Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences

Part of the Goddard Graduate Institute, the Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences is an interdisciplinary degree founded on the principle that community health, personal health and the health of the natural world are three dimensions of the same whole. Healing, germane to a whole person, is only possible within the context of establishing a healthy social and natural environment that includes one’s family, culture and the ecological region. Our vision and philosophy are based on three themes:

The Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences degree requires 48 credit hours (four semesters) or 36 credit hours (a three-semester study track for professionals who meet specific admissions criteria.

Students may undertake theoretical and practical study in such areas as community and environmental health, women’s health and midwifery, men’s health, botanical medicine and ethnobotany, nutritional health, expressive arts, body and movement therapies, integrative health systems, integrative nursing, mind-body studies, ecopsychology, and cross-cultural healing.

Speak to an admissions counselor at 800.906.8312 or email


Students pursuing the Master of Arts may choose to fulfill the requirements of the following predefined areas of concentration: Consciousness Studies, Embodiment Studies, and Transformative Language Arts.

Concentrations predefine inter- and trans-disciplinary areas of study through a core set of readings and resources, learning areas and key concepts, and specify the way in which students must complete an identity statement and engage with the community through practicum, internship, fieldwork, or engaged practice. Concentrations within the program are highly individualized, guided by a unique study plan, developed by each student, to address learning needs and professional goals.

The Faculty

The faculty in the Goddard Graduate Institute have longstanding presence in the college and bring to their work a host of professional skills and disciplinary areas. Fields of expertise include consciousness studies, expressive arts therapy, ecopsychology, cultural studies, gender studies, poetry, literature, psychology, natural history, organizational and community development, neuroscience, medical anthropology, religious studies, theater, and Ayurvedic medicine, among other areas. Much of the work and interests of the faculty is in keeping with the college’s activist and social justice mission. The Faculty also have a range of international experience both in terms of work and research conducted in other areas of the world and in terms of their own lived experiences. Read more about the Graduate Institute faculty.

Work of the Program

The residency functions as an expansive face-to-face social environment whose purpose is to define and support the work of the semester.  Students pursuing the Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences work with their faculty advisor, network with other students, attend workshops that address degree requirements, develop academic skills, and explore a range of health arts and sciences issues and practices. The residency also provides a place to share hidden aspirations within a positive learning climate where “we can think the world together.”

Experiential studies pursued within the low-residency program might include teaching classes or engaging in outreach efforts in such places as holistic centers, public schools, youth programs, hospitals, and natural world environments. Some students develop websites, publish books or articles, or begin organizations. At the culmination of their course of study, students synthesize their work in a final project that may take the form of a community outreach project or encompass traditional scholarship, depending on the interests of the student.

Degree Criteria

Students graduating with a Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences will have successfully accomplished the following:

  • Clearly articulated their own health philosophy in relationship to multiple cultural views and critically evaluated their own values, biases, ethics, and orientation to health;
  • Completed an exploration of at least one (or more) health-promoting modality as it can be applied to the well-being of members in a particular community;
  • Demonstrated a thorough understanding of the scientific basis of their specific area(s) of study by being able to: a) identify and examine those science- based studies fundamental to their inquiry, and b) transmit their science-based knowledge to others;
  • Demonstrated an understanding of the broader social and ecological context of health in a community particular to their inquiry – evaluating, for example, how particular social, political, ecological, and/or economic issues affect the health status of that community;
  • Explored self-care and self-awareness practices through a reflective and active engagement with their own self-healing processes;
  • Demonstrated an understanding of how to find, read, and evaluate professional research relevant to their area of study;
  • When applicable to their particular inquiry, demonstrated the ability to thoughtfully and critically integrate original primary research into their study;
  • Conducted and written a literature review germane to their area(s) of study;
  • Completed a final product that builds on fulfillment of the above guidelines (scholarly paper or applied project with an accompanying context/ process paper, possibly addressing a specific health problem or issue in a particular community).

Admission Criteria

Goddard offers students the ability to chart their own paths and develop, or further develop, the habits and skills of life-long learning.

All applicants to graduate degree programs must supply evidence of having earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. See application instructions for additional information.

An application for admission to a graduate program may be questioned or rejected because of:

  • Curricular Limits: The proposed study appears to require expertise not available at Goddard.
  • Critical Inquiry: The proposed study appears to consist in research or other activities designed to proselytize for a theory or point of view important to the applicant, rather than a scholarly study of that and other theories or points of view.
  • Readiness: The student has not earned a baccalaureate degree or its international equivalent or application materials otherwise indicate the student is not ready for a graduate-level, writing-intensive independent program of study.

See complete application instructions.

36-credit Accelerated Degree Option

Goddard College offers a 36-credit, accelerated study option to students who are interested in deepening their studies in a current practice and who have already conducted much of the exploratory work of a first semester student. Students should have a clear sense of where they would like to focus their studies and a developed idea of the final product they would like to complete.

We encourage you to review the 36-Credit Accelerated Study Option page as you prepare your application.