Project Description

4 classes • 180 contact hours • fully online

The Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science is designed to educate professionals in botany, scientific research, environmental health, and sustainability of herbal products. According to the National Institutes of Health, over half of Americans are currently using herbal products and that figure is rapidly growing. This booming industry is in need of well-trained professionals to integrate herbal science into an existing career. 

This program is particularly suited for health professionals who are ready to integrate their professions to include expertise in herbal sciences. Whether you are a wellness consultant, pharmacist, nurse, chiropractor, midwife, physician, dietician, or other health professional, a thorough knowledge of herbal science is a crucial tool to meet the needs of today’s clients and patients.

This fully online program was developed specifically to fit into your busy schedule. It provides 180 contact hours (equivalent to 12 semester credit hours) of graduate education on the science of herbalism. 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 getting started. 

  • International Student Body – Join instructors and students from all over the world
  • Fully Online  – Complete the program from your own home at your own pace
  • Academic Success – Go beyond the basics to fully master the art and science of herbalism
  • 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 diploma

The graduate certificate consists of 4 total classes, which are 45 contact hours each (equivalent to 3 semester credit hours each). With accelerated terms of only 11 weeks and 4 start dates each year, you can earn your Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science in as little as 6-12 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 Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science program covers environmental health, advanced herbal product research, and the science of herbal products and dietary supplements. This comprehensive curriculum ensures that you are able to achieve success as an herbalist upon graduation from the program. The required classes for the AdvancedCertificate in Herbal Science can be taken in 2 full time academic quarters, 4 part time academic quarters, or a customized course schedule that reflects your unique budget and availability.

There are 4 required classes which are 45 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 Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science:

In this 45 contact hour class, 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.

Instructor: Dr. Laura Debiasi
Offered in Quarters: 2 (Spring) and 4 (Fall)

This 45 contact hour class 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.

Instructor: Dr. Jessie Hawkins
Offered in Quarters: 1 (Winter) and 3 (Summer)

 This 45 contact hour class 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. 

Instructor: Dr. Laura Debiasi
Offered in Quarters: 2 (Spring) and 4 (Fall)

This 45 contact hour class builds upon the foundation established in BOT501, covering 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.

Instructor: Elizabeth Dunne, MS, RDN
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 graduate 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 field of herbalism that rivals some of the greatest experts in the field.

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Affordable Tuition

The Franklin Institute of Wellness provides some of the most affordable graduate 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 due with your enrollment agreement, and upon program completion, there is a $65 graduation fee. Tuition is paid per class and is $840 per 45 contact hour class. TOTAL TUITION for the Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science, including the registration fee and graduation fee, is $3,560.  Tuition is paid in increments with each quarter’s registration.

Example Tuition Schedules:

Registration Fee: $135

Quarter 1 (90 contact hours): $1,680

Quarter 2 (90 contact hours): $1,680

Graduation Fee: $65

TOTAL: $3,560

Registration Fee: $65

Quarter 1 (45 contact hours): $840

Quarter 2 (45 contact hours): $840

Quarter 3 (45 contact hours): $840

Quarter 4 (45 contact hours): $840

Graduation Fee: $65

TOTAL: $3,560

*NOTE: Total course load and schedule will be determined by your enrollment status (full time / part time) and the availability of each class. This is a sample of a part time schedule; your schedule may look different.

Tuition does not include costs associated with textbooks or supplies for required class projects. You will need to budget additional funds to purchase the textbooks required for completion of some courses. The cost for textbooks can vary dramatically depending on your preferred textbook store. 

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The Herbal Product 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 Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science with a related profession see an increase in wage potential after earning a Graduate Certificate. 

Careers with an Advanced Certificate in Herbal Science

The Certificate in Herbal Science was developed for current professionals who are ready to integrate their careers to include herbalism, but it can also be used as a standalone herbalist training program for professionals who are ready to change careers and enter the health profession. Career options for independent herbalist include operating private practices worldwide by offering personal consultations for clients. 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.

If you already hold a license in a medical field, you can increase earning potential by adding an Advanced Certificate 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.

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Learn More About the Program


Applicants must be 18 years of age or older with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or other 4-year degree from a fully authorized postsecondary institution. A postsecondary class in anatomy and physiology is also required. 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), 2 letters of recommendation, and an admissions essay.

This program is open to professionals and aspiring professionals alike. It is ideal for current health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, nurses, and nurse practitioners, as well as health enthusiasts, doulas, trainers, and bloggers. 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, and college transcripts.

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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Dr. Debiasi holds Doctorate of Nursing Practice and is licensed as a Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner. Her research interests include dietary supplement efficacy and international research on pediatric wellbeing.
Elizabeth Dunne holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Sciences and is licensed as a Registered Dietitian. Her research interests include pediatric nutrition, health equity, and community health.
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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