Program Announcement

Now offering live-online learning for our Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine program! With flexible course registration and live-online instruction, students can create their own schedules and experience the benefits of live-classroom instruction from anywhere in the world! View this document for further details.

Diploma of Phytotherapy

Program Overview

The Diploma of Phytotherapy is a 3-year (6-semester) program that explores the medicinal uses of North American and European herbs. Students study both traditional knowledge of herbal medicine – that which is passed down through various world traditions over the ages – and modern day, scientific-based knowledge. This, the most comprehensive program of western herbal medicine available in either Canada or the United States, is comprised of both theoretical and practical courses, implementing advantages of hands-on study of plants. 

Length: 6 semesters
Intakes: Winter, Summer, Fall semesters
Format: Blended online and on campus 

Clinical Training: 510 hours
Total Training: 2130 hours 

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. Graduates are empowered and fully qualified to serve we humans in clinical practice in their own village or city.  Then practice, practice, practice.

– Margi Flint, Author of The Practicing Herbalist

Why Pacific Rim College?

The Diploma of Phytotherapy at Pacific Rim College is the most comprehensive and recognized program of western herbal medicine in North America.
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Through Pacific Rim College’s Student Clinic, students provide more than 7,000 treatments a year and compound each herbal formula by hand in our extensive herbal dispensary.
This program is approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training (Private Training Institutions Branch) and Canada Student Loans.
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Pacific Rim College is actively engaged in many forms of environmental stewardship including 100% green energy offsets for our campus, the highest eco-certification, and planting of 10 trees in British Columbia for every program graduate.

What You’ll Learn:

Key Learning Outcome #1

Extensive knowledge of traditional herbal medicine practices from various cultures alongside contemporary applications of herbal therapies. 

Key Learning Outcome #2

Thorough background of biomedical understanding of the human body, its structure, physiology, common pathologies, and also western diagnostic skills and pharmacotherapy. 

Key Learning Outcome #3

A deep understanding of the comprehensive materia medica of western herbal medicine and the therapeutic applications of those herbs.

Key Learning Outcome #4

How to make tinctures, salves, compresses, teas, lotions and other products and applications of herbal medicine.

Key Learning Outcome #5

Wide-ranging professional skills from writing and communication to business development experience needed to establish a private herbal medicine practice or to join an integrative health centre.

My proudest achievement is having studied at Pacific Rim College and completing the Diploma of Phytotherapy program. Pacific Rim College attracts the most passionate teachers, students, and healers, and that strong, positive energy is apparent on the PRC campus. I feel honoured to have learned from amazing teachers about the human body, ancient traditions and herbal folklore, modern scientific research, and in depth information on herbs and working with people from all backgrounds and health concerns. Years after graduation, I still find myself on campus often, visiting the herbal dispensary and utilizing the amazing student clinics. I am forever grateful for the knowledge I’ve gained and the amazing community of people I am a part of because of Pacific Rim College.

– Lauren Truscott, Alumnus, Herbalist, Practitioner at Body Blueprint Fitness, Wellness, & Education

Core Program Instructors

 

Study Options

The Diploma of Phytotherapy program is available entirely on-campus or live-online. Students are currently welcome to study in a combination of both live-online and on-campus courses if they are in Victoria, or if they are interested in relocating to Victoria for a semester or more in the future.

Our academic calendar offers three semesters per year, and new students may enrol every January, May and September. Students may choose to pursue year-round studies to complete their programs in a shorter time frame, or they may take a semester or more off at their discretion. Students also choose their course load each semester, and students may complete any semester on a part-time or a full-time basis.

On-Campus Learning

In-person classes are offered at our Market Square campus located in a beautiful and historic nineteenth-century building in the heart of downtown Victoria, British Columbia.

Live-Online Learning

Online classes are delivered live-online, Pacific Time, at regularly scheduled weekly class times. Our live-online courses provide the same quality of education, community building experience, and other live-instruction benefits as our on-campus programs, from the convenience of home without the need to relocate. Our online classes are not self-directed or recorded, and online students must attend courses live in compliance with Pacific Rim College’s attendance policy.

In order to help students succeed in the online environment, PRC has put together an Online Course Policies document to help you be more prepared. This document outlines the technology requirements, online clinic requirements, location requirements and information about supply fees for online courses and clinics. This document can be viewed here – Online Course Policies.

Curriculum

Below is a list of all courses that must be completed for a student to be eligible for graduation with a Diploma of Phytotherapy. Some course prerequisites do exist, and it is the responsibility of students to ensure that they are eligible to enrol in any particular course. The Course Descriptions page indicates course prerequisites. Please see Study Options below for more information on course selection.

Biomedical/Biological Sciences

BMS101/102
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
BMS112
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS121
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
BMS122
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
BMS201/202
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
BMS211
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS212
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS231
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS232
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS431
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Total
 
32 credits 32 crds
480 hours 480 hrs

Elective

Elective
Elective
9 credits 9
135 hours 135
Total
 
9 credits 9 crds
135 hours 135 hrs

Nutrition

NU
11 credits 11
165 hours 165
Total
 
11 credits 11 crds
165 hours 165 hrs

Phytotherapy Clinical Practice

PCP101
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
PCP200
3 credits 3
90 hours 90
PCP300
11 credits 11
330 hours 330
PCP361
0 credits 0
0 hours 0
Total
 
20 credits 20 crds
510 hours 510 hrs

Professional Development

PD101
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD211
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD302
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD303
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
PD304
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Total
 
13 credits 13 crds
195 hours 195 hrs

Western Herbal Sciences

WHS101
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS102
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS103
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS111
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS151
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS201
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS202
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS203
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS204
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS301
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS302
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS303
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS305
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS306
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS
9 credits 9
135 hours 135
Total
 
51 credits 51 crds
765 hours 765 hrs

Total Requirements

Biomedical/Biological Sciences
32 credits 32
480 hours 480
Elective
9 credits 9
135 hours 135
Nutrition
11 credits 11
165 hours 165
Phytotherapy Clinical Practice
20 credits 20
510 hours 510
Professional Development
13 credits 13
195 hours 195
Western Herbal Sciences
51 credits 51
765 hours 765
Grand Total
 
136 credits 136 crds
2250 hours 2250 hrs

Clinical Training

Students in the Diploma of Phytotherapy program can complete all clinical training in PRC’s on-campus Student Clinic, or can participate in our Clinical Externship Program. Full-time students generally begin clinical training via observation during the very first week of studies.

Admissions

Pacific Rim College is committed to educating the highest quality industry professionals, and we offer priority acceptance to applicants who demonstrate the highest potential for success. Admission into the Diploma of Phytotherapy at Pacific Rim College is on a competitive basis, and applicants will be evaluated based on academic achievement, humanitarian activities, community involvement, program-related experience, communication skills, professionalism, emotional maturity, independence, ambition, and passion.

Admission requires successfully meeting the following minimum criteria:

  • A high school diploma or equivalency test
  • Minimum of 60% in related language and science studies
  • Written and spoken English language competency (applicants may be requested to submit an official score report from an English proficiency exam such as TOEFL or IELTS)

To apply, please click on the link below.

We do not have a set deadline for applications and will continue to accept students up until the start of classes, provided there is space within the program. Typically, this program fills prior to the semester start, so we recommend applying 6 months in advance. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is based on a per credit system. Although the college provides guidance for the order of course completion within each program, ultimately each student determines personal course load and schedule and thus per semester tuition. Audited credits do not apply towards graduation requirements. All prices listed are in Canadian dollars. For each semester, full tuition payment is due on the first day of the semester.

Please click here for a description of Academic Fees in PDF format.

Financial Aid

This program is approved for Canada Student Loans. British Columbia residents can apply for student loans online through StudentAid BC. For non-British Columbia residents, please visit hrsdc.gc.ca for information about Canada Student Loans.

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

Post-Graduation

Graduates of the Diploma of Phytotherapy can use knowledge and experience gained to establish a professional herbal clinic to assist clients with health issues, work in the health and wellness retail sector, grow and maintain herbal gardens, create herbal preparations, provide consultancy services to the herbal industry and work with natural health regulatory bodies.

Graduates are eligible for membership into the Canadian Herbalists Association of British Columbia (CHA of BC), the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), and the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA).

Licensing Requirements

Practitioner licensing requirements vary based on region of governance. Currently there are no government restrictions to the practice of Western Herbal Medicine in Canada. It is students’ responsibility to ensure they meet eligibility criteria in their chosen region.


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