Midwifery Program

Since 1994, Birthwise Midwifery School has taught the art and science of midwifery in our comprehensive, three-year Midwifery Program.

Demand for qualified and competent midwives is on the rise. More families are choosing to have their babies safely and naturally at home or in birth centers staffed by midwives. At Birthwise, we believe that skillful, compassionate midwives are the answer to a maternity care system characterized by poor outcomes, high cesarean rates and high medical costs compared to other developed countries.

We help you gain the clinical skills and practical knowledge you need to become a Certified Professional Midwife without a bachelor’s degree through our direct-entry Midwifery Program.

Birthwise midwifery students practice lab work

Who are Certified Professional Midwives?

Certified Professional Midwives are nationally credentialed autonomous healthcare professionals who care for pregnant people through pregnancy, birth and up to 6 weeks postpartum.

CPMs are “direct-entry” midwives, meaning they directly begin their midwifery studies, rather than becoming nurses first and then midwives. 

CPMs attend births in people’s homes and freestanding birth centers. Midwives form trusting relationships with the people they work with, lending them confidence, wisdom and the space to give birth in their own way surrounded by people they love.

Each year more states pass licensing laws to regulate their practice — 33 states currently license CPMs, and more allow unlicensed practice. In some states, midwives are still fighting to gain the legal rights and relationships of other medical professionals.

Two academic options: Campus or Community

We are committed to helping people become midwives in a way that fits their life. That’s why we offer our curriculum in two ways:

Campus Option

Admissions for 2021 Campus Option are now open.

You’ll study midwifery on the Birthwise campus in beautiful southern Maine for 20 months. For the first three semesters, you’ll immerse yourself in our rigorous academic experience. 

In your last three semesters, you’ll work with a preceptor midwife in your community, gaining the practical hands-on skills and experience you will need to become a practicing midwife. Most students move away from Maine to complete their preceptorship.

Learn More about the Campus Option

Community Option

Admissions for 2021 Community Option are now open.

Our low-residency program gives you the same curriculum and educational benefits as our Campus Option without you needing to relocate to Maine. 

You’ll start by working with a midwife in your community. During these three years, you’ll come to our campus for a one-week orientation, and then 10 intensive two-week-long academic sessions.

Our Community Option is perfect if you have a family, a job, or community responsibilities that keep you in your hometown.

Learn More about the Community Option


Our hardworking academic faculty are practicing midwives, practicing nurse midwives, naturopathic doctors, herbalists and other working professionals.

Our 1:6 faculty-student ratio means you’ll get the attention from instructors — during and after class — that you need to succeed.


You’ll gain hands-on experience as you work with preceptor midwives and other practitioners in healthcare practices all over the country. You’ll work with midwives with experience in full scope midwifery practice, learning the spectrum of care midwives provide. 

Your clinical preceptorship provides experience in prenatal, postnatal and wellness checkups, plus attending births both as an assistant and a primary. By the time you graduate, you’ll feel comfortable enough in clinical settings to practice on your own.

You’ll be ready to sit for the North American Registry of Midwives — or NARM — exam and, if you pass, claim the Certified Professional Midwife credential that states often require for licensure.

We support you through the process of finding a preceptorship that fits you and your goals. We have relationships with midwives across the United States you can draw on.

And we’ll teach you how to cultivate relationships with midwives in the location where you want to practice, or who practice in ways you’d like to learn more about.

Learn More about Preceptorships

Midwifery Program Prerequisites

Before enrolling in the Birthwise Midwifery Program, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Completed doula training (or will complete before attending)
  • CPR certificate (does not need to be current)

We partner with Birthing Gently to offer a two-day Doula training program on our campus.

Read the Prospective Student Guidebook

Tuition and Fees

Birthwise tuition costs are $42,000 for the three-year program, plus applicable fees, if completed within three years. Tuition prices are subject to change. 

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Birthwise is committed to making our midwifery program affordable for everyone. Our students can apply for federal student aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We also accept the GI Bill and Americorps funding.

We offer partial scholarships for students of color and students from underserved communities. Birthwise awards multiple scholarships each year.

Learn More About Financial Aid