Doctorate Program Admissions
ND Application for Admission
Applicants are required to meet and adhere to the University's admissions policies and requirements as well as the admission policies and requirements for their specific program, see the University Admissions Policies. This section contains admission policies and requirements specific to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program.
All applicants to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program must apply online either directly through Sonoran University's Application Portal or The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Centralized Application Service (NDCAS).
To apply, visit our Application Portal.
Prospective students who wish to enter the ND program must complete the application materials and meet the following application requirements:
- Application submitted through Sonoran University's Application Portal, or through NDCAS
- Non-refundable application fee payable to either Sonoran University or NDCAS, see Tuition and Fees
- Three letters of recommendation
- One academic reference
- One regulated healthcare professional reference
- One additional reference from either of the above categories or from an employer/volunteer supervisor
- Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, including military training transcripts for U.S. Veterans, traditional college coursework, and vocational training, showing completion of academic requirements
- In-person interview, qualified applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by the Admissions Office.
International applicants must also satisfy these additional application requirements:
- International transcript evaluation received for all post-secondary coursework completed in a foreign country. Transcripts must be translated and evaluated by a NACES or AICE member transcript evaluation service. Fees for this service are the responsibility of the applicant. The applicant must request a course-by-course and degree evaluation. The transcript evaluation service must mail the official report and all transcripts directly to Sonoran University's Admissions Office and be received before an evaluation of the applicant’s file can begin. Additional coursework materials, such as catalogs, course descriptions, and syllabi, if requested, must be translated into English by a professional service.
- Sonoran University reserves the right to require international applicants whose first language is not English to provide an official English Language Test report (IELTS or TOEFL preferred). Sonoran University requires a minimum score of 80 on the Internet-based test or IELTS Band 6.5.
- International applicants admitted and deposited to enter the ND degree program must also apply for and obtain an F1 visa to begin and continue their studies in the United States, see International Applicant information.
ND Admissions Requirements
Prospective students who wish to enter the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program in the 2023-2024 academic year must complete and submit the following requirements prior to matriculation.
- 4-year Baccalaureate degree or equivalent (contact admissions for requirements) is required. Total postsecondary coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited or candidate college or university. Within the U.S., accreditation must be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If the degree was earned outside of the U.S., please see International Applicants for more information.
- Complete all prerequisite coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 at a regionally accredited or candidate college or university prior to matriculation into the ND program. Applicants with science courses older than seven (7) years must demonstrate competency in the discipline(s) in question and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Submission of application and application review - Following receipt of all required materials and credentials (see Application for Admission tab on this page), the Admissions Office will contact those qualified applicants selected to interview with the Admissions Committee.
The Admissions Committee will review applications, interview qualified candidates for admission, and render an admission decision post-interview.
For more information, contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.858.9100.
Subject Requirements/Prerequisite Coursework
The Subject Requirements/Prerequisite Coursework list indicates minimum requirements, but it should not be inferred that admission is probable or guaranteed for any applicant who meets them.
|Courses with lab, for science majors
|Courses with lab for science majors
|Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry II
|For science majors
|Developmental Psychology is recommended, behavioral or cognitive learning courses will also be considered in lieu of psychology
CLEP Examinations Accepted
Applicants for admission may substitute the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam(s) for select academic prerequisites listed below. Information regarding exams can be obtained from CLEP at (866)630-9305 or www.clep.org. To report examination scores to Sonoran University, use score report code #7563. An official score from the College Board/CLEP must be mailed directly to Sonoran University.
|(ENG) Freshman College Composition
|6 sem. or 9 qtr. credits
|(PSY) Human Growth and Development
|3 sem. or 9 qtr. credits
|(PSY) Introduction to Educational Psychology
|3 sem. or 4.5 qtr. credits
|(PSY) Introduction to Psychology
|3 sem. or 4.5 qtr. credits
Post-admit Enrollment Requirements
Students admitted to the ND program must satisfy the following enrollment requirements prior to matriculation:
- Criminal background check - Sonoran University requires applicants who are offered admission to undergo a criminal background check. Sonoran University has contracted with Certiphi Screening, Inc., to facilitate the criminal background check. There is a fee for the service, payable directly to Certiphi. The applicant’s offer of admission will not be considered final, nor will the applicant be permitted to enroll, until the completion of a background check with results deemed acceptable by Sonoran University. Convictions of a criminal offense, other than a minor traffic offense, are required to be disclosed, including the nature of the offense, and what disposition occurred as a result of that offense. This disclosure must be made whether or not a sentence was served and/or civil rights have been restored, or whether the conviction(s) were expunged from the record. A prior felony conviction does not necessarily preclude an applicant from being admitted to Sonoran University, but professional licensing boards in the state of Arizona and elsewhere may refuse to issue a certificate to engage in clinical training or a clinical license if an individual has a felony or other conviction on their record.
- Successful completion of Sonoran University’s safety and training courses.
- Transfer Credit Evaluation (if applicable)- Students admitted to the program who have completed graduate or professional level program coursework or have graduated from an accredited professional school or program (i.e., ND, MD, DO, DC, DDS, etc.) may apply for transfer credit. To comply with VA requirements, all U.S. Veterans with any graduate-level coursework must be evaluated for potential transfer credit, see Veterans Benefits for more information. Transfer credit will be determined during the admissions process and will not be considered after matriculation. For more information, see Transfer Applicants.
- Technology Requirements - Laptop and reliable high-speed internet for use in completing college coursework. For a complete listing of Sonoran University's technical requirements, please visit our Technology Check site.
Immunization and Vaccine Requirements
Sonoran University is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students and patients. Because Sonoran and naturopathic medicine play an increased role in the delivery of integrative healthcare through multiple partnerships with hospitals, clinics, and treatment centers, our ND students are required to provide proof of immunity or testing for various diseases. Prior to enrolling at Sonoran University, all incoming ND students must provide sufficient documentation regarding immunity to Measles (Rubeola), Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, and others. For a complete list of requirements and instructions, please visit our Student Consumer Information page.
Sonoran University of Health Sciences Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program students must possess aptitude, abilities, and skills in all five areas listed below and be able to meet them with or without accommodation. These standards must be met throughout medical school in order for students to make satisfactory progress and graduate. Any intention of the student to practice only a narrow part of the curriculum upon graduation does not alter the requirement that all students perform satisfactorily in the full curriculum and meet all graduation requirements. If at any time the candidate can no longer meet these technical standards or requires additional accommodation, the Dean of Students must be notified immediately.
Students must be able to observe demonstrations, conduct experiments, and tolerate normal odors associated with the basic sciences, including, but not limited to anatomic dissection of preserved tissues and cadavers, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms, and animal and human tissues in normal and pathologic states.
A student must be able to observe patients accurately at a reasonable distance and close at hand, noting non-verbal as well as verbal signals. Speciﬁc observational requirements include but are not limited to the following abilities: detecting and identifying signiﬁcant changes in colors of fluids, skin, culture media, and dipstick tests; perceiving with acuity and accurately discriminating ﬁndings on x-rays and other imaging tests; efficiently reading written and illustrated material; observing intracellular details through a microscope; observing demonstrations in the classroom, including projected slides, ﬁlms, videos, and overheads; observing and diﬀerentiating changes in body movement; observing anatomic structures; discriminating numbers and patterns associated with diagnostic instruments and tests, such as sphygmomanometers and electrocardiograms; and competently using instruments such as the otoscope, ophthalmoscope, microscope, and stethoscope.
Students must be able to actively listen and relate effectively and sensitively to patients of all genders, ages, races, lifestyles, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds and be able to convey a sense of compassion and empathy.
Students must be able to observe and clearly communicate with patients in order to elicit information, accurately describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and be able to perceive verbal as well as nonverbal communications. Communication includes speech as well as reading and writing. Medical education presents exceptional challenges in the volume and breadth of required reading and the necessity to impart information to others.
Students must be able to communicate quickly and effectively in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. Speciﬁc requirements include but are not limited to the following abilities: communicating rapidly and clearly with the medical team during a case report, eliciting a thorough history from patients, and communicating complex ﬁndings in appropriate terms to patients and various members of the healthcare team.
Students must learn to recognize and promptly respond to emotions such as sadness, worry, and agitation, as well as a lack of comprehension of physician communication.
Students must be able to read and record observations and plans, legibly, efficiently, and accurately in documents such as the patient record.
Students must be able to prepare and communicate concise and complete summaries of individual encounters.
Students must be able to complete forms manually and on the computer keyboard, according to directions, in a complete and timely fashion.
Sensory and Motor Function
Students must be able to perform a complete physical exam of patients with acuity, accuracy, facility, and compassion on patients of all genders utilizing palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. In general, this requires sufficient ability to observe with acuity and process visual, auditory, exteroceptive (smell, touch, pain, and temperature), and proprioceptive (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory) phenomena accurately, as well as the ability to manipulate patients, medical instruments, and equipment with precision at a fine level of movement. Methods of surgical instruction include practice on living or preserved animal tissues.
A student should be able to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients in a timely manner. Examples of such emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians include responding quickly when called, initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administering intravenous medication, applying pressure to stop bleeding, opening obstructed airways, suturing wounds, and performing physical exams of the anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology of male and female reproductive systems as well as other physical maneuvers. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation may require moving an adult patient, repeatedly applying considerable chest pressure, delivering an adequate volume of artiﬁcial respiration, and calling for help.
A student should be able to learn to perform basic laboratory tests, e.g., urinalysis, completed blood count, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, e.g., phlebotomy, acupuncture, minor surgery, and arthrocentesis.
Students must be able to measure angles and diameters of various body structures using a tape measure and goniometer, measure blood pressure and pulse, and interpret graphs describing biological relationships.
Students must have strength, coordination, and the ability to use the torso and limbs to position themselves and skillfully and successfully perform common naturopathic manual procedures and techniques.
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, judgment, and synthesis. The student must also be able to recognize letters and numbers quickly and accurately. Clinical reasoning and problem-solving, critical skills demanded of physicians, require all of these intellectual abilities and must be performed quickly, especially in emergency situations. Moreover, the effective physician often must deal with several tasks or problems simultaneously.
Students must be able to identify signiﬁcant ﬁndings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data; provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses; construct a reasoned and cost-effective diagnostic plan; and prescribe medications and therapy, recalling and retaining information in an efficient manner.
Students must be able to identify and communicate the limits of their knowledge to others when appropriate. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans is essential. Good judgment in patient assessment and diagnostic and therapeutic planning is essential.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Empathy, integrity, honesty, concern for others, good interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all required personal qualities.
Students must be able to fully utilize their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients in all clinical and academic settings. They must be able to develop mature, professional, and effective relationships with patients of all genders, ages, races, lifestyles, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds, as well as with their families, with other healthcare providers, and with all members of the learning and working community. At times, this requires the ability to be aware of and appropriately react to one’s own immediate emotional responses. For example, students must maintain a professional demeanor and be able to function at a high level in the face of personal fatigue, dissatisﬁed patients and their families, and tired colleagues.
Students must be able to develop professional relationships with patients and their families, providing comfort and reassurance when appropriate while protecting patient conﬁdentiality.
Students must be able to maintain professional conduct when interacting with patients and the families of patients suffering from catastrophic illness, trauma, and death.
Students must possess adequate endurance to tolerate physically taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. At times, all students are required to work for extended periods, occasionally with rotating shifts.
Students must be able to adapt to change, display flexibility, and learn to function with the uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
Students are expected to accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and, if necessary, respond by modifying their behavior.
Sonoran University is proud to partner with the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) at the University of Arizona and the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA). Through these partnership agreements, students may be dually enrolled at Sonoran University and either institution for additional degree completion.
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health ND/MPH
Sonoran University students must apply directly to the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) through SOPHAS (http://www.sophas.org/), the public health programs’ centralized application. Please note that there are additional requirements beyond what was required to apply to Sonoran University including:
- GRE or MCAT
- College algebra, statistics, or a more advanced math course, such as calculus
- 3 additional letters of recommendation
For all admissions requirements, visit: https://publichealth.arizona.edu/graduate-students/admissions/programs
When applying through SOPHAS, please indicate your interest in dual degree status in the One Concise Statement under the “Additional Questions” section. For example, “ND/MPH: I am interested in family medicine and chronic disease, with an emphasis on cancer and cardiovascular disease.”
You can learn more about the MPH Program and admissions requirements by visiting this website for more information: https://publichealth.arizona.edu/academics/mph
Sonoran University students enrolled in approved coursework at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) must sign an acknowledgment form in the Registrar’s Office. After coursework is completed at MEZCOPH, an official transcript must be received from MEZCOPH in order for those courses to be transferred. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Registrar’s Office if the student withdraws from courses at MEZCOPH in order to make necessary changes in the student’s schedule.
Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture
The Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA) offers a Master of Science in Acupuncture and a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. Both degree programs provide future clinicians with the unique skills of a comprehensively trained practitioner in Oriental medicine. Students must apply directly to PIHMA.
For admission requirements, visit: https://www.pihma.edu/degree-programs/
Sonoran University students enrolled in approved coursework at PIHMA must sign an acknowledgment form in order to drop the equivalent courses from the ND program of study. After coursework is completed at PIHMA, an official transcript must be received from PIHMA in order for those courses to be transferred. It is the student’s responsibility to inform their Academic Advisor if the student withdraws from courses at PIHMA in order to make necessary changes via the Registrar’s Office in the student’s schedule. Failure to successfully complete PIHMA courses as scheduled may delay clinic entry and/or graduation. Graduation from Sonoran University is contingent upon completing all equivalent courses at PIHMA with a grade of C or better.