The Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health integrates traditional systems and nature-based knowledge of food and health with contemporary biochemical and physiological perspectives of the complex role of nutrition in human health. While building foundational skills in the sciences and introductory nutrition, students enhance the scope of their knowledge and skills by selecting an area of concentration in Community Nutrition Education, Herbal Medicine, or Human Clinical Nutrition. The program is one of the few integrative master’s degree programs in nutrition in the country.
Depending on Area of Concentration, the degree is 50 or 58 credits and can be finished in 2 – 4 years. The program is delivered in online, hybrid, and on-campus formats.
The degree is designed for students who are entering the profession as a first or second career, with or without experience working in the healthcare industry. Students graduate as creative practitioners and educators who are capable of working collaboratively to support individuals and groups with personalized evidence-based interventions and educational programs.
The Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health is unique in integrating biochemical assessments, basic science, and applied nutrition coursework and employing case studies and client interviews to teach intervention strategies for a wide range of health challenges. The curriculum addresses the cognitive and physiological factors influencing the complex role of food and nutrition in human health.
Experiences unique to the MUIH Master’s degree are the cooking labs and hands-on practice in nutritional assessment and counseling or in the planning, development and delivery of nutrition education programs. Through a series of whole foods cooking labs, students apply nutrition theory, acquire cooking skills and learn the restorative nature of whole foods. Depending on the Area of Concentration, the degree culminates in a two-trimester experience in which students interview and assess real and mock clients, develop a nutrition education program for a particular population or complete an applied research project on a nutrition problem.
Graduates are prepared to sit for national certification exams such as the Certified Nutrition Specialist Exam and the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health, students will be able to:
1. Apply biochemical, clinical (laboratory testing, anthropometric measurements, and physical exams) and nutritional knowledge to guide nutrition interventions and monitoring
2. Analyze the macro- and micronutrient content, nutrient density, and additional food components of a client’s diet
3. Design culturally sensitive food plans that support changing nutritional needs during the various lifecycle stages and promote disease prevention and management
4. Formulate comprehensive clinical intervention plans that incorporate whole foods, supplements, lifestyle changes and other integrative health approaches
5. Apply the nutrition care process to assess status, develop nutrition diagnoses and interventions, evaluate and monitor the client’s progress using a functional nutrition approach
6. Develop personal mindful eating practices and guide groups or clients in mindfulness practices
The Master’s degree prepares students for careers as professionals, practitioners, consultants, researchers, entrepreneurs, writers and educators in the field of Clinical Nutrition.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median pay of Nutritionists/Dietitians in 2017 was $59,410 per year (www.bls.gov).
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 reports that the average pay for nutritionists/dietitians in the state of Maryland was $66,520 per year (www.bls.gov).
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth, “Employment is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The role of food in preventing and treating illnesses, such as diabetes, is now well known. More dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health.(www.bls.gov).”