Top Schools for Alternative Medicine

Read about programs in alternative medicine, which can lead to a Master of Complementary and Alternative Medicine or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Learn about the training options at three universities, as well as what's available at other U.S. schools that offer programs in alternative medicine.

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School Information

Students in alternative medicine programs learn how to integrate the biological, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of health and promote the body's capacity to heal itself. Some alternative medicine practices include acupuncture, herbal supplementation and meditation. Programs devoted to a number of these specialized practices can be found at the three private universities featured below. Students at Bastyr and Georgetown universities can also earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

Top U.S. Schools with Alternative Medicine Programs

1. Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA

Bastyr University 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 also 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, D.C.

Georgetown University ranked in the top 25 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best colleges for 2012; it also made Washington Monthly's list of best national universities for 2011. The complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) program at Georgetown's School of Medicine focuses on the scientific evaluation of alternative healing modalities. The university offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, as well as a 5-year Medical Doctor (M.D.)/M.S. joint degree program. The master's program is designed to be completed in two semesters and 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) offers interdisciplinary courses of study in massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care, among other fields. 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 includes 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 Online Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine program Boca Raton, FL
Georgetown University The first graduate program to offer CAM as part of a medical education program Washington, D.C.
Johnson State College Lecture series in alternative medicine and wellness Johnson, VT
Metropolitan State College of Denver Bachelor's degree program in complementary and alternative medicine includes an internship Denver, CO
National College of Natural Medicine Offers a master's degree in integrative medicine research with a focus on alternative medicine Portland, OR
National University of Health Sciences On-campus chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy programs Lombard, IL
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences Collaborative partnership with the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture 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 the self-healing tendencies of organisms Bridgeport, CT
University of Minnesota Houses the Center for Spirituality and Healing Minneapolis, MN
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