Project Description

The Franklin Institute of Wellness offers two academic programs in herbalism: The 550 contact hour advanced Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science and the 180 contact hour advanced Graduate Certificate in Herbal Science.

Authorization & Accreditation

The Franklin Institute of Wellness is 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.


At the Franklin Institute of Wellness, scientific research is not an added touch; it is the core of the curriculum and entire academic environment. When you become a student at FIW, you will learn the language of clinical research through multiple unique opportunities. In addition to receiving a fully evidence based education, you will enjoy monthly “Research Insider” webinars with Dr. Jessie Hawkins, the Research Director. In these interactive, live streamed webinars, you will get the latest insights on emerging scientific research.

If you enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Herbal Science, you will also have the exclusive opportunity to join a research cohort and help conduct scientific research in natural health. This unique academic experience allows you the potential for graduating from the program with published scientific research in the field. As the only integrative health college in the country with a clinical research team studying the effects of herbs, essential oils, and dietary supplements, your education at the Franklin Institute of Wellness ensures that you enter the field as a leading herbal professional.

Clinical Skills

Every single academic program offered by the Franklin Institute of Wellness has an emphasis on clinical skills. Whether your goal is to formulate skincare products, to integrate herbs and dietary supplements to an existing medical practice, or to become a professional herbalist, you will master the art of the practice of herbalism in a way that is specific to your needs.

Clinical skills at FIW are taught using the 5 Pillar Method, an evidence based model of practice which was developed by our Director and Aromatherapy Department Chair. The 5 Pillar Method utilizes existing scientific research and theories of practice to improve upon the practices of herbalism and aromatherapy. By graduation, all of our herbal students are experts at implementing this method into an herbal practice and have skills and experience beyond entry-level.

Study Abroad

The Franklin Institute of Wellness offers opportunities to study herbal medicine in depth in England every other year through the week long study abroad trip. These trips are small, intimate opportunities to take your herbal education to the next level with one-on-one study time with FIW faculty and director, Dr. Jessie Hawkins. Learn more about the 2019 Study Abroad trip here.

The Herbal Products Industry is Booming

The herbal 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 related workers is $48,510, with an entry wage of $34,800 for this field.  Professionals who have an existing license in a medical field or are combining the Graduate Certificate in Herbal Science with a related profession see an increase in wage potential after earning a Graduate Certificate. 

Careers in Herbal Science

FIW-trained herbalists operate private practices worldwide, offering personal consultations for clients. While the herbal and natural product industry is rapidly growing, accurate information on safe and appropriate use is lacking. A private consulting practice enables you to work directly with clients to provide them the education and empowerment they need to make safe and healthy decisions for their families through natural and herbal products.

Herbalists also work for the natural products industry as a product consulting, providing valuable expertise in product safety and efficacy. Or develop and market your own line of custom formulated botanical products and dietary supplements.

If you already hold a license in a medical field, you can increase earning potential by adding a DipDSS or GradCert in Herbal Science to your existing credentials and turn your practice into an integrative profession. With over half of Americans currently using natural products, your patients will appreciate your mastery of additional expertise in this field.


Office of the Registrar: Rachel Lilly

Herbal Science Department

Department Chair: Colby Baker

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At a Glance

Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science 
550 contact hours • 5 academic quarters

Graduate Certificate in Herbal Science 
180 contact hours • 2 academic quarters

Department Chair

Colby Baker, Clinical Herbalist