Holistic Midwifery Program

Holistic Midwife

Become a Holistic Midwife in Your Community

Lead the return to holistic, family-centered maternal health care through a meaningful career as a professional midwife!

Our robust Holistic Midwifery program offers you the ability to fulfill the didactic and clinical requirements for becoming a competent midwife from within your own home and community, while interacting with a global peer-group via a cutting-edge virtual classroom. As a student in our unique program, you’ll also complete a Global Health Study Abroad placement, providing you with the opportunity to observe gentle birth models around the world, and gain a critical perspective on maternal health challenges faced on a global scale. With a focus on complementary and alternative medicine, self-care in birth work, and leadership, our midwifery training program is an opportunity to develop both personally and professionally.

Upon completion of the 3-year Birth Institute Holistic Midwifery program, you will be equipped to provide high-quality, family-centered maternal health care services to low-risk clients in out-of-hospital settings, including private birth centers and independent home birth practice.


The Holistic Midwifery curriculum combines the Essential Competencies for Midwifery Practice as defined by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) with complementary and alternative approaches to maternal and newborn health, placing emphasis on leadership and equity and exploring gentle birth and respectful maternity care in comparison to technological and intervention-based modelsworldwide.The Holistic Midwifery curriculum is also designed to align with the checklist of essential competencies set forth by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Association (MEAC), standards for competency-based certification as outlined by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), and the Midwives Alliance of North America Core Competencies.

Students are required to complete a total of 5600 contact-hours as follows:

Midwifery Sciences

44 quarter credits/1320 contact-hours

Complementary & Alternative Medicine

44 quarter credits/1320 contact-hours

Leadership & Personal Development

22 quarter credits/660 contact-hours

Clinical Practicum/Supervised Midwifery Apprenticeship

72 quarter credits/minimum of 2160 contact-hours

Global Health Study Abroad (8-Week experiential learning)

10 quarter credits/280 contact-hours*

*Students who opt-out of Global Health Study Abroad must complete an additional 10 credit-hours of coursework. See “Enrollment Options” in the Course Catalog for further details.

Global Health Leadership In Action

Through participation in an 8-week Global Health Study Abroad course, you will have an opportunity to observe gentle birth in a locally-run women’s health clinic in either Guatemala or Bali. During this experience, you will explore the midwife’s role in global maternal health, and gain critical perspective on the midwifery profession as a whole. You may choose to go abroad prior to the start of the 3-year Holistic Midwifery curriculum, or during the final quarter of your third year.

Please Note: Our experiential learning abroad courses are solely intended to deepen cross-cultural understanding of global maternal and newborn health. Participation in clinic activities during the 8-weeks is limited to introductory doula care, regardless of training or background, and does NOT count toward the clinical requirements for the Holistic Midwifery practicum.

“The uniqueness of cultural practices that are brought into the delivery room are eye opening. Each of these cultural differences can become a part of my own future midwifery practice.”

Time Commitment and Enrollment Options

Matriculating, Full Time. The estimated time commitment for full-time students is 40+ hours per week, year-round. Students must follow the online courses in sequential order (10 credit hours per quarter) for 3-years and to begin their 2-year supervised clinical practicum during the third quarter (approximately 6-months into the program). Total time to graduation is 3-5 years based on the pace of clinical practicum.

Matriculating, Part Time. Students may choose to complete online coursework prior to beginning supervised clinical practicum. This assumes that the student follows the online courses in sequential order (10 credit hours per quarter) for 3-years and begins their supervised clinical practicum during fourth year, after online coursework has been completed. Total time to graduation is 5-13 years based on the pace of clinical practicum.

Non-Matriculating: Students who do not wish to complete the online coursework according to the 3-year schedule, or who wish to enroll in the practicum without completing the online coursework, and who meet the admissions criteria and pre-requisites, may be accepted on a space-available basis for a fee of $160 per quarter credit.

Upcoming Courses

We are currently enrolling to begin the 3-year progression of online and practicum coursework in July 2016.  Students who are not already enrolled in study abroad for winter or spring 2016 will be assigned to study abroad in their third year of the Holistic Midwifery Program. Connect with our admissions team for more information.


Out goal is to train the critical midwives the world needs, and that means making midwifery education affordable. While campus-based midwifery programs can cost as much as $400 per credit, our 3-year Holistic Midwifery program costs just $135 per credit while delivering the same high-standard education with the flexibility of online coursework. Students seeking financial aid can apply for a private loan with deferred payment at 5% interest from Birth Institute (less than current federal loan rates). Please visit our Tuition & Fees page to learn more and to download a tuition brochure.

“I am thankful for the experiences gained through this journey in midwifery and appreciate Birth Institute for facilitating this space for personal and professional development.”


Applicants must have a high school diploma (or equivalent), a cumulative average GPA of 2.75 for all previous coursework and a minimum of 3-months educational, volunteer, or work experience in women’s health, maternal health, complementary and alternative health or related fields. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. A maximum of 30 students will be accepted each year.  Applicants who receive an offer of admission are required to submit placement and registration fees to guarantee placement.

Ready to apply? Please visit the online application for instructions.

Hear a current student’s perspective

In this interview, Holistic Midwifery student Sarah shares her vision for the future of maternal healthcare worldwide, what she loves about the Birth Institute Holistic Midwifery program, and how she balances her education with life and self-care. She also gives a glimpse of what barriers she overcame to enroll, and the wisdom she has gleaned since joining the Birth Institute community.
Listen now!

MEAC Accreditation

Birth Institute’s preliminary application for accreditation by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) was accepted on April 20, 2015.  The accreditation process generally takes two years or more from this date to complete successfully.  If we are approved, students enrolled at the time accreditation is approved and those enrolling after that date will be eligible to graduate from a MEAC-accredited program. Accreditation is not retro-active. For more information, please contact MEAC.

Becoming a Licensed Midwife

Birth Institute is an academic institution and does not oversee licensing or regulation of midwives. Requirements vary by country and region. Students are responsible for understanding and following regulatory requirements for out of hospital midwifery in their state, province or country.

Students who complete their supervised clinical practicum in the United States will be eligible to sit for the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) examination, conducted by the North American Registry of Midwives.

Take the next steps!

For more details on essential competencies offered, course structure, learning activities, participation requirements, credit transfer, etc., please download the Birth Institute Course Catalog under “Learn More” on the navigation bar above, and connect with us to learn more about how the Holistic Midwifery program can serve you in your life and career.