Jayna Carter (2014): I truly thought I knew a lot along the lines of holistic nutrition. I realize now that I was only scratching the surface, until my studies at ACHS! The textbooks were SO interesting, and I feel that I have acquired so much knowledge in such a short amount of time. I can't wait to start my new career in helping others live healthier more vibrant lives through nutrition.

Avary Kerestes (2014): So far, I have only completed 2 classes in the Holistic Nutrition Masters degree program, but I find I am more excited about this degree every day. I cannot stop talking about it and the wonderful things I am learning. I am proud to attend this school and am grateful to have found such a valuable program to teach me the knowledge I was seeking and so much more. In just 2 classes, ACHS has changed my life already. I can't wait for the next class! 

Melissa Whittaker (2014): This course, including all of the courses I have taken during my time at ACHS, are well worth the investment! They provide supportive, knowledgeable professors and staff, intriguing course material and assignments, and a wealth of knowledge to absorb and assimilate into, not only my professional life, but my daily life as well.

Herb 101 Amy Bartlett

Amanda Ptak (2014): Wonderful program that I would recommend to anyone that is interested in holistic health. 

Nancy Delk (2014): As always, the quality of the education I'm receiving from ACHS is top-notch! I would recommend this college to anyone and hope to be able to actually make it to Portland someday to visit! 

Marcia Briseno (2014): I highly recommend this course to anyone thinking about entering into any type of clinical practice or outreach within the community. Or for those who are entering into the herbal or aromatherapy area, the knowledge and understanding of the human body is so very important.

The mission of the MS in Health and Wellness degree program is to help others achieve health and wellness in a non-clinical setting through education and coaching strategies and to provide a healthier lifestyle for individuals and their families. It specifically meets the goal of the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) to “maintain a skilled, cross-trained, and diverse prevention workforce” and explicitly integrates many of the goals of the NPS across the program.

The United States healthcare system has shifted its emphasis to prevention in an effort to reduce healthcare costs and service a society that is both growing and living longer. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in late 2010 by the US Government there is even more focus on prevention and wellness. The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) was released June 16, 2011, as part of the ACA. The NPS launched a comprehensive plan that will help increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.

Nutrition and healthy eating are one of the seven primary priorities outlined in the detailed NPS strategy, which also includes tobacco free living, preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use, active living, injury and violence free living, reproductive and sexual health, mental and emotional well-being. [1]

Educated professionals with knowledge and training in health and wellness provide wellness and physical health recommendations from which community programming and client education can be based. This in turn helps people to live healthier lives, prevent illness or injury, and helps reduce the risk of chronic disease while promoting wellness.

The MS in Health and Wellness program offers students a broad range of elective choices, designed to allow each student to select modalities that meet their personal and career goals. There is an emphasis on integrating health and wellness research and coaching skills to prepare graduates for a role in directing wellness programs, coaching in an individual or group setting, or for personal goals. The program culminates in a capstone project, which, if approved, may be conducted at your institution or company. For example, this could include creating a wellness program at your institution or company.

Industry Recognition & Credentialing:

This program:

  • Is approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) (http://www.nanp.org)
  • Meets the education requirements for graduates to sit the Board Certification in Holistic Nutrition exam offered by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (http://nanp.org/hncb) entitling successful candidates to use the following designations: Certified Nutritionist (CN), Nutrition Consultant (NC), Nutrition Educator (NE), or Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) in accordance with applicable State laws.

Career Goals:

The Master of Science in Health and Wellness degree prepares graduates to enter the health and wellness industry as a:

  • Health and Wellness Consultant, Educator, Writer, or Speaker
  • Health and Wellness Consultant within Community Health Organizations, Government, Residential Care Facilities, Schools, Prisons, Community Wellness programs, Retirement Villages, Old Age Homes, Frail Care Centers, Nursing Homes and Home Healthcare Agencies
  • Health and Wellness Practitioner
  • Health and Wellness Educator [2], Writer, or Speaker
  • Health and Wellness Coach
  • Health Coach
  • Wellness Coach
  • Lifestyle coach or consultant
  • Health Care Industry Assistant - Day Spa, Holistic Retreat, Spa facility
  • Administrative or support role in any company in the health care industry such as medical center, fitness or wellness center, private practice yoga studio, natural food store, restaurant or educational facility.
  • Customer service role within the health care industry
  • Sales associate role within the health care industry
  • Medical Assistant, administrator, reception, or other support role in a licensed naturopathic clinic or other healthcare setting

The Master of Science in Health and Wellness degree is also designed for:

  • Medical professionals wishing to increase their knowledge of health and wellness to augment a new or existing practice, including Medical Doctors, Psychologists, Pharmacists, Naturopaths, Nurses, Veterinarians, Respiratory Therapists, Mental Health Counselors or Social Workers.
  • Consumers looking to integrate holistic health and wellness principles into their life for personal health and well-being.

Program Objectives

Specifically, graduates of the Master of Science in Health and Wellness program will:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth, advanced knowledge of health and wellness strategies to achieve each of the seven priorities identified by the National Prevention Strategy (NPS): Tobacco Free Living, Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use, Healthy Eating, Active Living, Injury and Violence Free Living, Reproductive and Sexual Health, Mental and Emotional Well-Being
  • Act as Partners in Prevention as communicators and educators as identified in the National Prevention Strategy (NPS)
  • Implement strategies to provide people with information to make healthy choices and to reinforce and support health and wellness by making healthy choices easy and affordable
  • Create and support comprehensive wellness programs for corporations, educational facilities, districts, and more
  • Identify and implement proven strategies and conduct research where evidence is lacking
  • Evaluate, generate, and implement best practices for evidence-based holistic nutrition protocols with clients, consumers, and the public
  • Understand and identify the mechanical and biochemical changes caused by a variety of diseases or imbalances to be able to address system imbalances and provide education that individuals can use to restore wellness
  • Develop a solid knowledge base of holistic health and wellness protocols and be able to apply that knowledge by informing and assisting practitioners and consumers
  • Educate others about appropriate holistic health protocols that can help to rebalance the body and restore wellness, both for general good health and when particular ailments demonstrate an imbalance in the body and lifestyle
  • Outline the steps to set up a business, including insurance, management, legal issues, ethics, keeping records, listening and observation skills, informed consent, marketing, business planning, and wellness counseling
  • Learn and adhere to the ethical and legal obligations of relevant industry organizations, including the International Coach Federation (ICF), the National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA), the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC), and the American Herbalists Guild (AHG)
  • Learn and adhere to the International Coach Federation (ICF) ethical guidelines and professional standards, including: establishing the coaching agreement, establishing trust and intimacy with the client, coaching presence, active listening, powerful questioning, direct communication, creating awareness, designing actions, planning and goal setting, and managing progress and accountability

The full program objectives for this program can be found in the ACHS Program Catalog available to download online here.

Current Instructors: 

View all ACHS instructor bios, photos and courses taught online here.

Admissions Requirements:

Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Candidates must submit official transcripts directly from the issuing institution along with one professional letter of recommendation. All applicants must be recommended for admission by the ACHS Admissions Committee.

Tuition and Fees:

To estimate the program tuition and fees, click on the required course name below for each Total Course Price or click here for the projected maximum cost for this program, including materials that have the greatest outlay for students.

Required Sequence:

The required course sequence for this program is published in the ACHS Program Catalog available to download online here.

Total Credits Completed


Elective credits needed


[1] http://www.healthcare.gov/prevention/nphpphc/strategy/report.html

[2] This degree does not satisfy the requirements to become a CHES Health Educator.