It is well documented that emotional and psychological imbalance can upset bodily systems just as much as poor nutrition. Become uniquely qualified to address the biochemistry of the mind and body with a Master of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology (MSNCHP).
Your education at Bastyr University will include real-world clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, leading you to a professional credential in the fields of mental health counseling and nutrition, with job opportunities ranging from case manager at a community agency to working at an eating disorders clinic or owning a private practice as a counselor or nutritionist.
From time in the classroom to clinical training and beyond, you will be guided by Bastyr faculty members who are experienced nutritionists, whole-food dietitians, psychologists, counselors, researchers and experts on body-mind integration.
The unique approach of the MSNCHP program allows you to work with a range of clients during three quarters of clinical training at Bastyr Center, our Seattle teaching clinic.
The rotation begins in your second year with 11 weeks of clinical training as a counselor, putting your basic counseling and assessment skills to work as you assist clients with mental health issues and relational and psychological issues. In the second quater, the focus switches to nutrition counseling, allowing you to help clients with nutrition-focused issues, including chronic illnesses and food allergies.
The rotation culminates in the third quarter with a nine-week "Way to Go" weight management and lifestyle program, which integrates both the counseling and nutrition segments. You will co-facilitate group sessions and meet with program participants individually.
Yes. It will take an extra year to complete your degree but it is possible. Because the DPD track has slightly different admission requirements it is recommended that prospective students apply for that track and then work with an advisor to add the CHP upon acceptance.
Yes, although students should be aware that class-schedule conflicts could arise. Core research classes and core psychology classes are not expressly accommodated in scheduling.
No. CACREP (Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) is a national movement to standardize licensure and education for mental health counseling since mental health licensure requirements vary substantially from state to state. Our program is designed to meet the Washington state mental health licensure requirements and to prepare students to take the National Counseling Examination, which certain states require for licensure. Students planning to practice outside of Washington state following graduation should check on the individual licensing requirements for their state to determine whether additional coursework may be required.
Bastyr University’s MSNCHP program does not rely solely on one paradigm, though the program has a unique focus in health psychology and as such incorporates the biopsychosocial model across all areas of curriculum. The curriculum also incorporates an array of theories so students can decide as providers what to offer their clients. The program also includes attention to diversity issues across the curriculum.
This varies by state. Students planning to practice outside of Washington state following graduation should check on the individual health professional licensing requirements for their state to determine scope of practice for nutrition services.
No, you will be required to work as a mental health counselor with a supervisor signing off on your hours. In the state of Washington it is necessary to complete 3,000 post-graduate supervised hours before submitting an application to obtain licensure as a mental health counselor. However, you are eligible for employment as a counselor and to take the state licensing exam upon commencement.
Kenmore, Washington campus
3 years, full-time
See examples of how our graduates use their nutrition and psychology degrees.
Forty-six states have statutory provisions regarding professional regulation of nutritionists. To find specific scopes of practice for individual states, go to the state’s Department of Health Professional Licensing information page.
Every state has a specialized licensing program. In the state of Washington it is necessary to complete 3,000 post-graduate supervised hours before submitting an application to obtain licensure as a mental health counselor; however, you are eligible for employment as a counselor and to take the state licensing exam upon commencement.
In the Master of Science in Nutrition & Clinical Psychology (MSNCHP) program, you'll study the dynamic relationship between nutrition and mental health.
The MSNCHP program integrates training in nutritional counseling and mental health counseling, leading to licensure as a mental health counselor. The program includes a supervised practicum with diverse patients and a wide range of patient complaints, including chronic disease (diabetes, hypertension), depression/anxiety, ADHD and eating disorders.
MSNCHP students must:
In addition to the didactic and clinical experience, MSNCHP students are required to complete 10 hours of individual counseling or therapy before their counseling shift at the BCNH. Documentation of these hours is required.
Successful completion of a clinical competency exit examination is a requirement for students in the third year of the MSNCHP. This examination tests the minimal knowledge and skills required to perform nutritional and mental health counseling with diverse clients. The examination does not cover the whole curriculum and cannot substitute for any part of regular course requirements. Students are eligible to schedule the exit exam if they are in good academic standing, have completed or are concurrently registered for all required (non-elective) courses by the end of the term in which they want to take the exam, and are making satisfactory progress in the practicum.
Students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their graduate course work. Bastyr graduates are qualified to provide exceptional nutrition and counseling services to individuals and institutions and contribute positively to the nutritional and mental health education of the community.
Students are expected to stay on track with the counseling curriculum. Students who wish to go off track must have permission from the director of clinical training.
Priority consideration is given to applicants with the following GPA scores:
Exceptional candidates who do not meet these priority standards will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Entering students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university and must have completed the following courses:
NOTE: No grade lower than a C will be accepted for any prerequisite courses. Prerequisite science courses must have been completed within the last 7 years.
*Typical chemistry course progression: General Chemistry I, General Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry I, Biochemistry. A minimum of one course must include an in-person lab
**If intermediary metabolism is covered in second course of a biochemistry series, both courses must be completed – please contact a MSN advisor for questions.
Want to take these prerequisite courses with us? Find out more about our Post-Baccalaureate Program.
Want to know which classes fulfill these prerequisites? Check these lists: Course equivalency guides
The curriculum table below lists the tentative schedule of courses each quarter. Next to each course is the number of credits per course (Crdt.), the lecture hours each week (Lec.) and the lab/clinic hours each week (L/C).
The Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science has established the following expected learning outcomes for all Master of Science in Nutrition programs:
Expected learning outcomes specific to MSN-Clinical Health Psychology are:
The attached PDF is the proposed curriculum for students starting in Fall 2017. Please note that changes to the curriculum may still occur before the start of the Fall 2017 academic year. For the 2017-2018 course catalog, click here.