The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy’s graduate, transcripted certificate in integrative health and medicine (IHM) address the need for training healthcare professionals (pharmacists, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and dentists) in the safe and effective use of IHM. IHM combines the conventional western medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as herbal medicines, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and stress reduction techniques. Americans spend about $41.1 billion annually out-of-pocket on supplements, but most don’t report the use to a healthcare provider. While prescription medications form the foundation of medical treatment, IHM products and treatments may offer specific benefits. The demand and use of IHM is projected to rise and will be an important regimen in the treatment of human disease by conventional health professionals.
The IHM certificate exposes students to the wide variety of available products and evidence-based skills to evaluate and make recommendations to patients. The program focuses on pharmacognosy; medicinal drugs obtained from plants or other natural sources, and pharmacology. At the root of it all, graduates can apply knowledge of IHM modalities in a variety of settings and can positively impact patients.
The IHM graduate certificate program’s learning outcomes are derived from the SSPPS’ 14 ability-based outcomes (ABOs), which are used to create the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum for each of the SSPPS’ three PharmD program pathways. Whereas not all ABOs are reflected in the IHM graduate certificate program’s curriculum, the IHM program’s learning outcomes reflected below are designed for health practitioners to improve health by:
Introductory and Applied Integrative Health & Medicine I (1 semester credit hour):
This course is foundational, designed to develop a broad understanding of integrative medicine. It introduces core IHM domains, familiarizes students with the most common herbal products utilized by consumers, discusses regulatory issues and strategies for identifying good sources of products. Opportunities are provided to enhance problem-solving, literature searching, and communication skills.
Introductory and Applied Integrative Health & Medicine II (1 semester credit hour):
This course builds upon the foundation established from the Introductory and Applied Integrative Health & Medicine I, expanding students’ knowledge base in integrative medicine. It covers common domains, such as aromatherapy, homeopathy, chiropractic medicine and mindfulness medicine. Opportunities are provided for students to continue to develop their problem-solving, literature searching, and communication skills.
Evidence-based Medicine in Integrated Health & Medicine (1.5 semester credit hour):
This course provides an introduction and step-wise approach to evidence-based medicine. Knowledge gained from this course allows students to search for and understand published medical studies, commonly-used research designs and statistical tests, and their application to clinical practice. Students demonstrate this ability by creating focused clinical questions, completing literature searches to identify journal articles, critically appraising different types of journal articles, answering basic drug information questions, and preparing and presenting structured appraisals of articles.
Applied Evidence-based Medicine in Integrated Health & Medicine (1.5 semester credit hour):
This course provides students’ knowledge and skills to search for and evaluate published IHM-related information, including clinical trials, in which students are expected to interpret, identify, and evaluate commonly-used research designs and statistical tests, and apply this to clinical IHM practice.
Pharmacology of Integrative Medicines (2 semester credit hour):
This course will describe the science of botanical products used to treat human disease, including traditional plant and animal based medicines (primarily from China and India), herbal medicines, essential oils, homeopathic remedies, and dietary supplements. In addition, it will examine active compound structures and their naturally occurring derivatives, including structure-activity relationships, known molecular targets, and modes of action.
Integrative Health in Common Clinical Diseases (2 semester credit hour):
This course will focus on clinical applications of integrative health and medicine in core diseases, including Cardiology, Metabolic syndrome, GI conditions, CNS disorders, Pain, Oncology, and Men’s and Women’s health. Students will be able to describe the strengths and limitations of IHM therapies (used alone or in combination with other therapies) in each core disease. In addition, they will be knowledgeable to address patient questions about the use of IHM therapies in the treatment of their core disease.
The IHM graduate certificate program is an interprofessional certificate program open to:
In order to apply, applicants must meet one of the two following eligibility requirement categories:
Must have completed a minimum of two years within their pharmacy program's curriculum and are in good academic standing with a cumulative professional grade point average of at least a 2.0. Students who have completed at least one year of the curriculum within their program may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
May 15 is the deadline to apply for the fall semester. If the deadline falls on a weekend or U.S. holiday, then the deadline will be the next business day. Contact the Distance Degrees and Programs (DDP) Office for any concerns about meeting the application deadline. Otherwise, applications received after the deadline will be considered for the next admissions cycle.
All application materials, except official transcripts and notarized documents, will be submitted via SLATE, the online application platform. Official transcripts and notarized documents should be mailed to the DDP Office address:
University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy
Distance Degrees and Programs Office - Integrative Health and Medicine
12850 E Montview Blvd V20-1116 MS C238
Aurora, CO 80045
The applicant will receive an email within two weeks of receiving the application materials to provide an update on the application and next steps. Applicants selected to move forward in the admissions process will be contacted to complete a telephone interview.
After the interview, the applicant will receive an email to confirm admission into the Program.
Acceptance into the IHM graduate certificate program will be honored for one year from the start of the semester for which admission was requested. Students who fail to enroll in any course within one year from which admission was requested may be required to reapply.
Admissions extensions to the program will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to consider exceptions to the admissions guidelines on a case-by-case basis.
New tuition rates are established each spring and normally go into effect fall semester. An outline of the current tuition and fees (US dollars) is located below.
Once students have registered for classes, a bill for tuition and fees will be generated through the Bursar’s Office; students will not receive a paper bill. All tuition and fees are due within 30 days of the first day of class.
Students are not able to register for subsequent semesters unless the bill from previous semesters has been paid in full. Once the payment is received and processed, an official statement of payment will be available online for use with taxes or for employee reimbursement programs.
Tuition for this program is $673 per credit hour for a total $6,057 (9 credits).
Refunds - Students who drop a class within the guidelines specified below will receive an adjusted tuition bill. The drop/add date is located on the DDP academic calendar. Any refunds due will be processed automatically by the Bursar's Office.
|Drop Date||Remaining Course Load||Tuition Due||Tuition Refund|
|Before Drop Date||Zero or any course load||0%||100%|
|After Drop Date||Zero or any course load||100%||0%|
Scholarships sometime become available for students. An email will be sent to each student's UCDenver email account to inform students of any scholarship opportunities. In addition, scholarship information may be included in the News section of the School of Pharmacy website.
Financial aid information is available from the Anschutz Medical Campus Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
Interested in an introduction to Integrative Health and Medicine, but not ready to commit to an academic-based graduate certificate?
The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences developed a two-part continuing education program in Integrative Health and Medicine introducing IHM topics, such as herbal medicines, aromatherapy, culinary herbs, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and stress reduction techniques.
Our IHM Continuing Education Modules consist of two separate one-hour, self-paced video modules. You can register for each module separately, or combine both to receive the registration discount.