What Are the Basics of an Aromatherapy Degree?

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils and other plant-based products, often with the aim of improving mood, health, or quality of life. Studying aromatherapy can prepare an individual for a career as a massage therapist or similar occupation. Read on for more information about aromatherapy programs. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.


Aromatherapy degree program basics will vary depending on the school, because there are no national guidelines covering such programs. Aromatherapy education programs generally emphasize essential oils and the different techniques and products commonly used in these treatments.

Important Facts About Aromatherapy Programs

Schools American College of Healthcare Sciences, University of Natural Medicine
Program Types Certificate in Aromatherapy, Master Clinical Aromatherapy Certification
Course Topics Terms associated with aromatherapy, properties and uses of essential oils, anatomy of the human body, ethics and safety measures regarding aromatherapy
Jobs in Aromatherapy Most aromatherapists go on to work in spas and healthcare facilities as massage therapists
Median Salary (2018) $41,420 (for all massage therapists)*
Job Growth (2016-2026) 26% (for all massage therapists)*

Sources: American College of Healthcare Sciences, Heart of Herbs Herbal School, *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Essential Oils

Aromatherapy programs focus on the different properties and uses of essential oils. This is the most common application of aromatherapy. These oils can be used for beauty treatments, relaxation or medicinal purposes. Aromatherapists have gained an understanding of how to properly apply essential oils, which plants the oils come from and how to use various extraction methods. Students could learn basic techniques for combining essential oils to make salves, balms, lotions, poultices and other substances used in aromatherapy.

After learning the fundamentals of essential oil procurement and preparation, students could explore the ways in which the body responds to the oils and their scents. They might also discover which parts of the brain the oils tend to stimulate. Educational programs might look at the parts of the body that are typically treated through aromatherapy, including the circulatory and nervous systems. In addition, students may look at the antiseptic properties of clove, geranium and lavender oils and the aphrodisiac properties of jasmine, rose and sandalwood.

History of Aromatherapy

Students could find that coursework examines the history and evolution of aromatherapy. They might learn the philosophy as well as the science behind this form of alternative medicine. The basics of aromatherapy could focus on the balancing of the body and the mind. Coursework may also address its spiritual aspects as well as the many healing applications of aromatherapy that have been passed down through the years.

Additional Topics

Some aromatherapy education programs may offer insight into other types of holistic medicine, such as Ayurveda, herbal medicine and homeopathy. One program may focus heavily on the science of aromatherapy by including biology and chemical courses, while other programs could emphasize the spiritual elements of aromatherapy.

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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