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Wellness Coaching IDP Incubator Minor Lifestyle Medicine Focus Rationale & Requirements

Health and wellness coaching is an emerging field that focuses on empowering clients to make healthy lifestyle changes to optimize their health and wellbeing.  We believe that wellness coaches trained at MSU Denver could assist the Denver community with decreasing the incidence of chronic disease and therefore healthcare costs. 

In order for students to become wellness coaches, they must also have coursework that prepares them to actually coach clients.  This is why the incorporation of courses such as wellness coaching 1 and 2, in which key coaching concepts such as motivational interviewing and positive psychology are included. 

We also believe that all wellness coaches should have training in areas such as lifestyle medicine, nutrition, and exercise science. 

The Integrative Therapeutic Practices program and the Human Performance and Sport program are both ideal foundations for creating health and wellness coaches due to these programs’ strong health science foundations. The Wellness Coaching IDP Incubator Minor will give students wishing to pursue a career in wellness coaching additional skills and knowledge in wellness coaching areas such as motivational interviewing, positive psychology, and behavior change. 

This program is a minor and requires a catalog major.

How can I get started?

  • Call the Center for Individualized Learning at 303-615-0525 to schedule an appointment with Individualized Degree Specialist, Dr. Kim VanHoosier-Carey (
  • Call 303-615-1200 to schedule an advising appointment with Dr. Michelle Tollefson (IDP Wellness Coaching Incubator Minor advisor)- West Classroom 239. Please tell them you are with the IDP Wellness Coaching minor, so that you are scheduled appropriately.
  • This Wellness Coaching IDP minor requires a meeting with an IDP advisor and the completion of an IDP proposal, including a degree plan, a rationale essay, and an approval form.   Final proposals should be submitted 3-6 months after your initial meeting with an IDP specialist (call 303-615-0525 to schedule an appointment) and at least 2 semesters before graduation.  You are responsible for following these deadlines.  Visit the MSU Denver Center for Individualized Learning's Website at specific deadlines for IDP proposal submission.  Center for Individualized Learning Location:  Administration Building, Suite 360. The street address is 1201 5th, right next to the Auraria West Light Rail Station, in the building that houses the College of Business, the Police Station, and the Applied Learning Center.

Minor Recommended Coursework:

  • HPS 1640: Physical Fitness Techniques and Programs– 2
  • NUT 2040: Intro to Nutrition – 3
  • ITP 2700: Holistic Health – 3
  • ITP 2950– Wellness Coaching I – 3
  • ITP 4400– Wellness Coaching II – 3
  • ITP 1500: Dynamics of Health – 3
  • ITP 3850: Lifestyle Medicine – 3
  • Total – 20 Hours*

*You need at least 20 hours for the IDP Incubator Wellness Coaching Minor Lifestyle Medicine Focus.

*You cannot count a course toward your major AND your minor.

*If one (or more) of the above courses is already counting toward your major, you can substitute electives below in its (their) place.

Electives for Lifestyle Medicine Focus

  • HCM 390M: Entrepreneurship in Health – 1
  • HSL 1440: Skills and Methods of Stress Management – 2
  • HPL 1880: Tai Chi – 2
  • HPL 1840: Hatha Yoga I – 2
  • HPS 2890: Personal Training Concepts and Applications – 2
  • HPS 3780: Fitness Programs for Special populations – 2
  • HPS 3790: Fitness Programs for Children, Adolescents and Older Adults – 3
  • ITP 3800: Stress and Sleep – 3
  • ITP 4000: Pediatric Holistic Health – 3
  • ITP 4100: Women’s Holistic Health – 3
  • ITP 2900: Men’s Health – 3
  • ITP 3700: Physiology of Aging – 3
  • NUT 3040: Nutrition Concepts and Controversies – 3
  • NUT 3050: Concepts of Lifecycle Nutrition – 3
  • NUT 3200: Nutrition and Sports Performance – 3
  • NUT 3300: Cultural Aspects of Nutrition – 3
  • NUT 3400: Nutrition and Weight Management – 3
  • Choose from a TOTAL OF 20 Lifestyle Medicine Electives

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