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Professional Programs

Find out more about our herbalism program that fits you best:

  • Are you fairly new to herbalism? – Take a look at our first year program.
  • Do you already have a strong foundation in herbalism through education and/or practice? – Check out our second year program.
  • Looking for clinical supervision working with clients? Our third year program, open to graduates of our second year program as well as practitioners, offers just that!
  • Questions? We’d love to talk to you! Email us at [email protected]!


We’re accepting applications for the 2019-2020 year. Please note, we will not be evaluating applications until spring of 2019.

To learn more about our programs, please join us for an Open House to meet our core faculty, talk with current students, ask questions, and see our classrooms! – Check back periodically on our Community Classes page to see when our next Open House is scheduled.

You can also learn more about our programs by viewing this PDF from a virtual Open House we held in August 2015. If you have any questions about our programs or application process, please email [email protected].


hypericumperfThe ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism incorporates a number of traditional energetic approaches, including Traditional Western Herbalism, Vitalism, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Expert instructors come with a well-developed philosophy and practice, offering a range of perspectives that contribute to a diverse and exceptional herbal education.

The school offers community classes, a one year foundational course, and a three year clinical program. We also offer a low-cost community herb clinic, staffed by 3rd year clinical students under the supervision of faculty, which is both an educational opportunity and a community resource. Advanced level students can choose additional specializations and electives to tailor their education.  In the future, the school will offer certificate programs for matriculated and non-matriculated students (for example, Herbal Medicine for Healthcare Practitioners, Flower Essences etc.).

Pulsatilla-vulgaris-NYBGOne Year Course in the Foundations of Herbal Medicine

ArborVitae offers a comprehensive professional program  foundational course that runs from September to May. It offers over 367 classroom hours of instruction in basic herbalism, materia medica, holistic anatomy and physiology, botany and plant identification and medicine making. Students will also achieve a basic knowledge in traditional nutrition, wild food, first aid, varied herbal applications through the life-cycles, and energetic assessment. Instruction will include a variety of traditional approaches to healing, with a focus on western herbalism based on energetics, Vitalism, and the tissue state model. Students who complete the first year of study at ArborVitae can expect to gain a basic understanding of herbal medicine, with application for friends and family. The one-year program is a comprehensive course that may be taken as a standalone or as the foundational year for the three year clinical program.

For more information, here is our Foundation Year Syllabus – 2015-2016.

Click here to apply for the first year program.

Calendula-officinalis-2Three Year Clinical Program in Herbal Medicine

ArborVitae offers a three year program of study for those interested in gaining and applying professional and  clinical skills in traditional herbal medicine. The program starts with the foundational year described above. Students who have studied in other programs may apply to place out of the first or second year. The Second and Third year clinical programs also run from September to May, and each year offers an additional 367 hours of instruction.

The second year of this program provides a deeper and broader study of herbs and medicinal application, expanding the Materia Medica. Students learn about specific conditions and multilayered approaches for working with them, in addition to advanced energetics and diagnostics, including pulse and tongue reading. They study formulation and advanced medicinal preparations, while expanding on knowledge of nutrition and lifestyle for balancing energies. Students in the second year begin to consider clinical applications.

Third year students build upon their herbal education, increasing plant knowledge and developing clinical skills and experience. Students work in a supervised clinical setting, and learn about business and legal aspects, ethics and other relevant topics. Students receive mentorship from core faculty, write a research paper, and present their findings to their classmates.  In the third year, as well as post-graduate, ArborVitae acts as a bridge to assist students in pairing with mentors and in finding apprenticeship opportunities.

For more information, here is our Year 2 Syllabus – 2015-2016 and our Year 3 Syllabus – 2015-2016.

Click here to apply to our Year 2 or Year 3 Program.

Community Classes

ArborVitae offers classes and workshops open to the public year-round. Classes vary in scope and duration, and seek to reach a broad audience. Instructors include local herbalists as well as expert national and international teachers and practitioners.