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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Becoming a Holistic Nutritionist
Date: March 3, 2007 at 9:56 pm PST

In Reply to: Becoming a Holistic Nutritionist posted by Nana Rushka Stark on February 24, 2007 at 9:30 pm:

Hi Nana,

Thanks for your question. There are no accredited institutions that have programs focused on holistic nutrition. Of course, the question becomes "What is accreditation?" Proper accreditation is granted by an agency which is, itself, accredited by the US Dept of Education. However, informal accreditation can be granted by almost anyone, operating under any banner they choose. However, the "accreditation" granted by these agencies is not recognized by any government authority. As far as I know, such degrees in nutrition will not suffice for licensing in any state.

There are many institutions, such as Clayton College, and numerous other online and mail-order entities that grant "degrees", but since the accrediting agency is not recognized by the government, the school is not considered properly accredited.

Of course, I recommend considering a recognized, and properly-accredited nutrition program. Go to for a list of accredited dietetics programs or for accredited nutritionist programs. Once you obtain a recognized credential, you can focus on any area of nutrition you choose, including holistic.

Bastyr in WA state is one properly accredited institution that blends nutrition with some holistic modalities.

American Health Science University is an accredited institution that has a degree in nutrition, but the nutrition program is not recognized by the ADA or the Board of Nutrition Specialists. Thus, the AHSU nutrition degree will also likely not be adequate for state licensing ---although check with your state to be sure.

Search my other posts on the board for more about licensing and what that may mean for your career.

Good luck, Nana!
Mark Rifkin

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