With growing interest in online programs – and the increased capacities of technology – it is only natural for you to wonder whether you could earn a naturopathic medical degree (ND) degree online.
Unaccredited, online naturopathic programs do not qualify graduates for licensure.
* Naturopathic medical education institutions are responding to COVID-19 to ensure continuity of education for our students, and have made emergency provisions to deliver ND education remotely along with the entire higher education community. The AANMC and its member schools are working with our accreditors and the United States Department of Education in addressing how online education and telemedicine have impacted medical education delivery. Clinical education is set to resume when governmental agencies deem it safe.
Why online degrees do not qualify for licensure
Graduates of unaccredited online/correspondence programs are not eligible for licensure in any jurisdiction that regulates naturopathic physicians, nor are they eligible to sit for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), the passage of which is required for licensure. Regulated jurisdictions require completion of an accredited, in-residence doctoral level program that includes hands-on, supervised clinical training. In-residence programs enable ND students to develop the clinical and communication skills core to safe patient management.
Risks to students who choose to attend unaccredited programs
Students who attend an unaccredited program (or a program not recognized by a governmental agency) expose themselves to a significant risk: course credits completed in a unaccredited/non-governmentally recognized program are typically not transferable to an accredited ND program. The reason for this is that accreditation guarantees that educational standards are met and maintained, which means that a school can trust the quality of the coursework completed in an accredited program when deciding whether to grant transfer credit. The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is the only accrediting body for naturopathic medicine in North America recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Do online classes count toward prerequisites?
Generally speaking, it is up to the individual schools that offer ND programs to decide whether accredited online classes can be used to fulfill prerequisite course requirements. For this reason, we recommend that students contact the admissions department to discuss prerequisites.
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