our everyday life

Master Herbalist Correspondence Schools

by Christopher Cascio

Traditional mail correspondence courses are all but extinct, and the equivalent now exists mainly in online formats. In an online herbalist program, you still use physical textbooks and perform clinical coursework at a local facility, but contact between you and your instructors is completed via email instead of regular mail. Master herbalist courses follow this format, and offer certificates, diplomas and even international degrees in herbology.

The School of Natural Healing

The Master Herbalist Home Study Course from The School of Natural Healing includes 22 separate classes categorized into four programs: the family herbalist, nutritional herbology, herbalist, and advanced herbalist. The faculty will customize your coursework so that you can study herbs that are local to your geographic region, and you can get tutoring via telephone from qualified herbalists. The School of Natural Healing is registered with the state of Utah as a Post Secondary School, but is not accredited because there isn't any formal accreditation process for American herbal schools. Furthermore, while you can complete all of the coursework from home, you must attend a six-day intensive at the Master Herbalist Certification Seminar before you can receive your certificate.

Midwest School of Herbal Studies

The Midwest School of Herbal Studies offers a master herbalist diploma program that consists of three different areas of study: Western herbalism, Asian herbalism and integrated herbalism. To complete this 67-credit program, you'll also have to take six credits toward thesis completion and another three credits of workshops that must be attended in person. However, you do not have to attend workshops given at the Midwest School of Herbal Studies -- you can attend local workshops approved by the school. Furthermore, you can get workshops approved even if you've taken them up to five years prior to your enrollment in the master herbalist diploma program. This program is approved by the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals for continuing education.

East West School of Planetary Herbology

The East West School of Planetary Herbology offers a certified herbalist program that is comparable to a master herbalist diploma. In fact, the East West School purposely omits the word "master" because it can be misleading, as there is no legal recognition in the United States for such a title. However, The school's founder, Michael Tierra, is also the founding member of the American Herbalists Guild. This rigorous program prepares herbalists for clinical practice and requires students to complete the professional herbalist program, courses in anatomy and physiology and pathology and disease, and 400 hours of clinical practice that is approved by emailing case studies to your mentor. Upon completion of the program, you earn certain privileges, including free referral to your practice and free advertising on the school's website.

American College of Healthcare Sciences

The New Zealand-based American College of Healthcare Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in herbal medicine that is accredited by the Distance Education Training Council, which is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Completion of this 36-credit degree program prepares herbalists for work as clinical and master herbalists, herbal educators, writers, consultants, manufacturers, formulators and more. Because this is an accredited master's degree program, you'll need to have a bachelor's degree to qualify for admission.

About the Author

Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."

Photo Credits

  • Barry Austin/Photodisc/Getty Images