prerequisites for a Naturopathic Doctorate program

Fields in health care and traditional western medicine are burgeoning, and so are those in naturopathic medicine. If you already have some college coursework or an associates or bachelor’s degree, it can be confusing as to what courses you should take before transferring in to your Naturopathic Doctor program. Here is a brief outline of the general requirements for such a program. Keep in mind this list is not “one-size-fits-all” as each school is ultimately individual and sets its own prerequisites.

What prerequisites do I need to begin a Naturopathic Doctor program?

For the most part, the ND school programs will require you to have a heavy grounding in practical sciences, including hands-on labs for many or most of these courses. This means, at a minimum, courses in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Some schools will require specialized courses including Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Cellular Biology, and Anatomy & Physiology. In addition, most programs require at least one course in Psychology, such as a survey of lifetime human development. There is also at least one required English or Communication course required (some schools require as many as three humanities courses including philosophy or ethics). Finally, a select few schools will require a Mathematics course, although most require the Physics requirement to be algebra or calculus based and not just a general theory course.

Can I complete my prerequisites online for an accredited ND program?

Many schools are now looking at adding online courses with the growing popularity of these programs spreading across the country. As of now, you cannot get a ND licensure program online. Students must take part in face-to-face instruction with clinical experience. However, some schools do allow you to finish these prerequisite courses online. For the most part, this may be difficult with science classes as they generally require lab components that a student may not be able to complete at home. But for other courses such as English and Communication, it is much easier to complete these from home. Check with your chosen naturopathic medicine program for more information.

Can I take the ND program prerequisites at a Community College?

Many programs do allow students to complete their prerequisite course work at a local community college. Most schools have programs set up for those who already have an associate degree or for those who are working towards a bachelor’s degree and have just one year of coursework left to go.

Do prior courses count toward a Naturopathic Doctorate program?

Most programs accept current healthcare professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge base into naturopathic medicine. It’s important to know that transfer credits, as with the other prerequisites, will be decided whether these courses will count towards your ND program on a case-by-case basis.

The bottom line is that when it comes to pre-requisites for any program, including naturopathic medicine, there is no one set answer. Everything varies from college-to-college and program-to-program. If you want to find out exactly what you need for your particular school, contact the Admissions office and speak to a counselor about their requirements. You can also contact them through email to ensure that you have written confirmation of the requirements in case there are any discrepancies later on. Ultimately, it is a good idea to get everything mapped out for you in advance before you begin your program of study.

For more information about each school’s prerequisite requirements, click on the school of your choice:

Bastyr University
Boucher Institute