Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
    Saybrook University
  Oct 01, 2023
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
Catalog Navigation
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Mind-Body Medicine, Ph.D.

Return to College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences Return to: College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences

Transforming Practice, Delivery, and Research in Healthcare and Mental Healthcare

The College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Saybrook University provides a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine with six doctoral level specializations to prepare graduates to pursue careers in integrative healthcare and mental healthcare.  The six specializations are influenced by Saybrook University’s humanistic philosophy and pursue a vision of a person-centered health care, with self-care, mind-body practices, and other complementary approaches integrated into the mainstream of health and mental healthcare.

The specializations available within the PhD in Mind-Body Medicine include Healthcare Practice, Integrative Mental Health, Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Integrative Wellness Coaching, Mindful Leadership in Healthcare, and Healthcare Research.  Each of these specializations will be discussed in a subsequent section, along with the required courses for the specialization, and the Learning and Career Outcomes for that specialization.

Requirements Overview

Students entering the Mind-Body Medicine doctoral program must have completed a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to enrollment. Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 76 credits. Students in the PhD degree program in Mind-Body Medicine pursue a 25-credit sequence of core courses in mind-body-spirit based paradigms, techniques, and therapies, preparing them for a broad range of employment opportunities in integrative healthcare and mental health care. Students in the PhD in Mind-Body Medicine also complete a 21-credit sequence of research courses, culminating in a doctoral dissertation, pursuing an original research project on a topic relevant to mind-body and integrative healthcare.  Students in this PhD also complete 30 credits of elective courses, 18 of which can be dedicated to one of the doctoral specializations. 

Each of the doctoral specializations is described separately with its coursework and career applications, following discussion of the core PhD degree in Mind-Body Medicine.

By approval, Saybrook may accept up to nine graduate transfer credits into the PhD degree in Mind-Body Medicine with the Healthcare Practice specialization from other regionally-accredited colleges and universities prior to entrance. Transfer credits are applied to the required number of elective credits or required courses for degree completion.

These credits must be suitable for transfer to the intended degree as determined by the Department Chair and Registrar. For further details regarding transfer credit policies, consult the Institutional Transfer Credit Guidelines section of the University Catalog.

Students receiving a Master of Science degree in Mind-Body Medicine, the Master of Science degree in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, or the Master of Arts degree in Integrative Wellness Coaching from Saybrook who are admitted into the doctoral degree in Mind‐Body Medicine can generally transfer all master’s degree credits that match either a required course or an elective into the PhD program. Past students have transferred up to 38 credits. The exact amount depends on which master’s degree the student has completed, and which PhD specialization the student selects. These students must fulfill the doctoral degree requirements not completed at the master’s level, including the remaining required courses and the dissertation or project. Meeting the doctoral requirements will include completing additional credits of doctoral coursework plus the dissertation or project, for a minimum total of 76 credits. Under some circumstances, additional required courses may total more than 76 credits.

For further information on admission into the PhD in Mind-Body Medicine program after completion of the Master of Science in Mind-Body Medicine degree, the Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Nutrition degree, or the Master of Arts in Integrative Wellness Coaching, contact the Department Chair of the PhD in Mind-Body Medicine program.

Note, this program is not a clinical psychology program. However, it can offer more flexibility in program planning to those wishing to enhance and further develop their clinical knowledge and expertise, but who do not intend to use the degree to qualify for licensure.

Total Degree Credits (Years 1-5) 76


  • The degree completion time for a student following the default course sequence will average between 4 ½ and 5 ½ years. Some students may complete degree requirements in fewer terms and some may require more terms to complete the degree.
  • A listing of acceptable CIMHS courses and electives is available in the Saybrook Catalog. Students may also choose an elective from the required courses in other specialization
  • This is a structured cohort program and the sequence of courses is different for students who start in the fall than for students who start in the spring.

Learning and Career Outcomes

Licensed healthcare professionals who complete this doctoral degree will strengthen their already existing careers, utilizing integrative approaches to treatment and a variety of mind-body skills. Graduates with the PhD in Mind-Body Medicine are prepared to excel in integrative medicine, holistic nursing, and a variety of allied health professions. Graduates without healthcare licenses will be prepared to work in the private practice of coaching and stress management, and as consultants, educators, and employees in corporate and medically based health promotion and wellness programs.

Return to College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences Return to: College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences