California Plans Take Shape

Surfers at La Jolla Beach in San Diego

Bastyr University California opens its doors to the first doctoral program in naturopathic medicine in September 2012, just six months away. It's been a busy few weeks of preparations for the new campus, so here's a roundup of recent developments.


The San Diego program and location received full accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), making it California's first and only naturopathic medicine institution to pass the rigorous peer-review process. The new program has also been accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) which means graduates will be eligible for to sit for licensure exams to become primary care physicians in many states.

Teaching Clinic

The campus building (at 4106 Sorrento Valley Boulevard) will include a teaching clinic, Bastyr Natural Health Clinic. It will offer three treatment rooms and Bastyr faculty supervisors. The plan is to start small and expand the clinic in the coming years. The 2012 opening allows students to begin clinical observation in their first year, a feature of the redesigned naturopathic medicine curriculum. Speaking of which …

Revamped Curriculum

The naturopathic medicine curriculum redesign process for both campuses is chugging along, incorporating input from faculty and students. The new format will reduce classroom hours and ensure that a holistic approach to health is mirrored by a holistic learning style.

"Students will move from the classroom to the laboratory to the clinic to learn the principles of naturopathic medicine from multiple angles at once,” says Tim Callahan, PhD, senior vice president and provost of Bastyr University.  "So it's an integrated approach." 


The San Diego faculty hiring process has found "tremendous interest" from the naturopathic community, drawing some 150 applications, Dr. Callahan says. Interviews for an associate dean of naturopathic medicine for the San Diego campus will take place in Kenmore over the next few weeks, with more faculty hiring to follow.

In addition, Assistant Professor Young Cho, PhD, a longtime member of Bastyr's Department of Basic Sciences, will join the San Diego faculty to share his expertise and promote continuity between the campuses.


The San Diego campus includes plans for a library that will include a collection of biomedical and natural health textbooks and journals, along with a computer lab and study space. Students will have access to the main online resources we offer in Kenmore, in addition to the assistance of the Kenmore library staff.

School Spirit

We're also reflecting on the less tangible parts of what makes a school successful. That includes planning ways to promote a vibrant campus culture while also recognizing that students will play a key role.

"We've thought about culture a lot," says Dr. Callahan. "We want to replicate time-tested policies and expectations from Kenmore, while also recognizing that the new campus will inevitably have its own culture."

Newly hired faculty and support staff will have their training in Kenmore to learn about the University and its standards. Student policies will be consistent with the Kenmore campus. It will be up to students to determine their favorite hangout spots among the nearby trails, beaches nearby wilderness areas.

Making Friends

School leaders have been busy making ties to neighboring institutions, including the Center for Integrative Medicine at University of California, San Diego. They've been building relationships with the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, along with a local hospice and palliative care group, an alternative health care provider network, a local massage school, a natural and organic grocery and a nearby compounding pharmacy. Many of these relationships will be informal, but formal partnerships may follow in the coming months.

More Developments

We're announcing updates every month on the San Diego campus blog.

And while the priority application deadline has passed, we continue to accept applications for the naturopathic medicine program at both campuses.