Strengths of Our Program

Students join Integrative Health Studies to earn an MA in integrative health and wellness and to become certified health and wellness coaches at an accredited university. There are no prerequisites for the program; we teach you what you need to become an expert in your field.

Full-Time or Part-Time Curriculum

Students may complete the program in a minimum of two years. They may also pursue the curriculum on a part-time basis, and complete their course of study within five years.


Students gain real-world experience in the Integrative Health field in a 200-hour internship.


Students write a modified thesis on an integrative health research subject of their own interest. The scholarly process allows students to design, conduct, and assess applied research in integrative health and to engage professional skills. 

Course of Study

The MA requires 36 units of coursework at the Mission St campus. Students who attend our program full-time starting in the fall might take the following sample course of study. For all students, there are 31 units of required courses and 5 units of electives.

The Integrative Body (3 units)
Integrative Wellness Coaching (3)
Academic Foundations (Intro to Academic Writing) (1)
Stress Management and Movement (3)

Advanced Wellness Coaching (2)
Integrative Nutrition (3)
Aging and Health (3)
Integrative Wellness Management (2)

Research Proposal (2)
Mindfulness and Optimal Wellbeing (2)
Transformative Imagery (3)
Interpersonal Neurobiology (1)

Integrative Seminar (3)
Health Education (3)
Communication Practicum (1)  
Sustainable Health and Ecology (2) or Business of Wellness (2) or Indigenous Medicine (1)

Course Descriptions

Integrative Nutrition
This course explores a holistic approach to the various ways in which we nourish ourselves, and to the dietary and functional medicine aspects of digestive health and wellness. Students will study the research, tools, and skills needed to make recommendations about food, nutrition, and wellness; learn to identify and address nutrition-related acute and chronic conditions; and learn and apply clinical skills for comprehensive nutritional assessment.

Integrative Wellness Coaching
This course launches students' study and experience of being an integrative wellness coach, and is targeted toward experiential practice of basic coaching skills. Students will engage in case studies, learn strategies for behavior change, and become familiar with basic practical guides and theoretical models.  Other courses in IHL curriculum are designed to supplement the students' special knowledge in health and wellness. 

Advanced Wellness Coaching
This course advances and deepens the study and experience of being an integrative wellness coach. With a focus on health communications between client and coach, and coach and health care providers, students will develop knowledge and skills for working with people with chronic disease who require lifestyle management strategies to improve their conditions. IHL 6060 is a prerequisite.

The Integrative Body
This course presents a new conceptual framework for understanding the complex, interdependent networks within the human body from an integrative and holistic perspective, while giving a concise overview of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Students will look at the fundamental processes of homeodynamic health as well as the underlying causes that account for chronic disease and illness.

Integrative Wellness Management
This course brings the foundational skills in coaching into a larger organizational setting and focuses on professional competencies for designing, implementing, and sustaining work-site wellness programs. The course will examine research in combination with real-world examples and case studies, so that students may explore wellness programs that are effective for both employees and organizations.

Communication Practicum
This course examines the use of effective communication and communication theories for personal and professional development. Students will develop guidelines for effective communication (1) between practitioners and clients; (2) among practitioners; (3) among practitioners and the public. Students will identify their personal strengths and their opportunities for growth in different areas of communication.

Academic Foundations
This course is designed to demystify academic writing, including critical reflection essays and research papers, in a safe, supportive, and rigorous workshop environment. The course builds academic writing skills on four tracks: the writer (journals, strategies for writer's block, getting organized), the community (peer review and response), the language (words, sentences, paragraphs, style, voice) and the discipline (e.g., anthropology, philosophy, etc.) An individual plan will be developed to help each student achieve their personal goals, and students will receive feedback from the professors and fellow students.

Research Proposal
This course focuses on applying the research skills and concepts that are needed to write the methodology section within IHL 6995 Integrative Seminar, for which it is a prerequisite. Covered are formulating research questions; performing literature search and review; conducting focus group interviews; developing survey questionnaires; reliability/validity testing; identifying and choosing proper research designs; sampling procedures; data management and analysis; and communicating the findings. 

Stress Management and Movement
This course exposes students to the concept of holistic stress management: the principles, theories, and skills needed to effectively manage personal stress, to understand the psychosomatic (mind-body-spirit) relationship, and to employ a holistic approach to stress management. It serves as a foundational preparation to coach individual clients and organizations on the benefits of physical activity and other wellness practices for regulating stress and developing stress hardiness.

Health Education
This course serves as a framework for preparing professional, entry-level health educators. It integrates educational theory and applied health knowledge with processes and methods of conducting health education within the clinical and organizational settings. Special attention will be paid to the numerous competencies and subcompetencies of the seven areas of responsibility recommended by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).

Mindfulness and Optimal Wellbeing
Students will learn the theoretical aspects of the integral health model and human flourishing (psychospiritual, biological, interpersonal, and worldly), and learn to incorporate meditation and mindfulness practices into their personal and professional lives. The course will include an in-depth exploration of both traditional and modern scientific understandings about the relationship between mind and matter, and the relevance of mindfulness for lasting behavior change and optimal health.

Aging and Health
This multidisciplinary course is designed to introduce the basics of aging and health by examining the personal, interpersonal, shared, and global aspects of aging. This course will examine biological theories of aging, demographic trends, and a variety of gerontological issues, including cognitive health and decline, functional performance and physical fitness, geriatric pharmacotherapy, pathology, nutritional metabolism, geriatric case management, and end-of-life care.

Integrative Seminar
This seminar course provides the support to prepare and write the Modified Thesis, and represents the final integration of professional, academic and personal learning during the M.A. program. It is fashioned as a seminar-style exchange, with mentorship to examine evolving work, issues, and challenges as students complete the various components of the Project.

Sustainable Health and Ecology (elective)
This course utilizes systems theory to explore sustainable life practices that create optimal well-being, social equality, community building, and environmental renewal. Health will be re-defined as a balanced use of life resources. This course offers practical skills in healthy lifestyle design, stress reduction, and self-care practices that social, emotional, and ecological intelligence. 

Indigenous Medicine (elective)
This course is a cross-cultural introduction to the philosophy and practice of indigenous medicine. Students will study the tenets of indigenous science and discuss how they apply to indigenous medicine; explore different cultural systems of indigenous medicine to identify their commonalities and differences; and compare practices of indigenous medicine to those of the western/biomedical model of medicine.

Interpersonal Neurobiology (elective)
This course explores the intersections of recent findings in neuroscience with social cognitive perspectives and attachment theory. It allows practitioners in integrative health and psychology to extend those findings to approaches for cultivating supportive relationships and stronger connections, mindfulness, meditation, and the cultivation of empathy and compassion.

Business of Wellness (elective)
This course is designed for Health and Wellness Practitioners who want to develop a successful practice, create sustainable programs, build increased leadership capacity, and generate social impact. Content will include: Setting the foundation of your business, brand Identity, marketing, effective entrepreneurial skills and leadership, business organization and structures, program development, social change, and coaching style.

Transformative Imagery (elective)
Through a compelling and extensive body of research connected to the field of psychoneuroimmunology, we have learned that conscious and unconscious images within us have a direct impact on our physiology, offering guided imagery an important role for a range of health-related conditions. Students will learn and practice an interactive style of imagery facilitation which navigates the mind-body-emotions-spirit matrix, along with an understanding of its applications for a variety of health and lifestyle concerns. 

Independent Study (elective)
Independent Study courses are proposed by individual students who cannot find similar course material in any of the CIIS programs. They should be based on a clearly defined need of the student's future professional practice. They must be constructed as a regular course, with full permission from the student's advisor.

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