Acupuncture programs require both classroom study and hands-on clinical experience with patients. Degree candidates study the history of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, as well as subjects such as channel or meridian therapy, treatment planning and techniques, point location and acupuncture theory.
10 Schools with Acupuncture Programs
Acupuncture programs are commonly offered at the master's degree level, but other degree options may also be available at some schools. Here are few schools across the country that offer acupuncture programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition Info (2015-2016)*|
|University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport, CT||4-year, Private||Master's||$14,220|
|Bastyr University||Kenmore, WA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$24,198 (undergrad); $24,200 (graduate)|
|Northwestern Health Sciences University||Bloomington, MN||4-year, Private||Master's||$11,636|
|New York Chiropractic College||Seneca Falls, NY||4-year, Private||Master's||$13,419|
|New York College of Health Professions||Syosset, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$14,226 (undergrad), $16,956 (graduate)|
|National University of Health Sciences||Lombard, IL||4-year, Private||Master's||$17,384|
|South Baylo University||Anaheim, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$7,650 (undergrad), $9,850 (graduate)|
|Southern California University of Health Sciences||Whittier, CA||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$20,418|
|Maryland University of Integrative Health||Laurel, MD||4-year, Private||Master's||$18,230|
|Oregon College of Oriental Medicine||Portland, OR||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$25,616|
Sources:*National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
When choosing an acupuncture program, here are few things to consider when researching schools:
- Students who want to focus specifically on acupuncture can choose to earn a Master of Science in Acupuncture, while those who want to pursue broader studies may choose acupuncture as part of a Master of Science program in traditional Chinese medicine or acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
- Students who want to learn about both Western and Oriental medicine should find out whether both are incorporated into the program's curriculum.
- It is important to find out whether the school is accredited, since most states require acupuncturists to graduate from a degree program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
- Students who have scheduling constraints may want to find out if coursework is available online.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
While it is not usually possible to earn a bachelor's degree specifically in acupuncture, aspiring acupuncturists may choose a major in a related field, which can provide them with the educational background they need for graduate-level acupuncture studies. There are also acupuncture schools that offer degree completion programs that confer a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Biology, as well as dual-degree bachelor's/master's programs that lead to a master's in Oriental medicine and a BS in Nutrition or a Bachelor of Professional Studies.
Master's Degree Programs
The most common educational option for aspiring acupuncturists is a master's degree. These programs prepare graduates for the national licensure examination that they must pass in order to practice. In addition to lecture-based biomedical courses, students observe other acupuncturists in clinical settings and gain hands-on experience in the field through supervised internship opportunities. For students who want to study acupuncture within a broader graduate program, master's degrees in Oriental medicine and integrative health are also available at some schools. Most of these programs take three years to complete.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Some schools offer training for acupuncturist licensure exams through doctoral programs. Students may earn a doctorate specifically in the field or choose a broader degree that incorporates Oriental medicine studies as well. In total, these programs last for four to five years, and they provide a comprehensive overview of both holistic medicine and key topics within Western medicine. As in master's degree programs, students get real-world experience through supervised internships in integrative health settings.
Relevant acupuncture programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can get training through holistic medicine-focused institutions or traditional universities.