Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies
The Holistic Health Studies program is a journey. The program, designed to meet you where you are on your academic and professional pathway, allows you to define your own learning plan.
The transdisciplinary Holistic Health Studies curriculum draws on knowledge from all corners of life and all disciplines of study. The curriculum gives you an exciting and interconnected foundation for exploring your diverse interests and developing your leadership abilities.
The Master of Holistic Health Studies program consists of 30 credits of structured courses and nine credits in which you design your own learning plan from a variety of options. With the help of your advisor, you develop a focused area of study that allows you to define your direction. You also have opportunities for independent study and in-depth research so you can customize your learning. Academic, collaborative and experiential research are the foundation for learning in the program, which culminates in a final practicum and integrative seminar.
In addition to the Master of Holistic Health Studies (MAHS) degree, a shorter certificate program and a dual-degree MAHS and Master of Social Work option are available.
Designed for adult learners, the master's program can be completed in two and a half years or more. The certificate program can be completed in one academic year. See our schedule page for details on meeting times.
Read more below for a description of the curriculum and a listing of courses.
1. Begin with a solid foundation
Your studies begin with two theoretical courses that provide an overview of holistic health: "Foundations of Holistic Health" and "Complementary/Alternative Approcahes to Healhcare." You will study emerging and integrative models of healthcare and hear from lecturers who are transforming healthcare in the community and through practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic care and Chinese medicine
2. Integrate your education and your life
Your exploration continues with studies in which you will dig more deeply into your own beliefs and enhance your knowledge. Courses such as a "Culture as a Resource in Health and Healing," "Ecology and Healh," "Herbology" and "Spiritual Wellness" will give you a deeper understanding of healing traditions along with your own cultural influences as you investigate the historic constructs underpinning today's medical systems.
3. Develop a personal approach to self-care and self-empowerment
Courses throughout the program are designed to offer you space to make positive changes in your life. Every class begins with a holistic technique such as guided meditation, imagery, movement exercise, breath work, humor exercises, relaxation or the creative arts. Your assignments are often lived experiences, too.
For example, in the “Mindfulness-Based Meditation” course you incorporate meditation techniques into your daily life, and in “Movement, Relaxation and Health” you draw from Western and Eastern models of movement to balance mind and body, and create your own approach to exercise.
4. Lead societal change
Societal and political structures such as socioeconomic class, race, gender, age and sexual preference have a direct impact on the health of the individual. In “Organizing for Social Change” you learn to understand yourself and the current holistic health movement in the historical context of social change. In keeping with St. Catherine’s social justice mission, you apply what you learn in the classroom by working with a community-based organizing effort or project.
5. Conduct academic and "mindbodyspirit" research
In three sequential courses taken over 18 months, you'll complete a collaborative research project. Research in the MAHS program mirrors academic research in teaching various research methods, but with a twist.
Holistic health research typically incorporates an experiential component — “mindbodyspirit research” — holistic research that has the potential to change you and add depth to your understanding of complementary approaches to health.
The practicum and integrative seminar
In the final semester of the MAHS program, you apply your learning and expand your professional journey by completing a practicum project in a community setting.
Student projects have included:
- Providing energy-healing education to staff, caregivers and residents on the memory care and long-term units at Minneapolis’ Walker Methodist Health Center, offering integrative short-term and long-term health care.
- Writing articles about holistic health including a feature on “superfoods” — foods with high nutritional or phytochemical content — for Edge magazine.
- Developing wellness programming at South High School in Minneapolis.
- Creating integrative therapy programs at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
- Designing and facilitating a three-part series of classes at Pathways, a health crisis resource center in Minneapolis, for participants to experience expressive arts.
To complete the Master of Holistic Health Studies degree, you'll complete the following courses. To see descriptions of individual courses, click on the "MAHS" link on this page of our graduate catalog:
HHS 6700: Foundations of Holistic Health and Wellness
HHS 6720: Complementary/Alternative Approaches to Healthcare
HHS 6730: Culture as a Resource in Health and Healing
HHS 6740: Spiritual Wellness
HHS 6760: Ecology and Health
HHS 6820: Movement, Relaxation and Health
HHS 7500: Core Concepts in Mind/Body Interactions
HHS 7520: Women and Holistic Health
HHS 7620: Organizing for Social Change
HHS 7710: Alternative Approaches to Nutrition
HHS 8900: Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Mindful Inquiry
HHS 8920: Practicum and Integrative Seminar
HHS 8940: Research Methods and Statistics
HHS 8980: Research Seminar
In addition, you will choose 9 credits from the following courses:
- HHS 6982: Holistic Entrepreneurship
- HHS 6983: Perspectives of Health and Healing in India
- HHS 7800: Mindfulness-Based Meditation
- HHS 7830: Energy Healing I
- HHS 7835: Energy Healing II
- HHS 7900: Herbology
- Independent Study