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Home / Academics / Master's Degrees / Master Therapeutic Herbalism / Objectives & Outcomes


Objectives & Outcomes

Educational Objectives

  • Be able to advise and educate effectively to create a comprehensive wellness plan incorporating herbal, dietary and lifestyle recommendations integrating self-awareness and lessons of nature
  • Possess knowledge of traditional herbal systems as well as an understanding of the principles and practices of modern Western herbalism
  • Have a foundational understanding of biomedicine, pharmacology, Materia Medica, herbal preparations, history, clinical assessment, safety, and plant identification and wild crafting
  • Have the skills to understand, design, and perform GMP compliance measurements
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze herbal research and contribute to the current body of herbal literature
  • Know how to integrate knowledge of raw materials, formulation, and herbal pharmacy for product development purposes
  • Know how to effectively educate individuals and groups about herbs
    • Be able to demonstrate basic skills in herb identification, harvesting, and preparation
    • Be able to address potential safety concerns including herb-drug interactions
    • Be able to grow personally and professionally and to participate actively in the field of herbalism through writing, research, public speaking, and/or professional affiliation

Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to the educational objectives for all graduates, specific areas of concentration have the following outcomes:

Clinical Herbalism

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Accurately gather information regarding past and current health status while differentiating between phenomena and the client’s interpretation of phenomena
  • Synthesize the above information to create a comprehensive assessment of health inputs and processes
  • Work with clients to develop individualized goals and a plan for health and wellness
  • Adjust the individualized plan and goals in response to the changing needs of the client.
  • Achieve and maintain rapport with clients, listen attentively, and practice with compassion
  • Have the skills to establish and maintain an effective herbal practice
    • Be able to assess and support clients within the context of a health and wellness paradigm
    • Be able to navigate the current healthcare environment, empower clients to make informed choices and refer when appropriate
    • Be competent in the basic business skills necessary to build and maintain an herbal practice
  • Be able to collaborate with other healthcare providers in partnership
  • Be able to grow personally and professionally
  • Have the self-awareness to recognize external and internal cues, reflect upon feedback and adjust behavior accordingly
  • Be able to apply concepts of critical thinking and information literacy to individualized client care.

Herbal Product Design

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate intermediate to advanced skills in:
    • Harvesting and processing of plant material
    • Rationale design, product preparation, and formulation of herbal products
    • Macroscopy and related botanical skills to confidently analyze botanical ingredients used in commercial products
    • Researching evidenced based literature to support the safe and efficacious development of a herbal supplement
    • Using traditional knowledge to bridge the knowledge gap of evidenced based data to make rational decisions in developing safe and effective herbal products
  • Demonstrate an understanding of:
    • The impact of processing practices on the therapeutic value of herbs
    • How to work ethically in natural plant communities
    • How to appropriately gather and process plants in the field
    • How to extract and synthesize traditional, pharmacological and clinical data to make an informed decision about the application of herbal formulas
    • How to link pharmacological concepts with the qualities of herbal medicine
    • How the traditional knowledge for use of medicinal plants from the local bioregion has been influence by cultural, ecological, and medicinal values
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and competencies necessary for successful employment in:
    • The natural products industry as QA, QC and GMP technicians; raw materials production, acquisition and wild crafting; researcher, product designer and formulator; educator for internal, as well as consumer constituencies
    • Academic institutions and related areas as researchers, educators and writers
    • Federal regulatory roles assessing phytochemical profiles, safety concerns, structure function and new ingredient claims

Certification and Credentials

Herbal medicine remains an unlicensed field but does offer a recognized board certification through the American Herbalists Guild, a body of professional herbalists certifying a high level of knowledge and experience in botanical medicine. Graduates of the Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism are eligible to apply for this credential.

Graduates of the Clinical Herbalism area of concentration may pursue the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential by taking 16 credits in nutrition and related topics. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information, and see more about the CNS exam under the Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health