Third Year Program

A clinically focused, advanced third year herbal education program,

Natural Herbs

Third Year Program Description

The Advanced three year program consists of the first year foundational program plus more clinically focused years two and three.  In order to enroll in the third year program, students must have previously taken years one and two, OR have extensive education and training in herbalism.

Third Year Curriculum

Student Clinic, including Holistic Assessment

A significant percentage of time spent in year three will be supervised clinical work, in which students conduct intakes, assess cases, and develop protocols for individual clients under the guidance of qualified practitioners. The bulk of other topics covered in year three as described below is oriented toward this practical application. Students wishing to have more hours conducting clinical work can sign on for additional hours of supervised clinic and/or individualized mentorships.

Applied Body Systems & Herbal Therapeutics

Building on the knowledge gained in years one and two, we delve more deeply into applied herbal therapeutics for particular body systems, imbalances, and ailments. An in-depth look at body systems will include a focus on cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine, lymphatic, immune, reproductive, nervous, musculo-skeletal, and cutaneous. Focus will also be on the holistic connections and mutual influences of body systems in health and illness. We will cover specific conditions, patterns, and syndromes as well as conventional medical terminology.

Advanced Research

Students will closely examine and analyze studies that have been conducted as well as data and citations in the medical and herbal literature, and learn the skills needed to deconstruct citations and claims both pro- and con- for their accuracy and legitimacy.

Botanical Materia Medica III

Over 60 additional medicinal plants and mushrooms are reviewed in depth with specific indications, including plants & fungi that grow in North America as well as medicinal herbs from other regions. Herbs covered in year three are those generally more appropriate for practitioners and advanced students, including those with a more narrow therapeutic index as well as more specific applications or contraindications. The following components are covered for each herb: Latin name, common name, botanical information, herbal actions, energetics, system affinities, current and historical uses, specific indications, and herbal toxicity, safety, and interactions.

Herbal Apothecary, Formulating & Compounding

This class is taught in conjunction with the Student Clinic. Students will learn under supervision to apply their skills and knowledge to the clients they are working with, in developing individualized protocols incorporating herbs, diet, supplements, and lifestyle modifications. A particular focus will be on formulating and compounding for clients. The triune system and other methods of formulation will be explored in more depth. Appropriate dosing and dosing strategies, as well as interactions and other safety concerns will be covered at a more advanced level.

Nutritional Therapeutics

Students will continue to incorporate nutritional and dietary information into their overall clinical skills and knowledge base in working with clients, including macro-nutrients, vitamin, mineral and other food constituents, and the use of food and supplements in specific cases. Skills in recognizing particular and general deficiencies along with food sensitivities will be developed. The focus for year three is on applying these skills in the clinical setting.

Nutritional Theraputics

Macro-nutrients, vitamin, mineral and other food constituents will be covered along with indications and ailments caused by deficiencies. This will include the use of food and supplements for specific diets such as to promote wellness in the case of GI ailments, food sensitivities, and other diseases. Traditional food preparations for particular ailments will be covered as well.

Plant Identification & Botany

Students continue to hone skills in field botany and identification, as well as participate in regional field trips and outings, although the bulk of time spent in botany in year three will be for those choosing to specialize in it.

Clinical and Professional Skills, and Ethics

Taught in conjunction with the student clinic, students will further hone their skills in the intake and consultation process by applying these skills and techniques to their clients. Topics covered will include: – Intake forms and the intake process
– Counseling skills and strategies
– Traditional and constitutional assessments, including tongue, face, pulse, bodily signs, tissue states and drop testing
– Interpreting lab results
– Research skills and resources needed to address specific clients’ needs
– Developing holistic and herbal protocols
– Formulation and dosing strategies Students will also build on the information they learned in year two on how to create a successful small-scale business as an herbalist: – Ethics, including: informed consent, confidentiality, and disclosure
– Record keeping
– Legal issues
– Business management

The Law & Herbal Medicine

This class will delve more deeply into legal considerations and ramifications for the individual herbalist. Topics will include legal considerations in having a practice, and how this is impacted by the current lack of licensing for herbalists, and private credentialing, Laws governing manufacturing will focus on the relevance for the individual herbalist who prepares remedies and/or compounds formulas.

Extra Q&A Sessions

Included in the curriculum and tuition, we offer extra (optional) Q&A sessions, which enable students to meet with the core faculty in a more intimate setting and ask any questions they may have. The sessions are held outside of classroom hours and are optional; however, students receive additional credit hours for attending the sessions. Dates and times of sessions are announced at the beginning of the school year so that students can plan ahead if they would like to attend a session.


To apply for the 3rd Year Professional Herbalism Program.

Visit our Application page to learn about what a complete application includes for all programs.

Image by Jessica Fadel


Fall 2021 Semester

(dates subject to change)


Tuesdays 9 – 5

  • Sep 14, 21, 28

  • Oct 5, 12, 19, 26

  • Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 *Harvest break 11/17-11/29

  • Dec 7, 14



Saturdays & Sundays 9 – 5

  • Sept 25-26

  • Oct 23-23

  • Nov 13-14

  • Dec 4-5

Image by Nitish Meena


2022 Semester

(dates subject to change)


Tuesdays 9 – 5

  • Jan 11, 18, 25

  • Feb 1, 8, 15, 22

  • Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

  • Apr 5, 12, 26 *Spring break 4/15-4/22

  • May 3, 10, 17


Saturdays & Sundays 9 – 5

  • Jan 22-23

  • Feb 12-13

  • Mar 12-13

  • Apr 2-3

  • May 14-15

To apply for the 3rd Year Professional Herbalism Program, please inquire about applications.
Year 3 applicants must interview.

Before applying, we ask that you review carefully the curriculum and syllabus of the 1st and 2nd year programs to ensure that if any gaps exist in your education you can address them. Please email with any questions.

Student Resources 

Here is the ArborVitae Year 3 Book List

Here is the ArborVitae Year 3 Materia Medica

Here is an example syllabus from 2019 – Year 3 Syllabus


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