Frequently Asked Questions

Does CCA offer “traditional, authentic” Ayurvedic education?

Yes! CCA is committed to helping students understand the complete science of Ayurveda as it was articulated thousands of years ago by the ancient rishis. This knowledge is contained in three major and three minor texts of Ayurveda written between 1500 B.C. and 1500 A.D. The curriculum at CCA helps to bring this ancient wisdom to you in a modern and easily understandable format.

What can I do when I graduate?

We train our students to be competent to go into private practice. This means being competent in the science of ayuveda as well as learning how to open and run an Ayurvedic practice.

Is it legal to practice Ayurveda?

The practice of Ayurveda has not been determined to be illegal in any of the 50 states. In addition, some states like California have passed health freedom laws that formally legalize the practice of alternative medicine. CCA has graduates practicing in most of the 50 states and no graduate has ever had their right to practice questioned.

Where did the title Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist” originate?

Dr. Marc Halpern developed the title of Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (C.A.S.) in 1995 for graduates of the California College of Ayurveda. The C.A.S. title has become recognized as the highest standard of clinical Ayurvedic education offered in the United States.

What really matters regarding a legitimate ayurvedic education?

Right now, there are no licensing requirements in any of the 50 states. Licensing is a State-by State process. When a State passes a licensing law, which we hope will occur, the process of becoming licensed will be determined by the State and not by an Association or College. Instead, all business interests, including associations and colleges, will have a say in the process. The usual outcome historically is as follows.

What about State Licensing?

Right now, there are no licensing requirements in any of the 50 states. Licensing is a State-by State process. When a State passes a licensing law, which we hope will occur, the process of becoming licensed will be determined by the State and not by an Association or College. Instead, all business interests, including associations and colleges, will have a say in the process. The usual outcome historically is as follows.

  1. Practitioners who graduated from State-Approved schools prior to licensing are grandfathered into the license.
  2. New graduates are given an exam administered by the State – not by an association. The State forms a board that administers the exam. The exam will have the support of all interested parties.
  3. Those who take a State-licensing exam DO NOT need to be a member of any organization. They simply need to graduate from a State Approved College.

How does accreditation play into this?

Schools may choose to be State-Approved or Accredited by an outside Agency such as the Western Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges. There are many such agencies. The advantage of a school becoming accredited by Federally Recognized outside agency is the possibility that their students may attain federal student loans.  California College of Ayurveda is State-Approved. We have chosen not to go through the federal accreditation process at this time. Instead of tying students down to student debt, CCA has chosen to keep high quality education affordable, offer partial scholarships to those in need, and offer payment programs so that students graduate without debt.

What is the NAMA Accreditation Council (NAMAC) and how does affect schools and students?

Currently, NAMAC is not actually functioning. It’s intended to be an arm of NAMA that reviews and evaluates school programs upon request by the school. They then compare the school’s program to standards that they have approved.  Although most of these standards were initially created by Dr. Halpern, he does not support the process.  If a school’s program is accepted, the school can then advertise that they are NAMAC approved and pay to be listed on NAMAC’s website.   

The California College of Ayurveda has no intention at this time of requesting accreditation through their organization or supporting them financially.  Accreditation through NAMAC, while sounding official, is entirely inconsequential as it is not a government organization and provides no substantial benefit to schools other than as it may relate to marketing and advertising.