Master's Degree in Holistic Health and Medicine: Program Summaries
Explore a holistic health master's degree program summary here. Learn about prerequisites and potential courses and consider some popular career options. See job outlook information and salary statistics for dietitians and nutritionists.
When analyzing a person's health, holistic medicine takes into account all aspects of the individual - spirit, body and mind. Holistic health and medicine is similar to integrative healing methods or integrative medicine. The idea behind holistic medicine consists of combining traditional medical therapies with alternative healing methods, such as herbal supplements or acupuncture. However, master's degree programs in holistic health and medicine are not sufficient preparation for those interested in becoming holistic physicians.
In a master's degree program, students learn to address causes of illnesses by focusing on areas such as physiology, meditation and healing techniques. Additionally, they learn to suggest lifestyle changes that can positively affect an individual's overall health. This level of education might lead to careers as nutrition specialists or health and wellness counselors. Doctoral-level education is available to those who want to further their careers.
Individuals interested in entering a holistic health and medicine master's degree program must have a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university, and some schools may prefer individuals with degrees in health, natural science or social science fields. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 may be required. In addition, applicants may have to submit recommendation letters and a purpose statement, as well as completing an interview.
Within a holistic graduate degree program, students may take part in a practical work experience or complete a master's project. They may also take electives in such areas as Ayurvedic healing or homeopathy, while at the same time completing required courses in:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Energy healing techniques (i.e. electromagnetic therapy)
- Holistic pathophysiology
- Spirituality and health
- Meditation and stress reduction strategies
Popular Career Options
Some times, holistic health and medicine programs are pursued by allied health and medical professionals, such as physical therapists, athletic trainers or nurses. However, a master's degree in holistic health and medicine may also be beneficial to individuals interested in becoming:
- Holistic health and wellness counselors
- Holistic nutrition consultants
- Holistic health studies instructors
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not keep statistics specifically on holistic medicine careers as of October 2013, but predicted above-average job growth of 26% for all health diagnosing and treating practitioners from 2010-2020. For dietitians and nutritionists, for example, the BLS projected job growth of 20%, which is still faster than average. As of May 2012, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $55,240 for dietitians and nutritionists.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of a master's degree program in holistic health and medicine may decide to pursue more specific complementary alternative medicine certificate programs. Specialty programs may be available in such areas as Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture or aromatherapy. Alternatively, those interested in becoming holistic physicians may pursue a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) degree.
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