The Online Ph.D. in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program is a fully online*, 62-credit doctoral degree program designed for those looking to enhance their expertise and contribute to the scientific advancements in the field of integrative and functional nutrition.

This online program prepares graduates to use an evidence-based approach to provide patient-centered, integrative care by applying their knowledge of functional biochemistry in assessing body dysfunctions while incorporating environmental, social, physiological, and psychological sciences into their practice. This doctoral degree program can help further distinguish current nutrition professionals in a competitive field, complement the existing skillset of non-nutrition health practitioners, or pave a path for professionals with non-scientific backgrounds to transition into the field of integrative and functional nutrition.

Graduates of this program may be prepared to pursue or advance their careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Higher education
  • Public health
  • Nutrition research
  • Private practice
  • Food or supplement industry
  • Health communications
  • Culinary medicine

*All required coursework is done virtually, however Residential Conference participation will be required when a student selects an elective course with a residential training component. Additionally, while the residential component is not otherwise required, students may opt to attend at any time.

Sample Courses

Virtual Community in Nutrition

This semester-long course introduces students to Saybrook University, the Integrative & Functional Nutrition Program, and each other.  Students will become acclimated to Saybrook’s online learning environment while developing best practices for student success as they learn about a variety of topics in nutrition, health, and wellness. Through active exploration of contemporary integrative health issues, students will be challenged to question their preconceived theories, consider opposing perspectives, and theorize about topics from a more global and humanistic perspective.

Systems Biology I and II

Systems Biology I and II explain the physiology, pathophysiology and applicable biochemistry that underlie the seven core imbalances within functional medicine.  Understanding the physiological systems, and how they become unbalanced, is key to identifying and supporting interventions that address chronic disease.  In Systems Biology I, students examine how core imbalances contribute to chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity, food allergy and intolerance, and gastrointestinal disorders.  Systems Biology II furthers students’ knowledge by exploring how core imbalances apply disorders related to blood glucose regulation, cortisol and stress response, depression, chronic pain, and fatigue.

Integrative Approaches to Chronic Disease

Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, globally. In this course, students learn about the multi-faceted causes and consequences of these conditions. Through the evaluation of research, students develop an evidence-based integrative approach to prevent and manage these chronic diseases.