The Institute for Holistic Health Studies

Holistic Health Studies – Course Options

SFSU Bulletin - University Program Information
SFSU Bulletin - HHS Program Information

1. Individual Courses
2. General Education Courses
3. Minor in Holistic Health Studies
4. Certificate in Holistic Health Studies
5. Bachelor of Science in Health Education, HHS Emphasis
6. Special Major/Liberal Studies Major
7. Study Abroad
8. Courses for Non-CSU Students

1. Individual Courses

Taking a course or two can be an excellent way to explore careers, learn new self-care skills, and gain deeper insight into some of the world's great healing traditions.

2. General Education Courses

Many Holistic Health Studies courses can be taken to fulfill lower and upper division General Education requirements.

General Education — Lower Division Courses

HH 200 Holistic Approach to Academic Success
HH 205 Relaxation and Stress Reduction
HED 210 Tao of Well-Being
HED 290 Promoting Positive Health

General Education — Upper Division Courses

Taking Holistic Health Studies courses can also be a productive way to complete upper division General Education requirements. Picking a “cluster” of HHS courses can satisfy the three required upper division Areas: Natural Sciences (Area B), Humanities (Area C), and Social Sciences (Area D), and numerous overlays. In addition, by taking a few more Holistic Health Studies courses, students can complete a minor in Holistic Health Studies or earn a Certificate of Study. The advantage of a minor is that it appears on the diploma and transcripts (see details on HHS Minor below)

Sample Clusters

Sample 1: Stress, Balance, Transformation
HH 380 Holistic Health: Western Perspectives [Area B]
HH 381 Holistic Health: Eastern Perspectives [Area D]
HH 382 Holistic Health and Human Nature [Area C]
HH 535 Western Herbs & Nutrition [Area B]
HH 690 Psychophysiology of Healing [Area B]

Sample 2: Traditional Asian Healing Arts
HH 381 Holistic Health: Eastern Perspectives [Area D]
HH 383 Chinese Perspectives in Holistic Health [Area D]
HH 420 Chinese Body-Mind Energetics [Area C]
HH 530 Chinese Herbs & Nutrition [Area B]
HH 535 Tibetan Imagery in Healing [Area C]

Sample 3: Body-Mind Integration
HH 430 Foundations of Biofeedback and Self Regulation [Area B]
HH 433 Autogenic Training and Embodied Living [Area B]
HH 450 Somatic Education [Area D]
HH 540 Meditation and Imagery in Healing [Area D]
HH 660 Art & Healing [Area C]

3. Minor in Holistic Health Studies

A minor is taken in conjunction with one's bachelor's degree and appears on the diploma along with the major. A minor in Holistic Health Studies is an excellent complement to many SFSU majors. It provides unique learning opportunities, a chance to explore or expand career options, and a way to improve personal health and well-being. Course content is interdisciplinary, examines human experience and health from an interdependent or holistic perspective, and focuses on practical, experiential learning in diverse areas such as stress management, autogenic training, East Asian medicine, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, guided imagery and more. Additional benefits to minors include priority wait listing for Holistic Health Studies courses, individual advising with faculty, and collaboration with others interested in complementary and alternative health practices.

> Declaration of Minor Form - Download a PDF

Minor Requirements - see detailed description below
Core Courses (Eastern, Western, and Global Perspectives) 9 units
Holistic Health Studies Elective Courses 9 units
Anatomy or physiology 4 units
TOTAL 22 units

Minor Program Requirements Units
Core Courses (select three courses) 9
HH 380 Holistic Health: Western Perspectives
HH 381 Holistic Health: Eastern Perspectives
HH 382 Holistic Health and Human Nature
HH 383 Chinese Perspectives in Holistic Health
Holistic Health Emphasis
9 units chosen from any of the courses listed below
Western Perspectives  
HH 205 Relaxation & Stress Management
HH 430 Foundation of Biofeedback and Self-regulation
HH 433 Autogenic Training & Embodied Living
HH 450 Somatic Education and Holistic Health
HH 535 Western Nutrition and Herbs
HH 560 Naturopathic Medicine and Personal Wellness
HH 650 Anthroposophical Health Studies
HH 690 Psychophysiology of Healing
Eastern Perspectives (may include up to 3 units from the listed KIN courses)
HH 410 Tao of Well-Being in Chinese Tradition
HH 420 Chinese Body-Mind Energetics
HH 530 Herbal and Nutritional Principles in Chinese Healing
HH 540 Meditation and Imagery in Healing
HH 545 Imagery and Healing in Tibetan Buddhism
HH 621 Advanced Studies in Chinese Health and Healing (1-3)
KIN 136 Hatha Yoga (1)
KIN 236 Intermediate and Advanced Hatha Yoga (2)
KIN 175 Elementary Tai-Chi Chuan (1)
KIN 275 Intermediate/Advanced Tai-Chi Chuan (2)
Human Nature and Global Perspectives
HH 200 A Holistic Approach to Academic Success
HH 290 Promoting Positive Health
H ED 418 Environmental Health
HH 660 Art as Healing
HH 670 Alternative Health Practices
HH 681 Holistic Health Internship
HH 699 Special Study (1-3)
Human Anatomy/Physiology
Completion of a college-level course in human anatomy/physiology.
(BIOL 100/101, BIOL 328, or BIOL 610/611 are acceptable.)
Total for minor 22

4. Certificate in Holistic Health Studies

The Certificate in Holistic Health Studies is available to degree and non-degree students. It is available to any non-SFSU student as Open University courses through the College of Extended Learning. It is also available to matriculated students who have completed the minor. The curriculum for the Certificate includes an additional 8 units beyond the minor. The Holistic Health Studies Certificate is ideally suited for individuals who already have an academic degree, who are already in a health profession, or who may be exploring career options. Also, since a holistic health perspective encourages self-care and self-regulation, the Certificate program can be an excellent choice for stress reduction, personal growth, and health promotion. Classes can also be taken individually without enrolling in the Certificate program, an excellent way to explore specific interests.

Note: Non-degree students can get information about Open University courses through the College of Extended Learning, 415-338-1373. For additional information go to CEL.

Certificate Requirements
Completion of Minor (see above) 22 units
HH 681 Holistic Health Internship 3 units
Electives* 5 units
TOTAL 30 units

* Elective units can be selected from remaining Holistic Health Studies courses not taken as part of the minor or from any appropriate course (on advisement) from throughout the university. An example of appropriate courses outside of the HHS curriculum would include: ANTH 630 Medical Anthropology, BUS 450 The Greening of Business, BIOL 318 Our Endangered Planet, PSY 442 Health Psychology, and many others.

5. Bachelor of Science in Health Education, HHS Emphasis

The Health Education Major prepares students to plan, implement, and evaluate programs for health and human services such as public health departments, voluntary health agencies, community-based organizations, community clinics, and hospitals. The curriculum teaches how to change individual health behaviors and to advocate for social and economic policies that lead to health promotion and disease prevention.

The course work and field experience in health education have three primary objectives: (1) to provide a theoretical and philosophical foundation in principles of community health education; (2) to facilitate the development of professional skills in program planning, implementation, and evaluation; and (3) to offer broad course work in holistic health, community health, and school health. Students are also expected to complete course work in biological, social, and behavioral sciences.

The B.S. degree has 39 core units and fifteen elective units to be chosen in one of three emphasis areas: Holistic Health Studies, Community Health, School Health. For more information, please go to Health Education.

> Change of Major Form - Download a PDF

Holistic Health Studies (Emphasis Area -15 units)

The Holistic Health Studies emphasis explores diverse cultural, historical, and interdisciplinary concepts and practices from around the world providing students with a deeper understanding of health, healing, and optimal well-being. A holistic perspective informs course content, recognizing the fundamental interdependence of life on this planet. Experiential learning is an essential component of the curriculum.

Career Outlook for the Major

A variety of career opportunities are open to individuals graduating from the health education B.S. program. Results from a recent survey of program graduates indicate that in addition to positions specifically titled health educator, many also hold positions as program planners, assistant administrators, assistant personnel directors, in-service education coordinators, community outreach workers, health counselors, health writers, environmental workers, and pharmaceutical-medical detail persons. Employers include hospitals, government and voluntary agencies, school districts, private industries. Some individuals are self-employed.

Health Education BS graduates also select careers outside the health care field. The professional skills developed in the degree programs have numerous applications in non-health employment settings. Additionally, some health education graduates continue graduate studies in public health, administration, social services, dentistry, medicine, and law.

Holistic Health Studies, as a degree minor, an emphasis area, or a certificate program is a practical career choice on many levels. As a result of growing national interest in complementary and alternative health practices there are expanding opportunities in the areas of medical care, health promotion, and lifestyle. Healthcare providers, such as nurses, physicians, pharmacists and psychologists need to understand the use of alternative health practices by their patients. There is an increasing need for practitioners in emerging healthcare fields including naturopathic medicine and acupuncture. Innovative approaches to health promotion and lifestyle that incorporate alternative and complementary health practices are also becoming increasingly important, leading to career opportunities in business, teaching, research and counseling. A Minor or Certificate in Holistic Health Studies provides an understanding of important holistic health concepts and practices relevant to many health and social service related careers.

Graduates of the Master of Public Health in Community Health Education program are prepared for advanced level professional positions in public health departments and private and public health care settings and a variety of community-based organizations. Nationally, the emphasis on prevention and population-based management of health, puts the skills and competencies of community health educators in demand.

6. Special Major/Liberal Studies Major

Special Major

The Special Major consists of a combination of courses that focus on an integrative and coherent theme identified by the student. Courses are chosen by the student from at least three different departments in at least two different colleges of the university. Holistic Health Studies/Health Education can be one of those departments. For more information on Special Majors see the Undergraduate Advising Center information page – Special Majors.

Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary major encompassing all areas of knowledge in the arts, sciences, social sciences, and language. The program of study provides a broad academic background necessary for future teachers, and is also an excellent foundation for advanced studies in graduate school or diverse careers. Completion of the degree requires satisfaction of a 31-unit Core, a minimum of 12 units of an Emphasis Pattern, and at least 3 additional Advisement units. The Holistic Health Studies minor satisfies requirements for the Emphasis Pattern and additional HHS courses can be taken under the Advisement section.

7. Study Abroad

Study abroad is an exceptional educational experience for undergraduate students. It provides a way to experience another culture while earning academic credit. We are currently working on establishing linkages with international programs focused on alternative health practices. Another step in the right direction is the study of culture and foreign languages, such as Japanese or Chinese. For information on Study Abroad please refer to the Office of International Programs website.

8. Courses for Non-CSU Students

Students can come to San Francisco State University to take courses for a semester or two. It is possible that credit for some or all of the courses can be used at one’s home institution (transfer units). Since SFSU is one of the only universities in the United States offering such a comprehensive program of study in holistic health it is a logical choice for students interested in this field. The Office of International Programs has a link on its home page so viewers can explore the SFSU campus.

SF State Home