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Overview of Master Degree Programs in Herbalism

Majors Overview August 7, 2018

This article talks about master’s degree programs in herbalism and their education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and professional advancement options.

Master’s Programs in Herbalism

Herbalism, or herbal medicine, is the study of ways of using plants, herbs, and botanical extracts to fulfill medicinal objectives. Applicants to a rigorous, science-intensive Master of Science (M.S.) program in Herbalism must have a strong grasp of plants, apart from holding a bachelor’s degree with prerequisite science courses. A working knowledge of modern medicine is also necessary along with continuing education and internships.

Education Requirements

Schools offer an MS program in Herbalism aiming at students with an educational background in the sciences. Incoming students must have undergraduate degrees in any major of their choosing from accredited schools. However, prerequisite chemistry, biology, and physics courses must have been completed.

Coursework

In the program coursework, knowledge of herbal remedies is combined with that of modern medicinal treatments. Consequently, enrollees can expect to bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional medicine and science. The emphasis of programs may be on the study of Eastern medicine and herbology.

Possession of a basic foundation in the sciences is necessary for enrollees. Intermediate and advanced core science courses are available in a herbalism program. However, a basic-to-advanced range of herbal medicine courses are offered to give a basic foundation in herbal medicine. Once the core courses are completed, elective courses may be chosen; these include pulse diagnosis, biophysics, and acupuncture. An internship and independent study are also necessary for students to help make decisions on ways of using their knowledge in workplace settings.

Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Ethics and law
•Herbal prescription writing
•Theories of traditional medicine
•Herbology
•Non-traditional and Eastern medical practices
•Psychology

Career Options

Program graduates may choose from several career paths including:

•Researcher
•Herbology educator
•Herbal Consultant
•Herbalist
•Herbal retailer/business owner
•Herb cultivator

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 26% has been predicted for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, in general, over the 2017-2027 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Health educators are expected to see a 16% job growth and bring in an average annual wage of $45,360 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Professional Advancement Options

Program graduates can become members of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) to boost their professional networking capabilities as well as being able to attend herbalist symposiums and conferences at a discounted rate. The AHG requires that all professional members to pursue continuing education, clocking 20 hours every two years. To reach this requirement, they may attend college seminars and AHG symposiums, perform research in herbalism, or log independent study experiences.

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