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Tampa Natural Health Schools with Degree Program Summaries

The Tampa, FL, area has a couple of colleges within 60 miles of its downtown that offer natural health programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for two of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Schools in the Tampa, FL, Area with Natural Health Programs

There are two private schools in the Tampa, FL, area that offer degree programs in natural health. Read about the programs below, and use the comparison table to learn more about the schools. At the end of the resource, you'll also find a section about school options for prospective natural health students.

  • Everglades University - Sarasota, located 52.9 miles from Tampa, offers a bachelor's degree program in alternative medicine that includes a distance-learning option.
  • At the East West College of Natural Medicine, located 55.1 miles from Tampa, students can pursue a joint-degree program that awards both a Bachelor of Professional Health Science and Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. Students enrolled at this school have access to the college's large library and research center, which they can use to explore natural health topics focusing on alternative medicine.

Everglades University

Everglades University in Sarasota is a branch campus of a 4-year, private, not-for-profit school that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university's Allied Health Department offers a 4-year degree program in alternative medicine that can be completed on-campus or online.

Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine

This 123-credit-hour program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the field of alternative medicine. First-time students who complete this program may be prepared for careers in wellness centers, rehabilitation facilities or spas, among other healthcare settings. Healthcare professionals, such as medical assistants, nurses and massage therapists, who want to learn about natural alternatives to standard medical care and treat their patients holistically can also benefit from this program. Students may choose an interdisciplinary, alternative medicine or science track.

Advanced coursework for all students within the program includes topics in herbology and botany, naturopathy, Feng Shui and Ayurvedic medicine. Students can also learn about detoxification and healing, reflexology and acupressure, massage and acupuncture. To exemplify what students can learn from this program: herbal medicine and botany teach students the natural healing power of plants, while a class on antioxidants class explains how some effects of aging can be reversed by the use of antioxidants. An acupuncture course teaches both technical methods and philosophy for this treatment.

Graduates may use their degree to enter the natural health workforce, boost their current careers or pursue further study at other institutions. For example, a graduate may go on to become a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND). Students who choose the science track may fully meet the prerequisites for some ND programs.

East West College of Natural Medicine

The East West College of Natural Medicine is a 4-year, private, for-profit school located in Sarasota; as of Fall 2011, the college had only two full-time faculty members. East West offers just one program, which leads to a Bachelor of Professional Health Science and Master of Science in Oriental Medicine.

Bachelor of Professional Health Science and Master of Science in Oriental Medicine

Over a period of three and a half years, students engage in classroom and clinical work leading to an understanding of both Eastern and Western medicine. Classes in Oriental medicine include diagnosis, herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutrition, Qi Gong exercise and massage. Classes in Western medicine include physiology, anatomy, diagnostic procedures, nutrition and pharmacology.

The clinical side of the degree program applies the classroom training to actual patients. Students begin by observing and then progress toward becoming interns who actively treat patients in a clinical setting. Students must also fulfill a 60-hour externship of clinical work.

Public health courses include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, a course in clean-needle techniques for acupuncture and an 8-hour student project that educates the community about alternative and natural medicine. Graduates may become certified through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). They can sit for exams leading to the Diplomate of Acupuncture or the more comprehensive Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, which qualifies one to practice both acupuncture and Chinese herbology professionally.

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring natural healers can use this table to compare the undergraduate tuition rates at the two featured schools.

Everglades University - Sarasota East West College of Natural Medicine
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) N/A* 107*
Campus Setting Rural Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2011-2012 $13,250 for in-district students (figures for out-of-district and out-of-state students N/A)* $9,875*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

Erwin Technical Center, a 2-year, public school, offers a 9-month, 750-hour massage therapy program at its campus in Tampa, about 4 miles from the downtown. Manatee Technical Institute has a 750-hour massage therapy program that can be completed by attending either evening or daytime classes. The program is available at the school's East Campus location in Lakewood Ranch, which is about 51 miles from downtown Tampa. Ridge Career Center also offers a massage therapy program encompassing 750 hours of instruction and training at its Winter Haven, FL, campus, located about 62 miles from Tampa.

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