Most undergraduate programs in holistic health provide students with foundational knowledge in major areas of holistic nutrition, including digestion, human anatomy, clinical nutrition, community nutrition and weight management. Students also learn about interactions among food, drugs, herbs and vitamins. Many programs train students to work with professionals in traditional medicine to promote general health and prevent disease by combining the two separate, but related, disciplines. Most courses of study also educate students in other types of alternative medicine, such as naturopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation and hypnosis.
Before entering a holistic care bachelor's degree program, students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and experience in a related area is preferred although not required. Once in school, students can choose from different program fields, such as a Bachelor's of Science in Holistic Nutrition or Bachelor's of Health Science in Asian Holistic Health. Students can specialize in areas like Chinese medicine, yoga, Ayurveda and biofeedback.
Bachelor's Degree in Holistic Care
Coursework in bachelor's degree programs in holistic health can vary according to specialty; however, most courses of study include training in nutrition and exercise science. Programs also often incorporate entrepreneurial training because many holistic health practitioners start their own practices. Here are some courses commonly found in the curriculum:
- Holistic health counseling
- Vitamins and minerals
- Mind and body connection
- Aroma therapy
- Holistic lifestyles and education
Popular Career Options
Graduates of this degree can find work in number of different industries. Here are a few popular career options:
- Yoga instructor
- Nutrition consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 8%, about as fast as the average for all occupations, for fitness trainers and instructors from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $36,160 for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. The BLS did not report statistics specifically for entrepreneurs, acupuncturists or nutrition consultants. Dietitians and nutritionists, who are required to be licensed or certified in most states, can expect job growth of 16% from 2014-2024, the BLS reported. The median annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists as of May 2015 was $57,910.
There are many options for advanced education for graduates of a bachelor's program in holistic nutrition. Graduates might earn advanced degrees in areas such as holistic medicine, dietetics and exercise science. Popular graduate programs in holistic care include a holistic health studies graduate certificate, Master of Science (M.S.) in Holistic Nutrition and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Holistic Nutrition.
Bachelor's degree programs in holistic care offer students the opportunity to become leaders in the industry of holistic health. Not only do graduates of these programs go on to become acupuncturists or yoga instructors, they can move on to higher degrees and open their own practices.