2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Holistic Health (B.S.) - J, O

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs (A-Z)

Program Description

Launched in 2000, updated in spring 2014, and re-named in 2020 to reflect advances in medical knowledge and contemporary practice, the B.S. degree in Holistic Health at NVU-Johnson is based on the scientific protocols set by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health and Bastyr University’s Naturopathic Medical School program in Seattle, Washington.

An interdisciplinary collaboration between NVU-Johnson’s Behavioral Sciences and Environmental & Health Sciences departments, the program employs societal, cultural, biochemical and global frameworks to investigate the history, principles and scientific evidence for the safety and effectiveness of diverse modalities to heal disease and to create wellness. It provides the scientific knowledge and practical skills needed to make informed healthcare decisions and lifestyle choices and to prepare for careers as state-of-the-art healthcare professionals, veterinarians and doctors.

Students study conventional, allopathic medicine in the U.S. as well as alternative medical models from around the world. On-campus students may elect to co-enroll in approved certification programs to become massage therapists, yoga instructors, reiki masters and Ayurvedic consultants. (This option is not available to students enrolled in this program through NVU Online.) Graduates are prepared for initial positions in the wellness and fitness industry, hospital employee-assistance programs, social-assistance programs, the diet and supplements industry, and as assistants to alternative medical practitioners. Many graduates go on to graduate and medical schools to become physicians, nurses, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, Chinese medical doctors, ayurvedic physicians and homeopathic doctors.

The curriculum for this program was reviewed in 2012 by Dr. James S. Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine Program at Georgetown University, former chair of the White House Commission on Complementary & Alternative Medicine, and a member of the Advisory Council for the NIH National Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and in 2004 by Dr. Joseph Jacobs, former director of NCCAM. Their comments and suggestions  guided the curriculum that took effect in fall 2015.

Student Learning Outcomes 

  1. Students will demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge of the behavioral and biological evolution, principles and scientific evidence for the healing claims of conventional allopathic medicine and of diverse multicultural alternative health care systems.
  2. Students will develop integrative critical thinking and investigative and evaluative skills for making optimal health care choices through scientific comparison of healing and wellness claims of diverse health care models.
  3. Students will demonstrate their competency as multilingual integrative health care translators who are fluent in the concepts, principles and integration of multicultural models of health care and who assist professionals in the comparison of diverse sources of evidence for healing claims.
  4. Students will prepare for alternative and allopathic medical careers as integrative physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, Chinese medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, health research scientists, epidemiologists and health policy planners.

Required Courses

Chemistry (4 credits)

Choose one course

Healthcare and Healing in Place (3 credits)

Choose one course

Nutrition: The Biochemistry and Eco-Politics of Food and Diet (3 credits)

Choose one course

Stress and Wellness Lifestyle Choices (3 credits)

Choose one course

Total: 55 credits

Required & Recommended Electives for Graduate Study in Medicine

Students who intend to pursue graduate study to prepare for clinical medical careers (e.g., physician, nurse practitioner, midwife, physician assistant, nurse, naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, Chinese medical doctor) should take the following courses and check with their future post-graduate school to ensure they will meet all undergraduate requirements in order to apply for admission.

NOTE: Of the courses listed below, only PSY-2070 Lifespan Developmental Psychology and MAT-2021 Statistics are regularly offered in fully online format.


In order to earn a degree, you must successfully complete all requirements for your major as listed here AND meet all other Degree Requirements , including the General Education Core Curriculum  and NVU Graduation Standards .

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs (A-Z)