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2023 Alternative Medicine & Systems Degree Guide

Although Western medicine has made dramatic advances and can treat and cure a variety of illnesses, some people prefer to use herbal remedies or more holistic treatments. A degree in Alternative Medicine and Systems will allow you to learn about many the natural and alternative treatments available.

Students with a degree in Alternative Medicine and Systems often work with organic ingredients to cure illnesses and work to find the cause of illnesses instead of treating just the symptoms. Students take classes in nutrition, medical ethics, herbalism, acupuncture, aromatherapy, yoga, and massage to learn how to treat patients without relying on manufactured drugs or dangerous chemicals.

Some areas of specialization in this field include general Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology, Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Holistic Health, and Direct Entry Midwifery.

A Recent Jump in Alternative Medicine & Systems Degrees

#167 Most Popular Major
3.6k Degrees Awarded
7.2% Increase in Graduates

Alternative Medicine & Systems was the 167th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 3,564 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 256 over the prior year, a growth of 7.2%.

This year's Best Alternative Medicine & Systems Schools ranking compares 38 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom alternative medicine rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Alternative Medicine & Systems
2023 Overall Best Alternative Medicine & Systems Colleges >

Best Alternative Medicine & Systems Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Alternative Medicine & Systems
Bachelor's Degrees in Alternative Medicine & Systems
Master's Degrees in Alternative Medicine & Systems
Doctorate Degrees in Alternative Medicine & Systems

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Alternative Medicine & Systems

Students in the Alternative Medicine and Systems major are committed to working with natural ingredients and using a variety of treatments to help patients. Since professionals are devoted to finding the cause of the illness, strong observation and analytical thinking skills allows professionals to listen to patients and figure out what is causing pain or sickness. Strong interpersonal and communication skills also help professionals work closely with others and make them feel comfortable under their care.

A degree in Alternative Medicine and Systems often leads to a fulltime job in the field. Professionals work at alternative medical clinics or specialized medical offices where they can meet with patients and perform treatments.

Some students choose to pursue an associate's degree in this field, as a bachelor's degree is not always necessary depending on your career goals. You can also continue your education in medical or nursing school to improve skills and find better job opportunities.

Alternative Medicine Degree Program Entry Requirements

alternative medicine and systems degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic alternative medicine and systems program qualifications, to serve in some alternative medicine careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Alternative Medicine & Systems Degrees

There are many different alternative medicine degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a in alternative medicine and systems to something that takes less time like a . The time it takes to complete a alternative medicine degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A doctor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to alternative medicine, with approximately 24.6% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to alternative medicine tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 26.4%
Doctoral Degree 25.8%
Master’s Degree 20.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 7.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 7.1%

53.7% of alternative medicine workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in alternative medicine and systems careers have.


This of course varies depending on which alternative medicine career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Alternative Medicine Majors

Below Average Number of Jobs
$29.1k Average Starting Salary
13% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Alternative Medicine and Systems graduates go on to find a variety of career options within this field. Graduates have become acupuncturists, homeopathic practitioners, massage therapists, midwifes, or specialists in various types of alternative medical systems that deal with treating patients using herbal remedies and traditional medicines. Graduates work in medical offices where they avoid the use of prescription drugs. With this occupation growing at an average rate, students should be able to find jobs after graduation.

Solid Growth Projected for Alternative Medicine Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your alternative medicine degree? Alternative Medicine & Systems careers are expected to grow 13.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to alternative medicine and systems.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners 63,900 13.3%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers 45,000 12.5%

Alternative Medicine Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated alternative medicine and systems students earned an average of $29,138 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $16,011 to as high as $87,124. As you might expect, salaries for alternative medicine graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Alternative Medicine Careers

Salaries for alternative medicine and systems graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers alternative medicine grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners $85,600
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers $63,340

Getting Your Alternative Medicine & Systems Degree

With over 187 different alternative medicine degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased alternative medicine school rankings to help you with this.

Alternative Medicine & Systems is one of 30 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Alternative Medicine Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine 1,930
Holistic/Integrative Health 521
General Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems 410
Naturopathic Medicine/Naturopathy 329
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology 152

View All Alternative Medicine Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 322,592
Health & Medical Administrative Services 89,359
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 84,492
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 84,274
Allied Health Professions 82,308

View All Alternative Medicine Related Majors >


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