Types of Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition

This page will explain to you about the different types of master’s degrees that are available in the field of holistic nutrition. We also will provide information about the career of holistic nutrition and how it can be a wise career move for people who are interested in an alternative health career. We also detail some different online degree options.

Holistic nutritionists in the 21st century are helping to reduce health problems that can largely be prevented, such as obesity, that affect so many millions of Americans negatively. They focus on teaching people to eat healthy, whole foods as one of the keys to lifetime health. A primary focus on diet and specifically on healthy, natural foods is at the heart of the holistic nutritional philosophy.

Holistic nutritionists are very specialized nutritionists that improve health by using all natural foods to prevent illness, rather than using regular medical treatments to treat illnesses. They also strive to provide care to the entire person, including mind, body and soul, rather than just curing individual symptoms. Holistic nutritionists normally perform the following:

  • Evaluate the lifestyle of the patient and determine what is unhealthy and unnatural
  • Introduce new eating habits that focus on healthy and natural foods
  • Create new and customized food plans
  • Improve the client’s ability to deal with stress
  • Educate the general public on holistic nutrition and wellness

Nutritionists generally are seeing stronger demand in the US, with 16% job growth by 2024 for all types of nutritionists. It is likely that there will be similar demand for holistic nutritionists, as more people are aware of the importance of good diet and good health.

There is more of an emphasis as well on living healthier lives to cut down on expensive health care costs. Although traditional health care has vastly improved in the last decades, it is very expensive, and the societal costs of dealing with heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes are very high. By focusing more on a healthy way of life at all times, many of these healthcare costs can be reduced.

The fact is that many Americans do not eat wholesome, healthy foods every day. The CDC states that the majority of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables each day; they also do not get the recommended amounts of whole grains, and eat far too much unhealthy fats and sodium that come in processed foods.

While the field of holistic nutrition is quite new, there are exciting career paths for people interested in this field. Holistic nutritionists embark on their careers usually in this way:

  • Finish an educational degree or certificate program in holistic nutrition that has been approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.
  • Get at least 500 work hours in holistic nutrition.
  • Pass a certification examination that is administered by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board so you can be board certified in holistic nutrition.

For those who want to enjoy a career in holistic nutrition, you should earn at least an associate’s or bachelor’s in one of the following fields. You also can earn your master’s degree later so that you can earn the highest salary possible;

  • Complementary Alternative Medicine
  • Health and Wellness
  • Health Science
  • Nutrition and Integrative Health
  • Holistic Nutrition

For professionals who want a career in holistic nutrition, consider these related master’s degree programs:

Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition

American University offers this innovative online MS in holistic nutrition that offers you a highly focused program in advanced, applied holistic nutrition. There is a strong focus in this program on research and coaching skills in holistic nutrition. This is to prepare you for direct application of the theories of holistic nutrition, concepts and science in planning holistic nutrition lifestyles for the best health for individuals.

This program has been approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, so you can be certain that you are learning holistic nutrition principles that will lead to good employment opportunities.

Your required classes are as follows:

  • Assessment and Integration of Research Online
  • Graduate Topics in Holistic Nutrition
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Stress Management and Emotional Health
  • Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Advanced Applied Holistic Nutrition
  • Integrative Pathophysiology
  • General, Organic, and Biochemistry
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Pathology & Protocols
  • Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
  • Wellness Coaching & Communication Skills
  • Masters Capstone Project

To be admitted, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in any field, and also one letter of recommendation.

Master of Science in Nutrition

This online master’s degree from Huntington College of Health Sciences offers a top notch graduate education in nutrition. It will provide you with the skills and knowledge to understand the principles of nutrition and holistic nutrition specifically. It will build upon your understanding of the human body and nutrition science, so that you have an excellent grasp of the links between health, lifestyle and diet.

Your elective courses can include alternative and complementary medicine and holistic nutrition, among others.

This program can be undertaken by someone without any experience in nutrition, but it is ideally suited for health care and allied health care professionals. Many people who participate in this program are registered dieticians who want to improve their knowledge of holistic nutrition.

Required courses include:

  • Advanced Biochemistry
  • Advanced Nutrition
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Nutrition Research
  • Current Trends
  • Capstone project
  • Life Span Nutrition
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food & Culture
  • Herbal Therapies & Alternative Healing
  • Advanced Nutrition with Clinical Applications
  • Antioxidants

After graduation, you are qualified to sit for the examination offered by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals to earn the title Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition.

Master’s in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

This master’s degree from Saybrook University is built upon nutritional and biological sciences, clinical assessment and highly personalized therapies. It also stresses holistic approaches to deal with root causes of many health problems and mental health issues.

This two year program is 100% online and introduces holistic approaches that can be integrated into your practice, such as mind and body skills, meditation and mindfulness.

Coursework in this program includes:

  • Therapeutic Diets and Menu
  • Foundations of Integrative and Functional Nutrition
  • Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry: Macronutrients
  • Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry: Micronutrients
  • Integrative Approaches to the Digestive System
  • Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicine
  • Integrative and Functional Nutrition Therapeutics
  • Advanced Nutritional Physiology
  • Nutrition Focused Physical Exam
  • General Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology

This program satisfies most of the requirements to become a Certified Clinical Nutritionist or a Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Master Of Science in Holistic Nutrition

Earn a master of science in holistic nutrition from Hawthorn University. You will gain a deep knowledge of clinical nutritional skills as you earn your degree on your own busy schedule. This is a highly advanced program that is led by experienced instructors in holistic nutrition.

You will develop the functional nutritional knowledge and tools, as well as clinical skills, to boost vitality and well being among your clients, and also reduce long term risk of disease.

The teaching model at Hawthorn stresses current holistic as well as conventional scientific data. It uses guided independent studies that are both interactive and supportive. Students are trained to deal with biochemical uniqueness of each client and to come up with specialized health protocols that include diet, nutritional supplements and changes in lifestyle.

Avatar photo
Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

More posts from Robert Sanchez