Project Description

4 classes • 120 contact hours • fully online

Data from the National Institutes of Health reveal that over half of Americans currently take dietary supplements, and that figure is rapidly growing. Gain the tools you need to thrive in the herbal products industry with a Certificate in Herbal Product Development from FIW. This fully online program combines core sciences with product development and professional training, providing 120 contact hours of evidence-based education, comprising one of the most scientifically based programs available.

FIW offers rolling acceptance, so you can apply at any time, and with four convenient start dates each year (January, April, July, October), you are never more than a few weeks away from starting the program!

  • Fully Online  – Complete the program from the comfort of your own home
  • Academic Success – Learn how to integrate scientific evidence into your formulations
  • Student Dedication – With a 92% graduation rate, FIW has a track record of ensuring that students succeed
  • Graduate Success – A whopping 94% of graduates now work in natural health using their certificate

The certificate consists of 4 total classes, 30 contact hours each (equivalent to 3 quarter credit hours each). With accelerated terms of only 11 weeks and 4 start dates each year, you can earn your Certificate in Herbal Product Development in as little as 3-6 months!

Program Legitimacy

In such a rapidly growing field, it is more important than ever to confirm the legitimacy of your herbal training. As evidence of the higher standards you will find at the Franklin Institute of Wellness, we are proud to be fully authorized to grant college certificates and degrees by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. This commission oversees college education and ensures that diplomas and certificates issued by the FIW are recognized as legitimate college credentials nationwide.

This authorization is renewed annually and is based on standards concerning the quality of higher education offered by FIW, ethical business practices, student success rates, instructor qualifications, and fiscal responsibility. Franklin Institute of Wellness has been approved as a higher education institution since its foundation in 2013 and annual reviews have found that the school continues to meet those high standards each year.

The Franklin Institute of Wellness is also an approved school by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and is the only NAHA approved school with a PhD researcher directing the program. Our Director, Dr. Jessie Hawkins, is also the Tennessee Regional Director for NAHA and a frequent speaker at NAHA events.

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Comprehensive Curriculum

The Certificate in Herbal Product Development covers the sciences necessary for the development of safe, evidence-based botanical products featuring both herbs and essential oils. The program does not cover the specific herbs and oils to use in formulation, but rather the sciences required to take existing or newly acquired knowledge of herbs and essential oils and build upon that to formulate custom product lines.

This comprehensive curriculum ensures that you are able to achieve success as an herbalist upon graduation from the program. The required classes for the Certificate in Herbal Product Development can be taken in a single full time academic quarter, 2 part time academic quarters, or a customized course schedule that reflects your unique budget and availability.

There are four required classes for the certificate, which are 30 contact 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. Instruction delivery may be online lectures, hands-on assignments, textbook reading, or reading research studies. Additional study time is determined by each student’s unique learning style and previous experience with the subject.

Explore the Classes in the Certificate in Herbal Product Development:

Formulation skills, dosing calculations, marketing legalities, and product development are covered in this 30 contact hour class. You will learn how to properly create multiple herbal applications and to formulate innovative and effective products.

Instructor: Sandra Mills
Offered in Quarters: 1 (Winter) and 3 (Summer)

Research Methods is a 30 contact hour class which covers the research process, the role of scientific research in botanical science, and how scientists conduct scientific research. You will master the science of research interpretation and better understand how to use scientific research to inform botanical product applications.

Instructor: Dr. Jessie Hawkins
Offered in Quarters: all

This 30 contact hour class provides an introduction to microbiology within the context of essential oils and related plant based extracts as antimicrobials. Topics include environmental uses of EOs as natural alternatives, antimicrobial resistance, an an in-depth study of specific microbes.

Instructor: Multiple
Offered in Quarters: 1 (Winter) and 3 (Summer)

This 30 contact hour class covers the toxicological considerations and environmental health considerations which are necessary for determining safety when working with children. Topics include child growth and development, botanical applications during pregnancy and with newborns, and formulation guidelines for child-safe products.

Instructor: Colby Baker
Offered in Quarters: 1 (Winter) and 3 (Summer)

Academic work at the Franklin Institute of Wellness is rigorous and comprehensive. Returning to college to earn a certificate is a challenge that requires commitment. However, our faculty members are here to support you every step of the way, ensuring that you have fully mastered the content in the classes. Upon graduation, you will have achieved expertise in the development of herbal based products that enables you to achieve a wide range of goals.

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Affordable Tuition

The Franklin Institute of Wellness provides some of the most affordable college programs in the nation. Billing is flexible and easy to budget. You are billed at the start of each academic quarter for the classes you will take during that quarter. Quarterly tuition is controlled by the number of credits you take each quarter, but total program tuition does not change.

To ensure that you remain unaffected by any tuition increases that may occur while you are a student at the Franklin Institute of Wellness, upon admission, you enter into a program agreement with the school. This program agreement confirms your graduation requirements and tuition totals. This agreement protects you from any tuition increases or program requirement changes that may take place while you are a student at FIW, ensuring that your budget and timeline are unaffected while you earn your diploma. The program agreement is valid as long as you remain a student in good standing at FIW. This is determined by adherence to attendance policies and our code of conduct.

Upon acceptance, there is a $135 registration fee, and upon program completion, there is a $65 graduation fee. Tuition is paid per class and is $255 per 30 contact hour class. TOTAL TUITION for the Certificate in Herbal Product Development, including the registration fee and graduation fee, is $1,220. Tuition is paid in increments with each quarter’s registration.

Example Tuition Schedules:

Registration Fee: $135

Quarter 1 (120 contact hours): $1,020

Graduation Fee: $65

TOTAL: $1,220

Registration Fee: $135

Quarter 1 (60 contact hours): $510

Quarter 2 (60 contact hours): $510

Graduation Fee: $65

TOTAL: $1,220

*NOTE: Total course load is determined by your personal preference, your budget, your availability, and the availability of each class. This is a sample of a part time schedule assuming course availability and active student status for the entire duration of the program. Most students customize this schedule to meet their own needs, and changes to course load will result in changes to quarterly tuition billed. The total tuition, however, does not change.

Tuition does not include costs associated with textbooks or supplies for required class projects. You will need to budget additional funds to cover the costs of materials you use to formulate your own botanical products and to purchase the textbooks required for completion of some courses. The cost for textbooks and fees can vary dramatically depending on your personal selections for your projects and your preferred textbook store. 

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Custom Product Development

The herbalism products industry contributes over $60 billion to the U.S. economy each year, producing over 450,000 jobs from supply to manufacture to sales. Approximately 53% of Americans use herbal products regularly, further contributing to this lucrative job market. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the mean wage for workers in this field is $48,510, with an entry wage of $34,800 for this field.  

Mastering the art and science of product development is crucial for consulting herbalists, aromatherapists, and those who formulate custom product lines. This skill builds upon existing education in herbalism or aromatherapy to deepen your knowledge of formulation techniques. The classes required for this certificate ensure that you are able to expand your existing career by integrating the latest scientific evidence into your formulations and that you can develop products which are safe for the entire family.

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Learn More About the Program

essential oil ingestion

Essential Oil Ingestion: What Experts Need to Know

August 28 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am CDT


Applicants must be 18 years of age or older with a minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent. Students for whom English is not their first language will also be required to submit an English proficiency test to ensure ability to benefit. All applicants must submit official transcripts (issued directly from your previous college or high school), 2 letters of recommendation, and an admissions essay.

This program is open to professionals and aspiring professionals alike. Having an existing education in herbalism or aromatherapy is ideal for optimal success with product formulation, but is not required for entry. Whether you are looking for a career change, to enhance your existing career, or to launch a new career, this program provides the academic foundation you need to thrive in the herbal products industry.

The Application Process

The Application process includes submission of the required materials, an admissions interview with Dr. Jessie Hawkins, and an orientation workshop, which can be completed online. A complete application includes several parts: the application itself, an admissions essay, two letters of recommendation, high school transcripts (these must) be sent to us directly from your secondary school, and college transcripts if you are applying for transfer credit.

The best way to get started is to begin compiling your admissions materials. Think about who may provide your letters of recommendation and begin requesting that your transcripts are sent to us from your previous schools. Then join us for an Open House, Admissions Webinar, or other event outlined above. Keep in mind that admissions typically takes 2-3 weeks, so if your desired program start date is approaching, you will want to reach out to admissions right away to discuss expedited admissions options.

Next Program Start Dates:

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Colby Baker holds a degree in Family Consumer Science, a Diploma in Culinary Arts, and a Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science. Her research interests include pediatric herbal medicine and aromatherapy.
Sandra Mills holds a degree in Applied & Pharmaceutical Science, as well as a diplomas in Beauty Therapy, Aromatherapy, and aromatology education. She also maintains a professional practice in aromatherapy and complementary therapies in Southern Ireland.
Dr. Jessie Hawkins holds a PhD in Health Research with an academic emphasis on environmental health and epidemiology. Her research interests include clinical trials and meta-analyses on herbs, essential oils, and dietary supplements.


Learn more about your educational options, the admissions process, and how the Franklin School of Integrative Health Sciences can help you launch your natural health career.

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