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Get the Skills to Become a Health and Nutrition Education Professional

A beautiful black couple hugging in the kitchen. Man is on his computer. Take a Master of Science in Health & Nutrition Education at Hawthorn.
If you have a passion for teaching and nutrition consider the MHNE Degree program, which aims to create well-rounded educators

Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education Program

I am so grateful for the solid foundation I received at Hawthorn. I received knowledge and skills to contribute to the field of holistic nutrition and health. The program is well designed, comprehensive and also provides knowledge on marketing and business setup. I am now skilled and ready to make a positive difference in people’s lives by implementing what I have learned at Hawthorn. I am so grateful to everyone at Hawthorn… | submitted Apr 02, 2019
Victoria Buttar, MHNE Graduate 2019

You’ve worked hard to develop a deep understanding of health and nutrition, and now it’s time to share that knowledge with others; but how can you reach people in a way that leads to real change in their behavior and life? Whether it’s through lectures, writing, teaching, researching, manufacturing health products, or operating a health food store, you can get the skills to excel as an educator with the Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education (MHNE) Degree program at Hawthorn University. Complete this program in under 32 months.

The MHNE Degree program is delivered in a two-pronged approach; you’ll learn extensive, science-based nutrition as well as effective communication skills that allow you to explain complex information so that others can understand it. You’ll also gain an understanding of the environment of nutrition education, strategies for nutrition educators, holistic health coaching, and health-supportive food guidelines and nutrition. Learn all of this in a guided study format that’s entirely online.

The best way to see if Hawthorn University is the right fit for you is to contact an admissions advisor. Get more information on the Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education Degree program, the online learning format, and pay-as-you-go options so that you can make an informed decision about your future.

Become Qualified in Health and Nutrition Education

One of the goals of this program is to prepare you to become well-versed in the field of holistic nutrition education. As a student, you’ll acquire a broad body of knowledge that will help you in your career; evaluating and synthesizing the major literature, theories, practices, problems and ethical issues in holistic nutrition education, as well as demonstrating professional skills in holistic health and wellness promotion.

During the 35-credit Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education degree program you’ll learn:

  • Nutrition and the Environment
  • Strategies for Health & Nutrition Educators
  • Human Physiology & Anatomy
  • Understanding Macronutrients & Micronutrients
  • Research Methods in Health Education
  • Health Supportive Food Guidelines
  • Holistic Health Coaching
  • Healthy Life Cycles
  • Balancing Energy & Weight
  • The Business of Health & Nutrition Education
  • And More!

Certification Makes You Credible

As a Hawthorn graduate, you have options for board certification. Becoming certified can open doors to employment as it proves you completed a rigorous educational program and are able to demonstrate your knowledge – earning the highest level of professional recognitions in the holistic nutrition industry. Click HERE to download your copy of Post-Graduation Professional Certifications.

The Convenience of Online Learning

This program is divided into twelve courses. Courses are uniquely designed to facilitate your learning through lectures that include dynamic interviews with professionals, original articles from Hawthorn University, and textbook readings. You are given practical exercises to ground the learning. An instructor approved thesis/research project is required for graduation.

As a student, you’ll purchase books that comprise the basis of a professional library and are introduced to quality online sources of nutritional information. After completing assigned textbooks readings, listening to the audio lectures, experiencing the practical activities and submitting written assignments to an instructor, you’ll take an online exam before progressing to the next course. Assignments are graded and returned to your website with written feedback.

You can interact with other students by posting questions and comments to the message boards and via email. You can email or call your instructor during their weekly office hours for individual attention and questions. In addition, technical support is available via the Help Desk.

Program Details

What You’ll Learn and What’s Academically Required

Read on to learn about the Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education (MHNE) Degree course descriptions, academic requirements, completion timelines, program grading scale, repeating courses, extensions, the leave of absence policy, and more.

What You’ll Learn

View the in-depth curriculum, including course descriptions, course objectives, credits, exam schedules, and classes that you are required to take by clicking on the “details” link for each course shown in the table below.

MHNE 601 – Nutrition and the Environment – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 602 – Strategies for Health & Nutrition Educators – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 603.10 – Human Physiology and Anatomy – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 604 – Understanding Macronutrients – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 603 – Research Methods in Health Education – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 605 – Understanding Micronutrients – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE FLT – Foundation Level Test – 0 Semester Credits details
MHNE 606 – Health Supportive Food Guidelines – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 607 – Holistic Health Coaching – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 608 – Healthy Life Cycles – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 609 – Balancing Energy and Weight – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE 611 – The Business of Health and Nutrition Educators – 3 Semester Credits details
MHNE ALT – Advanced Level Test – 0 Semester Credits details
MHNE CE – Comprehensive Exam – 2 Semester Credits details
MHNE 650 – Research Project (optional elective) – 4 Semester Credits details

Scholastic & Graduation Requirements

Students must submit assignments and complete a course in sixty (60) days or less for three (3) credit courses and ninety (90) days or less for the four (4) credit thesis course. Each course has an online examination that must be taken prior to the end date of the course. Proctored online examinations are required in designated courses in this program. A total of thirty-five (35) credits are needed to graduate.

To graduate, students must complete all courses and examinations and achieve an average grade of B or better. Students may have the opportunity to resubmit assignments that have received a grade of F. Students must clear all financial obligations, and their student file must be complete before a diploma is awarded. A Comprehensive Examination is required to complete the MHNE program.

Flexible Completion Rate

Hawthorn reports graduation statistics as defined by the California Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education (CA BPPE) in the School Performance Fact Sheet. A 100% completion rate for the MHNE program is defined as the successful completion of the program within thirty-two (32) months. Hawthorn also calculates the 150% graduation statistics. Students who complete their MHNE program within forty-eight (48) months are defined as 150% completers.

Most Hawthorn University students take only one course at a time. Students can complete this program in thirteen (13) months if enrolled in multiple courses at the same time.

Leave of Absence

Some students may have extraordinary life circumstances that take them over published completion rates. Students experiencing extraordinary circumstances can review the leave of absence policy or petition for a program extension in this catalog or the student handbook.

Course Grading Scales

Letter grades are determined according to the following scale:

Grade Score Description Grade Points
A 100-94 Excellent 4.0
A- 93-90 High Quality 3.7
B+ 89-87 Very Good 3.3
B 86-84 Good 3.0
B- 83-80 Acceptable 2.7
C+ 79-77 Fair 2.3
C 76-73 Poor 2.0
C- 72-70 Very Poor 1.7
F Below 69 Failure 0.0

Grade Point Average

Students in a graduate program must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above to graduate. The registrar calculates grade point averages according to the point values in the grading scale. A grade of W (Withdraw) does not calculate into the GPA. Withdrawals, however, may be counted toward credits attempted for academic progress requirements.

Students who deserve recognition for excellence in academic performance will be identified at graduation with the following designations:

Summa Cum Laude – 3.90 – 4.00

Magna Cum Laude – 3.80 – 3.89

Cum Laude – 3.70 – 3.78

Repeating a Course

Students who receive an F (Fail) grade in a course may repeat that course one time in order to earn a passing grade. Failure of the same course a second time may result in dismissal from the University. GPA will be computed by the grade earned in the second attempt. Both course grades will remain on the transcript.

Reasonable Tuition & Fees

The program consists of 12 courses (35 credits) which are needed to graduate. You may pay by the course and payment is due upon enrollment into the course. Tuition must be paid in U.S. currency, by check, money order, or credit card.

Tuition and fees for the MHNE program are:

  • $60.00 – Application fee (non-refundable)
  • $8,750.00 – 35 credits @ $250.00 per credit
  • $250.00 Foundation Level and Advanced Level Tests @ $125.00 each
  • $664.00 Estimated Books and Materials cost
  • $75.00 Graduation fee (domestic)
  • $9,799.00 Total

For a detailed list of other University fees: Click Here

Courses are released upon receipt of payment. Once the course is completed,
you are ready to advance by requesting the next course.

Textbooks That Form the Basis of a Professional Library

The cost of textbooks are not included in the quoted tuition (refer to the chart below for estimated prices). Students may purchase textbooks directly from the publishers and are given suggestions on how to find discounted books and online resources.

Here is a course by course breakdown of the estimated cost of your textbooks and other required materials for each course and for the entire program. Prices are from unless otherwise indicated. Tuition and book prices are subject to change.

Course Name Estimated Textbook Cost (rounded to the nearest dollar) Tuition Cost Total Tuition and Estimated Textbook Cost

MHNE 601

$200.00 $750.00 $950.00

MHNE 602

$93.00 $750.00 $843.00

MHNE 603

$117.00 $750.00 $867.00

MHNE 603.1

$49.00 $750.00 $799.00

MHNE 604

$8.00 $750.00 $758.00

MHNE 605

$17.00 $750.00 $767.00

MHNE 606

$18.00 $750.00 $768.00

MHNE 607

$16.00 $750.00 $766.00

MHNE 608

$69.00 $750.00 $819.00

MHNE 609

$42.00 $750.00 $792.00

MHNE 611

$35.00 $750.00 $785.00

MHNE 650*
(optional elective)

$27.00 $1,000.00 $1,027.00
Application Fee $60.00
Graduation Fee (Domestic) $75.00
Total Textbook Cost (estimated) $664.00
Foundation Level and Advanced Level Tests $250.00
Total Tuition Cost
(app fee, FLT/ALT, courses)
Grand Total $9,799.00
*Students who do not complete their thesis in the allotted time frame must register to continue at 1/2 the cost ($500) to maintain matriculation.

Health and Nutrition Educators Are Needed to Fill Many Roles

Upon successful completion of the MHNE program you should be able to:

  • Provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and their communities
  • Maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles
  • Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing; monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments
  • Serve as a resource to assist individuals, other health professionals, or the community, and administer fiscal resources for health education programs
  • Develop and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences, and school or community presentations
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care
  • Develop educational materials and programs for community agencies, local government, and state government
  • Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address public health concerns
  • Supervise professional and technical staff in implementing health programs, objectives, and goals
  • Plan programs to address community health issues
  • Present social services program information to the public
  • Develop working relationships with others to facilitate program activities
  • Provide educational materials to community members
  • Follow the “Scope of Practice” and “Code of Ethics” for nutritionists as described by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals

Extensive Career Prospects

Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education graduates can go on to become:

  • Health and nutrition educators in private practice
  • Authors of health-oriented publications
  • Health maintenance program group leaders
  • Lecturers for professional groups, lay audiences, or schools
  • Teachers
  • Researchers
  • Nutritional supplement or health product manufacturers
  • Managers of health food stores
  • Leaders in nutrition centers, spas, and retreat centers

The field of nutrition is growing as more people seek complementary and holistic approaches to wellness; there are many opportunities for you to engage in following graduation.

Learn about admission requirements for the MHNE program.

View the sample program agreement.

*Program length when students take multiple classes at once. See the “Flexible Completion Rate” paragraph for more details.