Bachelor of Science in Wellness and Alternative Medicine

This interdisciplinary major uses a societal, cultural, biochemical, and global framework to investigate the history, principles, and scientific evidence for the safety and effectiveness of diverse modalities to heal disease and to create wellness. Alternative medicine is defined as "healing practices and health care systems not routinely studied in our conventional allopathic medical schools that train our physicians." Examples include Chinese medicine, naturopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, homeopathy, ayurveda, massage, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, chiropractic, Native American healing, shamanism, nutrition, self-care, lifestyle, exercise, and energy medicine. Alternative medicine is also called complementary, folk, natural, holistic, mind/body, integrative, and functional medicine – each term suggesting a unique approach to this exciting field of "new medicine." Students begin with the study of conventional allopathic medicine in the U.S. and then explore alternative medical models from around the world. Curricular guidelines follow protocols set by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, by allopathic medical school pre-entry requirements for future physicians, and by pre-entry requirements for students going on to alternative medical careers. This curriculum is flexible, allowing students to focus their degree on personal and career goals. Students graduate with career options to work in entry-level careers in the wellness and fitness industry, in hospital employee assistance programs, in social assistance programs, in the diet and supplements industry, and as assistants to alternative medical practitioners. While completing their degree, students may also elect to co-enroll in certification programs to become a massage therapist, yoga instructor, reiki master, or Ayurvedic consultant. Other students go on to medical school to become physicians and nurses or go on to alternative medical graduate study for over 150 alternative medical careers that include chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, Chinese medical doctors, ayurvedic physicians, or homeopathic doctors.

Learning Outcomes for Wellness and Alternative Medicine Majors

  1. Students will demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge of the behavioral and biological evolution, principles, and scientific evidence for the healing claims of conventional allopathic medicine and of diverse multicultural alternative health care systems.
  2. Students will develop integrative critical thinking and investigative and evaluative skills for making optimal health care choices through scientific comparison of healing and wellness claims of diverse health care models.
  3. Students will demonstrate their competency as multilingual integrative health care translators who are fluent in the concepts, principles, and integration of multicultural models of health care and who assist professionals in the comparison of diverse sources of evidence for healing claims.
  4. Students will prepare for alternative and allopathic medical careers as integrative physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, Chinese medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, health research scientists, epidemiologists, and health policy planners.