Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Sciences–Courses

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Course Descriptions

Introduction to Integrative Medicine (3 lecture credits)

Complimentary and Integrative Medicine (CAM) is growing at unprecedented rates in the United States. This course introduces students to a variety of these integrative medical modalities. We will explore the history, philosophy and major concepts of botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, mind/body medicine, health psychology, and others. Major medical systems of the world such as naturopathic medicine, Chinese medicine, osteopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and Shamanic/energy healing systems will also be covered. This course is considered a foundation core course of the Integrative Health Sciences major.

Behavioral Neuroscience (3 lecture credits)

This course begins with the description of a nerve cell, and continues through an introduction to neurochemistry and the brain. With this foundation, students will learn how the brain influences perception, sensation, cognition, and emotion. The course will use primary research articles and case studies to examine the neurological underpinnings of behaviors such as eating, drinking, sleeping, sex, aggression, and reward seeking. Prerequisite: Anatomy & Physiology. 

Biochemistry for Life Sciences (4 lecture credits)

This course covers the structure, function, and metabolism of biomolecules especially proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and steroids. Nucleic acids, and important accessory molecules (cofactors and metal ions) are covered, as well as enzyme kinetics and mechanism, thermodynamics, metabolism, and the regulation of metabolism. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry I. 

Genetics (4 lecture credits)

This course provides an introduction to the application of basic genetic principles to the study of human health and disease. An overview of basic human genetics is provided in Mendelian genetics, cytogenetics, population genetics, molecular cytogenetics, oncocytogenetics and clinical applications of principles. The importance and implication of genetic disease at the levels of the population and individual families will be discussed.

Immunology (4 lecture credits)

This course will cover topics such as cells and organs of the immune system; generation of T-Cell and B-Cell responses; immune mechanisms (including cellular and antibody-mediated responses); and immune system in health and disease (including AIDS and other conditions of immunodeficiency, immune responses to infectious diseases, vaccines, transplantation and cancer immunology and autoimmunity)

Organic Chemistry with Lab (4 lecture credits, 2 lab credits)

Organic Chemistry I: This course introduces the molecular basis of living processes in bacteria, plants, and humans. It provides a foundation in the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, including three-dimensional structures; chemical properties; and methods of structural identification, reactions, and syntheses. Topics include structure and reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, and alkyl halides; nomenclature of organic compounds; stereochemistry; reaction mechanisms and dynamics. Students will learn about the organic chemistry of specific pharmaceuticals and detoxification pathways.

Physics I (4 lecture credits, 1 lab credit)

This course is a non-calculus-based conceptual study of the laws of motion, forces, energy, matter, heat and thermodynamics, wave motion, sound, and light. Applications to the life sciences are emphasized, including sight, hearing, joint range of motion, nerve conduction, etc.

Practical Math (2 lecture credits)

This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy to solve practical math problems. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; and financial literacy. Mathematics will be used to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.

Biostatistics for Pre-Health Majors (3 lecture credits)

Course topics include the collection, classification, and presentation of descriptive data; the rationale of estimation and hypothesis testing; analysis of variance; analysis of contingency tables; correlation and regression analysis; multiple regression, logistic regression, and the statistical control of confounding; sample size and power considerations; survival analysis.

Evidence-based Practice for Pre-health Professionals (3 lecture credits)

The medical literature plays an important role in clinical decision making as well as scientific careers. However, locating the correct evidence and critically evaluating the results requires training and practice. This course equips students with the basics of evidence-based medicine. Prerequisites: Biostatistics for Life Sciences; Scientific & Professional Communication. 

Introduction to Botanical Medicine (3 lecture credits, 1 lab credit)

Many plant substances are powerful medicines. Traditional, historical and scientific uses of plants are explained in this course. Traditional herbal medicine is contrasted with modern pharmacological uses. Plant identification, ethical harvesting, drying techniques, and medicinal plant chemistry are thoroughly explored. Also covered is the preparation of herbal tinctures, salves, oils and other therapeutic preparations.

Plants of the Northwest (3 lecture credits)

This course introduces students to important flowering and food plant species of the Pacific Northwest. Specific topics include the use of taxonomic keys, plant anatomy, plant ecology, preservation and preparation of plant specimens, and species identification through lectures, lab activities and field trips to study native species in their habitats. Students will explore the reciprocal relationship between food plants and people in the Northwest from the perspectives of foraging for wild foods, domestication of food plants, and the therapeutic approaches toward healing through plant awareness and horticulture.

Introduction to Nutrition (4 lecture credits)

In this course, students will cover basic principles of nutrition sciences such as macro- and micronutrients, digestion, absorption, transport, and metabolism. Dietary guidelines for prevention of chronic disease are stressed. Participants will also conduct an analysis of personal dietary habits.

Whole Food: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (3 lecture credits, 1 lab credits)

This course will critically examine current paradigms of nutritional science. Reductionistic methods are currently used to describe nutritional benefits of specific vitamins, minerals, etc. in packaged and processed foods. Whole foods provide a vast array of nutritional benefits and evidence suggests that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. A re-focus on whole foods may be the answer to modern food-related epidemics. Furthermore, political and agricultural influences on the development of the US food pyramid and other federal nutritional recommendations will be explored. This course includes hands-on cooking instruction with whole foods. Prerequisite: Introduction to Nutrition; Biochemistry for Life Sciences 

Prevention & Wellness (3 lecture credits)

Prevention and wellness serve as the foundation for integrative medical practitioners. This course explores the design of intervention strategies for health enhancement and prevention of disease. Topics such as injury prevention, health education/promotion, exercise fitness, sleep, mind/body techniques, optimal nutrition and positive relationships will be covered. Prerequisite: Introduction to Integrative Medicine.

Environment and Health (3 lecture credits)

The role of the environment on health issues is often underplayed. This course surveys current environmental health issues such as hazardous waste and water-borne diseases, as well as emerging global health threats such as global warming, ozone depletion, and sustainability. Positive influences of the environment on health will also be discussed and experienced.

Exercise Science (3 lecture credits)

This course covers the research behind the value of exercise in the promotion of wellness and prevention of disease. This course addresses the physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms of movement. Topics such as strength & conditioning, sports psychology, methods of rehabilitation and sport and exercise will be covered. To bring personal meaning to the class, students will commit to a form of exercise for the duration of this course and journal about their experience.

Health Psychology & Mind/Body Medicine (3 lecture credits)

This course explores the link between mind and body from social, clinical, and psychobiological perspectives. It addresses the role of stress, emotion, self-regulation, and individual differences as predictors of health and illness. It will also examine assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and ethical issues in psycho-physiological disorders. Mind/Body techniques such as meditation and awareness will be covered.

Integrative Health Sciences Capstone (3 internship credits)

One of the definitions of the word “capstone” is a crowning achievement. This course is meant to provide the student an opportunity to perform a final research or service project that he/she considers the crowning achievement of his/her integrative health science program. Students are expected to draw from their coursework in the program, personal experience and research or service work conducted outside the classroom. Students will receive mentorship throughout the term as well as peer-support. At the end of the term, students will complete a 20 page paper, complete their program portfolio and present a 10-minute oral presentation to their peers. Prerequisite: Completion of a minimum of 75 credits in the integrative health science degree completion program; Careers in Integrative Medicine. 

Ethics & Philosophical Dilemmas (3 lecture credits)

This course is an introduction to the philosophical study of morality, including the theory of right and wrong behavior, the theory of value (goodness and badness), and the theory of virtue and vice. Besides providing familiarity with the primary questions addressed within moral philosophy and the most influential answers given by well-known philosophers. It addresses euthanasia and the right to die, behavior modification, allocation of scarce medical resources, in vitro fertilization, genetic screening and engineering, and research involving human subjects.

Expository Writing and Self-Reflective Skills (3 lecture credits)

This course will provide intensive practice in the process of producing thoughtful and polished essays that start with the writer’s experiences and move on to explore the relationship of the self to the external world. Emphasis is placed on finding a personal voice, exploring and developing one’s ideas, and effectively revising one’s work.

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: Interpersonal Skills (3 lecture credits)

Cultural humility requires that people give careful consideration to their assumptions and beliefs that effect how they community. As an individual develops culturally competent interpersonal skills, they must understand their own relationship with culture as well as the worldview of the person or group with whom they are communicating. This course teaches students to identify characteristics of their own worldview as they learn to navigate professional interpersonal relationships.

Scientific & Professional Communication (3 lecture credits)

This course imparts essential knowledge and skills for effective scientific and professional communication in scientific writing, poster design, and oral presentations. The course addresses basic research papers, lab reports and project proposals. Students will cover fundamentals of business communication including letter-writing, email etiquette, and social media ethics.

Self-Care and Self-Management (2 lecture credits)

There are several self-care and self-management strategies that help to develop and maintain health, prevent disease, and reduce stress. This course introduces students to a variety of self-care practices including yoga, meditation, and qi gong practice.