Holistic health programs train students in natural and alternative methods of promoting wellness by means of nutrition, physical activity, and treatment with botanical medicines. Master's degree programs in holistic wellness typically take 2-3 years to complete. Online courses are available, yet many programs require students to complete some sort of supervised fieldwork and on-site courses. Most programs are open only to students with previous work or educational experience in holistic wellness, holistic nutrition or counseling.
Prospective students looking for a fully online alternative may consider a master's degree in psychology. While these programs do not span as broad a range of health concepts as holistic wellness programs, they do provide advanced studies in the field of mental health, which is a specific area of focus in many holistic wellness programs. Plus, a master's degree in psychology can be completed entirely online, which is ideal for students with time and location constraints that prevent them from enrolling in programs that require on-campus classes.
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Holistic Wellness Master's Degree
Master's degree programs in holistic wellness focus on elements of holistic health and alternative medicine in the physical and mental realms. Some focus primarily on nutrition or botanical medicine; others concentrate on mental health. Most programs are open only to students with previous work or educational experience in holistic wellness, holistic nutrition or counseling.
Often, a master's degree in holistic wellness is pursued together with a license in another medical practice, because licensure in holistic wellness tends to be uncommon. Holistic wellness programs usually do not qualify students to practice medicine. Graduates who also hold medical qualifications might use holistic wellness programs to enhance the range of techniques in their medical practice. Those without medical qualifications might practice informally as holistic consultants rather than as medical professionals.
In some programs, supervised fieldwork with clients may be required. This is especially common for programs that emphasize psychological and counseling approaches to wellness. Thus, only some coursework may be available online in most master's programs.
Students who pursue a degree online may have to download specialized software for accessing online learning materials. Lectures, notes and discussions are all conducted online and are typically archived, allowing students to complete work on their own schedules.
Coursework for holistic wellness programs typically cover a wide variety of physical and mental health care practices. Students often learn theories and methods integrating holistic health and traditional health to foster a multifaceted approach to alternative medicine.
Students learn the skills needed to form a positive relationship with clients, and how to better explore health concerns on a case-to-case basis. This course focuses on teaching students methods in structuring and developing specific healing programs for clients.
This course studies herbal supplements, natural cooking and other techniques for maintaining a natural, healthy lifestyle. Students learn specifics of certain holistic diets and how to formulate their own plans.
Anatomy and Physiology
Students learn about the structure and function of the human organ systems. Holistic courses focus on studying these systems as interdependent parts and understanding the ways in which they affect one another.
Career Information for Graduates
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not publish job growth or salary data specific to holistic wellness as of 2015. However, the BLS projected job growth of 17% for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general from 2014-2024, which is much faster projected growth than the average for all occupations. As of May 2015, individuals classified by the BLS as all other health diagnosing and treating practitioners earned a median annual salary of $74,710.
Students who hold a master's degree in holistic wellness often pursue licensure in other fields of healthcare. Psychology tends to be a popular field choice for integrating typical health practices with holistic health. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for a psychologist was $72,580 according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected much faster-than-average job growth of 19% for psychologists in general from 2014-2024.
In master's degree programs in holistic wellness, students study the connections between physical and mental health and learn to develop lifestyle plans that can optimize well-being. Programs typically include both online coursework and practical experience in real-world counseling settings.