Top Schools for Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine education programs teach the practice of integrating biological, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of health to promote the body's capacity to heal itself. Some alternative medicine practices include acupuncture, herbal supplementation and meditation. Programs in this subject are mainly found at the graduate level and may lead to a Master of Complementary and Alternative Medicine or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

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Top Alternative Medicine Schools

1. Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA

Bastyr University was founded in 1978 as a school of naturopathic medicine. It is accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges and offers a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program. The ND program includes clinical training at the university's Bastyr Center for Natural Health, the largest integrative health care facility in the region. The school additionally offers a post-doctoral residency program and a 5-year dual degree track, which combines the ND with a master's degree in acupuncture or a master's degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Bastyr has received multiple research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

2. Georgetown University in Washington, DC

Georgetown University is ranked in the top 25 on U.S. News and World Report's 2012 best colleges list and on Washington Monthly's 2011 list of best national universities. The complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) program at Georgetown's School of Medicine focuses on scientific evaluation of alternative healing modalities. The university offers a Master of Science in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and in 2005, combined the program with the school's traditional 4-year medical curriculum to offer a 5-year MD/MS joint degree program. The master's program is designed to be completed in two semesters plus a summer segment and includes a 6-week internship.

3. National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL

Dedicated exclusively to the study of natural and integrative medicine, the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) affords students the opportunity for interdisciplinary study in fields such as massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care. The school is a member of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges and has received research funding from the NIH. NUHS offers a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program, as well as master's programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The ND program incudes a 1-year internship at the school's health clinic or at one of two Chicago non-profit clinics that partner with the university.

Ten Schools with Programs in Alternative, Integrative or Naturopathic Medicine

School Name Distinction Location
Bastyr University The Bastyr University Research Institute helps students develop and increase their proficiency in the scientific study of natural medicine Kenmore, WA
Everglades University Offers a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine degree program completely online Boca Raton, FL
Georgetown University The first graduate program to offer CAM as part of a medical education program Washington, DC
Johnson State College Wellness and alternative medicine lecture series Johnson, VT
Metropolitan State College of Denver Complementary and alternative medicine bachelor's program includes internship during the final semester Denver, CO
National College of Natural Medicine Offers master's degree in integrative medicine research, a program specifically oriented toward research in alternative medicine Portland, OR
National University of Health Sciences Chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy programs all available on campus Lombard, IL
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences Offers program in collaboration with the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture which allows students to earn an ND and a master's degree in acupuncture or Oriental medicine Tempe, AZ
University of Bridgeport Co-developed the Center of Excellence in Generative Medicine to study self-healing tendencies of organisms Bridgeport, CT
University of Minnesota Houses the Center for Spirituality and Healing Minneapolis, MN
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