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Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct health care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern medicine. Naturopathic medicine focuses on whole patient wellness through health promotion and disease prevention while addressing the underlying cause of the patient’s condition.

What does a Naturopathic Physician (NMD) do?

  • Acts a a primary care provider who diagnoses, treats, and manages patients with acute and chronic conditions
  • Addresses disease and dysfunction at the level of mind, body, and spirit
  • Stimulates and supports the body's inherent ability to heal, while addressing the root cause of illness as naturally and gently as possible

Please note that Idaho State University does not have a naturopathic medical program, however Idaho State University is a great institution to attend for preparing to apply to naturopathic medical schools.

Students looking to be admitted into a naturopathic medical school need to complete a bachelor's degree before being admitted to naturopathic medical schools. Students planning to apply to naturopathic medical school are not limited to a specific major area when pursuing a bachelor's degree. The following courses are common prerequisites for naturopathic medical schools, however you should check individual programs for their specific requirements. See a Pre-Health Advisor for assistance with course planning.

Prerequisite Courses:



ISU Course

General Biology I & II and Labs

8 credits

BIOL 1101, 1101L, 1102, 1102L


3 credits

BIOL 4432

General Chemistry I & II and Labs

9 credits

CHEM 1111, 1111L, 1112, 1112L

Organic Chemistry I & II and Labs

8 credits

CHEM 3301, 3303, 3302, 3304

General Physics I and Lab

4 credits

PHYS 1111, 1113

College-level Algebra

3 credits

MATH 1143


3-6 credits

PSYC 1101 and/or PSYC 2225

Additional Suggested Courses



ISU Course

Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Labs

8 credits

BIOL 2227, 2227L, 2228, 2228L OR BIOL 3301, 3301L, 3302, 3302L

Additional Humanities

3-9 credits

Sociology, Philosophy, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Religion, Global/International Studies

We recommend keeping a record of all extracurricular activities. Be sure to track contact information for supervisors and naturopathic doctors you work with or shadow, and write reflections on each activity. The Pre-Health Extracurricular Tracker can help with this and is found under the resources tab.

Volunteer Work or Community Service

Schools of naturopathic medicine are looking for applicants that are motivated, have concern for others, and integrity. Demonstrating commitment and care for your community shows dedication and compassion which will make you an attractive applicant.

Shadowing and Interviewing

Shadowing and interviewing naturopathic doctors is highly recommended. Shadowing and conducting interviews helps you understand what the profession is really like. The more experience you get, the more of an attractive applicant you become. For more information, see the Shadowing Guide.

Health Care Experience

Health care experience is a plus when applying to a naturopathic school of medicine. Health care experience makes you a better prepared applicant. Working with actual patients gives you relevant experience and insight into what treating people is really like.


Leadership in any setting will make you stand out from other applicants by showing you are actively preparing for your future in your career and community as well as showing that you are a strong member of a team.

A personal statement is a written description of your achievements, interests, and motivations as part of an application to a graduate program. Personal statements should answer the questions “Why did I choose naturopathic medicine” and ”What motivates me?” You should begin writing your personal statement three to six months before your application process. For more information, see the Personal Statement Guide.

Letters of Recommendation are an essential part of your application to any naturopathic medical school. Many schools require three letters of recommendation, but it is a good idea to check with individual programs for letter requirements. Your letters of recommendation should come from an academic reference, a regulated health care professional, and one additional letter. Letters will be submitted to the application system and then sent to schools you apply to. Your application can be submitted before your letters of recommendation are received by NDCAS, so don’t delay in submitting your application because of letters of recommendation. For more information, see the Letters of Recommendation Guide. Reach out to your pre-health advisor if you have any further questions.

Before applying, you should take time to research schools and make sure they fit your needs and wants.

List of Naturopathic Schools

Applying to schools of Naturopathic Medicine can be reduced down to these essential steps:

Test Required

There is no test required for admission into Naturopathic Medicine Schools, but the MCAT may be reviewed if a student has taken it.

Submitting an Application

You will submit your primary application through NDCAS. Application deadlines can range from November to February. The same application will be sent to all schools you apply to. Remember early submission is good, but a polished application is better! Your primary application should include your transcripts, extracurricular activities, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.


Programs may invite you to interview with them. This often indicates you are an applicant of interest, and they want to get to know you better. For more information, see the Interview Guide.

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