Admissions Information


Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

The University of Western States doctor of naturopathic medicine (NMD) program prepares students to take a holistic and individualized approach to health and healing. Graduates learn to consider the whole-person including the patient’s diet, lifestyle, environment, genetics, physical, mental and emotional health, as well as other factors that influence a patient’s health and well-being.

Functional medicine is a core component of the UWS naturopathic program, distinguishing it from other naturopathic programs. Naturopathic medicine and functional medicine are science-based, patient-centered approaches to achieving and maintaining health through natural methods, functional medicine’s focus on the biochemical and genetic individuality, and the diet and nutrition of each patient, integrates well with the full range of assessments and treatment modalities of naturopathic medicine.

This 14-quarter doctoral program can be completed in three-and-a-half years and is taught on our beautiful campus in Portland, Oregon as well as online. The program provides a community of learning through synchronous and asynchronous online delivery and in-person experiences, with knowledge, skills and community reinforced through in-person labs.

Access more information about NMD exams and licensure.

What do you need?


Prerequisite Entrance Requirements

Minimum Education: 135 quarter credits / 90 semester credits of undergraduate coursework from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. department of education or equivalent credentials. A bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA is preferred. The coursework must include:

  • Biology: At least two semester courses (three quarter courses) of science-major or equivalent level, not survey courses (general biology, microbiology, histology, molecular biology, embryology, genetics, immunology, cellular biology, human physiology, human anatomy)
  • Chemistry: At least two semester courses (three quarter courses) of science-major or equivalent level, not survey courses (general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry)
  • Physics: At least one course (physics or biophysics)
  • Psychology: At least one course (general psychology, developmental psychology, human development, other psychology courses may be substituted with approval from the dean of the college of naturopathic medicine)

Prerequisites science courses must be passed with a “C” grade or higher and must be completed within the last seven years. The cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. The cumulative prerequisite science courses GPA or 2.75 or higher is required.

GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

*Applicants with a GPA of 2.9 or below may be reviewed by the admission committee and acceptance to the program is only with approval by the dean of the college of naturopathic medicine.

Credit Conversion:

  • 1 quarter credit = .67 semester credits
  • 1.5 quarter credits = 1 semester credit
  • 5 quarter credits = 3.33 semester credits

Prerequisite Fulfillment and Undergraduate Completion

Prerequisite Fulfillment Program: The UWS pre-professional science program is designed to help prospective students fulfill the academic requirements for entrance into the doctor of naturopathic medicine program. UWS offers pre-professional courses in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Undergraduate Completion Program: The Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology is a degree completion program that is available to all current UWS doctor of naturopathic medicine students as well as UWS alumni.


How to Apply


Entry Terms and Application Deadlines

Entry Terms: fall

To ensure an admission decision prior to the desired start term, applicants are encouraged to submit their application, all application documents and supporting documents six months to a year before their intended start date. Listed below are the priority and final deadlines.

Fall 2023

Priority Application Deadline – May 1, 2023
Final Deadline – July 15, 2023
Deposit Deadline – August 1, 2023
Classes begin October 9, 2023

Deadline Considerations:

  • Applicants with in-progress coursework will still be considered for admission and are asked to submit final transcripts upon course completion.
  • We understand that some NMD applicants may be waiting on final grades from prerequisite coursework to submit final official transcripts after the final deposit deadline.
  • We require that students submit their entire application, supporting documentation and be successfully interviewed and deposited by the deposit deadline.
  • If you are unable to submit your application and materials by the final deadline, please contact the admissions office at [email protected] or 800-641-5641.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts: UWS requires official transcripts from all prior college and universities. Official transcripts should be mailed directly from those institutions to the UWS office of admissions. Our mailing address is: 8000 NE Tillamook St., Portland, OR 97213. UWS also accepts electronic transcripts from EScript-Safe and Parchment. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded and attached to your application.
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are encouraged to use professional or academic references whom are most familiar with your former studies, academic interest and work. At least one needs to come from a health care professional.
  • Interview: A personal interview is required of all applicants. The UWS office of admissions will contact you directly to schedule a personal interview after your application and transcripts have been reviewed. Interviews may be completed either in-person or via Zoom video conference.
  • Personal Essay Detailing:
    • Why you are choosing to become a naturopathic physician with a focus on functional medicine.
    • Personal experiences and reflections that illustrate who you are, and how you plan to enrich the community using your training as a naturopathic physician.
  • Essay: Extracurricular/volunteer activities and what you have learned from them.
  • $50 application fee
  • International applicants must also fulfill the international student admission requirements.

Additional Requirements for Full Acceptance

  • Successful completion of a background check through our approved partner, Advanced Reporting. A link to complete this process will be sent to you upon your offer of conditional acceptance to UWS.