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    Saybrook University
  Mar 03, 2024
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences

Influenced by humanistic principles and values, the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences (CIMHS) empowers faculty and students to apply their knowledge and skills to facilitate mind, body, and spirit wellness in personal and professional life.  Recognizing the importance of collaborative, person-centered care strategies, CIMHS embraces an educational model that endorses a range of health-related disciplines, scholarship, evidence-based practices and skill development. CIMHS is dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary modalities and scholarship that enhance optimal health and well being for individuals and communities.

CIMHS offers MS and PhD graduate degrees and certificate programs in Mind-Body Medicine (MBM), Integrative and Functional Nutrition (IFN), Integrative Social Work (ISW),  and Applied Psychophysiology (APH). These academic programs combine cutting-edge curricula with a university-wide emphasis on student-centered learning and faculty engagement. Faculty members, including world-renowned scholar-practitioners, offer mentorship, edit industry publications, lead professional associations, direct community health centers, conduct research, and develop protocols for treatments that support and complement those used in conventional, Western medicine.

The master’s degrees and doctoral specializations are designed for professionals from diverse career fields who wish to expand their expertise in health, wellness, and resilience.  The degrees prepare students for clinical practice, organizational leadership, academic teaching, program and policy reform, and research in health and wellness. In addition, CIMHS students may add a minor or specialization to their general degree requirements if they are interested in extending their knowledge or skill set in a specific discipline. The MS and PhD degrees, including the optional minors and specializations, include:

MS Integrative and Functional Nutrition

  • Minor in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Minor in Mind-Body Medicine

MS Mind-Body Medicine

  • Minor in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Minor in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

MS Psychophysiology

PhD in Applied Psychophysiology

  • Specialization in Clinical Psychophysiology
  • Specialization in Optimal Functioning

PhD in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

  • Minor in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Minor in Mind-Body Medicine

PhD in Integrative Social Work

  • Specialization in Integrative Gerontology Studies
  • Specialization in Integrative Community Studies

PhD in Mind-Body Medicine

  • Specialization in Applied Psychophysiology
  • Specialization in Contemplative End-of-Life-Care
  • Specialization in Integrative Mental Health
  • Specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Specialization in Mindful Leadership in Healthcare

Distance Learning Model

The majority of the coursework is conducted online and at a distance, so students can live and work anywhere in the world as they engage with CIMHS faculty and peers. Classes incorporate a variety of instructional and assessment methods including asynchronous discussion forums, live video conferences, interactive web-based activities, and written assignments. In addition, the MBM, ISW, and APH departments utilize residential conferences for face-to-face training, to support online classes. These residential conferences are usually held in January (the start of spring semester) and September (the start of fall semester).

Courses for graduate degrees in the CIMHS are offered during three semesters each year: fall, spring, and summer. Fall and spring semesters each have two 7-week terms (A and B) and one semester long term of 15-weeks. The summer semester has one term of 8 weeks or 12 weeks.

Virtual Student Orientation and Residential Conference

In the fall, spring, and summer semesters, all new students in the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences participate in a virtual orientation (VO). During the VO, these students are introduced to Saybrook University’s administrative staff, faculty, current students and University-wide policies. There are also workshops to review technology, student services, library databases, and more.

In the fall and spring semesters, new students enrolled in the MBM and ISW degree program are required to participate in the MBM 0505 Mind-Body-Spirit Integration (MBSI) Seminar. See the course descriptions for requirements.  The MBSI is also offered in a virtual format during the summer semester.  Students enrolling in the fall of spring semesters may opt for the virtual option. New students in the Applied Psychophysiology degree programs are required to attend a five-day RC.

The number of required RCs for continuing CIMHS students varies by degree program and selected coursework. Review the degree program requirements for more information about the RCs.

Houston Based Satellite Residential Conference Program for the MS and PhD Mind-Body Medicine

The Houston-based satellite program provides an opportunity for MS and PhD Mind-Body Medicine (MBM) students to complete course related residential conference (RC) requirements at the offices of the Institute for Spirituality and Health in the Texas Medical Center.  Any student in the MBM programs may choose to complete the RC component in California or Houston in any specific semester.  Students are responsible for registering for their preferred location with the Registrar. 

New students attend a two-day experiential conference with virtual follow-up sessions on four Saturdays during the semester, for the Mind-Body-Spirit Integration Seminar (MBSI).  The MBSI is offered on an entirely virtual basis for the summer semester, or optionally with a two-day face-to-face session in California during the fall and spring semesters. New students may select the virtual or face-to-face option, regardless of when they begin their new degree, and attend the four follow-up weekend sessions in whichever semester they complete their two-day intensive. 

Continuing students will attend any RC training requirements they need for a course in the fall or spring semesters.  Training sessions offered during the Houston RCs satisfy the core course requirements of the MS and PhD MBM degrees, and also for the PhD Mindful Leadership and Contemplative End of Life Care specializations.  Students who choose electives, specializations, certificates, or minors that require a training component only available in California, must attend a California RC to receive credit.  MBM students may also add a minor or certificate in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, with no residential requirement. 

Virtual Community in Nutrition

Students in the Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and the PhD in Integrative and Functional Nutrition participate in a semester-long Virtual Community in Nutrition that helps orient them to Saybrook University and the Integrative and Functional Nutrition program. While participating in this distance-taught course, students will interact with faculty and classmates to establish a sense of community and develop best practices for academic success while learning about topics in Integrative and Functional Nutrition.  Students in the IFN degree programs may opt to participate in residential conference(s), in addition to this course, if they choose.

Virtual Community in Applied Psychophysiology

All students in the MS in Psychophysiology and the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology participate in a virtual community that begins with the required first semester Graduate Colloquium course and continues throughout the degree program.  The virtual community includes invited lectures, research and administrative seminars, a Facebook page, and other elements intended to assist students in orienting to the program. The virtual community builds connections among students and faculty.


Doctor of Philosophy