Naturopathic Physicians for Oregon Communities Scholarship

About the NPOC Scholarship

Make a difference with your degree by applying for a Naturopathic Physicians for Oregon Communities (NPOC) scholarship. Designed with both the student and Oregon workforce in mind, NPOC scholarships will provide up to five eligible students with a unique opportunity to help address healthcare disparity in the state, specifically by serving:

  • rural communities;
  • people of color;
  • tribal communities;
  • immigrants, refugees, migrant and seasonal farmworkers;
  • people with disabilities;
  • people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, or who question their sexual or gender identity; and/or
  • people with lived behavioral health experiences.

The funds for NPOC were awarded to NUNM as one of nine grant recipients from the Oregon Health Authority in 2024 through the Scholars for a Healthy Oregon-Like initiative. The intent is to provide 2-year scholarships for up to five Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine students in their final two years of school who will provide care in rural or underserved areas of Oregon. Priority will be given to applicants whose lived experience is reflective of the patient populations this program is intended to serve as noted above.

The NPOC Scholarship provides substantial financial support, covering tuition and fees for the final two years of the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program at NUNM, up to $40,000 annually. In return, recipients agree to practice as healthcare providers for 2 years in rural or underserved communities in Oregon. This arrangement not only demands a significant commitment but also offers an exceptional opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the healthcare landscape in these areas. This initiative is designed to address critical shortages and improve health outcomes in regions most in need of dedicated medical professionals.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants must meet NUNM enrollment requirements for a full-time course of study.
  2. Applicants must meet NUNM’s academic achievement standards and be in good standing.
  3. Applicants must be entering their second to last year in the ND program (can be dually enrolled in any other program): for example, 3rd of 4 years, 4th of 5 years, or 5th of 6 years. Scholarship funds will only pay for the ND portion of tuition and fees for recipients who are enrolled in more than one program.
  4. While not a requirement, priority will be given to applicants whose lived experience is reflective of the patient populations this program is intended to serve.

How to Apply

  1. Applicants must complete the NPOC Scholarship Application, below. This is SEPARATE and unique from any other scholarship applications.
  2. Applicants must upload a curriculum vitae in your application.
  3. Applicants must complete and upload three essays as noted below.
    • Each essay has a 500-word maximum.
    • Each essay must be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
    • Place the essay question at the top of each essay, and title them Essay 1, Essay 2, and Essay 3.

Essay 1

Describe how your professional goals align with the objective of this scholarship opportunity. Why is the opportunity to serve the individuals described above meaningful to you?

Essay 2

Describe the practice location characteristics and the population you plan to serve in the future as a healthcare professional. 

Essay 3

What attributes and/or experience do you have that demonstrate your commitment to these communities and your ability to successfully fulfill your service commitment? 

Deadline to Apply: August 2, 2024 at 5 PM

Application Review 

All applications will be reviewed by NUNM’s NPOC Scholarship Review Committee using standardized rubrics. Scholarships will be awarded simultaneously with all other NUNM scholarships, in September 2024.

Requirements of Scholarship Recipients 

While at NUNM, students must: 

  • Maintain eligibility as noted above.
  • Create an action plan annually to develop opportunities for their service in an underserved area of Oregon. The plan must include: 
    • Areas with unmet healthcare needs where they would like to practice primary care in Oregon 
    • Methods of building a network in those areas 
    • Potential employment or practice options in the areas identified 
    • A plan to complete a preceptorship with at least one practitioner in an underserved area or who serves an underserved population 
    • A plan to complete at least three informational interviews to explore employment and practice options that will meet the requirements 
  • In the summer of the recipients’ final year they will need to complete either: 
    • A career plan showing employment opportunities at qualifying sites;
    • A fully actionable business plan, with timelines, that will focus on a practice that meets the criteria described under the “Post-Graduation Service Agreement” section of this document.

Post-Graduation Service Agreement

Upon completion of their program, students receiving NPOC funds will be required to practice at a qualified site in a rural or underserved Oregon community for two years. The service commitment will ideally begin within 6 months following degree completion or residency training. Residency training at qualified sites also meets the service requirement.

  • Care must be provided in an underserved part of Oregon for 2 years (equal to the number of years that funds were received).
  • Every effort must be made to start practicing in the area within six months of graduation 
  • Scholarship recipients will be required to work full-time, providing at least 32 hours of direct patient care per week for a minimum of 45 weeks per year. 
  • Designated Oregon service sites may include certified rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, or any geographic area, population or facility in Oregon designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a health professional shortage area, a medically underserved area or a medically underserved population. The criteria for qualifying a “designated service site” ranges from geographic-based, population-based (specific populations within a geographic area), facility or provider-based, or a combination of these factors. 
  • Click here for more information on medically underserved areas in Oregon.

Failure to Satisfy the Intent of the Service Agreement  

A scholarship recipient who fails to complete the minimum service obligation in a qualifying practice site and does not receive a waiver is considered to have breached the terms of the program and will be required to repay the scholarship funds to the National University of Natural Medicine. 


Contact Emma Britton, Director of Career Services, at