The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Integrative Health Studies provides the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge of integrative health care practices, and how complementary health approaches can be integrated with conventional health care approaches. MUIH’s program is the only such program to include both the evidence-informed efficacy of integrative health practices and the practical and business models for the inclusion of integrative practices in conventional medical and health care settings. It is designed to meet the increasing and widespread interest in exploring and understanding the benefits and application of integrative health principles and practices. This non-clinical interdisciplinary program covers a broad spectrum of integrative practices, rather than focusing on a single modality as is the case for all other MUIH programs. This 30-credit program can be completed fully online in 5 trimesters (1.5 years).
This program is designed for professionals in health care and related professions, who wish to integrate complementary health approaches in their practice or organization. It provides a variety of health care professionals with the opportunity to explore and understand the benefits and application of integrative health principles and practices, especially as related to their individual professional area within the broad health care spectrum. The primary audience for this program is two-fold. First, are healthcare practitioners seeking to expand their professional knowledge and skills and complement their current specialty with an understanding of the integrative health field. This audience includes, among others, nurses, social service and behavioral health professionals, allied healthcare professionals, and other licensed/certified healthcare and medical providers. Second, are professionals who support the health care field through their work in administration, management, policy, and advocacy, as well as health and science writing and communication.
The program provides students with an understanding of:
This program provides foundational knowledge (18 credits) in the theoretical and philosophical foundations of integrative health practices, the efficacy and effectiveness of such practices, and practical and business models for the inclusion of integrative practices in conventional care settings. The opportunity for direct relevance and application of learning is achieved through a capstone course whose project focuses on incorporating integrative health practices into each students’ unique profession and/or health care organization.
Students personalize their study through the addition of elective curriculum (12 credits) which provides the opportunity to explore particular integrative health care practices in greater depth through areas of concentration. Areas of concentration are selected from one of three domains:
Nutrition and Herbal Medicine
This group of electives provides foundational knowledge in nutrition and herbal medicine. Students learn an integrative approach to nutrition that explores the health benefits of diet from a whole person perspective. Students also learn about the practice of herbal medicine and develop an in-depth knowledge of common herbs and their indications and safety.
Health Promotion, Education, and Research
This area of concentration provides a deeper exploration of health promotion, health literacy and research in integrative health. This concentration is designed for students looking to expand their skills in promoting and supporting the practice of integrative health through communications, administration and research initiatives.
Mind-Body Practices and Whole Medical Systems
This area of concentration provides skills in mindfulness and meditation practices which can be incorporated into the student’s existing practice. Students also gains a deeper knowledge of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to help bridge their own practice with these traditional medical systems.
Students may also decide not to pursue a specific area of concentration (i.e., “Undeclared” area of concentration) and instead craft a personalized elective curriculum to combine 12 credits from any of the three areas above to complete the degree.
The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Integrative Health Studies can serve as an entry point and advanced standing in the M.A. Integrative Health Studies degree. The four courses of the certificate program are transferrable and make up the first four required courses of the master’s degree.
Upon completion of this program students will be able to:
This program consists of 18 credits of required courses and 12 credits of elective courses.
The program consists of 18 credits of the following required courses:
The program consists of 12 credits selected from the following areas of concentration:
Nutrition and Herbal Medicine Area of Concentration
Health Promotion, Education, and Research Area of Concentration
Mind-Body Practices and Whole Medical Systems Area of Concentration
*If AOM601 is selected, the student will need to add a minimum of one credit from one of the other areas of concentrations above.
Undeclared Area of Concentration
Students may craft a personalized elective curriculum to combine 12 credits from any of the three areas above to complete the degree.
Course descriptions are available in the Academic Catalog.
Complementary and integrative health care approaches are increasingly a key component of access to high quality, high impact, and affordable health care. McKinsey and Company reported the wellness industry “a demographic sweet spot of enormous potential” and calculated this market as close to $16.5 billion per annum. The 2012 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics demonstrated significant use and spending on integrative health care approaches. One-third of U.S. adults and nearly 12% of children ages 4 to 17 used complementary health approaches. An estimated 59 million persons aged four years and over had at least one expenditure for some type of complementary health approach, resulting in total out-of-pocket expenditures of $30.2 billion per year. Out-of-pocket spending for complementary health approaches represented 9.2% of all out-of-pocket spending on health care. The 2017 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics demonstrated continued growth and significant use of complementary and integrative health approaches. A 2010 study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the American Association of Retired Persons indicated that 50% of Americans age 50 and older reported using complementary and alternative medicine.
Traditional health care organizations, employers, and regulators are responding to increased consumer demand for integrative health therapies. In 1999, only 7.7% of hospitals offered integrative therapies. By 2004 that number had increased to 18.3%, and by 2005 25% of hospitals were offering services in a complementary or integrative fashion. The 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics found that nearly 42% of hospice care providers offered complementary and alternative therapies, had a provider on staff or under contract, or both.
High job growth rates are projected by the U.S. Bureau for Labor and Statistics for the period 2018-2028 for the target audience for this program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects healthcare occupations to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Two of the top twenty projected fastest growing occupations for the period 2018-2028 are among the audience for this program; these projected growth rates are 31% for physician assistants (#7), 28% for nurse practitioners (#9). In addition, the occupation predicted to add the third most new jobs during the period 2018-2028, registered nurses, is among the audience for this program. Other occupations among the audience also have strong growth projections for the period 2018-2028. Much faster than average growth rates are projected for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors (22%), physical therapists (22%), massage therapists (22%), athletic trainers (19%), occupational therapists (18%), medical and health services managers (18%), fitness trainers and instructors (13%), social workers (11%), and health educators and community health workers (11%). Faster than average growth rates are projected for exercise physiologists (10%), technical writers (including health and science writers, 8%), physicians (7%), and chiropractors (7%). View more about career opportunities.
This program is offered in the online format. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.
For trimester start and end dates, see the Academic Calendar.
The schedule of courses for this program is shown below.
Marybeth Missenda, RPh. M.S. C.N.S.
Rachel Voss, M.P.A.
Chelsey Barrett, M.S.