FWD 2 Student and Community Support Fuels Growth at Bastyr University’s California Campus

HerbalEGram: Volume 10, Number 11, November 2013

Student and Community Support Fuels Growth at
Bastyr University's California Campus

Prompted by robust student interest, Bastyr University California recently completed a million-dollar expansion project, making room for additional academic, clinical, and laboratory spaces. The one-year-old San Diego campus is a branch of Bastyr University, a leading institution for natural health education based in Kenmore, Washington. Just months into Bastyr California’s second academic year, students now have access to additional resources such as a hydrotherapy and physical medicine room, an intravenous infusion room, and a state-of-the-art botanical medicine lab.1

“While a botanical medicine space was intended to be part of the campus from the beginning, it was the strong enrollment of first- and second-year students that prompted the campus expansion to happen ahead of schedule,” explained Martha Lynn, Bastyr University’s director of marketing and media (email, October 25, 2013). “It became clear that building a brand new, expanded space for our teaching clinic and additional laboratories was in the best interest of our growing student body.”

In its first two years, Bastyr University California exceeded enrollment goals for its Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program. The student body now comprises 57 first-year students as well as 47 returning second-year students. Naturopathic medicine “
emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies,”2 and Bastyr provides a broad science-based education covering topics such as nutrition, pharmacology, and herbal medicine.

As part of the new expansion, the University built a botanical medicine lab for students taking courses in herbal sciences. The new facility is “
designed to teach students to formulate and prepare herbal medicines [including] herbal teas, tinctures, salves, poultices, and other traditional medicines,” said Sunshine Weeks, ND, an adjunct professor of botanical medicine at Bastyr University California.

The lab includes a kitchen area for medicine making, herbal storage, and bright, modern workspaces.
“Students studying in the lab will have the opportunity to hone their herbal medicine skills in order to treat their own patients in the future,” continued Dr. Weeks. “With a facility like this they will be equipped with one of the most advanced herbal medicine educations in the world.”

Bastyr students are immersed in a patient-centered education program during which they are able to apply what they have learned at an on-campus teaching clinic. Open to the public, Bastyr University Clinic combines naturopathic and integrative medical approaches and provides services in botanical medicine and nutrition therapy, among others.3 During the recent expansion, a new entrance and reception room was added to the clinic, as well as 11 new examination rooms, allowing increased student and patient access. 

Bastyr University’s campus in San Diego is the first accredited school of its kind in the state, and its reception by the community has been overwhelming positive. “
The greater San Diego community has welcomed Bastyr University California with open arms,” said Dr. Weeks. “Since opening in September 2012, the University has made an impact on the local community, not only as the first accredited naturopathic school in the state, but also through its teaching clinic.”

Just a few weeks into their fall semester, students have begun to take advantage of the University’s new facilities, including the expanded teaching clinic and botanical medicine lab. “The students have been very excited about the new facility,” said Dr. Weeks. “[Bastyr California] is setting the tone for the future of naturopathic health care in California and will become an influential player in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.”

—Tyler Smith



1. California campus expands into new building [press release]. Kenmore, WA: Bastyr University; April 29, 2013. Available here. Accessed October 28, 2013.

2. “Naturopathic medicine.” Bastyr University California press kit. Available here. Accessed October 28, 2013.

3. Bastyr University clinic: health care services. Bastyr University California website. Available here. Accessed October 28, 2013.