Bastyr University

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Bastyr University
Students 0006.JPG
Former names
John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine
Bastyr College
Motto Leading innovation in natural health education
Established 1978
President Daniel K. Church
Provost Timothy C. Callahan
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 1018
Location Kenmore, Washington,

47°43′49″N 122°15′10″W / 47.7304°N 122.2528°W / 47.7304; -122.2528
Campus 51 acres

Bastyr University is an alternative medicine university with a campus in Kenmore, Washington and one in San Diego, California. Programs include naturopathy, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, nutrition, herbal medicine, ayurvedic medicine, psychology, and midwifery among others. Its main campus is on a forested property just north of Seattle, and its second campus opened in San Diego in September 2012.

Bastyr is the largest of seven accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America.[1]

Bastyr also operates a teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, in Seattle's Fremont/ Wallingford neighborhood.


Bastyr University was established in 1978 as the John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine in Seattle, Washington, by Sheila Quinn, Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr., William A. Mitchell, Jr., and Les Griffith. It is named after John Bastyr, a pioneering naturopathic physician and chiropractor in the Seattle area who was instrumental in keeping interest in naturopathic medicine alive through the 1960s.[2] It has offered baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degree programs since 1989.[3]

In 1984, the school was renamed Bastyr College, and in 1994, it became Bastyr University. In 1996, Bastyr relocated to its current location in the Saint Thomas Center, formerly St. Edward Seminary, a Catholic seminary building in the Inglewood-Finn Hill neighborhood of Kenmore, Washington. Its campus is almost completely surrounded by Saint Edward State Park's dense fir and hemlock forest. In November, 2005, the university completed the purchase of this property, which it had been leasing from the Archdiocese of Seattle.[4]

In 1994, Bastyr was awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Alternative Medicine, becoming the first natural medicine institution to receive an NIH grant. In 1999, Jane Guiltinan, dean of clinical affairs, was appointed to the board of Harborview Medical Center, becoming the first naturopathic doctor to serve on a public hospital board in the United States.[5] In 2010, Bastyr received a $4.52 million NIH grant to study the healing effects of Asian medicinal mushrooms on breast and prostate cancer in partnership with the University of Washington.[6] The same year, Bastyr merged with Seattle Midwifery School and established the nation's first regionally accredited and articulated direct-entry Master of Science in Midwifery degree.[7]

Bastyr University Medicinal Herb Garden
Bastyr University courtyard - resident turtles
Medicinal herb garden

Academic programs[edit]

Bastyr offers bachelor's completion, master's, combined undergraduate/masters, doctoral, and certificate programs.[3]

Doctoral programs[edit]

  • Naturopathic Medicine

Master's programs[edit]

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Ayurvedic Sciences (Program began in fall 2013.)
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Midwifery
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology

Undergraduate programs[edit]

The Bachelor of Science degree completion programs require an average of two years' undergraduate coursework at another institution before transferring to Bastyr.

  • Exercise Science and Wellness
  • Health Psychology
  • Herbal Sciences
  • Integrated Human Biology
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Culinary Arts
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science

Combined bachelor's/master's programs[edit]

  • Acupuncture or Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Midwifery

Certificate programs[edit]

  • Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Holistic Landscape Design

Continuing education[edit]

Bastyr also offers many non-degree continuing education courses. The Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations offers courses for birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and lactation and childbirth educators.[8]


Bastyr's main campus sits on 51 acres of forests and athletic fields near Lake Washington. The Saint Edward State Park forest surrounds it on three sides. In 2009, the Kenmore City Council approved Bastyr University’s Master Plan. The plan was bolstered by Bastyr's offer to lease on-campus athletic fields for public use and community scheduling.[9] Facilities include a student village of 11 cottage-style buildings designed to blend into the campus's natural setting it was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification, and other green awards.[10][11] The campus includes a secular European-style chapel used for choral performances, weddings, and other events.[12] Built in the 1950s the building was originally St. Edward Seminary, features include, hand-carved oak paneling, marble columns, terrazzo floors and glass mosaic artwork. The chapel's acoustics have attracted Hollywood filmmakers, scores for Brokeback Mountain, About Schmidt, Mr. Holland's Opus, Mirror Mirror, and other films (and, more recently, video games) have been recorded in the chapel. The musician Dave Matthews used it to record the orchestral track for one of his albums.[13] The Seattle Times reported that the acoustics were a deliberate focus on the first major assignment of a new architect in the late 1950s.[14] The library collection features materials on alternative and conventional medicine including a collection of journals.[15] The Bastyr University Dining Commons serves food consistent with the university's whole-food nutrition philosophy. Seattle chef Jim Watkins became director of food services in 2011, introducing a daily, responsibly sourced meat option to the longtime-vegetarian cafeteria.[16] Watkins' leadership and the dining commons have been featured in The Seattle Times,[17] Edible Seattle,[18] and U.S. News & World Report.[19]

California campus[edit]

Bastyr University California opened in San Diego in September 2012. It is located on Sorrento Valley Boulevard and offers the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. The campus also offers birth professions training through Bastyr's Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations. Bastyr University California is the state's only accredited naturopathic medicine institution as of February 2012.[20] The campus includes the Bastyr University Clinic, a naturopathic health clinic staffed by Bastyr medical faculty. The clinic offers training for students and primary family care for patients.

Research programs[edit]

Bastyr's research programs focus on advancing knowledge of health and human systems and bringing scientific rigor to traditional healing practices. The Tierney Basic Sciences Research Laboratory was the first research laboratory at a natural health university when it opened in 2000.[4] Research at the lab includes, analytical chemistry, immunology, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and microbiology experiments in the laboratory. Equipment in the lab includes an HPLC with a coularray detector. A Biosafety Level (BL)-2/3 laboratory is also housed within the Tierney Research lab and can be used for experiments involving samples infected with HIV and other infectious agents. The Clinical Research Center conducts integrative neurology research seeking to apply naturopathic principles of health to the central nervous system. Neurology researchers place an emphasis on translational medicine.[citation needed] The center also focuses on detoxification, studying whether therapies such as sauna treatments can help cleanse the body of toxic environmental chemicals.[21][22] The Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center (BIORC), located at the Clinical Research Center, conducts studies of integrative care for breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers. One study is funded by a $3.1 million grant awarded in 2010 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health. Much of BIORC's work is conducted in partnership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, including the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Center for Student Research supports, funds, and provides faculty mentorship for student projects.[23]


Bastyr University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), (an institutional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education). The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), a specialized accrediting board recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.[3]

The Master of Science in Acupuncture (MSA), the Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MSAOM), and the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) all are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).[citation needed]

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has accredited Bastyr's Bachelor of Science with a Major in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics, Master of Science in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics, and Dietetic Internship.[citation needed]

Bastyr University has received approval from the state of Washington as a recognized midwifery training facility and provides education for midwifery students in the articulated Bachelor/Master of Science in Midwifery degree. Both programs are accredited through the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council.[24]

The university is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges and Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.[citation needed]


Further information: Homeopathy

All naturopaths trained at Bastyr are required to study the ineffective and pseudoscientific dogma of homeopathy. David Gorski has been highly critical of this requirement; for him this makes the university fail the "litmus test" of whether it adheres to "science and reality".[25]


  1. ^ Rao, Ankita (July 26, 2013). "Health, Science & Environment". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ History & Heritage | Bastyr University
  3. ^ a b c NWCCU Institutions A - D
  4. ^ a b History & Heritage | Bastyr University
  5. ^ Karen West. "Dr. Jane Guiltinan". Seattle Woman. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ Bastyr gets $4.52M cancer research grant in collaboration with UW, FHCRC | Health | South Lake Union News
  7. ^ Bastyr University Department of Midwifery | Formerly Seattle Midwifery School | Midwifery Training Through the Nations Oldest Direct-Entry Program
  8. ^ "Health, Science & Environment". The Washington Post. August 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ The City of Kenmore, Kenmore City Council Unanimously Approves Bastyr University Master Plan PDF
  10. ^ Comfort Zone - September/October 2011 - Sierra Magazine - Sierra Club
  11. ^ Sustainable On Campus Housing | Bastyr University
  12. ^ Seattle Area Wedding Chapel Rental | Bastyr University
  13. ^ Long, Katherine (July 1, 2009). "Bastyr Chapel is feast for ears, eyes". The Seattle Times. 
  14. ^ Long, Katherine (August 10, 2009). "Bastyr Chapel architect sets record straight on acoustics". The Seattle Times. 
  15. ^ Library | Bastyr University
  16. ^ Chef Jim Watkins Stirs up Plans for the Bastyr Cafeteria | Bastyr University
  17. ^ Cicero, Providence (January 7, 2012). "Mindful eating is Bastyr chef's mission". The Seattle Times. 
  18. ^ Sophisticated Nutrition | November/December 2011
  19. ^ Colleges That Offer Courses, Choices for Vegetarians - US News and World Report
  20. ^ Bastyr's California Campus Receives Accreditation | Bastyr University
  21. ^ Sweating for science: Bastyr studying if saunas are helpful or harmful | King 5 News
  22. ^ Study: Are saunas the best way to rid your body of toxins? - Seattle News -
  23. ^ Alternative Medicine Research Training | Bastyr University
  24. ^ Accreditation | Bastyr University
  25. ^ Gorski D (21 February 2011). "Naturopathy and science". Science-Based Medicine. Retrieved March 2015. 

External links[edit]