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2022 Best Online Holistic Medicine Degrees

By Jennifer King Logan | Updated 10/7/2022

Holistic medicine and naturopathic physicians practice health and wellness through natural means. They prescribe plant-based and herbal remedies, changes to your diet, meditation plans, and exercise regimes, such as yoga. They may also help patients through cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy. This form of medicine is growing in demand because many patients are looking for natural ways to treat illnesses that don't involve prescription medication.  Thanks to its rise in popularity, many online schools are now offering alternative medicine degrees. If you are searching for a more traditional route, you may also be interested in exploring a health education degree

Below, you'll find the best online holistic medicine degrees based on their salary score. View our methodology for more details about our list or learn more about OnlineU.

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List Of Accredited Online Schools

School Online Enrollment Salary Score Median Starting Salary
Arizona State University 44,253 44,253 NA NA NA NA
Maharishi International University 967 NA NA
Everglades University 794 10 $21,335
Northern Vermont University 408 NA NA

Everglades University

  • Salary Score: 10
  • Median Starting Salary: $21,335
  • Locations: Boca Raton (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Everglades University (EvergladesU) is a small, nonprofit institution offering a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. Consisting of 123 credit hours, this program covers a wide variety of natural medicine practices, with courses such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Principles of Acupuncture, and Ayurvedic Medicine. Overall, students will learn about the mind, body, and spirit connection as it relates to health care, preparing them for work as naturopathic physicians.

EvergladesU's alternative medicine program can be completed in 41 months on a full-time schedule, with the option for in-person learning or fully online coursework through Blackboard. This program does not require externships nor do they offer professional certificates. Student services include academic advising and career placement assistance.

Arizona State University

  • Salary Score: NA
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Arizona State University is a large, public institution with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health, which teaches students holistic health care strategies for mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. This is a full-time, 120-credit-hour program that can be completed fully online through LearnX. Most students take four years to complete the entire degree. Core coursework includes Foundations of Integrated Health, Human Nutrition, and Research Methods for the Health Care Professional, alongside a capstone project, where students are required to design their very own healing environment project.

ASU offers online students career advice, time management coaching, and a 24-hour help service for technical support. Graduates may go on to explore careers as a patient advocate, social services director, or health care support worker.

Maharishi International University

  • Salary Score: NA
  • Locations: Fairfield (IA)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Maharishi International University (MIU) is a small, nonprofit institution offering a Bachelor of Arts in Ayurveda Wellness and Integrative Health. This program provides students with a thorough exploration of Ayurvedic teachings through the lens of modern science. Courses include Diet, Digestion, and Nutrition, Maharishi Yoga Asanas, and Aromatherapy. Students must also complete a two-week, in-person practicum, where they'll lead hands-on consultations with clients before applying their experience in a capstone project. After graduation, career opportunities include working as a health educator or health consultant.

MIU uses a block system of online learning, through Canvas LMS, where students will explore one full-time course per month. The program is completed asynchronously with in-person courses over three to five years, depending on any existing transferable credits. 62 credits are required for all core and general coursework. MIU has a support system for online students that can be tailored to their needs.

Northern Vermont University

  • Salary Score: NA
  • Locations: Johnson (VT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Northern Vermont (NVU) is a small, public university with a Bachelor of Science in Wellness & Alternative Medicine. The program's coursework dives deep into the mind-body connection through science, theories, and history. Core classes include Wellness and Alternative Medicine, Contemporary Health Issue, and Human Anatomy and Physiology. An in-person internship is also required, though most of the remaining coursework will be completed online through the Canvas platform. The major requires 49 credits with the entire degree being completed in four years on a full-time schedule.

NVU with student resources including academic support and career advising. Graduates will be prepared for careers as integrated physicians, naturopaths, or health policy planners.

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Overview of Online Holistic Medicine Degrees

Multiple levels of education are available in the field of holistic medicine:

1

For entry-level positions within the field, aspiring professionals can seek an online associate degree. An associate program is made up of 60 credit hours and students can finish in just two years. Graduates with this level of education can go on to work as herbalists, aroma therapists, and medical assistants.

2

Professionals who are looking to expand their career options to health and wellness coaches, herbal practitioner, or spa directors will want to seek an online bachelor's degree. Online bachelor's programs in holistic medicine can be earned at universities and colleges that primarily focus on medicine.

3

The next level of education that can be pursued is an online master's degree program. After completing this two-year degree, graduates may be prepared to work as life coaches, scholars, and educators.

4

Finally, students interested in becoming naturopathic doctors must pursue a doctoral degree. Graduates prepare to work in a number of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and private practices.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Holistic Medicine

Participating in a bachelor's program online may help working professionals expand their career options or even educate them on new treatments that can be added to their current practice. Common classes for holistic medicine education online include Aromatherapy Science, Botany & Plant Identification, Homeopathy, Holistic Nutrition, and Anatomy and Physiology.

These programs generally take students about four years to complete, with total credit hour requirements ranging from 120 to 123.

In terms of admission requirements, first-year students need to have their completed high school diploma or GED. Students who are continuing from an associate degree program will need to provide all college transcripts from any postsecondary schools attended previously.

Online Master's Degrees in Holistic Medicine

Professionals in holistic medicine often find that an online master's degree prepared them for leadership roles in the field. Graduate curriculums are designed to provide students with in-depth and advanced knowledge that reflects current theories and practices within the industry.

Master's degree programs in holistic medicine usually require 36 credit hours and take students approximately two years to complete.

Applicants who are interested in participating in a graduate program must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. They also need to provide their transcripts, and many programs ask applicants to provide professional letters of recommendation outlining their professional accomplishments and attributes.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Holistic Medicine

Aspiring naturopathic doctors will need to earn their doctoral degree before entering into practice. Students enrolled in an online doctoral program will learn to combine natural resources with the resources of modern science to provide patients with holistic diagnosis and treatment.

Key courses in doctoral level holistic health programs online include Clinical Biochemistry, Functional Medicine, Detoxification & Nature Cure, Naturopathic Women's Health, Elemental Chemistry, and Aromatherapy. Students are also required to participate in a clinical externship and a dissertation.

The typical online doctoral degree program takes participants between five and seven years to complete.

To be admitted, students must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in holistic medicine or a similar field. Prerequisite courses usually include Biology and General Chemistry. Some programs may require previous work experience; in these cases, a professional resume may also be required.

Online Certificates in Holistic Medicine

Undergraduates who wish to continue their studies in holistic medicine may want to consider obtaining a graduate certificate. Students participate in classes like Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Aromatherapy Science, Homeopathy, and Advanced Applied Holistic Nutrition.

Most certificate programs can be completed in under a year, and they consist of 15 to 20 credit hours.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution to qualify for a graduate certificate program.

The Importance of an Accredited Online Holistic Medicine Degree

It’s important for individuals interested in practicing holistic medicine to ensure their institution is accredited. Both accredited alternative medicine degrees online and accredited holistic health schools online have been reviewed by official organizations that assess the overall quality of education from these institutions.

Many employers require degrees from an accredited school because it gives them confidence in the degree's credibility and the candidate’s knowledge and skills.

The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is an important accrediting body for naturopathic medical programs. Their mission is to provide quality assurance for students, as well as patients who will be diagnosed and treated by future practicing professionals. This accrediting body is also important because only graduates who have received education through a CNME-accredited program will be eligible to sit for a professional board exam.

FAQs About Holistic Medicine Degrees

Is Holistic the Same as Homeopathic?


While holistic medicine and homeopathic medicine have some overlap, there are some distinct differences. Holistic medicine addresses the whole person — including mind, body, and spirit. It integrates conventional and alternative practices to treat disease and promote health. While homeopathic medicine also focuses on treating the whole person, it only utilizes natural remedies. Unlike holistic medicine, homeopathy doesn’t use prescription drugs.

What Is the Difference Between Functional Medicine and Holistic Medicine?


Holistic medicine approaches each patient as a whole person using a variety of therapies to promote health and heal an individual as a whole. Its practice combines physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Functional medicine is highly personalized to treat underlying causes rather than symptoms. Doctors practicing functional medicine look at a patient’s genetics, environment, and history. Both holistic and functional medicine prefer nutritional therapy, exercise, and natural treatments over drugs or surgery, but they don’t completely dismiss those options.

What Is the Job Outlook for Naturopathic Physicians?


The current average salary for naturopathic physicians — one potential career path for graduates of holistic medicine programs — is $100,300 per year, but demand for professionals is expected to grow by only 1-5% over the next decade. Holistic medicine professionals often operate their own private practices, but they may also find job opportunities at more traditional healthcare facilities.

What Skills Do I Need To Become a Successful Naturopathic Physician?


Naturopathic physicians require a broad range of skills and abilities. To effectively examine and diagnose patients, they should be able to listen attentively. They should also ask questions, take detailed notes, and use both deductive and inductive reasoning. Their ability to think critically allows them to use their knowledge of anatomy, medicine, and psychology to determine the best course of treatment. Finally, naturopaths must be able to communicate their findings and treatment plans sensitively, yet persuasively.

Can I Specialize in a Specific Aspect of Holistic Medicine?


Yes, you can specialize in a niche area of this field. After completing formal education in holistic medicine, many naturopaths go on to specialize in specific diseases, for example. Others focus on a particular subset of patients, such as children or expectant mothers. Some areas of specialization include oncology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, and psychiatry.

What Are Some Professional Organizations for Holistic Medical Health Practitioners?


Naturopaths and holistic medical health practitioners have many general and specific professional organizations they can join. These organizations provide additional career development resources and networking opportunities. Some of these organizations are included below:

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