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Naturopathic Medicine


Programs in naturopathic medicine prepare people to treat patients using natural and nutritional healing techniques.

Programs in naturopathic medicine prepare people to work as naturopathic doctors. Students learn to treat patients using natural and nutritional healing. They learn to use herbs, bodywork, and energy work to promote health. They also learn to counsel and educate patients, and to refer them to other types of doctors when necessary.

Naturopathic medicine programs include topics such as:


During the final years of a naturopathic medicine program, you complete an internship. During this period, you work with patients under the supervision of a licensed naturopathic physician.


A few universities and specialized schools offer accredited programs in naturopathic medicine. Students earn a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND). These programs take about four to five years of full-time study after getting your bachelor's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate level programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. Many schools look at both your cumulative and math-science GPA. You don't need to major in any particular subject, but you should take as many natural and physical science courses as you can.

Following the typical pre-medicine route in college would be helpful. This route typically includes the following courses:

Some schools don't require that you complete these courses before applying. However, you will be given only "provisional acceptance" to a program until you complete them.

Program admissions vary, but other required or preferred courses may include:

Schools also require letters of recommendation and a personal interview.

Typical Course Work

Graduate Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in some of the following subjects:

In addition, all programs include clinical training in their curriculum. As with conventional medicine, applying your knowledge and skills in real-life settings and under the direct supervision of a licensed doctor is invaluable to your training, giving you the opportunity to experience the range of medical situations you might deal with as a naturopathic doctor.

Things to Know

Taking the required courses and doing well on the MCAT are not guarantees of admission to medical school. Medical school admission committees want to see applicants who have an understanding of and even practical experience in medicine. You may consider volunteering in a hospital or a clinic.

You may find that taking courses in Latin or Greek may help you learn medical terminology.

You need a license to practice. During your residency, you train for certification in your chosen medical specialty and take the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLEs).

After a residency program, you can take an exam to become board-certified.


King-Snohomish Area

Bastyr University

Tacoma Area

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Tacoma Community College

West Side Area

Grays Harbor College