Online Education and Degree Programs in Naturopathy
Naturopathy, also known as natural medicine, is a practice of treating disease using natural remedies rather than drugs and surgery. Online doctoral programs train naturopathic doctors in natural remedies including nutrition, herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture and exercise, and require minimum clinical and field experiences with a local naturopathic medicine practice.
Requirements for Online Naturopathy Degrees
Online degree programs in naturopathy are typically graduate-level programs that require four years of full-time doctoral study and culminate in a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) or a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (N.M.D.). Admission to an N.D. or N.M.D. program requires a bachelor's degree or higher.
Most online naturopathy programs are semi-self-paced, guided and mentored independent study. Online naturopathy programs may be accredited by the American Natural Medicine Accreditation Board (ANMAB). An internet connection, specific software and basic computer skills are required.
Students are required to take all of the same basic science classes as a student in an M.D. program, but must also take classes specific to naturopathy. The following classes are an example of the typical naturopathic curriculum:
- Nutrition and health for body, mind and spirit
- Psychology of healing
- Legal guidelines for naturopathy
- Philosophy and ethics
- Naturopathic history
Clinical education and externships are typically required by naturopathic online degree programs. Clinical education requirements for online programs are met by shadowing a local professional or at a local institution where the student experiences situations they may encounter as a naturopathic doctor. Clinical education usually consists of around 400 contact hours.
Externships are also a typical requirement of online naturopathy education programs. These externships require the student to work in a naturopathic practice. Most degree programs require around 2,000 externship contact hours for graduation.
Fourteen states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands require licensing of naturopathic doctors. The licensing and regulation requirements vary by state, but all require the naturopathic doctor to have graduated from a doctoral-level college program. Some states may require the graduate to pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX) or to be certified by the American Naturopathy Certification Board (ANCB).
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