CAM Center Profile

Georgetown University Offers CAM Graduate Program

Georgetown University in Washington, DC, is offering a new Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Masters Program beginning this fall.

The program’s designers say it is a scientifically sound program that emphasizes the science of physiology, while offering students a broad insight into CAM and giving them the tools to look critically at its scientific basis. Students will review current research and areas in which more research is needed. The coursework specifically addresses regulatory issues involving CAM modalities and herbal medicine and supplements. Since the program is a "track" within the Masters of Science (MS) program of Georgetown’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics, it retains the basic nature of the core curriculum for that MS.

The program planning began a couple of years ago, says Adam Myers, PhD, who is the CAM program director along with Hakima Amrih, PhD. The first graduate class was launched by itself a year ago, and the program directors are expecting about 10 students this year. Eventually they expect the program to hold 20 students.

The Program Mission

Through this three-semester program, Georgetown strives to offer an academically rigorous education in CAM, in the context of traditional basic biomedical sciences. The goal is to train students who will enter into careers in the private and public sector related to CAM research, education, administration, or regulatory affairs. Some of the CAM graduates may apply their CAM training in pursuing further education toward a health care career; others may have been previously trained as practitioners (physicians, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, nutritionists, pharmacists, etc.), and return to their careers with their additional education.

The program is designed for students who fit into any of several categories in terms of background and eventual career placement:

  • students interested in a research career (often with further training at the doctoral level) in a CAM-related area
  • students wishing to pursue careers in CAM industry
  • students interested in administrative or regulatory affairs careers related to CAM within the public sector
  • practitioners or potential practitioners of CAM modalities seeking basic science education relevant to their practices
  • Students who are interested in the CAM program also need the following to be accepted into the program:
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • completion of prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, math, and physics
  • experience or interest in a CAM-related career
  • overall credentials suitable for acceptance to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the graduate programs of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics

A Look at the Curriculum

The CAM graduate program curriculum includes the following topics, presented by faculty of the Georgetown University School of Medicine:

  • survey of complementary and alternative medicine;
  • fundamentals of biochemistry;
  • fundamentals of physiology;
  •  human nutrition and health;
  • mind-body medicine and physiology;
  • principles of pharmacology for drugs, supplements, and herbs;
  • pathophysiology;
  • medical immunology & microbiology;
  • critical readings in complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine;
  • physiology, biophysics, and CAM seminars;
  • statistics and experimental design.

Financial Considerations

Tuition for the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program is approximately $25,728 (12 credits per semester) for the term. Rates are subject to change.

How To Apply and Contact Information

The CAM program application is online at www.georgetown.edu/departments/physiology/cam/index.html. For information, contact Gina Moses at (202) 687-7979 or gmm27@georgetown.edu.