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Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

Course Description

Our master’s program appeals to those interested in a more patient-centered approach to helping people achieve and maintain optimal wellness through focus on the whole person, rather than simply their symptoms.


- Accredited program offered in collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)
- Rigorous, clinically-applicable curriculum that is continually reviewed and updated with new research and findings
- 100 percent online format with flexible schedule options
- Engaging online learning experience featuring distinguished and dedicated instructors and an expert support network to reinforce clinical and academic skills
- Program satisfies educational requirements to sit for many national nutrition certification exams

Don’t miss your chance to enroll in our spring term!


The mission of the UWS master’s in human nutrition and functional medicine (HNFM) program is to prepare learners to serve as outstanding health care clinicians, consultants, educators, administrators and researchers in the field of human nutrition and functional medicine.


Our clinically-oriented human nutrition and functional medicine program is the only fully accredited master’s degree in functional medicine, having been granted regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the highest level of academic accreditation available in the U.S. This program is 100 percent online as offered as a collaborative endeavor between UWS and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the organization which founded and developed the key functional medicine concepts used today.

Functional medicine is a science-based, patient-centered and systems-oriented approach to helping people achieve and maintain excellent health. This is accomplished primarily through natural methods, with diet and nutrition as a central focus. It is a forefront model for health care practice that seeks to address the causes of disease and dysfunction rather than suppressing symptoms. Founded on a holistic view of health, functional medicine delves deep into the biochemical and genetic individuality of each patient.

Why choose UWS for a master’s in nutrition?

This program includes advanced instruction in clinical nutrition, similar to other master’s level nutrition programs, but it goes far beyond by also presenting extensive educational content on functional medicine principles and practices derived from the Institute for Functional Medicine. These include important interdisciplinary and evidence-based perspectives, patient assessments and clinical interventions designed to enhance the function of the whole person.

It is primarily a clinically focused degree, with emphasis on treating individual or multiple conditions and their risk factors using dietary and nutritional interventions. Every course contains elements of clinical assessment and diagnosis. There is also a strong focus on wellness promotion and general health in order to meet the clinician’s primary goal of preventing disease and metabolic dysfunction before they occur.


The program consists of 50 quarter-credits of graduate coursework (33 semester credits) and can be completed in seven quarters (under two years) if taken at the recommended pace of 7-8 credits (usually two courses) per quarter, though students may move more quickly or more slowly through the program. We recognize that the life situations of our students vary considerably in terms of their family, employment and community commitments, thus we are flexible with regard to speed and prefer that students take the time they need in order to learn the material well.

Additionally, it is possible to take a leave of absence for a quarter or more if needed. As long as the intended schedule is communicated with the registrar, it is possible to extend the program to better suit a student’s individual needs.

Classes are admitted twice per year, with Fall (October) and Spring (April) starts.

Visit the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine page on the University of Western States website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. The Bachelor’s degree requirement may be waived for persons holding a first professional degree.Cumulative GPAs between 2.5 and 2.75 may still be considered, however, these applicants must also receive at least a median score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants with GPAs lower than 2.5 will not be considered. Applicants with a GPA over 2.75 are not required to take the GRE or MAT exams.

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