Aromatherapy Science Online


Aromatherapy has become an increasingly popular modality in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), particularly in an integrated medical setting due to its ability to enhance quality of life for a wide range of clients. This graduate level survey course provides students with an in-depth analysis of the fundamental principles of aromatherapy, aromatology, and aromacology. We will examine the major categories of aromatherapy, aromatology and aromacology including definitions, selected proven and unproven effects of essential oils citing research literature, historical perspective, essential oil components and bioactivity, the science of smell and psychological effects, safety issues and clinical studies. Plant photographs and interactive exercises help to bring the concepts to life for visually-oriented and kinesthetic learners.

Learning Outcomes

  • Distinguish, compare and contrast the various methods of extraction including how each choice affects bioactivity; factors affecting therapeutic potential such as natural variation; bioactivity and toxicology of essential oils; pharmaceutical guidance; the aromacological or the psychological effects of essential oils; as measured by objective examinations, essay examinations, peer reviewed projects, application of principles to case studies and projects

  • Critically evaluate and critique various concepts, approaches, methods, and issues in the field of aromatherapy and the ability to critically assess basic and clinical scientific studies examining the use of essential oils; as measured by essay examinations and projects

  • Critically evaluate and describe potential essential oil/drug and essential oil/supplement interactions for the botanicals studied based on current research and constituents; as measured by essay and objective examinations and application of these botanicals to case studies

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Required Materials (Course Pack)

  • ACHS eTextbook: Petersen, D. (2020). Aromatherapy Materia Medica: Essential Oil Monographs (20th Edition). Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences. (Optional: Printed copy available for an additional fee)
  • AROMA 501 Practical Lab Kit:
    • This practical lab kit contains the following certified organic or sustainably wildcrafted essential oils: Bergamot Citrus aurantium var bergamia, Chamomile Roman Chamaemelum nobile, Clary Sage Salvia sclarea, Eucalyptus Globulus Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus smithii Eucalyptus smithii, Lavandin Lavandula intermedia, Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Lemon Citrus limonum, Lemon Eucalyptus Eucalyptus citriodora, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis, Tea Tree Australia Melaleuca alternifolia, Tea Tree New Zealand Leptospermum scoparium, Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata
    • This practical lab kit also contains the following raw ingredients and practical lab supplies: 25 ml glass beaker & glass stirring rod, 3 ml disposable pipettes (Qty 15), Perfume Testing Strips (Qty 26), 5 ml amber bottle, 5 ml Sweet Almond Oil base oil
  • Online Materials and Library Resources (OMLR)

Required Textbooks: 

View the required textbooks for this class, including ISBN, edition, and retail price, by visiting our Required Textbooks page.

Total Course Price:

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Last updated 11/4/19

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Admissions Requirements:

Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree or higher from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Candidates must submit official transcripts directly from the issuing institution along with one professional letter of recommendation. All applicants must be recommended for admission by the ACHS Admissions Committee.

Total Course Price:

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