Advanced Standing Track

Find out if you're eligible to apply.


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

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), Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 (MCCQE1), or equivalent examination as determined by the Boucher Institute.

Successful completion of the USMLE I, MCCEE or MCCQE1 (or equivalent examination) also satisfies the academic prerequisite requirements for admission, with the exception of English and Humanities prerequisites.

Applicants who have passed USMLE-I, MCCEE or MCCQE1 (or equivalent examination) 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.


Transcripts are not required for Advanced Standing track. Please arrange for your exam results for USMLE I, MCCEE or MCCQE1 to be sent to Boucher Admissions.

English/Humanities (half-year or 3 credit hours)

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.

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.


Arrange for the following to be submitted directly to Boucher Admissions:

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
  • 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).

List of acceptable regulated healthcare professionals (others may be accepted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee):

  • chiropractic
  • dentistry
  • emergency medical assisting
  • medicine
  • midwifery
  • naturopathic medicine
  • nursing (registered)
  • nursing (registered psychiatric)
  • occupational therapy
  • optometry
  • pharmacy
  • physical therapy
  • podiatric medicine
  • psychology
  • traditional Chinese medicine
  • acupuncture

Candidate Evaluation Forms in which less than 8 areas have been evaluated will not be accepted. Candidate Evaluations Forms must be sent to Boucher Admissions directly from the referee, either by mail or email.

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.

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.

Budget Worksheet

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.

Candidate Selection

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.


If you withdrew while not in good standing or if you were required to withdraw, according to our policy you may re-apply.

Download Re-Admission Form

Please also request a copy of the Appendix A form from:



  • 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 even before submitting the application; we create a file as soon as we receive at least one piece of the application.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Ready to Apply?

Please review our application timeline and all the tabs. For further assistance do not hesitate to contact Boucher Admissions at or 604-777-9981.

I’m ready! Start my application now.