About the Program

The Integrative Health Care (IHC) program provides a comprehensive understanding of health and wellness through evidence-based teaching and practices that combine the most recent scientific evidence with the oldest of healing traditions, such as botanical and ayurvedic medicines. Students examine the diverse factors that impinge on an individual’s health and well-being, which promotes growth, cultivates wisdom, and teaches discernment of existing paradigms in US Healthcare. Students receive a broad-based understanding of the principles of human health and disease, the theories underlying healing practices, and the scientific research methods needed to evaluate the latest techniques in this dynamic field.

The Integrative Health Care program offers a major, and a minor. The major is designed for students interested in working in the expanding complementary and alternative health care field. The minor is designed for students who recognize the increased emphasis on wellness in several professional fields and/or for health-conscious individuals who wish to establish a self-enhancement program. The minor can complement a major that is relevant to the student’s career goals.

Majors and minors that complement the IHC programs include, but are not limited to: Health Care Management,  Nutrition, Aging Services Leadership, Public Health, Lifestyle Medicine, Men’s Health, Journalism, Spanish, Marketing, Human Services, Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry.

IHC Student Spotlight

How overcoming cancer led Valeria Pernas to pursue a career in holistic medicine

She was diagnosed in her 20s. Now, she’ll graduate with a degree in Integrative Health Care, so she can help others navigate treatment. 

“The Integrative Health Care Program is so diverse in how students learn in regards to health care,” Pernas said. Traditional core subjects such as Biology and Chemistry are combined with topics such as Ayurvedic medicine and herbalism. “The program gives you a wide perspective on how to approach health care in a holistic way.”

Valeria Pernas. Photo by Alyson McClaran

Pernas will receive MSU Denver’s prestigious Provost’s Award when she graduates in May 2024.

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How will the IHC program impact you?

A student smiling toward the camera in class

The baccalaureate Integrative Health Care (IHC) program graduate will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate an attitude of caring, flexibility, and self-confidence in a health care setting.
  • Act in an ethical and legal manner in applying the leadership roles of collaborator, resource person, change agent, teacher, and advocate.
  • Integrate a variety of communication skills, media techniques, and strategies effectively and appropriately to influence health.
  • Assess health situations and recommend appropriate healing practices.
  • Evaluate global health systems to identify social and health-care trends in order to anticipate the future of health care.
  • Apply scientific method to health-care problems.
  • Apply knowledge of natural science principles in a healing practice.


Career Opportunities

Earn a degree in Integrative Health Care, and you’ll be ready for a career in a variety of health care fields, from community health and health education to retail. These are some of the areas you could pursue with your B.S. in Integrative Health Care:

Alternative Medicine

  • Acupuncture
  • Anthropology
  • Aromatherapy
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Chiropractic medicine
  • Conventional medicine
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Ethnobotany
  • Herbal medicine
  • Homeopathy

Traditional Medicine

  • Wellness Coaching
  • Naturopathy
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Osteopathic medicine
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychology
  • Public health
  • Social work

IHC prepares students for health care and beyond

Lecturing in a classroomIf you’re interested in becoming a health care practitioner, the bachelor’s degree program in Integrative Health Care at MSU Denver fulfills most graduate school requirements. MSU Denver graduates of the Integrative Health Care undergraduate degree program have been accepted into the following conventional and naturopathic medical programs:

  • Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
  • MSU Denver School of Nursing
  • Bastyr University
  • National University of Natural Medicine
  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • National University of Health Sciences Chiropractic College

Contact Us to Learn More!

Professor Steve Rissman

If you are interested in Integrative Health Care but have more questions, please contact us!

You can set up an advising appointment with Dr. Steve Rissman by emailing at [email protected] .

You can also request an advising appointment using the form here. 

Integrative Health Care Major, B.S.

The Integrative Health Care Major requires the following courses and electives. In addition to the courses listed below, many courses will require prerequisite courses prior to registration.

Summary of Major Requirements

Required Core Courses: 33-34 Credits
Required Elective Courses: 12 Credits
Required Pathway Courses: 18 Credits
Total for Major: 63-64 Credits

See the major requirements in the catalog


Course Information

Integrative Health Care Minor

The Integrative Health Care Minor requires the following courses and electives. In addition to the courses listed below

Summary of Minor Requirements

Required Core Courses: 9 Credits
Required Elective Courses: 12 Credits
Total for Minor: 21 Credits

See the minor requirements in the catalog

Course Information


Academic Accreditation is an assurance of the quality of an academic program. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, including Colorado and 18 other states. The mission of the HLC is to serve the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning. For more information, please visit the Higher Learning Commission.

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Our office is currently working remote and does not have an on-campus location. To set up a virtual or in person advising appointment, please “Book an Appointment” or email us at [email protected] .

Mailing Address

Department of Health Professions
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 33, PO Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362

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