Master of Health Science in Functional & Integrative Nutrition

Learn holistic nutrition, business, and health coaching best practices

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Master of Health Science in Functional & Integrative Nutrition designed for busy professionals like YOU.

100% Online

With our fully online program you have the flexibility you need to expand your career opportunities and fulfill your current responsibilities at the same time. Our unique approach to online delivery and course design provides in-depth field experiences in critical aspects of modern healthcare.

Supportive Environment

With a diverse student body, an active faculty and staff, and opportunities to interact with professional peers across disciplines, we help you earn more than an advanced degree. You can engage in discussions, ask questions, and make lifelong personal and professional connections that help you succeed in your classes and in your career.

Innovative

Designed to be both scientifically rigorous and forward-thinking in functional and personalized medicine, our program brings a much-needed progressive approach to holistic nutrition, integrative health, behavioral design, and business best practices.

Expert Faculty

Our faculty are experienced practitioners, recognized thought leaders in their field, innovators, creators, and above all, passionately dedicated to creating the future of natural health. Online delivery expands their impact on holistic healthcare and decreasing health disparities across the United States and beyond.

Mission-Driven

As a leader in holistic healthcare, our program aims to advance the next generation of healthcare workers and other professionals to treat the whole patient with an integrative approach to nutrition and wellness.

Graduate Quickly

Graduate in 1 year by taking two courses at a time or take one class at a time to finish in 2 years for improved work/life balance. You can switch between options to accommodate your personal situation, if needed. (Dependent on the course schedule as not all courses are offered every term).

Make an Impact

With a focus on motivating behavior change, person-centered wellness, and a growing number of elective options, you can make an immediate impact by applying concepts to help your patients and clients maintain good health and prevent, treat, and manage nutrition-related chronic disease.

7-Week Sessions

Courses are just 7-weeks long with a brief break between sessions. With 3 entry points a year, you can get started right away. We even have an option for you to begin graduate coursework while working on your prerequisites!

Your willingness to help students succeed is fantastic. I've found all my professors to be intelligent and engaging, as well as willing to spend the time to help me through tough subjects. The small class sizes allow for more one-on-one interaction and discussion, which helped me nail down the material.

– Hannah G.
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health / Pre-Med Student

Program Requirements and Course Details

In NWHSU’s online Master of Health Science in Functional and Integrative Nutrition program, you will learn a progressive approach to functional personalized nutrition and integrative health.

 

In this program, you will build on your background in health sciences and gain the skills to run your own nutrition business, learning:

  • Behavioral design
  • Research evaluation
  • Medical technologies
  • Complementary healthcare practices
  • Health coaching
  • Business management

Through competency-based coursework, you will apply an integrative lens to wellness, business, and behavioral science. This program will prepare you to be a leader and innovator in the wellness and nutrition space.

(See below for a full list of coursework.)

 

What career opportunities could I explore with this degree?

With a growing number of elective options, embedded health coaching certification opportunities**, and a variety of entry paths, your education at NWHSU will prepare you for an exciting career that fits your skills and interests. More importantly, it will help you improve the lives of patients and clients every day.

Depending upon prior degree(s) and/or credential(s) and each state’s specific credentialing and practice requirements, graduates may advance in:

  • Healthcare: health coaching or clinical practice within concierge and boutique clinics, medical centers, hospitals, chiropractic offices, long-term care facilities, and other clinical care settings
  • Wellness: health coaching within yoga, wellness, and spa retreats, fitness centers, and careers in natural products and dietary supplement industries
  • Public Health, Policy, and Organizational Leadership: careers in research and development, community health promotion and wellness education programs, and corporate employee wellness programs
  • Higher education: doctoral-level studies and teaching positions in higher education
  • Food Industry: nutrition roles at culinary institutes, restaurants and corporate food service establishments

 

What will my courses be like?

The goal of this program is to give you skills and tools that you can put into practice right away.

Each course is designed with an interdisciplinary, competency-based, holistic lens that trains you to connect and solve challenges in:

  • personalized healthcare
  • research evaluation
  • medical technology
  • the business of healthcare
  • diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • human behavior

As part of your coursework, you’ll be provided with practical applications and experiential learning opportunities. Through practice, you will develop the vital client-centered, evidence-informed, and personalized care skills critical for success in the functional and integrative nutrition field.

Coursework is grounded in scientific knowledge, collaborative innovation, patient-centered clinical proficiency, and the highest standards of ethics and professional behavior, allowing you to operate at the top of your scope of practice.

Master of Health Science in Functional & Integrative Nutrition

36 credits hours total: 27 credit hours in core courses and 9 credit hours in elective courses
Up to 9 credit hours of equivalent coursework may be from transfer credit

This course covers the foundational structure and function of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and their importance in human health. The advanced biological roles of macro- and micronutrients and their metabolism will be examined using knowledge in physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology and its effects on biochemical individuality. Students will explore the relationships of nutrients to major health disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Micronutrients will be examined with respect to dietary need, metabolism, and clinical disorders associated with deficiency and excess consumption. The macronutrients and micronutrients are covered with respect to their integrated metabolism in tissues and their overall metabolism in fed and fasting states. Those essential concepts in human biochemistry are then linked to specific applications in functional nutrition, diet recommendations, and patient education.
Students taking this course will expand upon their knowledge of basic nutrition science to gain a foundational understanding of the functional approach to nutrition. The course reviews the fundamental principles and perspectives of conventional, traditional, integrative, and functional medical models to identify best practices for nutrition care. In this course the fundamental concepts of functional medicine, including: genetics and disease risk, biochemical individuality, environmental factors, triggers and mediators of disease, and common clinical physical, mental, and emotional imbalances will be explored. The personalized, whole-person, integrated systems approach of functional medicine will be compared and contrasted to conventional approaches of health care. A foundational look at specialized clinical assessments, whole foods and supplementation, diagnostic functional tests and measures, and biomarkers of health and disease will be explored, along with common core therapeutic approaches used in many patients. This course is foundational for many courses that follow in this degree program and must be taken in the first quarter of the program.
This course examines one of the most common modalities of functional medicine: dietary and herbal supplements as well as provides an overview of the entire dietarysupplements, nutraceuticals, phytonutrients/phytochemicals and functional foods aspect of nutritional advice used in current health practice. In addition this course provides a practical overview of pharmacologic therapy used in chronic illnesses or non-life-threatening acute illness management including: mechanism of action (pharmacodynamics), the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs (A.D.M.E. of pharmacokinetics), potential toxic effects of medications, factors affecting the effectiveness of drugs, and interactions with drugs. The course provides an overview of the regulations that govern manufacturing, sales, and marketing of dietary supplements. Students will use reliable and peer-reviewed resources, as well as integrative care case studies to critically evaluate the proposed benefits, efficacy, and safety of supplements and pharmaceuticals in order to inform client recommendations.
This course is designed to provide a scientific, evidence-based approach on how to read and interpret health and wellness literature with special emphasis on nutrition-related research studies. A detailed examination of study types, research design, methodology, data analysis, and statistics will be included.This course will also incorporate the three components of evidence-based health care (clinical expertise, patient preference, research evidence) into the decision-making and data-analysis process.Students will develop a working knowledge of the various approaches used to study nutrition from controlled intervention trials, large-scale observational studies, as well as functional medicine practiced-based approaches. Students will be able to explain and compare the methods used to gather reliable data, why they are used, their limitations, biases, and their applications. Overall students will be able to discuss the inherent challenges within nutrition research discipline and why our knowledge of nutrition will continue to evolve along with practitioner recommendations in the field.
This course will begin covering the foundational theories of behavior change in individuals, groups, and large populations. From there we will apply these methods using case studies to integrate knowledge with clinical and organization application. Students will study effective communication, observation, and active listening skills used to evoke positive health behavior change. Assessment of stages of behavior change and motivational interviewing are integrated with methods for guiding clients/patients through goal setting and maintaining accountability. Analytical strategies such as planning, implementation, and assessment of progress at both the individual and organizational level will be discussed.
Success in Integrative Healthcare requires business competence and leadership skills. This course will focus on sound business strategies and practices that drive the development, management, and implementation of Integrative Healthcare. Practical programs and processes support providers and the entire team in delivering patient and family-centered care while ensuring both patient outcomes and financial sustainability.
This course expands on learning from NUTR 6100 and provides a foundation of Health Coaching theory and practice. This course examines the core building blocks for optimal health from a holistic perspective. As part of the foundation of Health Coaching, each person is treated as an intrinsically healthy, whole, and wise being, who is the ultimate expert in his or her healing journey. The basic tenets of the health coaching model (a 4-pillared construct) include: deep listening, effective and empathic communication, and tools for self-development will be covered. It is the role of the Health Coach to provide a safe, guided environment and professional expertise to support their health journey. In this course you will learn how to facilitate the client’s process by identifying and benchmarking stages and patterns of change, effectively interfacing with a wide range of interdisciplinary health care providers, and educating clients on a variety of self-care practices.
This course provides the advanced learning platform to effectively facilitate the health coaching process from evaluating the stages and patterns of change, effectively interfacing with a wide range of interdisciplinary health care providers, locating optimal resources to assist clients in decision making, and educating clients on a variety of self-care practices. Students will participate in a peer-coaching model and case-based practice to apply tools, skills and utilize resources for effective health coaching and client outcomes. This course will fulfill the required student practice coaching sessions that are followed by faculty-led developmental feedback on practical coaching skills. Additionally discussions related to health coaching ethics, professional boundaries, professional growth opportunities, referral processes, and client selection will be covered.
This course is the culmination of the Master of Health Science in Functional & Integrative Nutrition. Students will complete a Capstone project that displays competencies and portfolio projects completed from previous courses related to Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) and demonstrates the ability to synthesize learning into application to guide professional practice. As part of the final capstone course, students will identify a community partner to work with and complete a project related to an area of need in functional and integrative nutrition that demonstrates holistic program learning outcomes. Key knowledge areas of the Capstone project include future directions in integrative and functional nutrition, entrepreneurism, volunteerism, leadership, mentoring, and preparing for post-master’s life.

 

Elective Options

NUTR 6212
Sports and Human Performance Nutrition (3 Credits)
This course explores the roles and requirements of macro and micronutrients in fueling energy systems and the applications to make nutritional recommendations for physically active persons at all levels of performance (beginners, youth, and elite athletes) to meet training demands. Nutrition assessment and examination of popular performance enhancing ergogenic aids, supplements, functional sports nutrition methodologies, and the fundamentals of energy balance, exercise and body composition are discussed.
This course expands on the concepts of NUTR 6212 to include the athlete specific variability from genetics, environment, sport-type, and training-level components and the role of functional nutrition to optimize athletic health and performance.
This course explores the current understanding and practical application of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. By considering the impact of individual genetic variations on nutritional status and requirements (nutrigenetics), students will learn to provide personalized dietary and nutritional recommendations that accommodate common genetic variants. Students will evaluate the evidence for food and nutrient modulation of gene expression (nutrigenomics) which will improve the student’s ability to design nutritional treatment plans that address common chronic illnesses and aid in their prevention. Students will learn connections to nutritional epigenetics and genetic testing options to assist the student in navigating the complexities of gene-mediated influences on health and illness.
This course explores the growing role of diagnostics and technology in functional and personalized nutrition intervention. Students will examine and evaluate current and emerging technologies and tools for their potential efficacy in patient treatment. Students will learn more in-depth about the methods of various diagnostic assessments and technology used in functional medicine and how to interpret data from those sources to be applied in patient care planning.

 

*Prerequisite Needed
**The MHS in Functional and Integrative Nutrition program is designed to meet the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBCHWC) criteria to earn the (NBC-HWC) certified health coach credential. We are working closely with the board to adhere to the requirements necessary to be an approved training program and qualify our graduates to sit for the National Board Examination. The program is also designed to fulfill the current academic requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam. To learn more about becoming a CNS, please visit the Board for Certification Specialists (BCNS) at www.theana.org.  Additionally, this program meets the current academic requirements in nutrition for the Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) credential offered through the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). To learn more about earning your CCN, please visit www.cncb.org.

Note: Each state’s requirements for professional licensure and/or certification as a health coach vary and are subject to change. Please contact the Department of Health and appropriate board in your state to confirm eligibility requirements and to determine which certification(s) or licensure(s) may be recognized for practice in your state.

**The MHS in Functional and Integrative Nutrition program is designed to meet the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBCHWC) criteria to earn the (NBC-HWC) certified health coach credential. We are working closely with the board to adhere to the requirements necessary to be an approved training program and qualify our graduates to sit for the National Board Examination. The program is also designed to fulfill the current academic requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam. To learn more about becoming a CNS, please visit the Board for Certification Specialists (BCNS) at www.theana.org.  Additionally, this program meets the current academic requirements in nutrition for the Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) credential offered through the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). To learn more about earning your CCN, please visit www.cncb.org.

Note: Each state’s requirements for professional licensure and/or certification vary and are subject to change. Please contact the Department of Health and appropriate board in your state to confirm eligibility requirements and to determine which certification(s) or licensure(s) may be recognized for practice in your state.

The future of health is integrative, whole-person care. Nutrition is a vital part of optimal health.

Expand Your Opportunities

Integrative Care

The future of medicine is patient-centered integrative care that brings a multidisciplinary approach to every ailment. The MHS in Functional and Integrative Nutrition is designed for a variety of current healthcare professionals and practitioners from diverse fields to expand upon this foundation and advance expertise in holistic functional nutrition and evidence informed practice.

Health Coaching Credentials

The program includes an embedded option for students to become a certified health coach as part of the integrative approach to care. NWHSU is currently working with the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches (NBHWC) to become an approved program through their organization. Our program also satisfies the coursework requirements for additional sought-after nutrition certifications (not service hour requirements) and prepares graduates for the next steps to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and a Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN).**

Specialization Areas

With initial elective courses focused on Human Performance and Sports Nutrition, Nutrigenomics and Clinical Intervention, and future options in Applied Behavioral Science for Eating + Wellness, you can choose where to focus your coursework to gain advanced knowledge and target specific nutritional interventions for your unique scope of practice needs.

HealthCoach (2)

Competitive Edge

Registered dietitians can gain a broadened scope of functional and integrative nutrition and a graduate-level degree to stay competitive in the field when current degree-level requirements change from a bachelor’s to a master’s in January 2024.

Question: Will I be eligible to take the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBCHWC) exam and earn the certified health coach credential (NBC-HWC) if I graduate before the program is approved by the board?

More Questions

Answer: Students who enter programs during the health coaching program approval process are eligible to take the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching exam after program approval. We will notify graduates of the change in status and encourage alumni to stay in touch for updates and additional continuing education opportunities for life-long learning as we expand elective options and certificate offerings.

Invest in yourself and help shape the future of Healthcare. Get started on your online degree today.