Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research Program Overview
The Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research (MSiMR) is a unique program that trains graduates to contribute to the growing research base in Integrative Medicine. The MSiMR blends the scientific rigor of the master of public health (MPH) and master of clinical research programs (MCR) with natural medicine content to create a degree program that opens numerous career paths for its graduates.
Integrative medicine can be applied to many diseases as well as disease prevention. Students at NCNM are working with study participants who have cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, infertility, inflammatory bowel disease, autism, and many other maladies. Integrative medicine research subject areas include:
Students conduct independent applied, basic, or clinical research. Each student is paired with a research mentor who helps the student design and conduct his/her project, and analyze the results. Most students publish their results, and all students complete a Master's thesis. Additionally, students with a strong interest in global health may choose to focus their electives to pursue a Concentration in Global Health Studies.
Program of Study
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The Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research can be taken in a two-year degree program, or concurrently for students already enrolled in a four–year degree program at NCNM (ND, MSOM, or MAc). Forty–four required course credits and eight elective course credits are required for the master’s degree. Typically, students enrolled in the MSiMR program concurrent with a medical degree take two extra credits per quarter and take additional courses over the summer when their clinical load is light. Download the program outline.
Two Year Program
First Year – The first year starts with classes that introduce students to the breadth of integrative medicine therapies through research literature and personal experience. These courses build a foundation for designing studies that address the unique challenges encountered in integrative medicine research. Students take courses in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Lab Methods to develop their skills in study design and data analysis. By the end of the first year, students will have designed and implemented an independent research project.
Second Year – Courses in the second year expand students' knowledge of different integrative medicine specialties and how to conduct research within these fields. The courses include hands-on experience with each type of therapy. Students continue their research projects, prepare manuscripts and posters for publication and presentation, and complete their thesis.
Four Year Program (with ND, MSOM, or MAc degree)
First Year – Students begin the research portion of their degree in the winter of their first year of medical school. They take courses that introduce them to research design, conducting research, and research ethics. Students are assigned a research mentor and work with them regularly to develop their research ideas. Often, students take many of the research courses over the summer between their first and second years.
Second Year – Second year can be particularly demanding in the ND and MSOM programs, therefore, MSiMR-concurrent students often take a light research course load. The summer after the second year is busy with Biostatistics as well as finalizing a research design and submitting it for approval.
Third Year – This is the year when the fundamental concepts learned in the first two years meet practical experience. Students take courses in Public Health Policy and Technical Writing as they continue to conduct their research projects and analyze data. There is time during the summer to take electives in areas of interest plus hone skills that prepare students for their future careers.
Fourth Year – Data analysis, manuscript preparation, and thesis defense is the focus of the 4th year student. Courses are designed to support students throughout this process.
The ideal MSiMR student wants:
A solid foundation in research methodology and integrative medicine;
To conduct rigorous scientific research with integrity;
To actively design and conduct an independent research project;
To collaborate with researchers in diverse fields of medicine and health;
To develop strong communication skills in writing and verbal presentation; and
To establish a foundation of knowledge that supports ongoing learning in an evolving field.
The Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research can be taken in a two–year degree program, or concurrently for students already enrolled in a four–year degree program at NCNM. Forty–four required course credits and eight elective course credits are required for the Master’s degree. This program requires its students to complete a research project and ends with a capstone master’s thesis and defense.
Transfer Credits (from ND or MSOM program)
Organ Systems Anatomy and Physiology
Microbiology and Public Health
Evidence–Informed Practice (previously Research & Biostatistics)
Tuition & Fees
$13,676 (first year)
There are a variety of reasons to pursue an MSiMR degree. MSiMR graduates may choose careers in public health or in integrative medicine research groups. Some students want to strengthen their applications for medical school or other graduate programs. Students who simultaneously complete a clinical degree and the MSiMR are equipped to conduct research in their medical practice or become academic physician-researchers. Finally, there is a professional track for MDs, PhDs, and other healthcare professionals who wish to further develop specialized knowledge in integrative medicine and research methodology. At its essence, this distinctive program allows natural medicine professionals to communicate and collaborate with expert researchers, conventional doctors and public health professionals, as well as providing them with the resource skills to seek and gain more knowledge after the degree is completed.
Interested in learning more about this exciting new degree?
Contact the Office of Admissions
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Phone: 503.552.1660 or 877.669.8737
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