Community Herbalist Certificate

Program Overview

The Community Herbalist Certificate Program is a unique 4-month program that introduces students to the incredible world of plants and their medicinal uses according to various cultures. This program explores the history of plant-based therapies and how to identify and cultivate herbs, use plant-based foods to maintain health, and make and apply herbal remedies to restore health.


Below are the courses that comprise the Community Herbalist Certificate Program. Successful completion of all components is necessary for graduation with a Community Herbalist Certificate.

Community Herbalist Certificate

30 hours 30 hrs
12 hours 12 hrs
45 hours 45 hrs
45 hours 45 hrs
30 hours 30 hrs
12 hours 12 hrs
45 hours 45 hrs
12 hours 12 hrs
12 hours 12 hrs
21 hours 21 hrs
6 hours 6 hrs
270 hours 270 hrs

Total Requirements

Community Herbalist Certificate
270 hours 270 hrs
Grand Total
270 hours 270 hrs

Study Options

The Community Herbalist Certificate Program is offered twice yearly, with programs beginning in January and September. Classes are scheduled on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday days.

Graduation Requirements

Students who successfully complete 90% of all required coursework and credits are eligible for graduation and will be awarded a certificate upon program completion. Students who fail to successfully complete 90% of all required coursework and credits but have successfully completed at least 80% are eligible to retake components of the program in order to reach the 90% threshold and thus pass the program, provided that they do so within one calendar year. Students who choose to retake components must make arrangements with the Program Director and will be subject to tuition fees for the components. Students who do not successfully complete at least 80% of all required coursework and credits in their first program attempt are not eligible to retake components or graduate.


Graduates of the Community Herbalist Certificate can use knowledge and experience gained to establish a community-based herbal clinic to assist family and friends, work in the health and wellness retail sector, grow and maintain herbal gardens, create herbal preparations or matriculate into the Diploma of Phytotherapy program at PRC.

To facilitate an easy transition into the Diploma of Phytotherapy, the following credits of coursework within the Community Herbalist Program are directly transferable into the 3-year diploma program:

  • WHS102 Materia Medica – 3 cr
  • WHS151 Energetics of Herbal Medicine – 3 cr
  • WHS111 Practical Herbal Pharmacy – 3 cr
  • BMS222 Natural Emergency Medicine – 1 cr
  • Select Workshops (amount varies) – 1-3 cr


Entering students into the Community Herbalist Certificate Program at Pacific Rim College must have a high school diploma or satisfactory post-secondary education. In addition, all non-native English speaking applicants must demonstrate a mastery of written and spoken English. Any foreign applicant may be required to submit an official score report from an English proficiency exam such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Test System).

Over these forty years of herbal practice and teaching clinical skills across the States, Europe and Canada I consider Pacific Rim College to offer a fully rounded experiential program.  Traditional foundational studies are enlivened by harvesting thoughts and practices delving into, and masterfully blending, the deep connection to plants through spirit, history, science, advanced clinical studies with weathered herbalists and hands on practice with patients.

– Margi Flint, Author of The Practicing Herbalist

To register for the Community Herbalist Certificate Program, please click on the link below. It is advisable to register no less than 6 weeks prior to the start date of the semester. Registration applications will still be accepted beyond this point, and will be evaluated, but enrolment space may not be available until the next semester. For all registrants, your space in the program will not be reserved until the required registration fee (see Tuition and Fees below) has been paid.

International Students

International students are welcome to attend Pacific Rim College and are encouraged to apply. Canadian law requires foreign students to have a valid study permit to study in Canada. Pacific Rim College provides international students with the necessary documentation to receive a valid study permit. In some cases students can apply for and obtain a permit upon entering Canada.

Via the International Student Program, full-time international students enrolled at designated institutions in certain programs are permitted to work part-time off campus and full-time during scheduled school breaks without a work permit. According to regulations, international students are 1) eligible to work off campus without a work permit; 2) allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full-time during regularly scheduled breaks; and 3) able to work off campus immediately rather than waiting 6 months. Please visit the Government of Canada website for more information.

Academic Calendar

 Fall 2019
September 5-December 22
Winter 2020
January 9-April 26
No ClassesTBATBA

Class Schedule

Please click below for the course schedule for the Community Herbalist Certificate.

Tuition and Fees

After attending the community herbalist program at PRC, I knew I had to go deeper into this material and decided to take the diploma of Phytotherapy program from 2011 to 2014. I’m so glad I did – what an amazing experience! From the incredibly knowledgeable teaching staff to the friendly administration, PRC really does a lot to nurture and inspire its students.

– Tony Acworth, Alumnus

Tuition and fees for the Community Herbalist Certificate total $3950 and are broken down as follows:

Canadian Students
– A $250 non-refundable registration fee and a signed student contract is required for acceptance into this program.
– A $3700 tuition payment is due on August 27 for the Fall 2019 program and December 30 for the Winter 2020 program.

International Students
– A $500 non-refundable registration fee and a signed student contract is required for acceptance into this program.
– A $3450 tuition payment is due on August 27 for the Fall 2019 program and December 30 for the Winter 2020 program.

I can’t stop thinking about all the amazing knowledge that I gained. I have already been able to use a lot of what I learned helping friends and even my family in Brazil! It also motivated me to pursue more knowledge and go deeper into some of the contents. Can’t wait for what is to come in the Phytotherapy program!

– Fernanda Kitahara

Financial Aid

This program is approved for Canada Student Loans. British Columbia residents can apply for student loans online through StudentAid BC. Students can also pick up a paper application from PRC or any other academic institution registered with Canada Student Loans. For non-British Columbia residents, please visit for information about Canada Student Loans.

For a list of all financial aid programs available to PRC students, please visit our Financial Aid page.


What is Western Herbal Medicine?

Western Herbal Medicine (also referred to as Phytotherapy) is the use of plant-based remedies typically native to Europe and North America to help maintain and restore health.

prc herbal dispensary Why study herbal medicine courses at Pacific Rim College?

Pacific Rim College is recognized as a leading school of herbal medicine in the world. Our Diploma of Phytotherapy is one of the most comprehensive programs available and includes more than 500 hours of herbology clinical training. Our Community Herbalist Certificate is a 270-hour program for those interested in studying herbal courses for building personal knowledge rather than gaining practitioner skills. All our herbology courses are taught by highly qualified and respected herbalists, some of whom are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of herbal medicine. Our students benefit from studying herbal medicine at our beautiful and historic campus, which includes an impressive herbal dispensary stocked with hundreds of organic and wild-crafted herbs, and is located in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. With our comprehensive herbalist coursework, biomedical studies and extensive professional development courses, we help each graduate to build a successful herbalist career.

Do I need to be licensed to practice Western Herbal Medicine?

In Canada there is currently no regulation and thus no herbalist certification that is required for someone to practice Western Herbal Medicine. Our Diploma of Phytotherapy is a herbal practitioner training program while the Community Herbalist Certificate is recommended for people who wants to expand their knowledge of medicinal herbs to help family and friends, work in the health and wellness retail sector, grow and maintain herbal gardens, and create herbal preparations.

What is the difference in a herbology certificate, herbology diploma and a herbology degree?

Educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a herbalist school can award. Although some schools of herbal medicine in the United States and Europe can offer a degree of herbal medicine or another herbalist degree of sorts, colleges in Canada only offer diplomas and herbology certification (e.g. master herbalist certification, community herbalist certification). Pacific Rim College offers a comprehensive 3-year Diploma of Phytotherapy and a 4-month Community Herbalist Certificate.

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