To obtain a naturopathic medical credential (ND) that qualifies the recipient to sit for licensing examinations, students must have the following:
Prerequisites an undergraduate degree from an accredited university including:
- Pre-medical sciences, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a four point scale. Prerequisite courses: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities.
- Successfully complete a 4-year-full time program at an accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine that includes more than 3,000 hours of classroom training and 1,200 hours of supervised clinical experience.
- Pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX) board exams that are written after the 2nd year and 4th year of study. NPLEX are standardized examinations used by all licensing jurisdictions for Naturopathic Doctors in North America.
- Pass jurisdictional specific Regulatory Board exams.
- Meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the regulatory boards.
Areas of Training
Naturopathic Doctors undergo training similar to medical doctors with the inclusion of naturopathic disciplines. The four areas of education covered in the four year, full-time Naturopathic Medical curriculum are:
1. Basic Sciences: This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
2. Clinical Disciplines: Areas of study are physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopaedics.
3. Naturopathic Disciplines: There are six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic practice. Each discipline is a distinct area of practice and includes both diagnostic principles and practices as well as therapeutic skills and techniques. They include: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counselling.
4. Clinical Experience: All students must complete a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised clinical internship and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic Medicine in order to graduate.
CNME – Accrediting Naturopathic Colleges
The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education's mission is to ensure the high quality of naturopathic medical education in the United States and Canada through the voluntary accreditation of four-year, graduate-level programs in naturopathic medicine. Students and graduates of programs accredited or pre-accredited (candidacy) by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) are eligible to apply for the naturopathic licensing examinations (NPLEX) administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE).
The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is the authority for establishing and maintaining the educational standards for the naturopathic profession and accredits the naturopathic colleges in Canada and the United States that enjoy recognition by the licensing and regulatory boards in the provinces and states.
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME)
Executive Director: Daniel Seitz JD EdD
PO Box 178
244 Main St
Great Barrington MA 01230 USA
Accredited Programs in Canada:
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
1255 Sheppard Ave. East (at Leslie)
North York, ON M2K 1E2
Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
200-435 Columbia Street
New Westminister, BC V3L 5N8