Naturopathic Medicine

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine combines both nature and modern medicine to stimulate the body to heal itself.  Naturopathic Physicians (ND) are primary care providers trained to diagnose and treat patients with a range of acute and chronic health conditions.  Naturopathic Medicine believe in looking at more than just the body and take into account the mind and spirit of the individual.  To learn more about Naturopathic Medicine, visit: http://aanmc.org/naturopathic/

The scope of practice NDs are trained in can include:

  • Nutrition
  • Botanical medicine
  • Physical medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Physical and clinical diagnosis
  • Laboratory diagnosis and diagnostic imaging
  • Emergency medicine
  • Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Minor surgery
  • Acupuncture and Oriental medicine*

*Included in scope of practice in some states and provinces.

Applying to Naturopathic Medicine Schools

There are 7 Accredited Naturopathic Medical schools and 8 campuses in the United States and Canada, with only 1 school in California.  The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Centralized Application Services (NDCAS) is used by 4 out of the 7 Naturopathic Medicine Schools:

Boucher Institute of Medicine

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences

University of Bridgepoint College of Naturopathic Medicine

The 3 remaining schools require that potential applications require through their website or own application system.  Please check their websites for further details. 

Preparing Academically

You may choose any major while planning to pursue Naturopathic Medicine, however some schools prefer majors in or having a strong foundation in the sciences.  All pre-health students should strive for a minimum GPA of 3.0, although the better you perform, the more opportunities you will have. Students who enter the program will typically have an average GPA between 3.1 – 3.3 at each institution.  Most ND schools want to see students receive no less than a C in each of their pre-requisite courses.   

Please see the Naturopathic Medicine Advising sheet to find the pre-requisite coursework needed for each school.  The MCAT is currently not required in order to apply. 

 Licensure in North America

Licensure is provided in 17 U.S. states, District of Columbia, 5 Canadian providences, and a few U.S. territories.   There are also 14 additional locations in which legislation is pending for licensure.  Below is a list of current locations offering licenses to ND physicians:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland (starting in 2016)
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

 Meaningful Experiences

Naturopathic Medical schools recommend shadowing or interviewing an ND.  Other health related experience is also welcomed.