Herbal Education Programs

FSIHS offers two herbalism certification programs. The Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science (DipDSS) program requires completion of 5 class blocks, while the Graduate Certificate in Herbal Science (CertHerb) program requires completion of 2 class blocks. Full time students typically complete 1 class block per academic quarter, and part time students take 2-3 quarters to complete a class block.

DipDSS blocks of classes provide 110 contact hours of education through 1 core herbal science class of 50 contact hours and 2 key integrative health science classes at 30 contact hours each. CertHerb blocks provide 90 graduate-level contact hours of education through 2 classes of 45 graduate hours each.

For planning purposes, a contact hour reflects 50-60 minutes of instruction delivery and requires an additional 1-3 hours of study time. Graduate classes typically require more study time with advanced projects and assignments. Instruction delivery may be online lectures, hands-on assignments, textbook reading, or reading research studies. Additional study time is determined by your unique learning style and previous experience with the subject.

You are not locked in to a workload. At the start of each quarter, you will be given the option to enroll full time or part time and you will be billed for only the workload you have requested for that quarter.

Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science Curriculum


Your first term includes FIW103 History & Philosophy of Health, FIW105 Botany & Plant Identification, and BOT101 Foundations of Botanical Medicine. During this term, you will learn about the origins of herbal medicine, the science of plant growth and identification, how to assess health related information, and how to use herbal products throughout the lifespan, including for children and during pregnancy and birth.

You will complete ten lab assignments, compose a research paper, and engage in many other thought-provoking assessments and discussions.


Your second term includes FIW107 Health in Crisis, FIW206 Anatomy & Physiology, and ARO101 Foundations of Aromatherapy. This term emphasizes the holistic nature of the human body by studying the core systems and their functions, the state of healthcare in the western world, and how distilled herbal extracts (i.e. essential oils) can be used throughout both the physical and the emotional systems of the body. This term also covers maternal and child health, social determinants of health, population health, health behavior practice, global health, access to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and the 6 pillars of professional practice.

You will continue to complete lab assignments and gain experience with needs assessment. You will also begin seeing clients and compiling case studies.


Block 3 includes FIW208 Clinical Research in Herbalism, FIW309 Small Business, Practice, & Ethics, and BOT201 Applied Herbalism. This term provides you with practical experience in the practice of herbalism. You will also learn how to assess, interpret, and apply findings from scientific research. Herbal safety, contraindications, and interactions are an emphasis in this block, and you will also gain practical experience establishing your professional practice.

You will continue completing lab assignments, adding to your collection of custom herbal formulations. You will also complete a collection of case studies ready for publication, and establish yourself as a professional in the field.


Your penultimate term includes FIW209 Mentorship & Client Support, FIW207 Environmental Health, and SUP201 Applied Dietary Supplement Science. During this term, you will gain a mastery of the natural based products and formulations that are not botanical in origin but are often used in an herbal practice. These products, such as melatonin, fish oils, and probiotics, play a crucial role in overall health and will be referenced frequently when working with your clients. You will also study herbal sustainability, the role of environment on the chemical composition of herbal medicines, and how to take your success with clients even further.

You will continue completing lab projects; you will also develop, revise, and deliver your own health promotion program featuring natural products.


The final term for the diploma program includes BOT308 Process of Research in Herbal Science, FIW306 Botanicals & Microbes, and BOT301 Professional Herbal Science. During this term, you will actually conduct scientific research in the herbal medicine field. You will also study the relationship between botanical products and pathogenic microbes. By the time you complete the term, you will have earned your Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science and have an established career underway!

Graduate Certificate in Herbal Science Curriculum


The first of two terms for the CertHerb includes FIW507 Environmental Studies and BOT501 Herbal Dietary Supplements. In this block, you will learn more about the role of environmental habits which influence herbal product availability. Topics include biomagnification, genetic resistance, environmental toxicology, and the link between ecosystems and biodiversity with human health. This block also covers the scientific basis for the use of plants as dietary supplements and health promotion products. It also describes the major characteristics of herbal products. Topics include botany, harvesting, formulation, and plant safety.


The second and final term for the CertHerb program includes FIW508 Botanical Research Seminar and BOT551 Advanced Herbal Products. During this term you will learn about the scientific basis for risks and prevention with herbal products. Topics include post-market surveillance, adverse reactions, epidemiological research, product formulation, and safety with vulnerable populations. This block also covers the skills necessary to locate, analyze, assess, and interpret research related to herbal products on the market. It enables you to integrate cutting edge research into traditional knowledge of herbal plants to develop protocols and formulations which are both safe and effective for today’s herbal enthusiasts.