Research in the Holistic Health Studies program

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Research in the Holistic Health Studies program

The Holistic Health Studies is a field rich in research opportunities. The field has developed dramatically in recent years, aided by research-driven, evidence-based data demonstrating its benefits to health and healing. 

As a Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies student, you'll have a unique opportunity to design and develop a research project that has meaning for you. You'll focus on research that resonates with your own interests and contributes to your intellectual and professional development.

Three sequential courses support you in completing a collaborative team research project, which you conduct over the course of 18 months:

  • In the first course, "Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Mindful Inquiry," you'll gain a broad overview of the complexities of holistic health research. The course builds a foundation for understanding the research process and application of research to practice. You'll choose a research topic and discern your predominant and emerging epistemologies, ontologies and philosophies in order to understand the underlying values and assumptions of research. Working with other students, you'll write an introduction to a research proposal, write a literature review, develop a preliminary research question and compile a reference list.

  • The second course, "Research Methods and Statistics," focuses on the fundamentals of sampling, instrumentation, protection of human subjects, data collection procedures, data analysis procedures and design strengths and limitations. You'll develop and write a project proposal and discern decisions related to project implementation.

  • In the final "Research Seminar," you will write and present an analysis and evaluation of your data. You'll build your presentation skills and reflect on how to use research and evaluation to continue your professional growth.

The Holistic Health Studies program provides a rich, graduate-level immersion in academic research, with an added dimension. Research in the program typically incorporates an experiential component — "mindbodyspirit" research — with the potential to change your point of view and add depth to your understanding of complementary approaches to health. What does mindbodyspirit look like? The possibilities are as diverse as holistic health practices themselves. A sampling of recent project titles: 

  • People at the Center of Community: A Creative Self-Study Connecting Environmental Health Research to the Human Experience
  • Phytonutrients and Health: Developing and Pilot Testing a Survey to Describe Consumer Awareness
  • The Sacred Power of the Drum: Healing, Connection and Transcendence