Campbell University may start a new college of osteopathic medicine.
University trustees have approved a feasibility study and hope to decide by next May.
If approved, the new professional school would enroll its first class in August 2013.
The university has been studying the idea for a while, and trustees have approved funding for a dean, consultants, architectural planners and other resources.
Osteopathic physicians are licensed doctors who take a holistic, hands-on, patient-centered approach and work to eliminate obstacles so the body can heal itself.
Though more than 800 osteopathic doctors practice in North Carolina, this would be the state's first school for osteopathic medicine, according to Campbell officials.
Nationwide, there are about 55,000 licensed osteopathic doctors, and about 4,000 more enter the workforce each year, according to this fact sheet from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.