Herbalism Schools Directory
+ Tips for Choosing the Best School

Are you ready to embark upon your herbal education but aren’t quite sure where to start?

You have many options when it comes to learning about herbalism, with myriad types of schools and teaching styles in North America alone. There are casual introductory herbal classes, thorough traditional herbalism courses, and demanding clinical herbalism tracts. To learn more about the different types of herbalism schools, visit our write-up on Getting an Herbal Education and browse our Herbalism Schools Directory at the end of this article. The American Herbalist Guild has also compiled an essential resource for aspiring herbalists, Herbal Medicine Fundamentals.


In deciding which is the best herbal program for you to enroll in, you’ll also want to consider if you’re interested in plant medicine for personal or professional reasons. If you’re interested in a career in herbalism, spend some time with our article, An Herbalist’s Salary and Career Opportunities, to help you choose what kind of herbal profession you’d like to pursue, including the salary you might expect to earn. Knowing your personal or professional goals as an herbalist will help you choose the best herbalism school for your ambitions. 


We’ve compiled the most comprehensive North American Herbalism Schools Directory to help you on your journey. Since this is a far-reaching directory of herbalist schools, we did not personally vet each program. We’ll discuss strategies for identifying your top picks from the list of herbalism schools, and then you can explore their reviews and websites. In this way, you’ll find the best herbalism school for your goals, learning style, and optimal educational setting.

Picking the best herbal medicine school for your goals and lifestyle involves careful consideration and a few crucial decisions.

You’ll need to ask yourself some critical questions before you peruse our Herbalism Schools Directory. I’ll list them here, and then we’ll explore the decisions in more detail below. 

  1. Do I want to study with an in-person or online herbalism school, or a hybrid situation that includes distance learning with some in-person training? 
  2. If the school is online, what kind of support do they offer herbalism students? Can they answer my questions and review any coursework promptly? Does their herbalist program help me learn hands-on skills?
  3. Am I interested in becoming a home herbalist, or am I interested in a career in herbalism?
  4. If I’m interested in becoming a professional herbalist, what will be my chosen career path? Do I need to find a school geared toward clinical herbalism or herbal product manufacturing? Does my dream school teach about herb cultivation or wild harvesting? Medicine making? Plant identification?
  5. If the school trains professional herbalists, what type of business training do they offer?
  6. How much am I willing to invest in my education? Do I need an herbalist program offering payment plans, scholarships, or work-trade opportunities? 
  7. Would I like to find a teacher who shares my identity? For instance, do I want to find a BIPOC-led or LGBTQIA+-led herbalism school? Or an institution with diverse instructors?
  8. What is the herbalism school’s reputation? Do they have good reviews? How long have they been around? 
  9. Is there a primary instructor? If so, do I like the instructor’s approach to herbalism or teaching style? If there’s no core teacher, is there a coherent and coordinated curriculum?
  10. How deep does their training go? Look at a sample lesson (written or video, or both), or attend class for a day if the school is in-person. Often, the cost of a program reflects the quality and quantity of educational material. The price of an herbal program can also reflect how much time instructors spend mentoring you and answering your questions.
Two people are looking at a laptop screen.

Finding the best herbalist school for your goals involves careful research and vetting.

One of the first decisions in choosing an herbalist school is whether the classes are in-person or online

Coco holds a pen while looking out a window pensively

Online learning gives budding herbalists a chance to work their herbal studies into a busy schedule.

If you do better with a set schedule and in-person courses, check out our list of in-person herbal schools below to see if you have a program in your neck of the woods. I recommend asking if you can sit in on classes to get a feel for the instructor’s teaching style and the general sense of the school. For many, online learning accommodates a busy schedule, especially if you work or are a caretaker. It can also allow you to study with an herbalist who doesn’t live in your area, and you can move through the curriculum at your own pace.


When considering online herbalist training, research whether the program offers video or written instruction. Here at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, we offer videos made in the field with the plants themselves, written lessons, and audio recordings. Our videos have closed captioning for those with hearing loss and for individuals who learn better with the visual reinforcement of writing. Most online programs offer asynchronous learning (you can move through the program at your own pace and fit in schoolwork around your schedule), while others offer live instruction.


Find out how easily you can ask questions (and how quickly they’ll be answered) and if you’ll have assignments to augment your education. Our programs offer reviews at the end of each module and a quiz to help assess your progress and identify areas that need further study. We also require students to complete experiential projects to earn their certificates. The projects help to solidify concepts taught in our lessons, committing them to body memory. 

Here’s an example of why a student would choose to study online: 

“Since childhood, I have always wanted to know the name of every plant and flower I have met. I have always felt a deep connection with nature, especially here, where I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. There aren’t many herbalists or a single apothecary in my region in western South Dakota, so I didn’t know where to start. But once I found the Online Herbal Immersion Program through Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, I landed on my green path. The knowledge I have gained through this program has been life-changing. I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to take the plunge and start my business of small-batch, wildcrafted products had I not discovered Chestnut’s course. I’m so excited to continue to grow as a student through the Chestnut School and see where my green path will take me!”

~ Sarah M., Chestnut School Graduate

Professional herbalist training should include legalities, ethics, and business development instruction.

If you’re planning a career as an herbalist, look for a program that provides business training. Topics for the herbalist entrepreneur should encompass marketing, ethics, mindset, insurance, legalities, and setting up the proper business entity. Ideally, the program will help you identify your core strengths and which aspects of herbalism you enjoy so you can pursue employment opportunities or pick the type of business to help you thrive professionally. Our Herbal Immersion Program introduces students to over a dozen types of herbal businesses, from school owners to farmers to community organizers, herbal midwives, and herbal manufacturers. In this way, aspiring herbalists are introduced to a wide array of career possibilities and will learn how multiple revenue streams can be complementary. 


As an herbal entrepreneur with three decades of experience, I know how crucial mindset is to success and enjoyment of life! Our business module introduces you to self-care as an entrepreneur and claiming your authentic voice. We train students in the nitty-gritty of social media and email marketing. But only after the students have built upon the foundation of a clear vision, including one’s unique contribution to the field. Any herbal program you’re considering should also introduce you to further learning opportunities and professional herbalist organizations in your country.

An herbal medicine textbook sits on a desk with a cup of tea and some flowers.

Herbalist training can involve scholarships, work-trade, or payment plans.

There are different ways to acquire herbalist training, including scholarships, work-trade, and affordable payment plan options.

Many herbal programs offer affordable payment plan options to make learning more accessible. In-person programs typically have limited work-trade or apprenticeship opportunities. Finally, if you look around, you’ll find herbalist schools that offer full scholarships. Be sure to contact schools early, as the scholarship or work-trade positions usually go fast! In the meantime, I recommend getting a head start on your herbal education by taking advantage of all the free or accessible herbalism resources out there. 


If you belong to a federally recognized Indigenous tribe in the United States, you may be eligible for a scholarship through your tribe, even if the school is not accredited. Several accredited schools offer herbal degrees, and you may be able to access federal grants, niche scholarships, 529 college funds, Veteran’s Affair Education and Training Benefits, or AmeriCorps Education Awards to fund your education.


Accredited schools with herbalist training offer financial assistance opportunities, including 529 college funds and GI Bill benefits.  


Here’s a list of accredited herbal schools: 

Our Herbalism Schools Directory can help you find teachers with a shared identity: affinity is crucial for connection and inspiration.

If you’re looking for a teacher who shares your cultural heritage or racial, gender, or sexual identity, we’ve created a helpful key in our Herbalism Schools Directory. (An * denotes schools owned by BIPOC-led founders, and a + indicates LGBTQIA+-led schools.) Also, check out the instructor’s page for any school you are interested in, or contact the school directly.

A person pours tea from a white teapot into two teacups.

When deciding on the best herbalism program, you’ll first want to consider if you’re interested in botanical medicine for personal or professional reasons.

Research each herbal school's reputation and independent reviews after selecting your top picks from the Herbalism Schools Directory.

After you’ve decided on the type of herbalism school you’d like to enroll in, peruse our directory to find your first few choices. Read independent reviews (check out their ratings on Google, Yelp, or Reddit) and the reviews on their website. If you know any herbalists, ask them where they studied or who they would recommend. Join herbalist forums on Facebook, and follow herbalists on social media accounts if you don’t know any herbalists in real life.  Finally, sample the goods! Ask if you can sit in on a class, watch a video, or read a lesson if the herbalism school is online. Here’s an example of the type of review that will help guide your decision and boost your confidence in your top choice of herbal schools:

“My journey with the Chestnut School has been nothing short of amazing – I have been blown away by the depth of wisdom shared, the reverence for the plants in their wholeness, and the beauty and quality of the course. I feel so grateful to learn from Juliet and all the teachers who have contributed their knowledge to the Herbal Immersion. I feel like I’m dipping into a wellspring of wisdom passed down through generations of plants and people. It’s truly an honor to soak it all in.” 

~ Erin Ashleigh Green, Chestnut School Student

Looking for herbal certification or accreditation? Many herbal schools advertise “certification,” but no official accreditation or licensing standard exists for herbalists in the United States.

Schools may offer a certificate of completion in the United States, but that is not the same as becoming a “certified herbalist.” You may be certified by a particular school, but the certification is not standardized or nationally recognized without a licensing board or accrediting body. You can learn more about the complexities of herbalist certification, including the rare exceptions, in our article, The Truth about Herbal Certification and Master Herbalist Status


If you feel called to study herbal medicine, we’d love for you to enroll with us at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine! We want students who are a good match for our online programs, teaching style, and scope of focus: hands-on, bioregional herbalism with a plant-centric approach. You’ll be joining our amazing online community, no matter where you’re located in the world.

If you’re interested in studying herbalism or becoming an herbalist, we’ve created the most comprehensive *FREE* guide (100+ pages) on all things herbal!

Chestnut School's budding herbalist guide explores herbalist's salary and career opportunities.

How to Start Your Herbal Career: The Ultimate Guide for Budding Herbalists covers:

• How to Get the Best Herbal Education for You
• Herbalist Career Opportunities
• Herbalist Legalities in the United States
• Recommended Herbs to Start Your Home Apothecary
• Our Herbal Book Recommendations
• And so much more…

* denotes BIPOC-led (Black Indigenous People of Color) schools

+ denotes LGBTQIA+ led schools

List of General + Traditional Herbal Schools

Online Herbal Schools

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In-Person Herbal Schools

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List of Clinical Herbalism Programs

Online + Distance Learning Clinical Herbalism Programs

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Hybrid Clinical Herbalism Programs
(Online with Some In-Person Requirements)

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In-Person Clinical Herbalism Programs

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List of Herb Classes + Workshops

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Fortunately, there are a multitude of ways to learn about herbalism these days! We’d like to provide a comprehensive list from around the country, so if we’ve missed your school or workshop, drop us a line and we’ll add you to the list.


For a directory of herbal resources, including organizations, schools, and practitioners, run by people of color and queer/trans/gender non-conforming herbalists, visit Queering Herbalism.

If you’re interested in studying herbalism or becoming an herbalist, we’ve created the most comprehensive *FREE* guide (100+ pages) on all things herbal!

Chestnut School's budding herbalist guide explores herbalist's salary and career opportunities.

How to Start Your Herbal Career: The Ultimate Guide for Budding Herbalists covers:

• How to Get the Best Herbal Education for You
• Herbalist Career Opportunities
• Herbalist Legalities in the United States
• Recommended Herbs to Start Your Home Apothecary
• Our Herbal Book Recommendations
• And so much more…