Master of Arts in Integrative Health Studies | MUIH
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Master of Arts in Integrative Health Studies

Overview

MUIH’s Master of Arts (MA) in Integrative Health Studies 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 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. This online 30 credit program can be completed in two years.

Audience

The MA in Integrative Health Studies is designed for individuals who wish to gain graduate level knowledge about integrative health to enhance their career in health care and related professions, and inform the application of integrative health approaches in their organization. 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 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.

Description

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 elective curriculum (12 credits) provides students with the opportunity to explore particular integrative health care practices in greater depth through areas of concentration. Elective courses can be chosen from one of three areas of concentration: Nutrition and Herbal Medicine; Health Promotion, Education, and Research; or Mind-Body Practices and Whole Medical Systems; students who decide not to pursue a specific area of concentration may instead combine 12 credits from any of the three areas to complete the degree.

Students who complete the MA in Integrative Health Studies will be able to:

  • Explain the foundational principles, philosophies, practice, and models of integrative health care
  • Evaluate the principles, practice, and application of particular areas of the integrative health care field
  • Apply research literacy skills to critically analyze integrative health research literature
  • Select evidence-based integrative health interventions aligned with prevalent health conditions
  • Analyze the factors associated with incorporating integrative health practices in their profession and health care organization

The core and elective portions of the program include the following course work:

Core Program Requirements – 18 credits

  • APP606 Becoming a Healing Presence (3 cr)
  • INHS610 Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions for Common Conditions (3 cr)
  • INHS620 Integrative Care Models (3 cr)
  • INHS710 Seminar in Integrative Health Studies (3 cr)
  • ISCI630A Survey of Complementary Health Approaches (3 cr)
  • RSCH601 Research Literacy in Integrative Health (3 cr)

Nutrition and Herbal Medicine Area of Concentration – 12 credits

Complete all 12 credits of the following courses work:

  • NUTR601 Redefining Nutrition (1 cr)
  • NUTR602 Nutrition: Food and Balance (3 cr)
  • NUTR672 Mindful Eating and Nourishment (2 cr)
  • HRB600 Fundamentals of Herbal Medicine (3 cr)
  • HRB605 Materia Medica I (3 cr)

Health Promotion, Education, and Research Area of Concentration – 12 credits

  • IHED610 Fundamentals of Health Education and Health Behavior (3 cr)
  • IHED615 Health Promotion Leadership, Administration and Management (3 cr)
  • IHED621 Communication Strategies in Health Education (3 cr)
  • IHED637 Principles and Practices of Health Behavior and Self-Care (1.5 cr)
  • RSCH610 Introduction to Scientific Writing (1.5 cr)

Mind-Body Practices and Whole Medical Systems Area of Concentration – 12 credits

Select 12 credits of course work from the following list. If AOM601 is selected, the student will need to add a minimum of 1 credit from one of the other areas of concentrations above.         

  • AOM601 History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (2 cr)
  • APP700 Mindfulness, Meditation, and Health (3 cr)
  • AYUR630 Foundations of Ayurveda and Medical Theory (3 cr)
  • AYUR631 Ayurveda and the Mind and Mindbody Wellness (3 cr)
  • ISCI671 Physical Activity and Health (3 cr)

Four courses (12 credits) can be applied to both the M.A. in Integrative Health Studies and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Integrative Health Studies: INHS610, INHS620, ISCI630A, and RSCH601. The PBC program serves as both a stand-alone credential and a stackable credential leading toward the M.A. degree.

Career Opportunities

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 (2013). 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. Spending on integrative medicine was expected to increase to $115 billion by the year 2015.

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. All twenty hospitals on the 2017-2018 US News and World Report America’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll offer integrative health care and practices. 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. 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 2016-2026 for the target audience for this program. Four of the top twenty projected fastest growing occupations for the period 2016-2026 are among the audience for this program. These projected growth rates are 37% for physicians assistants (#5), 36% for nurse practitioners (#6), 28% for physical therapists (#17), and 26% massage therapists (#20). In addition, the occupation predicted to add the third most new jobs during the period 2016-2026, registered nurses with 438,000 new jobs, is among the audience for this program.  Other occupations among the audience also have strong growth projections for the period 2016-2016.  Social workers (16%), mental health counselors (15%), community health workers (16%), health educators (16%), occupational therapists (24%), athletic trainers (23%), and medical and health services managers (20%) have much faster than average projected growth rates. Technical writers (11%), fitness trainers and instructors (10%), and exercise physiologists (13%) have a faster than average project growth rate.