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How Do I Become a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor?

How Do I Become a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor?


Naturopathic medicine is growing exponentially, and while many are aware of the benefits of the medicine, we still get a lot of questions about how to become a licensed naturopathic doctor.  As with any doctorate program, there are a number of steps involved in getting the letters “ND” after your name.  It is hard work, but well worth it.

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

In order to be admitted to one of the seven accredited naturopathic medical schools, you must first obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation.  To enroll in SCNM, you must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 as well as the following prerequisite credits:

  • 12 semester credits in biology with labs (for science majors)
  • 3 semester credits in general organic chemistry with lab (for science majors)
  • 3 semester credits in biochemistry OR an additional 3 semester credits in organic chemistry (for science majors)
  • 3 semester credits in psychology (Developmental psychology is recommended. Behavioral or cognitive learning courses will also be considered in lieu of psychology).
  • 6 semester credits in English (3 credits must be in English composition.)
  • 6 semester credits in humanities (philosophy, religious studies, fine arts, history, foreign languages, women's studies, performing arts).

SCNM also factors in intangibles via an interview process.  To learn more about other relevant pre-competencies, click here.

Graduate from an Accredited Naturopathic Medical School

Once enrolled at a naturopathic medical school, you will begin a rigorous curriculum that includes both basic sciences as well as education on naturopathic treatments and principles.  This includes extensive clinical training that you can learn more about here.   Because of the hands on nature of the curriculum, there are no accredited online ND programs.  Would you trust your health to a doctor that received their degree online?  In order to truly become a well-rounded physician, you must be physically in the classroom and clinical settings to prepare yourself for practicing after graduation. 

Another part of graduating is passing the NPLEX exams to determine that you have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to be a licensed physician.  In states that regulate licensure of naturopathic physicians, you are required to take and pass both the NPLEX Part I – Biomedical Science and Part II - Core Clinical Science Examination. Depend on where you choose to practice, you may have to pass the NPLEX Part II – Clinical Elective Examinations in order to become licensed.  SCNM faculty pride themselves on preparing students from these exams and SCNM’s pass rates are excellent. 

Learn more about licensing examinations.

To learn more about becoming a naturopathic doctor, contact us by clicking here