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:
- Bastyr University
- University of Bridgeport
- National College of Naturopathic Medicine
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
- National University of Health Sciences
Admissions requirements vary from school to school, but generally ND programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:
|1 year||Biology with lab||BIOL 411-412|
|1 year||Chemistry with lab||CHEM 403-404|
|1 year||Organic Chemistry||CHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550|
|1 year||Physics with lab||PHYS 401-402|
|1 semester||Math - Statistics||BIOL 528, PSYC 402, or SOC 502|
|1 semester||Math - Finite or Calculus||MATH 420 or MATH 424A, 424B, 425|
|1 semester||Social 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.
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
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)
Explore Health Careers (Under Complementary and Alternative medicine)
Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from AANP literature.
- Exploring the Health Professions
- Application Process/Forms
- Prospective Students