Natural products science

CUW Online - School of Pharmacy

Become a respected leader in providing, discovering, or nurturing plant-based products. Experts are needed to ensure the safety and efficacy of holistic treatments as their popularity continues to expand. Secure a competitive advantage in this evolving field by earning a certificate or a master’s degree in Natural Products Science.

This online program offers the opportunity to specialize in nutraceuticals or medicinal plants. You can complete all coursework 100% online, guided by faculty who are experienced pharmacists, researchers, and scientists.


You must have a BA or BS with a minimum GPA of 3.00. No GRE/GMAT is required.

Online self-paced
Master's degree (30-credits) & graduate certificate (12-credits) available with your choice in concentration

Core curriculum

Find the information you need

We're here to help you discover your future 

Medical cannabis concentration courses

This course is dedicated to understanding how the Cannabis species influenced world history. This course will prepare students for future courses that will expand on the pharmacology and pharmacotherapy of the plant and its products. Topics will cover anthropology, ethnopharmacology, and pharmacology/toxicology. Students will compare and contrast how different peoples have used cannabis throughout history, including medicinal, recreational, and spiritual uses. Finally, we will cover the impacts that medical cannabis has had on public health. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to contextualize the use of cannabis across diverse contexts, and differentiate between the therapeutic and adverse effects of the plant and plant products.

The course is dedicated to understanding the mechanisms by which medical cannabis generates its therapeutic and adverse pharmacologic effects. This course builds upon the historical background introduced in the first course, and prepares students to understand the therapeutic effects of cannabis products in future courses. Topics will cover neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, phytochemistry, and drug delivery. Students will understand how the constituents of the cannabis plant operate on a molecular level. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to communicate the mechanisms by which cannabis products produce their therapeutic and adverse effects.

This course is dedicated to understanding the clinical evidence behind the therapeutic and adverse effects of medical cannabis products. This course builds upon the pharmacologic basis introduced in the second course, and prepares students to critically evaluate the literature in the fourth course. Topics will cover pharmacotherapy and clinical pharmacology of medical cannabis products in: stress and anxiety; neurologic disorders and epilepsy; pain and inflammation; cancer and chemotherapy; nausea and vomiting. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to communicate the clinical evidence surrounding the medical use of cannabis products.

This course is dedicated to critically evaluating the literature surrounding the use of medical cannabis in various settings. This course applies the history, science, and clinical efficacy background gained in the previous courses toward case studies dealing with medical cannabis products. We will discuss issues relevant to pharmacy, medicine/PA, dentistry, and nursing fields. Guest speakers from the respective fields will be invited to provide their expertise to the discussion. This course will include an active learning component that will encourage students to work together to solve problems. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to work with stakeholders from various disciplines to evaluate cases concerning medical cannabis products.

Nutraceutical concentration courses

This course provides and introduction into nutraceuticals, their classification and scope. Students will be introduced to the various classifications of nutraceuticals and compare them to drug and biologic classifications. We will then delve into the phytochemical (i.e. bioactive component) of nutraceuticals and their role in health while highlighting the most popular therapeutic areas where nutraceuticals provide the most health benefits. Students will be introduced to multiple examples of nutraceuticals being sold on the market and the pharmacological mechanism of action of the bioactive component that results in health benefits. Although nutraceuticals provide numerous health benefits, safety and toxicity are important considerations which will be discussed in this course.

This course will focus on discovery and development strategies and consideration for nutraceuticals development. The course will provide students an overview of the processes involved in progressing a nutraceutical from an idea to market. Students will consider what they learned in pharmacognosy, plant biochemistry and nutraceuticals I courses, apply that knowledge in discovery strategies while building upon that knowledge to include development and manufacturing strategies that will allow for successful market sustainability and safety of nutraceuticals. In this course, students will learn about good manufacturing practices (GMP), Good laboratory practices (GLP), SOPs /Good Documentation practices, Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QC) to ensure consistency and safety of nutraceuticals. We will also highlight the role of regulatory agencies around the world with an emphasis on US regulatory agency in nutraceutical development and commercialization.

Building upon Nutraceuticals II which introduced discovery and development processes, we will introduce the science of distribution of the active components which informs the efficacy and safety of the nutraceuticals. Students will also learn of various formularies, their components, and their utility.

This course will cover the business aspect of the nutraceutical industry, regulation, and intellectual property. This course is designed to assist and guide students to navigate the business world of nutraceuticals that includes, the current regulatory framework, global market and demand trends, intellectual property considerations and sourcing of nutraceuticals. Thus, we will highlight and analyze the global leaders in the industry to demonstrate these core learning concepts. A large component of this course will involve students completing a business plan considering regulations, market trends / marketing, intellectual property, etc., that is a continuation of their capstone project.

Master's Degree


Graduate in 2 years with courses that run in
8-week & 16-week sessions

credits to graduate
Cost per credit

Funding your education

Concordia's payment plan allows you to break tuition into automatic monthly payments

Scholarships and financial aid are available for qualifying students.

Learn More

Certificate Program

Credits Required
streamlined approach

Complete your 4-course sequence in less than a year with our accelerated 8-week courses or choose to continue on and complete your master's.