Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

Program Pace

The pace of HNFM program is determined by the student’s preference. The recommended track has the student taking 2-3 classes per term and is completed in eight quarters (two years/24 months). It is possible to complete the program one class at a time, extending the duration. 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 “leaves” for a quarter or more if needed, up to a maximum of four quarters total. As long as the intended schedule is communicated with program staff, it is possible to customize a schedule to better suit a student’s individual needs. The program must be completed in a maximum of five years.

Explore the current university catalog to view courses offered, descriptions and course sequence.

Learning Outcomes

With appreciation of the rapid advancements in the field of clinical nutrition and the increasingly respected role of nutrition in the maintenance of health and the prevention of disease, the master of science in human nutrition and functional medicine program prepares graduates to safely and effectively utilize nutrition, natural remedies and biopsychosocial therapies in the management of patients with complex health challenges at an advanced level beyond traditional nutritional programs.

Graduates of the MS-HNFM program will be able to:

  1. Integrate whole food nutrition with strategies for health promotion and disease prevention.
  2. Apply the functional medicine model to the therapeutic needs a patient or client could present.
  3. Apply appropriate interventions to address physiological imbalances and illness states.
  4. Appraise research evidence to answer clinically relevant questions.

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.

Advanced Standing

Advanced Practice Modules (APMs) and the week-long Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) from the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) can be completed for elective credit, with one APM or one AFMCP substituting for one elective course in our MS program. APMs are focused on a single key health dysfunction such as Gastrointestinal, Cardiometabolic, Detoxification and Immune Imbalances. APMs are offered both in person and electronically for greater ease of access. To receive credit, students must submit the Certificate of Completion from IFM along with a reflective essay describing what they learned and how it may apply to patient/client care.

Students who enter the MS-HNFM program with the Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP) designation may apply for a total of up to 11 credits of advanced standing toward the master’s degree. If you believe you might qualify for advanced standing, please inform your admissions advisor so they can assist with requesting any applicable transfer credit.

The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA) was established in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Taught by IFM faculty and leaders in positive psychology and coaching, the curriculum blends basic Functional Medicine principles with positive psychology coaching, mind-body medicine, and functional nutrition. The 12-month online program leads to a certificate as a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach. Students are taught how to partner with Functional medicine practitioners and help clients initiate and sustain diet and lifestyle change. Graduates of the MS-HNFM program qualify for a 10% reduction in tuition. For more information about FMCA, visit Graduates of the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy certificate program may be granted four elective credits toward the MS-HNFM.


After completing the four foundational “core requirement” courses (Principles of Functional Medicine, Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Assessment, Whole Food Nutrition and Supplementation, and Evidence-Based Nutrition) students are allowed to select and start elective courses based upon availability and individual preference.


The Master of Science in human nutrition and functional medicine focuses on the clinical management of chronic illnesses and conditions as the framework for presenting the nutrition subject materials. Students are provided effective, patient-centered management strategies by which to address the myriad of clinical disorders commonly manifest in the current health care system population. This approach allows training to occur in the same context the practitioner will be applying the knowledge. The required coursework combines traditional nutrition science courses with coursework based on the clinical application of functional medicine.

The UWS catalog houses the curriculum, course descriptions, curriculum sequence and other helpful information about the program. View the current catalog.

Find your MS-HNFM planner here.


Students are encouraged to check the library catalog for electronic versions of required and recommended textbooks before purchasing. The library carries a few copies all of the required and recommended textbooks in print and has been able to obtain electronic versions of many textbooks for all programs at UWS, saving students hundreds of dollars per term. To purchase books, please visit the UWS campus store.

Find the MS-HFNM textbook list here.

Guest Lecturers

The HNFM program often hosts prestigious guest lecturers to speak about exciting topics in health, nutrition and wellness. Here are a few guests we’ve had the honor of hosting and the topics they presented on:

Jerry Bailey, DC, MS – “HNFM Nutrition Grand Rounds”
Neal Barnard, MD – “Evidence on Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes”
Rachel Fischer, MD, MPH – “HNFM Nutrition Grand Rounds”
Kara Fitzgerald, ND – “Molecular Biology of Fatty Acid Therapy”, “Food Allergy, Intolerance, Sensitivity”, “Allergy and Atopy”
Alan Gaby, MD – “Controversies in Nutrition”
Alan Goldhamer, DC – “Fasting, Food Addictions” and “Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting and Nutritional Medicine”
James Gordon, MD – “Self-Care is the Heart of Health Care”
Dennis Hoyer, DC – “Fundamentals of Laboratory Assessment”

Requirements for graduation

The MS in human nutrition and functional medicine degree is conferred upon the individual who has fulfilled the following requirements:

  1. Maintenance of enrollment eligibility through satisfactory academic performance, professional development and behavior, and non-academic behavior.
  2. Successful completion of all required courses, lectures, labs, practicums, and seminars with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all required coursework.
  3. Successful completion of minimum graduation requirements as officially communicated to students through the university catalog, student publications, and other official documents of the university.
  4. Freedom from all indebtedness and other obligations to the university.