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History of Hawthorn

A woman eats a salad with lots of plants surrounding her and vegetables.
Hawthorn students have been at the heart of our development as a school, we strive to provide optimal holistic health education for you

Discover the Evolution of Hawthorn University


Hawthorn University was founded in December 2002 as “Hawthorn Health and Nutrition Institute”, and began offering the Nutrition Consultant certificate program. We received additional approval to operate as a degree-granting institution, and added a Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition degree in 2004 and a Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education in 2006.

The Doctor of Science in Holistic Nutrition Education program, offering a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree was also approved in 2006. In late 2008, the degree designation of EdD was changed to DSc for the Doctor of Science in Holistic Nutrition to better reflect the goals and objectives of the degree.

In December 2009, Hawthorn University received approval and recognition from the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants (IONC). Graduates of the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition and the Doctor of Science in Holistic Nutrition programs are now recognized as Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP), and graduates of the Master of Health and Nutrition Education and the Nutrition Consultant programs may refer to themselves as Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioners (RNCP). That recognition was huge as it allowed students to earn professional titles upon graduation.


In 2013, The Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition (SFHN) and the Holistic Health (HH) programs were added to our certificate programs.

We became more diligent in legislative reviews and communicated with like-minded institutions. The Strategic Planning process was strengthened with better documentation of benchmarks. We joined the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS), attended multiple health-related and accreditation conferences, improved data and survey reporting and communication, and submitted the required documentation to DEAC.

Hawthorn was accredited January 25, 2019 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808, Washington, DC 20036, Website:, Telephone: 202.234.5100.

Hawthorn’s history and forward momentum ensure that our students will continue to receive groundbreaking holistic nutrition education from leaders in the field and benefit from the fantastic reputation that Hawthorn University has gained in the health and wellness sector. We will continue to innovate our curriculum and course offerings, especially as new scientific data occurs.