MS Integrative & Functional Nutrition

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Integrative and Functional Nutrition – The Intersection of Science and Self

First Class Starts January 2015

The next generation of nutrition professionals is poised to combine the established science of nutrition with the emerging fields of integrative and functional medicine. This combination offers perspectives and clinical approaches to more effectively address the underlying root causes and imbalances for conditions ranging from obesity and high blood pressure to depression and chronic pain.  Department of Labor Statistics show significant expected job growth for healthcare providers over the next 10 years, and with the knowledge, skills, and competencies that this program offers, you will prepare yourself to be highly competitive in the field.   

The field of integrative and functional nutrition provides an advanced science-based perspective and recognizes the body as an integrated function of biology, environment and behavior. It builds upon basic biological and nutritional sciences, clinical nutrition assessment, and personalized nutrition therapies in order to achieve optimal health, healing and vitality. Nutrition practitioners that have strong science-based training in integrative and functional nutrition, and the psychological and holistic understanding of integrative care will position themselves as key contributors to healthcare-related interdisciplinary teams. 

You have the passion and the key insights to join this vanguard: all you need is the right set of skills and the understanding of how to apply those skills in practice.  Grounded in hard science and emphasizing a patient-centered care focus that makes healthcare most effective, this unique Master's degree in Integrative and Functional Nutrition will help take your career in healthcare to a new, more professionally and personally fulfilling level.  

Key to Saybrook's curriculum is your access to the expertise and attention of the School of Mind-Body Medicine faculty - experienced researchers and practitioners widely recognized in the field who serve as mentors, professional guides, and a personal support network to help you reach your goals.  

Career Objectives:

The primary purpose of Saybrook University Masters Integrative and Functional Nutrition degree is preparation to practice advanced integrative and functional nutrition therapies, as well as introduce mind-body skills, mindfulness and meditation practices, and other integrative healthcare approaches that can be incorporated into practice.  Additionally, this degree is preparation for advanced doctoral studies in nutrition or other health care-related professions.

Saybrook University Masters Integrative and Functional Nutrition degree graduates meet the academic requirements for the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialist (CBNS) Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential, with 9 semester hours in nutrition (MBM 5670, MBM 5611, MBM 5676), 6 semester hours in biochemistry (MBM 5671 and 3 hours as a program prerequisite), 3 semester hours in physiology (MBM 5678), and 12 semester hours of clinical and life sciences (MBM 5536, MBM 5673, MBM 5675), Additionally, the required Practicum in Integrative and Functional Nutrition course (MBM 5679) provides 200 supervised practice hours of the 1,000 hours required of CNS applicants to sit for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam. Students may also take the elective Advanced Practicum in Integrative and Functional Nutrition to acquire an additional 200 hours, for a total of 400 supervised practice hours. The CBNS reviews course descriptions and applicant’s transcripts to determine eligibility for the CNS examination. To learn more about becoming a CNS, see http://cbns.org

Saybrook University Masters in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program graduates meet the core academic requirements for the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) credential core science and core nutrition coursework, with 3 course hours in anatomy & physiology (as a program prerequisite), 3 course hours in chemistry (as a program prerequisite), 3 course hours in biochemistry (MBM 5671), 3 course hours in introduction to nutrition (MBM 5670), 3 course hours in nutrition and disease (MBM 5677), 3 course hours in nutrition assessment (MBM 5675), 3 course hours in nutrition counseling strategies (MBM 5631), and 3 course hours in nutrition & supplementation (MBM 5676). CNCB has pre-approved Saybrook’s Masters in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program, allowing graduates to waive the 56-hour CNCB Post Graduate Studies in Clinical nutrition (PGSCN) requirement (a $4,500 savings). 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 http://www.cncb.org

The Saybrook University Masters in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program does not lead to eligibility to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) registration exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) credential.

Students should contact the appropriate board for eligibility requirements and their State Department of Health to determine which of these certifications may be recognized for practice in their state, and any other licensing, registration or certification requirements, as they are subject to change.

Depending upon the state you live in and your credentials, 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)