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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Iridology Studies

Majors Overview March 16, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in alternative health studies, which include courses in iridology, and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Iridology Studies

No school offers bachelor’s degrees in iridology studies. Iridology courses may be available within many natural health degree or certificate programs, whereby students may be introduced to the use of the iris in the identification and diagnosis of diseases and illnesses, a practice that is not as popular in the United States as it is in Europe. Individuals in the United States seeking to pursue a career in the field may earn a bachelor’s degree in alternative health studies.

According to iridologists, emotional and physical weaknesses as well as strength are revealed by the iris of the human eye. Additionally, as per their contention, illnesses such as poor cardiovascular conditions, liver problems, skin problems, and kidney function are also revealed through the discoloration in the iris.

The Western medical community does not recognize iridology as a legitimate health practice nor does the government regulate it. Case studies have been used to prove that iridology is neither useful as an alternative medical practice nor as a diagnostic tool.

Those who oppose iridology fault it for creating a false-positive for some medical conditions, whereby a patient could end up getting treated for a non-existent ailment. Additionally, it could result in delayed treatment for a serious condition that may remain untreated or incorrectly diagnosed.


Students interested in the field could aim to complete a certificate or degree program in natural health and holistic medicine that includes iridology courses. Students learn about the significance of iris discoloration and methods for identifying abnormalities in the iris, in addition to receiving education about the anatomy of the eye. Core coursework may include:

•The operation of an iridology consulting business
•The history of iridology

Bachelor’s Programs in Alternative Health Studies

The focus of a degree in alternative health studies is typically on areas of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that could include mind–body therapies, such as meditation, biofeedback, or yoga, in addition to holistic medicine, naturopathy, and Eastern medicine. Students enrolled in the program also study professional ethics, research and communication skills, and body therapies. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Coursework in an alternative health studies program is a combination of traditional sciences, such as psychology, biology, physiology, and anatomy that augment courses on alternative methods for promoting health and healing and non-traditional treatments. Core coursework may include:

•Botany or herbology
•Alternative diagnostic procedures
•Global health
•Alternative medicine

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in alternative health studies may pursue numerous entry-level career options at a spa or fitness facility (in an advisory role) or in alternative health providers’ medical offices.
State licensure, certification, or an advanced degree may be a requirement in some careers. Completion of further education would serve to prepare individuals for career options such as:

•Massage therapist
•Biomedical researcher
•Natural medicine advisor
•Wellness educator
•Naturopathic doctor

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of 23% have been projected for massage therapists. Over the same period, health educators are expected to see growth of 21% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, massage therapists and health educators brought in respective average annual wages of $35,970 and $41,830 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Individuals who want to treat patients or pursue careers in acupuncturist, yoga instructor, and Reiki instructor positions must typically hold an advanced certificate or degree; alternatively, they must obtain licensure. Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in alternative health studies may wish to earn a specialized degree, such as a doctor of naturopathic medicine degree or a master’s or doctoral degree.

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