Depending on a student's interests in holistic health, bachelor's degree options are available in such disciplines as massage therapy or holistic care nursing, among others. Some programs require prerequisite coursework, and students might find specializations within a program. Students are required to have a high school education to enroll, preferably with previous science courses.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Holistic Health
Depending on the area of focus, classes can cover a wide range of topics. Students who choose to specialize in nutrition may study herbs or the use of nutrition to treat an illness. Those pursuing holistic nursing may learn different forms of massage therapy, such as tui na (pronounced 'tway na') or to use the body's energy systems to help heal the patient. Course topics can include:
- The influence of nutrition on health
- Lifestyle choices and their impact on wellness
- Spirituality and sexuality
- Anatomy and physiology
Popular Career Options
Individuals who complete the bachelor's degree are prepared for a wide range of careers. Some work as independent consultants to individuals or corporate wellness programs. Others work in food services designing health conscience products and menus. Those already working in the medical field might bring new forms of healing to patients, such as dietary changes or meditation. Due to individual state regulations, a bachelor's degree in a holistic health discipline can limit the types of job titles a graduate can use. For example, an individual with a degree in holistic nutrition may not be able to use 'dietitian' as a job title. Possible careers include:
- Holistic nutrition educator
- Product developer
- Lifestyle and wellness coach
- Holistic nurse
- Massage therapist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 12% for health educators in general (the broader category that could include holistic nutrition educators) from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for all health educators was $51,960, the BLS reported. The BLS did not keep statistics specifically on holistic nurses, but projected that registered nurses in general could expect to see job growth of 16% from 2014-2024. Registered nurses earned a median salary of $67,490 as of May 2015. Massage therapists could expect job growth of 22% during the same decade, and as of May 2015 they earned a median annual salary of $38,040.
Continuing Education Information
A bachelor's degree in any area of holistic health is usually all that is required for employment in the field. However, students who wish to study further in their chosen area can pursue an advanced degree. There are master's and doctoral degree programs available in many holistic health topics.
A bachelor's degree in a field related to holistic health is generally all a student needs to begin a career in the field, learning Graduates can choose to further their education by entering a graduate program in a holistic health-related field.