Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition Career Pathways

Functional Medicine Collaboration at UWS

Explore the UWS Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine programs, where education meets practical application. Our collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) prepares students for successful functional medicine careers that make an impact by transforming lives through personalized, evidence-based healthcare.

Collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)

The human nutrition and functional medicine programs are offered as collaborative endeavors between UWS and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the organization that founded and developed many functional medicine concepts used today including complementary treatments for patient-centered care.  This global agreement leads to further collaboration between the two institutions, including the integration of IFM’s novel patient assessment tools, preparing students for various functional medicine careers.

Make Connections for Your Functional Medicine Career

Not only do our students come from all over the world, but their professional and educational backgrounds are just as diverse. Graduates find this aspect extremely beneficial during the program because they can learn from each other’s unique professional and personal experiences. Many continue to nurture the connections they’ve made while students, creating an extensive network of peers around the world, and opening doors to numerous careers in functional medicine.

Clinical Strength in a Variety of Disciplines

Clinical Focus in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

The HNFM programs include advanced instruction in clinical nutrition and also present extensive educational content on functional medicine principles and practices. These include important interdisciplinary and evidence-informed perspectives, patient assessments, and clinical interventions designed to enhance the function of the whole person. The information presented is continually reviewed and updated with new research and findings to prepare graduates to take on the evolving science needed to succeed in functional nutrition jobs.

Integrated Faculty

Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine faculty members hold advanced degrees in a variety of fields and have experience in a host of wellness-focused disciplines. This brings educational diversity to the program and offers our students insight into a wide range of approaches, practice methods, and occupational fields for future human nutrition and functional medicine jobs.

Our faculty expertise includes:

  • nutrition
  • functional medicine
  • public health
  • immunology
  • environmental medicine
  • mind-body health
  • social work
  • chiropractic
  • exercise and sports science
  • biochemistry
  • epidemiology
  • medicine
  • naturopathy
  • pharmacology
  • gastroenterology
  • herbal and botanical medicine

Qualified Exams for Careers in Nutrition

Completion of the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program satisfies all of the coursework requirements to sit for several important national certification exams for careers in nutrition, including:

December 2023 CNS Exam Results: 22 of the 24 HNFM graduates who took the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam in December 2023 passed. Our pass rate was 92%. The national pass rate for all institutions was 73%.

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition Program

Our communities are struggling with an increasing burden of chronic, complex illnesses – many of which are perpetuated by suboptimal nutrition. To address the most challenging patient cases, we need expert practitioners, and doctors of clinical nutrition, who can apply advanced evaluation and treatment strategies to find the underlying drivers of illness and help resolve them. For this reason, our Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program utilizes a functional medicine career path model, enabling students to integrate the best available scientific evidence with a comprehensive, whole-person care approach. With this knowledge, doctors of clinical nutrition can also develop targeted, individualized prevention plans to help reduce the risk of chronic illness and support optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being for the patients and clients they serve.

Graduate Certificate

Current clinicians and health professionals with functional medicine careers with an existing master’s or doctoral degree who have a specific focus may find the graduate certificate program well-suited to their need for a faster path to completing their education. 


The nutritionist career path requires licensure which varies state by state and is evolving toward greater inclusivity. A valuable resource to check out for pursuing a career in nutrition is The American Nutrition Association Advocacy page, to learn more about the particular laws in your state and keep updated on the newest initiatives affecting the nutrition world.

It is the responsibility of the individual student to understand and comply with all relevant local or jurisdictional requirements for clinical practice, which are highly variable and subject to periodic change. UWS makes no representation or guarantee that completion of UWS coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain certification, licensure or other authorization to practice in any specific jurisdiction.

Nutrition & Functional Medicine Careers

Human nutrition and functional medicine graduates currently have a tremendous variety of functional medicine jobs to choose from, and the field is growing every day.

Graduates may seek careers that include:

  • nutritionist, solo practice
  • nutritionist, group/integrated practice
  • health and wellness coach
  • educator
  • lecturer
  • author
  • entrepreneur
  • employee health coordinator
  • corporate wellness manager
  • health director
  • public policy expert

How to Become a Functional Medicine Doctor

A career in functional medicine involves completing an extensive education and developing your skills through practical experience. Future functional medicine doctors must first obtain a foundational degree in a relevant field, such as medicine, nursing, or a related healthcare discipline. Following this, specialization in functional medicine is essential. The Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program we offer is designed in collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), to equip students with the advanced knowledge and tools necessary for this innovative healthcare approach.

Students will learn through a combination of rigorous academic coursework and hands-on clinical practice, gaining expertise in holistic, patient-centered care. Completing our program prepares students for many of the requirements needed to earn licensure and certifications relevant to practicing functional medicine.

How Much Do Functional Medicine Doctors Make?

The salary of functional medicine doctors can vary widely based on factors such as location, years of experience, the type of practice (solo, group, or integrated), and any additional specializations or certifications. However, functional medicine doctors often have the potential to earn a competitive salary due to the growing demand for personalized and holistic healthcare solutions. According to ZipRecruiter salaries can normally range from $190,000 to $245,000 annually, with the average functional medicine doctor making about $217,000 a year*

*Data gathered in 2024.

Functional Medicine Nutritionist Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nutrition career outlook estimates projected growth of about 7% from 2022 to 2032. This data was collected at the time the article was published.