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Program Schedule

What is the difference between the fall and winter starts?

The Boucher Institute offers two annual intakes for the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program (winter and fall).  Both the fall and winter intakes are on three term academic schedules.  Each term is approximately 12 weeks in duration.

Fall Intake Winter Intake
Orientation September 8-10 January 4-6
Term 1 September 14 - December 11 January 4 - March 24
Term 2 January 4 - March 24 April 4 - June 30
Term 3 April 4 - June 30 TBA

There are no academic classes offered at the Boucher Institute during the summer (July and August).  Therefore, students who matriculate into the winter start will have a two month break between terms two and three each year, while students who matriculate in the fall have a break each summer between academic years.  Unlike other naturopathic medical schools the Boucher Institute does not blend the two cohorts together which helps keep the class sizes small and helps maintain the cohort experience throughout the four years of the program.

The Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exams (NPLEX) are the North America board exams for students of naturopathic medicine attending CNME-accredited institutions (such as the Boucher Institute).  Whether a student starts in fall or winter has an impact on when NPLEX I may be written. There are two parts to NPLEX:

  •  The biomedical sciences exam (NPLEX I) is written after students have completed the biomedical sciences curriculum.  There are six terms of biomedicine at the Boucher Institute so students who started the program in the fall are eligible to write NPLEX I in August between the end of year 2 of the program and the start of year 3.  Students who matriculated into the winter intake will not be finished the six terms of biomedical sciences until December of their second year of studies.   There are two annual sittings of NPLEX each year, the August date and another in February.  While students in the winter program would be eligible to write NPLEX I in February (and may write it if they so choose) the Boucher Institute recommends waiting until August (between terms II and III of Year 3 of the program) as students will be mid-way through term I of Year 3 if they elect to sit the February examination.  Students who elect to wait until the August NPLEX I date will have approximately six weeks to review for the exam after the end of classes in June (the same duration of time that fall students have after classes end to review for NPLEX).
  •  The winter intake schedule does not have an impact on when NPLEX II (Clinical Sciences Exam) may be written as this exam is also offered twice annually, in February and August.  Students who begin the program in the fall would write the exam in August after graduation and winter students would write the exam in February after December graduation.

What is the weekly schedule for students?

The weekly schedule is the same for students who start in fall or winter.  For the first two years of the program students have approximately 30 hours of class each week, Monday to Friday.  Classes are offered in three hour blocks for a total of six hours per day.  Currently classes are from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.

In year 3 of the program students have approximately 21 hours of class per week (typically 3.5 days).  Students begin to work with patients in the onsite naturopathic medical clinic as secondary clinic interns.  Students typically have clinic schedules of between 8 and 12 hours per week.

In year 4, students have two days (12 hours) per week of academic classes and approximately 20 hours of clinical shifts as primary student clinicians.

How many hours of homework can I expect per week?

The amount of homework can vary depending on a variety of factors, but students can expect an average of 30 hours per week or more.

What is the academic schedule for 2016-2017?

 Fall 2016 Intake  Winter 2017 Intake
Orientation: September 8-10 Orientation: January 3-5
Term 1: September 6 to December 9 Term 1: January 3 to March 24
Term 2: January 3 to March 24 Term 2: April 3 to June 30
Term 3: April 3 to June 30 Summer Break: July 1 to September 11
Summer Break: July 1 to September 11 Term 3: September 12 to mid December

Due to student loan requirements, the January cohort will have two enrolments contracts (contract A covers terms I-II and contract B covers term III of 1st year and terms I-II of second year). Students requiring loans will have to apply for aid for each contract.
*The above schedules are subject to change

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