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Get Skills in Holistic Nutrition

Take a Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition certificate at Hawthorn
Learn the fundamentals of whole foods nutrition; when you graduate you can continue into the Nutrition Consultant Certificate program

Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition Certificate Program

My experience at Hawthorn University has given me the confidence and knowledge to go out into the field of nutrition and be competitive and successful. I learned so much through this program and it has insured me to be a life-long learner in the field of nutrition. | submitted Sep 14, 2018
Elyse Ulrichs, NC Graduate 2017

With food being such an essential part of our daily lives, almost everyone could benefit from more knowledge about holistic nutrition. Learn about the benefits of evidence-based holistic nutrition and compliment an existing wellness practice, a Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition (SFHN) Certificate can help you achieve your goals in under twenty-four (24) months.

After you complete the SFHN Certificate, you’ll be eligible to enter into the advanced level of the Nutrition Consultant (NC) program, which builds upon the knowledge gained in the SFHN program. The NC program  applies that foundational knowledge to working with clients. Therefore, this introductory certificate is your stepping stone towards becoming a Nutrition Consultant.

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 Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition (SFHN) Certificate 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 Holistic Nutrition

During the 24-credit Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition Certificate program you’ll learn:

  • Whole Foods Nutrition
  • Digestive Physiology & Anatomy
  • Macronutrients & Micronutrients
  • Research Skills
  • Diet Evaluation & Planning
  • Structuring the Holistic Client Interview
  • Life Stages & Clinical Nutrition

The Convenience of Online Learning

At Hawthorn, programs entirely online and offer the support of your peers and mentorship of your teacher right at your fingertips. Educational tools include audio lectures, dynamic interviews with professionals in clinical practice, original articles from Hawthorn University, textbooks, journals, websites, diet analysis software, clinical conference calls, message boards, hands-on and community-based assignments, and individual teacher-student interaction. Each course concludes with a teacher-student telephone call and oral review.

As with traditional, on-ground schools, you’ll be expected to complete practical activities, research and written assignments, practice exercises, and other community-based projects – all online. You’ll also have the option to engage with your peers and faculty via website based message boards. Advanced level courses allow you to participate in clinical review; you’ll present client protocols via conference calls.

Certificate Details

Curriculum & Academic Requirements

Read on to learn about the Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition (SFHN) Certificate course descriptions, academic requirements, completion timelines, program grading scale, repeating courses, extensions, leave of absence policy, and more.

What You’ll Learn

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

NC 1 – Whole Foods Nutrition – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 3 – Digestive Physiology and Anatomy: Before and After You Swallow – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 4 – Macronutrients: Life’s Energy Sources – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 2 – Research Skills:  Hunting and Gathering – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 5 – Micronutrients – Subtle Regulators – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 6 – Diet Evaluation and Planning: You Are What You Eat – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 7 – Structuring the Holistic Client Interview: Talking and Tending – 3 Semester Credits details
NC 8 – Life Stages and Clinical Nutrition: Around Life’s Cycle – 3 Semester Credits details
NC FLE – Foundation Level Exercise – 0 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. Online examinations must be taken prior to the end date of the course. Conferences must be completed by the date indicated in the course syllabus. Proctored conferences via Skype are required in certain courses in this program. Students are encouraged to begin the subsequent course while waiting for a final grade.

Students will be informed that their assignment has been received by their instructor within forty-eight (48) hours of submission. Assignments are graded and returned to the student’s website with written feedback within seven (7) days. Proctored Skype conferences are held in designated courses in this program.

To graduate, students must complete all assignments and achieve an average grade of C or better. Students must resubmit assignments that have received a grade of F. Students must clear all financial obligations, and their student file must be complete before a certificate is awarded. The SFHN program has a cumulative Foundation Level Exercise required for the completion of the SFHN program.

Flexible Completion Rate

Hawthorn is obligated to report graduation statistics based on formulas defined by the California Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education (CA BPPE). Using their guidelines, a 100% completion rate for the SFHN program is defined as the successful completion of the program within twenty-four (24) months. Students who complete their courses within thirty-six (36) months are defined as 150% completers.

Most Hawthorn University students take only one course at a time. Students can complete this twenty-four (24) credit program in twelve (12) 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 are encouraged to complete coursework in a timely manner and proceed to graduation! Students experiencing extraordinary circumstances can review the leave of absence policy or petition for a program extension. Read about the policy in the catalog or the student handbook.

Course Grading Scales

Letter grades are determined according to the following scale:

Grade Points
High Quality
Very Good
Very Poor
Low Quality
Lower Quality
Lowest Quality
Below 59

Grade Point Average

Students in a certificate program must achieve a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0  or above to graduate. The registrar calculates grade point averages according to the point values in the grading scale. A grade of W (Withdraw) or UW (Unauthorized Withdrawal) 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 8 three-credit courses and students may pay by the course. Payment is due upon enrollment into the course. Tuition must be paid in U.S. currency, by check, money order, or credit card.

  • NC course (3 credit hours) $450.00

Total tuition for the SFHN program is:

  • $60.00 – Application fee (non-refundable)
  • $3,600.00 – 24 credits @ $150.00
  • $125.00 – Foundation Level Exercise
  • $3,785.00 Total

For a detailed list of other 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.

Your Textbooks Form the Basis of a Professional Library

The costs of textbooks are not included in the quoted tuition. Students purchase textbooks from vendors of their choice. The estimated cost of textbooks for the SFHN Certificate program is included in the chart below.

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
NC 1
NC 2
NC 3
NC 4
NC 5
NC 6
NC 7
NC 8
Application Fee
Graduation Fee (Domestic)
Total Textbook Costs (estimated)
Foundation Level Exercise
Total Tuition Cost
Total Tuition Cost/Fees/ Textbooks

Holistic Nutrition Skills Are Needed to Fill Many Roles

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

• Disseminate nutrition information
• Conduct classes or seminars or give a speech related to nutrition
• Understand the importance of whole foods
• Discuss the benefits of macro and micronutrients
• Engage in the explanation of the uses of food, food materials, or dietary supplements or
their preparation
• Work as an assistant in a nutrition-related setting, e.g., spa, health food store, etc.
• Continue on and complete the Nutrition Consultant Certificate program

Extensive Career Prospects

Scientific Foundations of Holistic Nutrition graduates are trained to:

  • Seek employment in health-related businesses
  • Add holistic health information to their existing practice
  • Educate others on the benefits of whole foods for their health
  • Work with others as a researcher
  • Write for community publications

Learn about admission requirements for the SFHN program.

View the sample program agreement.

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