Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find more information about your courses?
Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine offers three programs.  Please click on the program links below for a full description of the courses, including class dates, tuition and application processes.

Essentials of Herbalism Program: $1600, meets one weekend a month March through October, 10am - 6pm Saturdays and Sundays. Upon graduation of this 125-hour program, you will know how to identify and harvest wild plants, cook with them, make a wide variety of herbal preparations (both medicinal and fun), and address many common ailments. This course is perfect for the kitchen or family herbalist, and lays essential foundational groundwork for further study in the herbal field, if desired.

Holistic Herbalism Program: $4000, meets every Monday and Tuesday, 10am - 5pm starting April 16 - October 23, 2018.  There are also three week-long field trips (dates to be determined).  This 6-month, 425-hour program is for anyone who wants to be self-sufficient for their health and medicine, whether you intend to be treating yourself and your family, to be a community healer, or whether you wish to have a public practice as an Herbalist. The main focus will be on constitutional diagnosis and holistic treatment, including tonic herbs, food, and lifestyle. You will also learn how to do as much as possible yourself - how to identify plants, ethically gather them and make high quality extracts and preparations.

Advanced Clinical Program:  $4400, to become a practitioner. Graduation from a 250-hour herbal education program or ability to show equivalent training is required.  Class begins March 8, 2016 and runs through October 27, 2016.  Class days are Tuesdays 6 - 9 pm and Thursdays 10 am - 5 pm.  Total class time is 450 hours including seeing clients outside of class.  Expect 4 - 6 hours of homework each week including reading, research, and personal reflection.

Do you have pre-requisites for your classes?
While we require no pre-requisites for the Holistic Herbalism Program and the Essentials of Herbalism Program, there are prerequisites for the Advanced Clinical Program.

Are your courses online or live?
All of our classes are taught in-person.  CoreyPine Shane is the primary teacher and invites some of the best herbalists in Asheville to teach their specialties to our students at Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. To see a complete list of our amazing teachers, please click here.

What is your application process?
After you’ve filled out the application and have paid the application fee, we will reach out to you about scheduling an interview.  We accept applications to all of our programs beginning July 15th for the following year.  It is important to understand that during the growing season we are in full swing with teaching, harvesting, and making medicine. For the programs that require an interview, we will hold interviews on Thursday and Friday, with two time slots available each day. It is entirely possible that your interview will not be scheduled as soon as you apply and we appreciate your understanding.

Once we graduate our programs in late October, we move very fast with interviews and admissions. During the first 3 weeks of November we try very hard to finalize all apprentice decisions and have all interviews conducted, so if you are contacted by us during this time, please make yourself available.  Once the holiday season begins, it becomes difficult to resume interviews until after the New Year.
For the specific applications processes pertaining , please click on the links below to get to be redirected to the program pages:

Essentials of Herbalism Program
Holistic Herbalism Program 
Advanced Clinical Program

What are the schedules for the 2018 classes?
Essentials of Herbalism Program: One weekend a month from March through October, beginning March 17-18, 2018 and ending October 20-21, 2018. Classes are 10am - 6pm Saturday and Sunday. 
Holistic Herbalism Program: meets every Monday and Tuesday, 9am - 4pm starting April 16 - October 23, 2018.
Advanced Clinical Program: Class begins in early March and runs through October 2018.
Classes are on Tuesdays 6 - 9 pm and Thursdays 10 am - 5 pm.

Can I visit your school?
Yes, we definitely encourage visiting our school.  Please email CoreyPine directly at director@blueridgeschool.org to schedule a tour.  
​Please note we request booking at least one week in advance.

Do you offer internships or apprenticeships?  What is the process for that?
We are not offering apprenticeships for the 2018 school year.

I want to apply to your programs, but I want to make sure you still have openings before submitting an application. Do you still have space?
We accept applications for each of our programs until the application due date.  In the event a class does fill up before the due date, we will be sure to post an update on the program page announcing enrollment is closed.  Please note each program has it’s own due date, so please see the program pages for more information.  If it turns out you’ve applied, paid the application fee and the program is all filled up, your application fee will be applied towards the following year’s program.

I’m not sure I can afford the class.  Do you offer work trade?  Accept financial aid?  FAFSA? Federal loans? Accept GI bill?
We only offer one work-trade opportunity for the Holistic Herbalism Program for $500 off tuition.  Please email us if you are interested in learning more.  Unfortunately, we are not able to accept any forms of financial aid. We do, however, offer payment plans if paying the tuition in a lump sum is not feasible for you.

Do interviews for classes/apprenticeships have to be done in person?
Interviews for admission into our programs and apprenticeships do not have to be done in person.  
If you are not local, you may request to interview via phone or Skype.

When I complete a course, will I receive a certificate? Can I become a certified herbalist?
All students who complete our programs will receive a certificate.
Essentials of Herbalism Program: Certified Community Herbalist
Holistic Herbalism Program: Certified Holistic Herbalist
Advanced Clinical Program: Certified Clinical Herbalist

Please note that these are certifications, and not licenses. There is no oversight over what a certified herbalist is and there is no accreditation program for herbalists in the United States. While this may seem somewhat loose, there are pros and cons to the lack of an accreditation process.  We are, however, in complete support of having no accreditation program.  We believe if herbalism ever obtained a governing body, it would undoubtedly lose its rich diversity of healing modalities.   

Herbalists in different parts of  the country often use different herbs native to (or growing in) their own region.  There are many different philosophies of herbalism, and as we move away from modern western medicine (a practice which traditionally treats the disease/symptom and not the entire person), we encourage diverse, holistic (and often ancient) approaches to healing the body.  Herbalists today have the incredible opportunity to learn various healing modalities that most closely resonate with their own personal philosophies.  Some of these modalities include Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Daoist Traditions, healing traditions from different Native American tribes, or even various folk methods used by healers from all over the world.

What career opportunities can an herbalist look forward to?
After completing a clinical program,  herbalists have the opportunity to operate or work in a clinical practice.  Other opportunities include being involved in production in the herbal products industry, teaching in a variety of alternative health care educational programs, and herb farming.  Additionally, many herbalists develop a strong botanical skillset, offering valuable insight in forest restoration, activism and research.

What do students do for housing?
BRSHM does not provide housing for our students. The Asheville area offers many rental opportunities for those relocating here.  There are online resources for finding housing as well as local realtors and property managers.  Of our 3 different programs, the Essentials of Herbalism is the program most conducive to commuters. If you are planning to commute to class, some students have had luck browsing Airbnb, HelpX, and couchsurfers.com. You may also contact our very own Rebecca Vann to inquire about the rustic cabins she manages at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary.
For both the Holistic Herbalism Program and the Advanced Clinical Program, the schedule is such that we do strongly recommend  students live within reasonable commuting distance so that they can participate in scheduled class time and also in clinical observation and practice opportunities occurring in the Advanced Clinical Program. We discourage living farther than a thirty minute drive from the school.
 
Can I camp instead?
There is no camping on school premises. Camping on National Forest land really isn’t a viable option until June and even then it can still be cold at night. Do keep in mind if you plan to camp that you need to be entirely self sufficient. Again, contact Rebecca about camping at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary.

Do you have job openings available?
Unfortunately we don’t have any job openings available at present but there may be jobs available in the greater Asheville area.  Please keep in mind that our Clinical Program, Holistic Herbalism Program and Apprenticeships require serious time commitments, so it is best to be prepared and have money saved up when applying for these programs.

Do I need to have a car?
The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine is located on the bus line with drop off occurring about once an hour at specific times of the day.  More information here at ART.

What can I expect in a typical day of class?
The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine offers a varied, experiential education. Our programs are intended to expose first time herbal students, as well as those continuing their herbal education, to the wide variety of ways that herbal medicine can touch our lives.
Many class days will be spent at the school in the classroom. Students will have a one hour lunch break to eat and connect with one another. Other classes will include full day plant walks, with a picnic lunch on the field. For plant walks, students should prepare for a full day of hiking/walking and dress appropriate for the weather.

Class are designed to be engaging and interactive, so whether the class be a full day of lecture or a full day in the forest, students will have the opportunity to engage and participate in the learning process.

Will I have homework?
Yes. The Essentials of Herbalism Program will Materia Medica write ups due monthly (2-3 hours/month). The Holistic Herbalism Program and Advanced Clinical Program, expect 2 - 4 hours of homework each week including reading, writing, research, and personal reflection.

Are there other expenses I need to be mindful of for class?
Besides tuition, you will want to put some money aside for additional expenses such as books, tincturing alcohol, fresh herbs, and tools, for which you will receive a list of suggestions. These are not required for class, but simply things you will find useful.
Below is an approximate suggestion of additional funds to set aside for each program:

Essentials of Herbalism Program: $100
Holistic Herbalism Program: $300-$500 (tools, books, tincturing supplies, field trip expenses)
Advanced Clinical Program: $300

Can I bring my dog to school?
While we are animal lovers, we can only allow certified working dogs.

Are your programs wheelchair accessible?
The classroom for BRSHM is located 606 New Leicester Highway, Suite F in Asheville and is wheelchair accessible. Additionally, many classes are held in the forests and gardens of WNC. If accessibility is a concern, please contact us so we can discuss possible accommodations.

Special Note: The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and Pine's Herbals does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include but are not limited to, hiring or firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.