited institution, graduates also often choose to complete a residency under the guidance of a faculty member or naturopathic practitioner. The residency can take place at a natural health clinic and usually lasts 1-2 years. Here are some topics you might be studying in this format:

  • Mind-body medicine
  • Physical medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Acupuncture and East Asian medicine
  • Minor dermatologic procedures
  • Homeopathy

Do I Need to Be Certified to Practice Natural Medicine?

Attending a school that has been accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) can ensure that your program meets the educational requirements needed for you to apply to take the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam. If you've graduated from an accredited naturopathic medicine program and pass the exam, you can maintain your license by completing continuing education every year.

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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