Explore: Naturopathic Physician

What is a Naturopathic Physician?

A licensed naturopathic physician - Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) attends a four‑year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). Graduates of approved naturopathic colleges take a national board examination called the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination for licensing. Currently, NDs are licensed primary care providers in 14 states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, HI, ID, KS, ME, MN, MT, NH, ND, OR, UT, VT, and WA.


There are currently five colleges of naturopathic medicine in the U.S.  They are:

There are also two ND programs in Canada. For further information on all six programs refer to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) www.aanmc.org

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements vary from school to school, but generally ND programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:

NumberCourseUNH Course
1 yearBiology with labBIOL 411-412
1 yearChemistry with labCHEM 403-404
1 yearOrganic ChemistryCHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550
1 yearPhysics with labPHYS 401-402
1 yearEnglish 
1 semesterMath - StatisticsBIOL 528, PSYC 402, or SOC 502
1 semesterMath - Finite or CalculusMATH 420 or MATH 424A, 424B, 425
1 yearPsychology 
1 yearHumanities 
1 semesterSocial Sciences 

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in admission, so students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, general education requirements, or as electives.  Since prerequisites vary from school to school, students should be sure to check the specific requirements of each program that they are applying to.

ND programs require neither the MCAT nor GRE. Some, but not all, schools participate in the the centralized application service for ND programs, NDCAS. Check directly with the schools regarding the application procedure.

Further Information

A valuable source of information is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), and The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).

601 Valley Street, Ste #105
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206‑298‑0126
Web: www.naturopathic.org/

Assoc. of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges
4435 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 403
Washington, DC  20016
Phone: 202.237.8150 or 866.538.2267 (toll-free)
Fax: 202.237.8152

Additional Information:

Explore Health Careers (Under Complementary and Alternative medicine)


Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from AANP literature.