Complementary and Integrative Health MS

Major: Complementary and Integrative Health
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.3306
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 29-1199

About the Program

The Master of Science in Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH) is designed to provide practicing health care professionals with an evidenced-based program in complementary and integrative health practices. Students will be taught to assess, guide and evaluate patient use of alternative modalities and to integrate CIH into one’s own professional practice. The program provides core competencies in complementary and integrative health. This program provides the theoretical basis for applying complementary and integrative health practices and emphasizes the integration of evidence-based CIH therapies such as phytomedicine, functional nutrition and mind/body modalities within the framework of conventional health care practice. 

A foundational principle of this program is interdisciplinary practice and collaboration with the goal of improving health outcomes. In addition, students will be introduced to historical, indigenous health care practices and upon graduation may seek further training to build expertise in a particular modality (e.g. yoga, nutrition, reiki, etc.) which may lead to additional credentialing or licensing.

American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation, Inc. has endorsed Drexel University's Complementary and Integrative Health Master's and Certificate programs, which allows graduates of these programs to sit for the nationally accredited board certification in holistic nursing.

Students from Drexel University’s online MS in Complementary and Integrative Health degree program are eligible to apply and concurrently enroll in the University of Arizona's Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (AWCIM) Integrative Health & Wellness Coaching (IHW) certification program. The concurrent completion of the AWCIM IHW coaching program can count toward the nine elective credit requirement for the Drexel MS in Complementary and Integrative Health program. The AWCIM IHW Coaching program is approved by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching. Graduates of Drexel’s MS in Complementary and Integrative Health in combination with the AWCIM IHW Coaching program would then be eligible to sit for the national exam. If you are interested in this option, you may either answer the related questions on the Drexel MS in Complementary and Integrative Health application or you can let your academic advisor know of your interest. Learn more about the program.

Program Mission and Values

The program mission is to develop leaders in complementary and integrative health care. We are committed to developing competent practitioners through exemplary and rigorous training in the clinical applications of complementary and integrative health; comprehensive curricula incorporating theoretical foundations, research and evidence-based practice; and provision of extensive support and mentorship to advance the integrative health care professional role. All efforts in the program are designed to build knowledge, enhance practice, foster professional integrity, promote innovation, engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and ultimately improve the health outcomes of patients and families from diverse communities across the continuum of care.

Program Outcomes

The graduate of the Master of Science in Complementary and Integrative Health:

  • Practices within a legal and ethical framework of health care delivery and scope of practice
  • Advances the role of advanced practice in the health care system through scholarship, clinical experience, advocacy and political involvement
  • Demonstrates critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills in clinical decision-making
  • Integrates multiple technologies and relevant theories into the organization and synthesis of health data required to develop plans of care for patients, families and communities
  • Integrates culturally sensitive health promotion activities that contribute to the health and wellness of the community into clinical practice
  • Demonstrates leadership in health care through involvement in the development of outcome-based standards of care and practice-based health policy issues
  • Evaluates and modifies the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice based on current research findings, standards of care and patient outcomes
  • Contributes to the advancement of complementary and integrative health and humanity through communication, collaboration and education

Intended Audience

This program is applicable to a wide range of health care professionals including nurses, advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, women’s health practitioners, members of oncology organizations, clinical nutritionists, psych/mental health nurse practitioners and couple and family therapists.

This program is congruent with the educational standards set forth by the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) and meets the core competencies of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, contact:

Graduate Nursing Division

Additional information is also available on Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions MS in Complementary and Integrative Health webpage and on the Drexel University Online MS in Complementary and Integrative Health webpage.

Admission Requirements

  • Health care professional within a scope of practice from a variety of disciplines including nurses, advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, women’s health practitioners, members of oncology organizations, clinical nutritionists, psych/mental health nurse practitioners, couple and family therapists and others
  • A baccalaureate degree with a major in a health-related field from an accredited university
  • GPA of 3.0 or above on all previous coursework
    • 3.0 or above on all previous coursework or the last 60 credits completed. Applications from RNs with a GPA less than 3.0 may be considered on an individual basis.
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
  • Two professional letters of recommendation from either previous or immediate supervisors or former faculty members who can attest to your clinical knowledge, skill and potential aptitude for graduate study
    • Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are not required to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Personal statement (no more than two pages and no less than one page double-spaced) that will give the admissions committee a better understanding of the following:
    • Why you are choosing this particular program of study
    • Your plans upon completion of the degree
    • How your current work experience will enhance your experience in this program
  • Resume or curriculum vitae including specific details of your responsibilities and job experiences

International students will need to meet University international student admissions guidelines including TOEFL.

TOEFL Requirement: 

International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and United States permanent residents whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must show proficiency in English speaking as well as listening, writing, and reading. U.S. citizens born on U.S. military bases abroad may be waived from the TOEFL requirement after providing documentation of this status; otherwise, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

If the TOEFLiBT exam is taken, students are required to have a minimum combined score for the listening, writing and reading sections of 79 plus a speaking section score of 26 or higher.

If the TOEFL is taken, students are required to have a minimum score of 550 or higher and a Test of Spoken English score (TSE) of 55 or higher.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses
CIT 503Holistic Living For The Caregiver3.0
or NURS 539 Holistic Living for the Caregiver
CIT 502Foundations of Complementary and Integrative Therapies3.0
or NURS 529 Foundations of Complementary and Integrative Therapies
CIT 501Foundations of Phytotherapy3.0
or NURS 551 Foundations of Phytotherapy: Clinical Applications of Herbal Therapy
CIT 511Spirituality, Health and Healing3.0
or NURS 561 Spirituality, Health and Healing
CIT 619Principles of Bioenergy Therapies3.0
or NURS 619 Principles of Bioenergy Therapies
CIT 626Translational Research in Complementary and Integrative Health3.0
CIT 553Health Coaching for Lifestyle and Behavior Change3.0
CIT 656Traditional Healing Systems3.0
or NURS 656 Traditional Healing Systems
CIT 657Functional Approach to Clinical Nutrition3.0
or NURS 657 Functional Approach to Clinical Nutrition
CIT 696Integrative Health Strategies I3.0
CIT 697Integrative Health Strategies II3.0
CIT 698Graduate Seminar3.0
Electives *9.0
Total Credits45.0

Electives can be any course with the prefix CIH/CIT (Complementary and Integrative Health), with course number ranging from 500-699.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
CIT 5023.0CIT 5013.0CIT 5113.0CIT 6193.0
CIT 5033.0CIT 6563.0CIT 6573.0CIT 5533.0
 6 9 6 6
Second Year
Elective3.0CIT 6963.0CIT 6973.0 
Elective3.0CIT 6263.0CIT 6983.0 
 6 6 6 
Total Credits 45

Note: Second Year Summer is less than the 4.5-credit minimum required (considered half-time status) of graduate programs to be considered financial aid eligible. As a result, aid will not be disbursed to students this term.

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