Bachelor's Degree in Alt Medicine

A bachelor's degree in alternative medicine qualifies individuals for entry-level work as an assistant in an alternative medicine practice, such as a chiropractic office, acupuncturist or naturopathic physician's office. Individuals could also work for social assistance programs and at health and fitness companies. Graduates can obtain special certification in alternative medicine or pursue advanced degrees to improve their career opportunities.

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Bachelor's Degree in Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is the term for medical practices that do not fall under traditional Western medical care provided by licensed doctors, registered nurses or physical therapists. This type of medicine utilizes natural healing practices to promote holistic health and wellness. Alternative medicine could replace standard medical treatments or work in tandem with them. Also offered as complementary or wellness medicine, these programs teach students investigative techniques, critical thinking, natural healing arts, herbology and nutrition. Prospective students typically need a have a high school diploma or GED certificate for admission, and could need to meet minimum grade point average requirements.

Course Topics

Individuals pursuing a bachelor's degree in alternative medicine might study topics in behavioral science and standard health care as well as theories and principles of alternative treatments, such as American medicine, energy healing, massage, naturopathy and Chinese medicine. Common course topics include:

  • Feng Shui
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Antioxidants
  • Naturopathy
  • Stress Reduction
  • Herbal medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Global health
  • Meditation

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in alternative medicine could work as an assistant in an alternative medical office, a representative in the health and wellness industry or as part of an employee assistance program. Individuals can also pursue other career options following additional certification or state licensure. These could include:

  • Massage therapist
  • Reiki master
  • Yoga instructor
  • Acupuncturist
  • Herbalist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not generally report about careers in alternative medicine, it does provide career and salary information about massage therapists and fitness instructors, which could include those that teach yoga. The most recent employment figures supplied by the BLS indicate that massage therapists could experience 23% growth from 2012 to 2022, while fitness instructors could see 13% growth over the same time period (www.bls.gov). As of May 2012, according to the BLS, massage therapists were paid a median annual wage of $35,970 and fitness instructors $31,720.

O*Net OnLine reports that acupuncturists are projected to see a 10% to 19% increase in job opportunities from 2010 to 2020. These workers earned a median annual salary of $72,710 in 2012, says O*Net.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates seeking continuing education might consider pursuing medical or nursing school to enhance their practical skills and employment options. Professionals with a bachelor's degree could also apply to a master's degree program in alternative medicine. Advanced study could prepare them to work in alternative medicine careers, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, holistic nursing or holistic veterinary medicine. Many of these occupations require ongoing continuing education and licensure, which vary by state.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
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    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
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    • Texas (7)
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    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Healthcare Management With a Dental Hygiene Emphasis

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences

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