A world that embraces the healing power of nature.
Sonoran University of Health Sciences shapes a healthier future by supporting students as they train to excel as healthcare professionals, by enhancing the health and wellbeing of our patients and communities, and by discovering effective treatments for humanity grounded in the healing power of nature.
Challenge your mind and engage your heart to change lives through healthcare at a school of medicine and health sciences renowned for its dynamic culture of innovation and collaboration.
Sonoran University embraces the following values:
We Shape the Future
- With Purpose: Educating the next generation of evidence-based healers and leaders
- Through Collaborations: Embracing interprofessional relationships
- By Expanding Knowledge: Conducting research that improves health and well-being
- Through Evidence-based Principles: While honoring the past
We Achieve Excellence
- By Pursuing Greatness: Setting the bar high—and exceeding it
- Through Continuous Improvement: Enhancing the Sonoran University experience through innovation and persistence
- By Celebrating Accomplishments: Appreciating achievements with humility and gratitude
- By Practicing Inclusivity: Embracing diversity with kindness, respect, and understanding
- Through Self-Awareness: Recognizing our inherent biases to expand our capacity to serve
- By Projecting Positivity: Providing hope and encouragement
- Through Compassion: Serving individuals, communities, and humanity
We Do the Right Thing
- By Being Principle-driven: Guiding our actions through honesty and integrity
- Through Honoring Commitments: Saying what we do and doing what we say
- By Accepting Responsibility: Holding ourselves and others accountable
- By Following the Golden Rule: Treating others as we want to be treated
We Are Resilient
- By Never Giving Up: Finding solutions through tenacity and teamwork
- Through Appreciative Inquiry: Identifying our best practices to overcome challenges
- Through Wellness: Promoting physical, mental, and emotional health
- With Mindfulness: Finding calm in the face of adversity
Strategic Plan 2022-2027
As a leader in integrative health sciences education, Sonoran University will meet the challenges in higher education and in healthcare by continuing to improve and innovate its existing academic programs and patient/client care, developing and acquiring new programs and services, and growing through strategic partnerships.
The full Strategic Plan can be found on MySonoran, you must be logged in to view the content.
Sonoran University is Renowned For
- Student-Centeredness – empowering and supporting students to engage in a learning process that sparks curiosity, develops critical thinking, and respects their unique attributes and capabilities.
- Grounding in the Healing Power of Nature – fostering the self-healing process in people and uncovering the health-promoting properties of medicinal plants.
- Strategic Partnerships – collaborating with other academic, research, healthcare institutions, governmental and non-profit agencies, and businesses to expand the University’s role in addressing current and emerging health problems.
- Values-Based Education and Care – applying our Core Values, “We Shape the Future, We Love, We Achieve Excellence, We Do the Right Thing, We Are Resilient” to the way we think, speak, and act.
- Interprofessional Synergy – collaborating with faculty, practitioners, and researchers across disciplines to enhance learning, patient care, and discovery.
- Inclusive Excellence and Belonging – fostering a community that values the range of human experiences and where students, staff, faculty, and patients feel respected, included, supported, and valued.
- Innovative and Exceptional Education – valuing work that is grounded in learning science and driven by data insights.
- Inclusive and Holistic Healthcare – applying best practices in the campus and community medical centers.
Three Strategic Goals
Deliver high-quality graduate and certificate education
The University is measured by the success of its students, including graduation rates and professional examination scores. The University supports student learning by drawing upon learning science to incorporate best practices in teaching and learning, innovative technology and curricular design, faculty support and development, and collaboration between Academic, Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence departments.
Engage in impactful research
The University’s research agenda is multi-faceted. We are committed to investigating: 1) Medicinal plants – which already comprise 10% of the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines – representing a rich source of medicines to treat current and emerging diseases; and 2) Lifestyle and other therapeutic interventions to address preventable illness and premature death.
Serve individuals and communities through patient/client-centered care
During the pandemic, the public adopted healthcare innovations (e.g., telehealth), gained a deeper appreciation of stress and mental health, and saw healthcare equity gaps widen. Over the next five years, Sonoran University of Health Sciences will increase its investment in telehealth, deepen its commitment to cultural competence and inclusive excellence in the communities it serves, and continue to infuse patient care with evidence-based and patient-empowering treatments.
Foundational Resources Needed to Succeed
Expand resources critical to the University’s vibrant future
Fulfilling our audacious goals – including changing the institution’s name and brand and capitalizing on today’s evolving education and technology opportunities – will require increased human and financial resources, and investments in training, technology, and philanthropic support.
The Arizona State Board of Private Postsecondary Education granted a license to Sonoran University as a degree-granting institution in April 1993 to offer the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. In October 2018, Sonoran University was granted a license to offer the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition and Master of Science in Nutrition Business Leadership programs.
Sonoran University’s naturopathic medical program is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), the programmatic accreditor for naturopathic medicine programs. A copy of the CNME Handbook for Accreditation for Naturopathic Medical Colleges and Programs is available in the Library.
Sonoran University’s doctorate and master’s programs are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), including the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition, and Executive Master of Science in Nutrition Business Leadership.
For additional information, please contact:
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
1740 West Adams, Suite 3008, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
342 Main Street, PO Box 178, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Phone: 413.528.8877 | Fax: 413.528.8880
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312.263.0456 | Fax: 312.263.7462
Sonoran University Medical & Research Facilities
Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine
For two generations the name Riordan has been synonymous with medical advances harnessing the body’s innate healing ability. Sonoran University’s Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine builds on this legacy, turning the tide from symptom suppression to regeneration and healing. The Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine is located in a beautiful 6,200-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Lim Commons building. Through patient care, research, and medical education, Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine helps to usher in a new era in the treatment of pain and chronic disease by:
- Developing innovative, safe, effective, and promising practices for patients suffering from pain
- Training the next generation of physicians skilled in regenerative medicine
- Building the foundation for in vitro and clinical research in regenerative medicine to explore new treatments and explicate their mechanisms of action
Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research
The Institute’s mission is to explore traditional medicines at the cellular, molecular, and cultural levels to create novel botanical solutions that support people, plants, and the planet.
The Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research, a state-of-the-art molecular biology/phytochemistry laboratory opened in the Spring of 2021. The Institute works in collaboration with the natural products industry, foundations, and other academic institutions and labs to develop new products and improve existing botanical therapeutics through scientific exploration grounded in clinical and traditional herbalism’s rich history. The Institute houses multiple laboratory facilities including a Biosafety Level 2 molecular and cellular biology laboratory with cell/virus culture capabilities, a compound isolation laboratory, and a compound identification and quantification facility. Bioassay-guided characterization, purification, and isolation of botanicals is a proven process that our research team utilizes to achieve success in creating novel, evidence-based natural products.
Sonoran University Medical Center
Sonoran University's Medical Center is a fragrance-free facility consisting of natural and recycled building materials and non-toxic paint. It is designed to support and enhance patient care and student learning through indoor healing spaces.
The Medical Center creates a clinical environment unique to any naturopathic clinical setting. Hydrotherapy, a core modality in naturopathic medicine and an important component of European water spas comprises nearly thirty percent of the Center and includes a custom-designed steam area, two saunas (far-infrared/radiant), and a hydrotherapy/color therapy suite. There are also two minor surgery suites with high-definition video equipment for recording or transmitting certain procedures, with patient consent, for learning purposes. Intravenous therapies, which can be a prominent treatment method for many health conditions, are provided in the IV Suite.
Equipment and Technology
In addition to serving patients’ health needs, Sonoran University's Medical Center and Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine are the on-campus training sites for naturopathic medical students’ clinical training. Designed with video technology in each of the 7 classrooms and 37 exam rooms, the clinical care facilities support student learning in the clinical environment. Corporate sponsors donated large LCD monitors to each classroom to enhance the physicians’ ability to use online resources, display a patient’s electronic health record (EHR), and closed-circuit observation of exam rooms when appropriate. This technology allows students to gain immediate feedback from their attending physician. In addition, state-of-the-art medical equipment in each exam room was donated by Welch-Allyn. Naturopathic medical student learning is supported through the Clinical Resource Center, a specialized clinical collection that is an extension of Sonoran University's Library. The collection features resources in naturopathic modalities including acupuncture, botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and environmental, physical, and mind-body medicine. The Library subscribes to electronic books, journals, and specialized medical, naturopathic, and nutrition databases that supplement the on-campus print resources.
Sonoran University was the first naturopathic medical school to implement an EHR system in 2010. The utilization of EHR increases medical research opportunities and enhances patient benefits through electronic record keeping and communication among medical facility physicians and other healthcare providers. Sonoran University updated the system to eClinicalWorks in 2020. This system supports a patient portal and telemedicine.
Sonoran University Laboratory
Sonoran University's Laboratory is a CLIA moderate complexity laboratory and is accredited by COLA. Students are required to participate in laboratory posts in which they gain a finer understanding of laboratory diagnostic tests, as well as OSHA and CLIA standards. While in a laboratory post, naturopathic medical students have the opportunity to collect and prepare samples and perform CLIA-waived testing.
While some laboratory testing is done on-site, the Medical Center laboratory also contracts with Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) and Sonora Quest Laboratories for standard diagnostic tests. The laboratory utilizes 15 additional specialty labs for testing not available at LabCorp or Sonora Quest.
Sonoran University Medicinary
Sonoran University's Medicinary, located in the Lim Commons building, is Arizona’s largest natural Medicinary with the largest inventory of homeopathic medicines and botanical tinctures in Arizona. Naturopathic medical students are required to complete a one-credit course in which they learn about how the Medicinary operates. Covered topics include choosing high-quality supplements, the safety and prescribing of botanical tinctures, inventory management, providing customer service, and more. The Medicinary serves the patients of in-house physicians, providers across the Greater Phoenix area, and the general public.
Virtual Center for Personalized Nutrition
Leveraging high-quality and evidence-based care standards, our Virtual Center for Personalized Nutrition engages clients on a Virtual Care Journey that retains the best practices of in-person personalized nutrition care delivered at no cost through our virtual care setting. The Center eliminates traditional barriers to personalized nutrition care by increasing access and eliminating costs. Through our telehealth platform, we are connecting our providers to clients in need of nutrition care from across the country.
Our care team consists of master's or doctoral degree-level nutrition providers who are all candidates enrolled in our Supervised Practice Experience Program (SPE). Each provider is completing an internship in pursuit of their Certified Nutrition Specialist® (CNS®) credential and working under the direct supervision of licensed clinical nutritionists who hold appointments as Clinical Faculty within the College of Nutrition at Sonoran University and have been vetted and approved as SPE Clinical Supervisors by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.
Naturopathic Extended Site Community Clinics
Naturopathic medicine students may also receive their clinical training at community clinics. These clinics give students unique opportunities to provide treatment, gain skills and experience in a community healthcare setting, and enhance their cultural competence working with diverse patient populations. Treatments often include nutritional intervention, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and prescription medicines when necessary. To learn more about Sonoran University’s Community Clinics, please review the listings below:
Sage Foundation for Health
Hamilton Elementary School
Mission of Mercy
Phoenix Rescue Mission – Changing Lives
Roosevelt Health Center
Tempe Elementary Clinic
Sonoran University’s main campus, including the research institute and two medical facilities, is located in Tempe, Arizona - a sophisticated city of culture and learning. Known as the home of Arizona State University, Tempe has a rich college atmosphere and an abundance of affordable housing, research, and entertainment opportunities. It is the ideal place to learn, live, work, and play.
Phoenix Metro Area
Tempe is part of the Greater Phoenix Metro area, one of the top ten largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The “Valley of the Sun” has the diversity of big-city life without the big-city cost. Among these assets are flat terrain, simple transportation routes, and a light-rail system. Not only is the transportation system evolving, but the housing communities provide comfortable, affordable homes for new and longtime residents.
With 300 days of sunshine each year, the Phoenix Metro area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Students enjoy hiking, biking, boating, swimming, golf, tennis, horseback riding, and even skiing and snowboarding during the winter months in beautiful northern Arizona. They also enjoy weekend and day trips to breathtaking Sedona, Tucson, the Grand Canyon, Mogollon Rim, and the White Mountains.
Entertainment venues, fine dining, and shopping settings are plentiful, as well as countless golf courses. Along with the cosmopolitan treasures of the Herberger Theatre, Ballet Arizona, The Phoenix Symphony, and the world-renowned Heard Museum, the cities that make up Greater Phoenix are home to numerous professional sports teams including the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Rising, and Phoenix Coyotes. Tempe is also a sports mecca with the ASU Sun Devils, spring training sites for Major League Baseball, the annual Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Marathon, and the Ironman Arizona Triathlon.
Phoenix is fortunate to be a growing city with a healthy economy. Uniquely, the cost of living in Phoenix and Tempe is lower relative to other metropolitan cities housing naturopathic colleges/universities.
Sonoran University Campus and Community
The Tempe campus includes Sonoran University's Medical Center and in the Lim Commons building the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine, which convey the excitement and enthusiasm that the staff, faculty, and students bring to our community. Sonoran University is a highly respected source of information in the natural healthcare field. Our faculty, staff, and administrators collaborate to deliver a bold, innovative, and dynamic education. Those who spend time on campus know that Sonoran University’s sense of community makes these goals a reality.
The Mr. Andrew C.G. and Dr. Ruth Tan Lim Commons (Lim Commons), a LEED platinum-certified building, features the integrative Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine, teaching kitchen, yoga studio, an extensive medical library, Borneman Board Room with high-definition teleconferencing, Thorne Auditorium, classrooms, 18 group study/meeting rooms, weight and cardio room, student lounge, wellness rooms, café, and Medicinary. The first building of its kind at any naturopathic college/university, the Lim Commons engages the public as it reshapes the university experience. Sonoran University’s campus also generates clean electricity, provides shade, and reduces energy costs through the installation of solar-panel-covered structures over 80% of all parking spaces. Abundant light, evidence-based design, and sustainable and non-toxic materials create an atmosphere that delights the eye as it inspires healing, learning, and community engagement. The top-of-the-line Steelcase furnishings are functional and environmentally sustainable, providing students, patients, and the public comfortable and ergonomically sound seating throughout the Lim Commons.
The academic buildings are well-equipped to serve the needs of the community. Sonoran University classrooms, medical facilities, and Lim Commons are equipped with presentation technology and wireless internet. In addition, computers are available for student use throughout the library and at the Medical Center. To top it all off, the beauty of the medicinal gardens creates an atmosphere for community learning, campus events, and medical conferences. The gardens also provide botanicals for classroom instruction and lab experiences.
Founded principally by naturopathic physicians Michael and Kyle Cronin as Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in 1992, Sonoran University is one of five recognized institutions of naturopathic medicine in North America. It is also the first medical school in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.
Prospective students are invited to experience Sonoran University by touring the campus and/or sitting in on a class or a clinical shift. For more information, please call the College of Naturopathic Medicine at 480.222.1136 or the College of Nutrition at 480.809.9738 to speak with an admission representative and schedule your visit.
The student community at Sonoran University includes individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences with a shared commitment to integrative and natural healthcare. Student demographic information is available on the Student Consumer Information Page on Sonoran University's website.