Boucher is a post-bacalaureate naturopathic medical college. A degree and no less than 90 credits overall from a recognized or authorized Canadian or a regionally accredited American post-secondary institution is required for entry into the program.
4 year Full-Time Program:
The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine calculates a cumulative grade point average for all courses that constitute a degree. For a candidate to be considered a competitive applicant, the Admissions Committee expects a degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.
For candidates who have a cumulative GPA below the expected minimum, but who have completed additional degree(s) (i.e.: a second Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, Doctorate, or first professional degree), the Admissions Committee may take additional education into consideration when assessing academic preparation.
Applicants must show a minimum final grade of 60% or ‘C’ in each required prerequisite course. The expected overall minimum cumulative science GPA is 2.5 to compete for the limited program seats.
The Admissions Committee expects prerequisite courses to be completed no more than seven (7) years prior to an application for admission. Candidates must be prepared to show that they have kept themselves up-to-date in the sciences.
It is strongly recommended that the requirement be fulfilled by 6.0 credit hours of introductory or general biology, commonly titled ‘Biology I’, ‘Biology II’, ‘Principles of Biology’, ‘General Biology’ or ‘Introduction to Biology’. This requirement may also be satisfied by 3.0 credits hours of general/introductory biology, which can include ecology, evolution or microbiology courses, plus 3.0 credit hours of another appropriate biology, such as botany, cell biology, genetics, zoology etc.
Please note: anatomy and physiology courses cannot satisfy the biology requirement.
It is strongly recommended to complete a full 6.0 credit hours of general chemistry to prepare for the rigors of the program. Acceptable post-secondary courses are typically titled ‘General Chemistry’, ‘Fundamentals/Principles of Chemistry’ or sometimes ‘Introduction to Chemistry’. A course that satisfies the general chemistry prerequisite explores the basics of structural chemistry, chemical equilibrium and thermodynamics.
Acceptable courses must have at least 3.0 credits hours of general chemistry as a prerequisite. Acceptable post-secondary courses should be at least 200-level and are typically titled ‘Organic Chemistry’ or ‘Introduction to Organic Chemistry’.
A course that satisfies the organic chemistry prerequisite explores the nomenclature, atoms, chemical bonds, and chemical reactions associated with organic compounds such as carbonyl compounds, alcohols, ethers, alkenes etc. The general mechanisms behind basic reactions such as nucleophilic substitution, elimination, addition etc. should be covered, as should the concepts of formal charges, resonance structures, valence shell electron pair repulsion theory (VSPER), valence bond theory, hybridization and molecular orbital theory.
Acceptable courses must have at least 3.0 credits hours of general chemistry as a prerequisite. It is strongly recommended that acceptable courses also have at least 3.0 credit hours of organic chemistry as a prerequisite. Acceptable courses are 200- or 300- level and are typically titled ‘Introduction to Biochemistry’ or ‘Biochemistry’.
A course that satisfies the biochemistry prerequisite includes the structure, function and metabolism of the four major bio molecules (carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, proteins), as well as provide an overview of basic cellular biology and processes essential to life.
This requirement must be fulfilled by introductory, general or developmental psychology. It is strongly recommended that applicants complete additional psychology or counseling credits to prepare for the rigorous of the program.
This requirement may be fulfilled by courses such as academic writing, anthropology, English, history, literature, philosophy, sociology, women’s studies etc. Coursework must include written components that add up to at least 40 per cent of the total coursework. Applicants may be required to write a short essay at the time of the interview to demonstrate academic writing ability.
Please note: second language courses (Spanish, French etc.) and courses taught in a language other than English may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
Advanced Standing Track:
Students who have completed graduate ‘training in a first professional degree program may apply for advanced standing into the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program.
Degree and Prerequisite Requirements
The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine accepts applicants from all duly licensed or accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada or abroad. To be eligible for admission all advanced standing applicants must satisfy the degree and minimum credit requirements, all prerequisite requirements, and all additional criteria for admission.
Medical Graduates who are applying to the program must have graduated from a medical school recognized by the Medical Council of Canada.
In order to be considered for advanced standing, applicants must successfully complete the United States Medical Licensing Examination – Level 1 (USMLE-I), Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) or Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 (MCCQE1).
Successful completion of the USMLE I, MCCEE or MCCQE1 also satisfies the prerequisite requirements for admission, with the exception of English and Humanities prerequisites.
Applicants who have passed USMLE-I, MCCEE or MCCQE1 within seven (7) years of submitting a complete application to the Boucher Institute will receive advanced standing credit for the following courses: Biomedicine II-VI, Anatomy I-III, Neuroanatomy, Microbiology I-III, Medical Procedures, Clinical Diagnosis I – III (with the exception of all Milestone Exams), Emergency Medicine, Ethics, Research I & II, and Dermatology.
*According to both PTIB bylaws and Boucher Institute policy, minimum program admission requirements may not be waived.*
Additional Prerequisite Information
Prerequisite courses must be at least 100 level to be accepted and must be taken at a recognized Canadian or regionally accredited American post-secondary institution or the equivalent as assessed by either ICES or WES. Lab courses may not be used to fulfill the number of required prerequisite credit hours or be included in calculating prerequisite grades.
Lab courses may not be used to fulfill the number of required prerequisite credit hours or be included in calculating prerequisite grades.
The Boucher Institute may at its discretion accept prerequisite preparatory courses from other Council of Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) approved institutions. This option is generally reserved for students who apply as transfer students from other CNME approved institutions. It is preferable for first-year applicants to complete prerequisite courses through a recognized or regionally accredited post-secondary institution. Students who are accepted into the Boucher program who started a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program at a CNME approved institution but are not applying as a transfer student may, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, be able to use credits completed during the ND program at the issuing institution to satisfy Boucher prerequisites, such as biochemistry, provided at least a 60% or C was attained and the credits earned are at least equivalent to a 3 credit hour of half-year course.
Courses accepted as a prerequisite may not be used for advanced standing or prior credit recognition Students must provide an official transcript showing successful completion of all prerequisites prior to the first day of the Boucher Institute program.
In cases where an official transcript indicating successful completion of a prerequisite course is not available prior to the first day of the Boucher program, with pre-approval from the Chair of the Admissions Committee, a letter sent directly from the Registrar or Records Office of the post-secondary institution where the course was completed indicating a final grade of at least 60% or ‘C’ may be used as proof of successful completion of a Boucher prerequisite until an official transcript has been received.
In addition to the mandatory prerequisites, prospective students would benefit by completing additional courses in some or all of the following areas:
- Cell Biology
- Community/Cultural Studies
- Environmental Studies
- Global/International Studies
- Religious Studies
Official transcripts from all applicant’s post-secondary educational institutions must be sent directly from the issuing institution to Boucher Admissions. The Boucher Admissions department accepts electronic copies of transcripts provided they are sent directly from the issuing institution.
Students who attended an institution outside of Canada and the United States must submit a “comprehensive evaluation” from either International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) or World Education Services (WES).
Arrange the transcript(s) to be submitted directly to Boucher Admissions:
c/o Admissions Department
Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
435 Columbia St, Suite 230,
New Westminster, BC, Canada
Or By Email
Additional Requirements & Criteria
The primary objective of the applicant screening process is to ensure that accepted applicants have made an informed commitment to Naturopathic Medicine. Applicants must be both temperamentally and morally suitable to the profession, and have a reasonable probability of becoming licensed to practice in a regulated jurisdiction. The criteria described below are used in the evaluation of applicants in order to achieve this objective.
The successful applicant is expected to:
- Have demonstrated reasonable academic ability in previous educational endeavours;
- Have reasonable knowledge of, and realistic attitudes towards health and healing, and towards naturopathic medicine in particular. They are expected to understand the importance of self-care, to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of holistic health care, and to be able to discuss the role of the healer in a person’s natural self-healing process;
- Have some knowledge and personal experience of naturopathic medicine;
- Recognize the ongoing responsibilities inherent in a life of service to the community as a naturopathic physician;
- Understand that naturopathic medicine is a rapidly changing field. Practitioners have a responsibility to maintain and update their skills and knowledge by keeping current with journals and through continuing education;
- Have realistic expectations regarding the income potential of naturopathic physicians, be aware of the potential for mental and emotional stress involved in this occupation, and have an understanding of the relationship of naturopathic medicine to other health care professions;
- Understand that naturopathic medicine is an entrepreneurial undertaking that requires business skills and marketing acumen;
- Have devoted sufficient time and energy to researching the naturopathic medicine profession and – considering their personal goals and expectations – are confident in their career choice;
- Have an appreciation of the importance of a diverse society, and show evidence by way of appropriate life experience, maturity, emotional stability, and physical capability necessary to engage in the activities required for naturopathic training and practice;
- Demonstrate critical thinking;
- Have excellent communication skills;
- Be able to discuss professionalism as it applies to the provision of health care;
- Be able to provide references as to character and ability;
- Be able to demonstrate adequate financial resources to become a full time student for four years.
All applicants who have been offered an interview must fill out the Budget Worksheet.
Criminal Records Background Check
All applicants who have been offered a seat must adhere to the Criminal Records Check policy.
Immunization and Communicable Diseases Policy
All applicants who have been offered a seat must adhere to the Immunization and Communicable Diseases policy.
Clinic Entry Requirements
Students must also submit a valid and current Standard First Aid CPR-HCP certificate prior to entry into the clinical component of the program.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission into the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. Please see below for examples of acceptable documentation.
Minimum requirements for admission:
Candidates who have completed a Bachelor’s degree (all degree credits) at an institution where the official language of instruction is English, completed secondary school (all grades from grade 8), and received their high school diploma at a secondary school where the official language of instruction is English will meet the minimum language requirement, provided there are no concerns regarding language ability during the admissions interview.
Candidates wishing to meet the English language requirement as outlined above must submit an official transcript from all applicable institutions. For programs completed outside of Canada or the United States, an official transcript from the issuing institution must be received in addition to a “comprehensive evaluation” of that transcript from either ICES or WES prior to the first day of the Boucher program.
If a candidate does not meet the aforementioned requirements, they are required to satisfy the English language requirement by one of the following:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Boucher only accepts the Internet Based Test (IBT):
- Internet Based Test (IBT): minimum score of 95 overall with a minimum of 23 in each testing section.
TOEFL scores over three years old at the time of application will not be accepted.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Minimum score of 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each testing section.
IELTS scores over three years old at the time of application will not be accepted
Designate three referees to complete the Candidate Evaluation Form. The referee will be required to submit a reference letter as well as evaluate the candidate in the following areas: Integrity, Interpersonal Relations, Knowledge of Profession, Leadership, Oral Communication, Organizational Skills, Reaction to Criticism, Self-Awareness, Stress Management, Team Skills, Time Management, Written Communication, Conflict Resolution, Empathy, and Adaptability. Once submitted, the admissions team will automatically receive the form and will notify the referee directly that the reference has been accepted.
Ideally, you should designate references from one academic source, one from a regulated healthcare professional and one from either of the above categories, or a past employer/volunteer supervisor. However, if you are unable to provide a suitable reference from any of the above categories, you may substitute that category with an additional reference from one of the other categories. You must have known the referee for a minimum of one year (two years or more is strongly recommended).
All reference letters must be signed and dated.
Submit an essay (PDF only), that addresses the below specific areas. Essay should be double-spaced and no more than 4 pages; include your full name and a title.
- Why do you want to become a Naturopathic Doctor?
- What is the role of Naturopathic Medicine/Naturopathic Doctors in the Healthcare System?
- How do you see the naturopathic profession evolving?
- Discuss any life experiences (including your experience with Naturopathic Medicine) that have helped to prepare you for the rigorous academic demands and individual challenges associated with this program of study.
The Admissions Committee reviews each application in full detail. Admissions decisions are based on a composite of information, including the interview, personal essay, letters of recommendations, academic standing in the programs in which you have studied, educational preparation, relevant professional activities, scores, grades and experience with naturopathic medicine. All interviewed candidates will be informed of the decision by phone and/or email, typically within two weeks of the interview.
Seat not offered
If a seat is not offered, the Admissions Committee does not disclose any of the reasons for their decisions. Each application is considered in relation to other applications for the upcoming year. Not every candidate whose credentials meet our stated minimum standards can be admitted.
All applicants who did not meet the admissions requirements, were not offered a seat, were offered a seat and declined, or offered a seat and cancelled must submit an entirely new application with all of the necessary fees. It is also the applicant’s responsibility to check our website for any changes to the admissions process or requirements.
Seat Offered – Registration
If you are offered a seat and wish to reserve it, you must return an enrollment contract signed by the date specified on your offer of acceptance letter, combined with payment of the registration fee and confirmation of tuition enrollment deposit (10% of tuition fee). Outstanding documentation required prior to matriculation will be noted on the back of your offer of acceptance letter. It is your responsibility to complete all outstanding prerequisites and meet all admissions requirements by the stated deadline(s). All students must also submit the criminal record check after registration in school and prior to matriculation into the program.
Please note that due to the high volume of applications, some candidates will receive an official letter indicating that they have been placed on the waitlist. At each round of intakes there may be some accepted candidates who are unable to enroll in the program. When that occurs, a seat becomes available for a candidate on the waitlist. Otherwise, candidates may be deferred to the next intake.
Notice of Non-discrimination
The Boucher Institute is dedicated to maintaining a safe, diverse community in an environment which respects and appreciates differences.
The Boucher Institute does not discriminate in its selection of new students on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, age, marital or parental status, disability, or service in the military or other uniformed services.
Students who have completed credits at a Council of Naturopathic Medical Education accredited or candidate for accreditation program may apply for transfer into the Boucher Institute Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. Students may only apply for transfer into years 1-3 of the Boucher Institute program.
To be eligible for admission, all transfer applicants must satisfy the degree and minimum credit requirements, all prerequisite requirements, and all additional criteria for admission with the following exception: students who transfer into year 3 of the Boucher program and provide official proof of passing the Naturopathic Physician’s Licensing Exam Part I (Basic Sciences) will be given automatic credit for all of the Boucher science prerequisites.
Transfer applicants must be in good standing in the program/institution from which they are transferring and must be applying to transfer into the Boucher Institute within three years of terminating studies at their current/previous institution. Transfer students are only accepted into year three of the four-year program.
Transfer applicants must:
- Apply for admission into the program and follow all the steps outlined.
- Submit an official letter from their current institution indicating eligibility for NPLEX I. Please note that the policy is currently under review; once updated, any transfer students will be required to have their NPLEX I taken before they start the program at Boucher.
- If offered a seat, the student must apply for transfer credits on a course by course basis.
- May I apply before I complete my degree and/or prerequisites?
Yes, you may apply even if you haven’t yet completed your degree/prerequisites, but do have a study plan that shows that you will have everything completed before the program start date. As long as you have at least 3 credits of Biology and 3 credits of Chemistry, we may be able to start the application review. We have a rolling admissions process, so the earlier you apply, the earlier you will know the decision.
- In what order do my application documents have to arrive?
There is no particular order when your documents have to arrive at Boucher. You may request your references and transcripts even before submitting the application; we create a file as soon as we receive at least one piece of the application.
- Where can I fulfill the science requirements?
Prerequisites may be fulfilled at any recognized post-secondary institution or the equivalent. Credits may be earned either in class or online – it is up to the student to determine what works best for their schedule. Credentials earned outside of Canada and the US require a “comprehensive evaluation” from an accepted service.
Important: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the pre-requisite courses taken satisfy Boucher Institute requirements. It is important to check with the university directly to understand grading policies, particularly the time it takes to submit final grades and process transcripts, to ensure that Boucher Institute deadlines and requirements are satisfied. Some institutions may take as long as six weeks to submit final grades and additional time to process transcripts.
- Why is biochemistry an admissions requirement?
Familiarity with biochemical principles is required to develop insight into how our metabolic processes interact with pharmaceuticals, botanicals, and nutrients. The symbols that represent invisible functions within the cell must carry representative value to the student in order to be usable as a visual tool for the mind to see cellular processes. A reasonable understanding of the concepts and knowledge is required for the study of medicine.
- I have the required prerequisites, but I took the courses more than 7 years ago. What are my options?
The Admissions Committee strongly recommends retaking the courses to ensure your knowledge and abilities are current. Based on the discretion of the Admissions Committee, you may be able to satisfy the requirements if you are teaching or working in a profession related to the sciences – for example, you are a practicing nurse, chiropractor etc. If you are able to find a recognized university that allows students to challenge exams, and are able to pass the exam with a score above 60% or ‘C’, then your requirements may be satisfied.
*Please note that older science courses may be accepted if they were a prerequisite for a more advanced and recent course. E.g. General chemistry was taken ten years ago, but it was a prerequisite for organic chemistry course, completed four years ago.
- I have an honours degree in genetics, would this allow exemptions from your courses?
Only courses at a graduate or postgraduate university level that show equivalent course content are eligible for consideration of prior credit recognition. No undergraduate courses can exempt a student from study.
- What is the course load like as a transfer student into year 3 of the program?
The curriculum at the seven CNME accredited institutions varies in content, sequence, and total credit hours. These factors affect the course load for transfer students to the Boucher Institute.
In many cases, a transfer student will have to complete some courses that their cohort may have completed in years 1 and 2, resulting in a heavier course load in Year 3. If a transfer student feels the course load is too heavy, the Boucher Institute strongly recommends they contact the Dean of Academics and/or Dean of Clinical Studies to discuss the options for better balancing the load.
BINM will attempt to schedule a transfer student’s course load so they can graduate with the cohort they have transferred into. However, if the transfer student elects to reduce their course load, it may delay their date of graduation. Transfer students from the CCNM typically have a course load and schedule that is mostly equivalent to the full-time course load of the cohort
Please note: if applying from an institute without TAM/acupuncture, the transfer student’s graduation will quite likely be delayed by several terms as they cannot begin secondary clinic shifts until TAM I-III is complete.
Transfer students will have up to 100 hours of Professional Development to complete in their final two years.
- Will I be interviewed once my application is complete?
Interviews are scheduled at the recommendation of the Admissions Committee. Individual applicants will be contacted if they are selected to move forward in the interview process.
- How are interviews conducted?
The Boucher Admissions Committee conducts all interviews on-site and in-person. Under special circumstances, some candidates may be granted permission for a Skype interview.
- How are successful candidates selected?
The Admissions Committee reviews each application in full. Admissions decisions for our seats are based on a composite of information, including but not limited to the interview, personal essay, letters of recommendation, academic standing, educational preparedness and relevant professional and volunteer activities.
The Committee’s mandate is to create a balanced cohort for the first year class. Because of our limited class size, not every qualified candidate can be admitted. Applicants who are not selected for their desired cohort year are encouraged to apply again the following year.
- If I am offered a seat, what happens next?
Applicants who are offered seats in the program will be notified by phone or email. An official acceptance letter will be sent by mail, along with two copies of Boucher’s enrollment contract. Successful applicants must sign and return the Boucher Institute file copy of the contract, together with the registration fee and tuition deposit in order to reserve a seat in the program. The 10% tuition deposit will be credited toward the total annual tuition. Details of the payment plan and refund policy can be found on the back of the contract.
- If I’m not offered a seat do I still have a chance?
The Admissions Committee does not disclose the reasons for their decisions. Each application is considered in relation to other applications for the upcoming year. Not every candidate whose credentials meet our stated standards can be admitted.
- If I’m not accepted, will I be told why?
The Admissions Committee does not disclose any of the reasons for their decisions. Each application is reviewed in full, and selecting applicants for our limited seats is a complex process based on a composite of information. Each application is considered in relation to other applications for the upcoming year. Not every candidate whose credentials meet our stated minimum standards can be admitted.
- How can I improve my application next year?
Each applicant is responsible for reviewing the criteria for admission on our website, particularly the section on admissions criteria and requirements. Applicants are encouraged to reapply if they have made efforts to enhance their application either through relevant experience or training. It is wise to check with the admissions office to ensure that your proposed courses are relevant and acceptable.
- If I reapply do I have to send an entirely new application?
Yes. All applicants who did not meet the admissions requirements, were not offered a seat, offered a seat and declined, or offered a seat and cancelled must submit a new application with all necessary fees. It is also the applicant’s responsibility to check our website for any changes to the admissions process or requirements. The Admissions Committee does not defer candidates to a future intake.
- What is the weekly schedule for students?
The weekly schedule is the same for students who start in the Fall or Winter semesters. For the first two years of the program, students have approximately 30 hours of class each week. Classes are offered in three-hour blocks for a total of six hours per day. Currently classes are from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.
In year 3 of the program students have approximately 21 hours of class per week (typically three and a half days between Monday and Friday). Students begin to work with patients in the onsite naturopathic medical clinic as secondary clinic interns. Students typically have clinic schedules of between 8 and 12 hours per week.
In year 4, students have12 hours (typically two days) per week of academic classes, and approximately 20 hours of clinical shifts as primary student clinicians.
- How many hours of homework can I expect per week?
Students can expect an average of 30 hours per week or more.
- Do you offer student housing?
There is no student residence at the Boucher Institute. The campus is located at the Columbia skytrain station. Students have easy access to campus from any neighbourhood along the skytrain route. Several months before matriculation, the Admissions Department sends out a New Student Guide and a Housing Guide with information on transportation and surrounding communities.
- Will the Boucher Institute diploma enable me to work in any jurisdiction?
Students are responsible for ensuring their own licensure through the jurisdiction in which they wish to ultimately practice Naturopathic Medicine.