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    Saybrook University
  Aug 19, 2022
2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Integrative and Functional Nutrition, M.S.

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Integrative and Functional Nutrition - The Intersection of Food and Health

Saybrook’s Master’s of Science degree in Integrative and Functional Nutrition is dedicated to educating the next generation of nutritional professionals. Graduates of this master’s degree will utilize evidence-based nutritional science, advanced therapeutic approaches, and patient-centered care to comprehensively address conditions ranging from obesity and high blood pressure, to depression and chronic pain.

Practitioners of integrative and functional nutrition recognize how physical health is influenced by biological, environmental, behavioral, and emotional factors. They apply knowledge from biological and nutritional sciences to the results from comprehensive nutritional assessment techniques to inform nutritional diagnoses and develop personalized nutrition therapies to help their patients achieve optimal health and vitality.  Declining global health dictates a greater need for well-trained, competent nutrition practitioners across health care settings.  This need is not being met by current educational models.  Thus, CIMHS has created a master’s degree in integrative and functional nutrition to prepare future nutrition leaders in the health field. With courses that study nutritional biochemistry and physiology, functional nutrition assessment methodologies, integrative nutritional therapies, and health coaching, along with a 100-hour professional practicum, this program equips its students with cutting-edge knowledge, skills, and competencies to be professional nutrition practitioners addressing world-wide health concerns at the individual level.

Students enrolled in the nutrition program will have access to the faculty and courses throughout the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences. The experienced researchers and practitioners on the faculty are committed to helping students achieve their professional and personal goals through mentoring, teaching, and supervision.


Admissions Requirements

Applicants for this Master’s of Science degree in Integrative and Functional Nutrition must:

1) Have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University, with a 3.0 or better GPA (with a B minimum in sciences);

2) Provide transcript evidence of college-level science courses, including General Biochemistry and Anatomy and Physiology. Students lacking these courses may be admitted and will take these basic sciences courses as part of their Saybrook program plan.

Degree Requirements

Saybrook’s Integrative and Functional Nutrition degree program requires 41 credits for those students entering with basic sciences, and 44-47 credits for those lacking one or both basic sciences. The degree program includes one five day in-person residential conference. No thesis or project is required. With the exception of the residential conference, coursework is conducted in an online learning environment, supplemented by video conferences with instructors. The expected length of this program is 21 months with no summer break.

Total Credits Including Basic Sciences: 47

Total Credits Without Basic Sciences: 41

Degree Requirements for 2016-2017 Academic Year approved by CIMHS Degree Program Committee.


The degree completion time for a student following the default course sequence will average 21 months to two years. Some students may complete degree requirements sooner and some may take longer to complete this degree. Those students incorporating basic sciences into their course plan will require longer to complete the degree.

Students who demonstrate equivalent professional learning to waive a required course(s) will be able to take elective course(s) in place of the waived course(s). Available electives will be discussed with your mentor in your first term of enrollment. Students may also choose an elective from the required courses in other specializations.

This is a structured cohort program; the sequence of courses is different for students who start in the fall than for students who start in the spring. Your specific course sequence will be discussed with your program director mentor and mentor during your Graduate Colloquium I course in your first semester of enrollment.

Graduates of the MS in Integrative and Functional Nutrition are eligible to apply to the PhD program in Mind-Body Medicine, and may transfer in up to 21 credits from their master’s degree.

Learning and Career Outcomes

The Master’s of Science Degree program in Integrative and Functional Nutrition at Saybrook University prepares its students to practice advanced integrative and functional nutrition therapies, as well as introduce mind-body skills, mindfulness and meditation practices, and other integrative healthcare approaches into their practice.  Additionally, this degree prepares individuals for advanced doctoral level studies in nutrition or other health care-related professions.

Saybrook University’s Masters of Integrative and Functional Nutrition degree program is designed to fulfill the current academic requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS).  The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) requires a graduate degree in the field of nutrition from a regionally accredited university, specific coursework, and 1000 hours of supervised experience.  BCNS reviews each candidate individually, including current course descriptions, transcripts and experience to determine eligibility.  To learn more about becoming a CNS, see

In addition, the program fulfills the current core academic requirements in science and nutrition for the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) and Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) credential. The CNCB reviews course descriptions, applicant’s transcripts, and academic programs to determine eligibility for the CCN examination. To learn more about becoming a CCN, see

The Master’s in Integrative and Functional Nutrition degree program does not lead to eligibility for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN®) credential.

Depending upon the state’scredentialing requirements graduates may consider careers in:

  • Integrative medical centers, hospitals, long-term or extended care facilities, outpatient facilities, and other clinical care facilities.
  • Prevention and wellness education programs for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, digestive diseases, allergies, and other conditions.
  • Medical spas, yoga and wellness centers, culinary institutes, schools, prisons, restaurants and corporate cafeterias.
  • Corporate wellness programs.
  • Sports medicine and wellness facilities.
  • Community and public health clinics and community-oriented primary care.
  • Natural products and dietary supplement industries.
  • Private practice medical clinics.
  • Independent consulting and practice.
  • Public health and policy organizations.
  • Research and development.
  • Nutrition, science, medical writing/journalism (non-technical, technical).

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