Master of Arts in Health & Wellness Coaching

Overview


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Credits Per Trimester
6
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TOTAL CREDITS
30
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Duration
5 trimesters
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Trimester of Entry
Fall, Spring
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FORMAT
Online, Hybrid

COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE: This program is enrolling students for the Spring 2021 Trimester. Students will not be required to come to campus in the Spring 2021 Trimester for any classes, orientations, or other learning experiences. Because this program can be completed fully online, students will be able to take all of their classes online should it be necessary to do so, regardless of the program format they have chosen (on-campus, hybrid, or online).

Students who desire National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) credentialing will not be affected, as the entire program can be completed fully online for this training.

Students who desire International Coaching Federation (ICF) credentialing may be affected, depending on the type of ICF credential they wish to seek. MUIH has received approval from ICF to modify the number of synchronous hours required for students’ ICF certification during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

  • Students entering in the Spring 2021 trimester will be able to fulfill the minimum synchronous 60-hour training requirement to apply for ICF’s Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential. The entire program can be completed online for this training.
  • Because on-campus classes will notbe offered in the Spring 2021 trimester, students entering in the Spring 2021 trimester may not be able to achieve ICF’s synchronous 200-hour requirement to fulfill the training requirement to apply for the higher Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC) levels of ICF credentialing. Under standard circumstances very few MUIH students pursue these higher-level credentials at the onset of their coaching careers, as they require many hours of coaching experience.

The Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching prepares students with the advanced skills and expertise to help clients clarify and implement health and wellness goals and sustain life-changing behaviors. MUIH’s program is one of the few graduate programs in health and wellness coaching in the U.S. and allows students to earn the highest academic credential in the cutting-edge field of health and wellness coaching. MUIH’s program is also one of the few programs in the U.S. to offer two professional credentialing pathways in all delivery formats (online, hybrid, and on-campus). This recently revised program focuses the content and learning directly on foundational coaching skills, provides newly added advanced coaching skills, and deepens research literacy skills to support contemporary coaching practice. MUIH graduates are eligible for credentialing by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). This 30-credit program can be completed in the online, hybrid, or on-campus weekend format in 20 months (5 trimesters).

Audience


This program is designed for individuals seeking to promote health by working with individuals and small groups reached via private practice, in integrative health clinics, conventional medical settings, fitness and wellness centers, and organizations. Health and wellness coaches partner with their clients, and facilitate introspection, goal setting, behavioral change, accountability, and goal achievement. Health and wellness coaching can be conducted as a stand-alone professional practice, or be used to complement another health, wellness, or medical practice including nutrition, nursing, social work, health promotion, herbal medicine, acupuncture, Ayurveda, fitness and training, yoga therapy, massage therapy, and naturopathic medicine, among others.

Program Description


This program provides the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to become skilled health and wellness coaches who help clients clarify health and wellness goals through introspection, leverage their strengths, address challenges in behavior change, implement and sustain life-changing behaviors, and manage both setbacks and progress. The program develops an understanding of behavior change theories and principles, excellence in core coaching competencies, and the skills necessary to help clients adopt individually designed attitudes and lifestyle changes most conducive to optimal health and wellness. Students build a broad view of health and wellness that incorporates both conventional measures of health that focus on prevention of illness and disease and promotion of healthy lifestyles, as well as additional measures of health found in complementary and alternative health practices from a variety of wisdom traditions.

Unique to MUIH’s health and wellness coaching philosophy, and an essential component of the curriculum, is teaching people to be aware of the body’s innate wisdom and to regard symptoms and struggles as teachers. Other distinctive program features include a focus on research literacy for informed coaching practice, an integrative approach to wellness and healing, a focus on whole-person care, and a model that emphasizes self-reflection and personal empowerment for healthy lifestyles. Students practice and hone their coaching skills through real-time coaching labs, working with mentor coaches and volunteer coaching clients. The program includes a practicum in which students work one-on-one with clients and begin to build their coaching practice. Also provided are opportunities to coach volunteer clients and interprofessionalism in different settings, including conventional health care settings.

This program features highly credentialed faculty who hold the highest professional coaching credentials. 90% of MUIH’s health and wellness coaching faculty hold professional credentials issued by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and/or the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). 67% are ICF credentialed, 67% are NBHWC credentialed, and 43% are dual ICF and NBHWC credentialed.

The 15 credits of foundational coaching courses in the M.A. Health and Wellness Coaching program also make up the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching. This certificate program serves as both a stand-alone credential and can serve as an entry point leading toward the M.A. degree.

Can’t decide whether health promotion or health and wellness coaching is the program for you? Review this comparative summary to learn more about these professions.

Learning Outcomes


Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the professional qualities, relationship skills, and behaviors that comprise healing presence.
  • Demonstrate the range of both practice and evidence-informed coaching skills needed to facilitate sustainable behavior change in clients.
  • Apply a wide variety of theories, principles, and coaching practices that promote behavior change.
  • Integrate an understanding of conventional and complementary health perspectives to develop a comprehensive understanding of health and wellness in a variety of settings.
  • Develop skills to accurately review and evaluate research literature from the field of health and wellness coaching for application to coaching practice.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the core competencies and an understanding of the ethical codes and Scope of Practice of the International Coaching Federation and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching.
  • Develop a business plan based upon concepts, principles, and sound practices of integrated health management.

Curriculum


The program consists of 30 credits of required coursework in the following areas:

15 credit hours of core health and wellness coaching courses and Practical Skills Assessment.

15 credit hours of advanced courses including: advanced coaching skills, group coaching, inter-professionalism, cultural competence, research literacy in integrative health and evidence-informed practices, practice management coursework that provides students with the skills to build and sustain their own practice or business in coaching, and a final project course that integrates learning throughout the students’ academic journey.

Required Courses
The program consists of the following required courses:

  • APP606 Becoming a Healing Presence (3 cr)
  • APP700 Mindfulness, Meditation, and Health (3 cr)
  • COA605 Foundations of Healthy Lifestyles (1.5 cr)
  • COA610 Fundamentals of Health and Wellness Coaching (3 cr)
  • COA616 Theories and Principles of Behavior Change (3 cr)
  • COA620 Applied Healing Strategies (3 cr)
  • COA641 Seminar in Health and Wellness Coaching (1 cr)
  • COA660 Advanced Coaching with Integrative Wellness Approaches (3 cr)
  • COA670 Advanced Topics in Health and Wellness Coaching (3 cr)
  • COAPSA Practical Skills Assessment (0 cr)
  • IHM650 Practice Management in Coaching (2 cr)
  • ISCI631 Introduction to Complementary and Integrative Health (1.5 cr)
  • MUIH550 Academic Research and Scholarship (0 cr)
  • RSCH601 Research Literacy in Integrative Health (3 cr)

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are available in the Academic Catalog.

Program Accreditation & Approvals


The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching and the Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching programs hold various approvals from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). Students who complete these programs are eligible for credentialing by both organizations. See the Licensure, Certification, and Credentialing section below for additional information.

Career Opportunities


78% of recent graduates of MUIH’s M.A. Health and Wellness Coaching program were employed or self-employed within one year of graduation. Graduates of MUIH’s health and wellness coaching programs are employed in a variety of settings including private practice; integrative group practices; health care systems; hospitals; wellness centers; health and wellness online and mobile platforms; consulting firms; community, non-profit, and outreach organizations; state, local, and federal agencies; and colleges and universities. Many graduates chose to have a portfolio career in which they have multiple positions and employers within one or more profession, rather than one full-time job. A portfolio career provides such individuals with variety in their work life and the opportunity to develop a wide and varied professional network.

Individuals with skills and knowledge in health and wellness coaching will support the continued projected growth of healthcare occupations in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects healthcare occupations to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any other occupational groups in the U.S. Health and wellness coaching is aligned with the growing trend toward integrative approaches and holism in health and wellness. The National Health Interview Survey indicates 59 million Americans spend $30.2 billion per year out-of-pocket for integrative health practices, and 33.2% of U.S. adults use integrative health practices. Health and wellness coaching has been identified as a cutting edge career. It has emerged as a $6 billion service market in the U.S., with an estimated 109,000 health coaches and health educators in 2018. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 35,000 U.S. practitioners self-identified as a health and wellness coach in 2016 and projected a 21% increase for health and wellness professions focused on preventive health for period 2016-2022.

View more about career opportunities.

Program Format & Schedule


Program Format

This program is offered in the online, hybrid, and on-campus formats. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

The hybrid format of the M.A. Health and Wellness Coaching program gives students the opportunity to select which courses they will take online and which they will take on campus. (Not all courses are offered in both formats or in every trimester.)

On-campus courses are delivered in a weekend format to accommodate students with weekday commitments and those who can travel to attend the program. Classes typically meet Friday evenings and all day Saturdays and Sundays. Most coursework is completed on campus in this format, with some assignments due between weekend classes. Class dates are subject to change.

Program Schedule

For trimester start and end dates, see the Academic Calendar.

Course Schedule

Trimester 1

  • APP606 Becoming a Healing Presence (3 cr)
  • COA605 Foundations of Healthy Lifestyles (1.5 cr)
  • ISCI631 Introduction to Complementary and Integrative Health (1.5 cr)
  • MUIH550 Academic Research and Scholarship (0 cr)

Trimester 2

  • COA610 Fundamentals of Health and Wellness Coaching (3 cr)
  • COA616 Theories and Principles of Behavior Change (3 cr)

Trimester 3

  • COA620 Applied Healing Strategies (3 cr)
  • COAPSA Practical Skills Assessment (0 cr)
  • RSCH601 Research Literacy in Integrative Health (3 cr)

Trimester 4

  • APP700 Mindfulness, Meditation, and Health (3 cr)
  • COA660 Advanced Coaching with Integrative Wellness Approaches (3 cr)

Trimester 5

  • COA641 Seminar in Health and Wellness Coaching (1 cr)
  • COA670 Advanced Topics in Health and Wellness Coaching (3 cr)
  • IHM650 Practice Management in Coaching (2 cr)

Licensure, Certification, & Credentialing


The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching and the Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching programs offer two professional credentialing pathways in all three delivery formats (online, hybrid, and on-campus). Students who complete these programs are eligible for credentialing by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). 90% of MUIH’s health and wellness coaching faculty hold credentials issued by ICF and/or NBHWC. 67% are ICF credentialed, 67% are NBHWC credentialed, and 43% are dual ICF and NBHWC credentialed.

International Coaching Federation (ICF)

COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE: Students will not be required to come to campus in the Spring 2021 trimester for any classes, orientations, or other learning experiences. Because this program can be completed fully online, students will be able to take all of their classes online should it be necessary to do so, regardless of the program format they have chosen (on-campus, hybrid, or online). Students who desire International Coaching Federation (ICF) credentialing may be affected, depending on the type of ICF credential they wish to seek. MUIH has received approval from ICF to modify the number of synchronous hours required for students’ ICF certification during the COVID-19 global pandemic. See below for specific credential details.

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching and Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching are approved by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). The courses in these programs provide the Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) required to become an ICF-certified coach. The program format students select determines the ICF credentials for which they will be eligible. All formats have the same courses, course content, and learning outcomes. The key difference between the formats is the number of synchronous (real-time) hours students experience; the number of synchronous hours experienced determines eligibility for ICF’s various credentials.

Additional requirements may apply for each of these credentials, and requirements beyond coach training increase with higher level of credentials. Interested individuals are encouraged to check for the most recent requirements with ICF at coachfederation.org.

Admission Requirements


Trimester of Entry: Fall, Spring
Application Priority Deadline: Application deadline by Trimester
General Requirements:
Program Specific Requirements: Complete Essay Questions in application:

  • Why have you chosen to apply to this program at MUIH?
  • How does the program relate to your future personal and professional goals?
  • What draws you to the health and wellness coaching field?

Program Administration


Rebecca O. Pille, Ph.D.
Department Chair

Suzanne Zolnick, M.A.S.
Department Manager

Melissa Huselton
Academic Advisor

An MUIH education is not just for living, but for life.