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How Do I Choose the Best Complementary and Alternative Medicine School?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh

There are certain things that you should consider when choosing a complementary and alternative medicine school, such as the type of medicine that you wish to practice and the amount of time you wish to spend in the program. Not all schools are accredited or regulated, which means that you would not be able to get licensed after attending one of them in certain parts of the world, if that is a goal of yours. You can also choose a complementary and alternative medicine school that takes place predominantly online and through correspondence if you do not want to spend time in an on-campus setting.

There are complementary and alternative medicine schools in many different fields including acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic, and massage therapy. These four career paths are regulated in the U.S., so you would want to choose an accredited school to study one of these subjects in order to become licensed after graduation. Other types of alternative medicine include Chinese medicine, energy therapy, and homeopathy. These fields are not regulated in the U.S., so you need to choose a school based upon its reputation and the qualifications of the instructors. In other parts of the world, you should check with your local government to find out regulations for licensure of these professions.


Some programs take up to four years to complete while others can be finished in one year or less, so the amount of time you wish to contribute to your education at a complementary and alternative medicine school is a big thing to think about. Admissions requirements also vary depending on the school and subject matter, but generally a high school diploma is required to be accepted. Sometimes it is necessary to have experience in the field to attend a complementary and alternative medicine school, but this is not always the case. Master's degrees in complementary and alternative medicine generally require that you have previously obtained a bachelor's degree in a related field.

You should also consider the format of the classes that you will be taking, as some schools offer online and correspondence classes while others offer an on-campus experience. There will be more hands-on training if you attend classes on a campus, but if your schedule is limited, an online complementary and alternative medicine school might be a better way to go. The location of the school is also important, and depends on whether you are willing to relocate to attend school.

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