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. 

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! 

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.

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! 

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.

The mission of the MS in Holistic Nutrition degree program is to provide professional holistic nutrition and physical health recommendations from which community programming and client education can be based. This in turn will help people to live healthier lives, prevent illness or injury, and reduce the risk of chronic disease while promoting wellness.

Holistic nutrition is the foundation to any holistic health lifestyle plan for optimal health. 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.[1]

The demand for nutrition education and nutrition professionals has increased. In fact, in December 2011 the Nutrition Business Journal reported that the global nutrition industry posted 6.1% annual growth in 2010, with natural & organic food (7.5%) and natural personal care (8.7%) the strongest performers.[2] Consumer use of Complementary and Alternative (CAM) approaches to wellness and prevention continues to increase, fueled by a number of factors, including increasing research of efficacy, dissatisfaction with allopathic models (particularly for chronic health problems), and an aging population. 

This emphasis on preventative care and health and wellness at a government level, in the global nutrition industry and amongst consumers is projected to create new opportunities in the health care and health and wellness-related industries. [3]

The MS in Holistic Nutrition program offers students a focused training in advanced applied holistic nutrition. There is an emphasis on integrating holistic nutrition research and coaching skills to prepare graduates for direct application of holistic nutrition theory, science and concepts in holistic health lifestyle planning for optimal health.

Industry Recognition & Credentialing:

This program:

  • Is approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) (
  • Meets the education requirements for graduates to sit the Board Certification in Holistic Nutrition exam offered by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (, 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.

Nutrition State Law Disclosures:

if you are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition or dietetics, you should consult with the appropriate state board to assure that your credentials will allow you to achieve your professional goals. Many states have enacted laws that regulate the practice of dietetics and nutrition services. You can also view more information for each state online here.

Career Goals:

  • Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Educator, Writer, or Speaker
  • Holistic Nutrition 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
  • Holistic Health Practitioner
  • Holistic Health Educator [4], Writer, or Speaker
  • Health or Holistic Nutrition 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

The Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition degree is also designed for:

  • Medical professionals wishing to increase their knowledge of holistic nutrition 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 nutrition and wellness principles into their life for personal health and well-being.

Program Objectives:

Specifically, graduates of the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition program will:

  • Describe the current theories and best practices in holistic nutrition
  • Locate, analyze, and explain current scientific literature in holistic nutrition, prevention, and wellness industries
  • Explain appropriate holistic nutrition protocols to clients, consumers, and the public  
  • Evaluate, generate, and implement best practices for evidence-based holistic nutrition protocols with clients, fellow practitioners, consumers, and the public
  • Assist with designing and planning appropriate clinical studies elucidating the underlying mechanisms of action of holistic nutrition protocols, facilitating their integration into conventional medical care, and stimulating professionalism, integrity, and social responsibility in the prevention and wellness industry
  • Identify and explain the mechanical and biochemical changes caused by a variety of diseases or imbalances
  • Differentiate system imbalances, identify particular ailments, and develop individualized holistic nutrition recommendations clients and consumers can use to restore wellness
  • 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
  • Prepare for and pass the national board certification examination of National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), administered by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board
  • Learn and abide by the code of ethics and scope of practice as set for by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals
  • Identify and explain advocacy roles in the holistic nutrition industry, including policy making, academic research, manufacturing, and leadership

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



[3] *Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition, Healthcare, on the Internet at National long-term projections may

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