M.S., Integrative Health and Wellness

Program Director: Tom Lenz, PharmD

Creighton's online Master of Science in Integrative Health and Wellness (MS-IHW) prepares students to fill a growing need in the changing landscape of health care, marked by increasingly broad and distinct understandings of health.  This program prepares students to work with a health care team and one-on-one with individuals to help them thrive.  Students help people see wellness as a lifelong journey in which they can be empowered to make good choices for their health.  Students are prepared to be a part of a diverse team as they gain an understanding of the many dimensions of health and wellness.  Students learn about aspects of personal health, such as nutrition and stress management as well as coaching skills like motivational interviewing and program design.  

The MS in Integrative Health and Wellness prepares students to:

  1. Have the knowledge, skills and values to collaborate with individuals to improve their health and well-being so that they can thrive in the community in which they live, work and spend their time, and
  2. Work collaboratively with patients/clients and an interdisciplinary team to promote health and well-being with and for individuals with and without a chronic disease, and
  3. Successfully obtain nationally and internationally recognized credentialing in health and wellness coaching, and 
  4. Successfully pursue a career in the health and wellness industry.

Educational Outcomes

Graduates of the MS-IHW program must possess knowledge, skills and values to work with people to improve their personal health and well-being so that they can thrive in the community in which they live, work, and spend their time. Graduates must be able to serve individuals based on efficacy data and in cooperation with other members of an interdisciplinary team. In this regard, graduates must demonstrate competence in the following areas:

1.  Ignatian Values. Demonstrate through academic preparation and personal reflection the values of St. Ignatius of Loyola that includes, but are not limited to, cura personalis, solidarity, and the promotion of social justice.

2.  Collaboration. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and effectively within a team. In health and wellness coaching, a team is not limited to fellow students, faculty, or health care providers. Rather, team members include all those involved in, and concerned with the health of an individual, including the individual him/herself.

3.  Communication. Demonstrate effective verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate cross-culturally and within various economic and social classes. Students will also communicate and collaborate effectively and at an appropriate level both interpersonally and within an interdisciplinary team.

4. Creativity and Critical Thinking. Demonstrate situational solutions critically and creatively. Students will problem-solve personal and professional situations with creative imagination and analytical solutions. This will be done through academic practices, service learning and research projects.  

5.  Whole Person Health. Demonstrate the knowledge, attitudes, and values of the interconnected and dynamic components that affect individual and community health and well-being. These components include, but are not limited to physical, emotional, sociocultural, economic, environmental and spiritual health.  

6.  Self-Care. Demonstrate the knowledge and attitudes for effective self-care. Students will learn about self-care strategies and practice designing whole person self-care programs for self and others that include, but are not limited to a healthy lifestyle.   

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission to the graduate programs in Integrative Health and Wellness include:

  1. Completed application form with $50 application fee
  2. Current resume
  3. Statement of purpose (2-3 pages, double-spaced) outlining the reasons for applying for admission, the intended goals, and personal philosophy on health and wellness coaching
  4. Official transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  5. Three recommendations by persons familiar with the applicant's academic background, achievements and personal qualities
  6. Proof of regular access to the technology needed to take online courses
  7. Proof of completion of a health related degree, credentialing, or health related coursework

*All international applicants from countries in which English is not the primary language must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting a minimum TOEFL score of 90 iBT.

*Creighton University reserves the right to request GRE scores or a personal interview.

Required Courses
GRD 601Writing for Graduate Students1
IHW 501Personal Development for the Health and Wellness Coach3
IHW 591Advanced Lifestyle Medicine2
IHW 650Health Behavior Modification3
IHW 651Nutrition for Chronic Disease3
IHW 652Exercise for Chronic Disease3
IHW 653Stress and Sleep Management3
IHW 670Research Methods and Program Design3
IHW 760Advanced Health and Wellness Coaching3
IHW 799Capstone in Integrative Health and Wellness3
Choose one of the following options (9 credits):9
Option 1
Electives: Choose 3 courses from the following:
Wholism as a Guiding Principle for Leadership and Well-Being
Health and Wellness Coaching Skills, Techniques, & Tools
Health and Wellness Coaching: Theory to Practice
Directed Independent Study
Practicum in Health and Wellness Coaching
Law and Health Care Ethics
Social and Cultural Contexts of Health Care
Health Communication and Informatics
Health Economics and Finance
Communicating and Leading Across Cultures
Leadership and Group Dynamics
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the Gerontological Population
Option 2
Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate Concentration
Required Course:
Health and Wellness Coaching: Theory to Practice
Choose 6 credits from the following courses:
Wholism as a Guiding Principle for Leadership and Well-Being
Health and Wellness Coaching Skills, Techniques, & Tools
Directed Independent Study
Practicum in Health and Wellness Coaching
Law and Health Care Ethics
Social and Cultural Contexts of Health Care
Health Economics and Finance
Communicating and Leading Across Cultures
Leadership and Well-Being
Introduction to Conflict Engagement
Option 3
Healthy Aging Concentration
Healthy Aging: Concepts and Strategies for a Life Well Lived
Experiential Healthy Aging
Complete 128 volunteer hours at a long-term care, assisted living, independent senior living, and/or in residence with home-care services (ex. Home Instead).
Total Credits36

GRD 601. Writing for Graduate Students. 1 credit.

This course prepares students for graduate writing by building on and improving existing writing skills. Students learn how to enter a scholarly conversation first by exploring the written works of others and then by responding to those works by conducting library research and developing their own arguments.

IHW 501. Personal Development for the Health and Wellness Coach. 3 credits.

A fundamental component to health and wellness coaching is self-awareness, continuous personal development, daily reflection, personal balance, and the self-promotion of health and well-being. This course provides students with tools and practices to achieve and maintain these fundamental components.

IHW 591. Advanced Lifestyle Medicine. 2 credits.

Lifestyle medicine is the use of healthy lifestyle behaviors to prevent and treat chronic diseases. In this course, students will consider comprehensively applying lifestyle medicine strategies to healthy individuals, to those with chronic diseases, and as part of a self-care program. Students will also consider lifestyle medicine as its own medical explanatory framework for disease, illness and health.

IHW 650. Health Behavior Modification. 3 credits.

This course provides students with a broad perspective on the many factors that determine health, with emphasis on healthy lifestyle behaviors. Students will construct, implement and modify healthy lifestyle programs for case patients/clients with and without chronic disease and across the lifespan. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding the pathophysiology and current treatment strategies of common chronic diseases. Students also learn how to evaluate and read research papers that are based on lifestyle medicine practices and procedures.

IHW 651. Nutrition for Chronic Disease. 3 credits.

This course reviews the basic principles of human nutrition with emphasis on the relationship between diet and health, and diet and disease. Students will learn and practice how to construct, implement, and modify personalized nutrition programs for patients/clients with and without chronic disease and across the lifespan. Students also learn how to evaluate and read research papers that are based on nutrition practices and procedures.

IHW 653. Stress and Sleep Management. 3 credits.

This course studies stress and sleep and their respective impacts on health and chronic disease across the lifespan. Several stress management techniques are debated and practiced with emphasis on mind-body medicine and the relaxation response. Students also learn how to evaluate and read research papers that are based on stress and sleep management practices and procedures.

IHW 670. Research Methods and Program Design. 3 credits.

This course will explore of quantitative and qualitative research techniques applicable to health and wellness literature and program design. By the end of the course, students will be able to evaluate research and the program designs of others. In addition, students will be able to design their own programs with the appropriate methods of evaluation.

IHW 760. Advanced Health and Wellness Coaching. 3 credits.

This advanced course will prepare students for health and wellness coaching through the practice of program design and implementation of individuals within the community. Special emphasis will also be placed on team building skills and business practices related to health and wellness coaching.

IHW 770. Wholism as a Guiding Principle for Leadership and Well-Being. 3 credits.

Wholism is the philosophy that says that the parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection such that they cannot exist independently of the whole and cannot be understood without reference to the whole. This course explores the notion that all parts that make up the whole of an individual are interconnected where the guiding principles that form a person’s leadership philosophy cannot be separated from those that guide personal health behaviors such that, “how we do anything is how we do everything” (Richard Rohr). Along with gaining a more in-depth sense of wholism, this course begins by exploring the interconnectedness of our relationships with others with the factors that determine health, balancing our inner world with our outer experiences, connecting dualism to our leadership style and personal health outcomes, and exploring our true-self and life purpose. Additionally, these elements are discussed in the context of chronic stress and the role that it plays in both personal health and leadership activities. The course ends with a practical application of these elements to employee health programs that emphasize improvements in quality-of-life, enhanced worker productivity, and cost savings to an organization.

IHW 780. Health and Wellness Coaching Skills, Techniques, & Tools. 3 credits.

The art and science of health and wellness coaching is enhanced with practice. ln this course, students will utilize knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools acquired throughout the curriculum. Students will collaborate with clients seeking to improve their general well-being and with clients who are physician-diagnosed with chronic disease states. P: IHW 760.

IHW 781. Health and Wellness Coaching: Theory to Practice. 3 credits.

This hybrid course combines online learning with a five-day on campus residency that builds on the knowledge, skills, and values gained throughout the HWC curriculum. Students apply theory to practice during the residency component of the course through case studies, face-to-face coaching sessions, and interactive group projects. P: IHW 760.

IHW 795. Directed Independent Study. 1-6 credits.

Students participate in independent scholarly projects under the supervision of a faculty member. P: Department consent.

IHW 798. Practicum in Health and Wellness Coaching. 3 credits.

Students who opt for the practicum track will work with a health/well-being-related organization to gain experience in the field of health and wellness coaching. During the practicum, students will design and develop an independent project that is mutually beneficial to the student and the organization. Students will be supervised by someone within the organization and by a faculty instructor. Course is repeatable up to 6 credits. P: Department Consent.

IHW 799. Capstone in Integrative Health and Wellness. 3 credits.

This course is designed to challenge students to reflect upon the Health and Wellness Coaching curriculum with the goal of defining their vocation, creating their personal health coaching philosophy, and identifying evidence based strategies they plan to use in their future health coaching practice while considering the broad and distinct landscape of health and well-being. P: Department Consent.

MHE 604. Social and Cultural Contexts of Health Care. 3 credits.

This class introduces the student to the various contexts of personal and social experience that construct and interpret bioethics. Participants consider identity and autonomy as embedded in social matrices ranging from the body itself to global configurations. Various power dynamics of class, legitimacy, and ideology are considered. Participants analyze the culture of the biomedical project and the challenge of finding one's voice within it.

MPH 633. Health Economics and Finance. 3 credits.

The course examines fundamental theories in health economics and health care finance and the application of these theories in public health administration. The course emphasizes an understanding of economic issues within the larger social and political context in which public health operates. Economic and finance theories and practices pertinent to the public health sector as well as concepts and practices in financial management that support the successful leadership and administration of public health organizations will be explored in this course.

MSL 602. Communicating and Leading Across Cultures. 3 credits.

Students will explore interpersonal and organizational communications. Culture is conceptualized as dynamic and broad - including not only nation-states, but also organizations and groups of diverse social identities such as gender, race, social class and age. Students examine how communication both shapes and is shaped by culture.

MSL 624. Leadership and Well-Being. 3 credits.

As employee or leader, well-being decisions comprise our daily lives. This course examines well-being from two unique but interconnected perspectives. Students will look internally to discern their personal well-being strategy as an emerging leader and then look externally to consider how to improve employee well-being within their organization.

NCR 620. Introduction to Conflict Engagement. 3 credits.

This course introduces students to the field of conflict engagement. It presents theoretical explanations of the causes of conflict and leads students to an identification and understanding of their response to and style of conflict engagement. There is a focus on explaining and distinguishing between a broad range of conflict engagement processes including negotiation, mediation, and facilitation, so that students will be able to apply the appropriate process to various types of conflict which they may encounter in their lives and practice.

NUR 756. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the Gerontological Population. 2 credits. SP

NUR 756 prepares the student to utilize health promotion and health protection principles in the delivery of care to the older adult and their families, and caregivers. Demographic trends and stereotypes, as well as biological and psychological theories of aging are explored. Quality of life issues through the utilization of health promotion strategies are a focus combined with prevention strategies for age specific diseases and syndromes. Cultural, ethnic, spiritual, and age sensitive issues are addressed. Collaborative strategies to improve outcomes using evidence-based protocols with multi-disciplinary personnel are emphasized.