Acupuncture is an ancient method of healing that dates back before recorded history. The first recorded information on acupuncture was in an ancient Chinese medical text, which was titled Huang Di Nei Jing, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. It took centuries for acupuncture to make its way to the Western World, including the U.S. The modern use of acupuncture led to the need for acupuncture schools and accredited educational programs as the profession continued its growth.
How Did the Acupuncture Profession Expand and Become Recognized in the United States?
Once the healing effects of acupuncture became known, its use and description in texts brought the practice into the realm of alternative healing and effective treatment. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized the centuries long history of acupuncture, and reported on results of several studies dating back to the 1990s. Acupuncture was found to demonstrate efficacy for a variety of conditions, including dental pain, fibromyalgia, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and other treatments or conditions. It was also found to be effective in the treatment of certain pulmonary conditions, certain types of stroke and other conditions.
Top 5 Acupuncture Schools
|1||Acupuncture Massage College||Miami, Florida|
|2||Oregon College of Oriental Medicine||Portland, Oregon|
|3||American Institute of Alternative Medicine||Columbus, Ohio|
|4||Northwestern Health Sciences University||Bloomington, Minnesota|
|5||Pacific College of Health and Science||San Diego, California|
The popularity of acupuncture quickly spread across the United States when it was first introduced and after U.S. President Nixon touted its benefits after a visit to China in the 1970s.
The increased popularity of acupuncture, along with its effectiveness in treating certain conditions, and the desire of many people to avoid some traditional treatments led to the need for acupuncture schools in the U.S.
How Do I Become an Acupuncturist?
An individual that wants to become an acupuncturist must graduate from an accredited acupuncture program and earn a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture. Several schools offer programs in acupuncture that pave the way for students to work towards a future as an acupuncturist. These programs offer the opportunity for students to first graduate with an undergraduate degree, and then continue their studies at the same school or to transfer to another school to earn the graduate degree in acupuncture.
Some colleges and universities that offer acupuncture programs offer their programs strictly in a face-to-face format, while other schools offer students the opportunity to complete the program via online school or with minimal on-site visits.
These schools offer programs that meet the requirements for becoming a professional acupuncturist in the United States, or to start graduates on the path to earning the necessary degree and licensure.
Best 12 Acupuncture Schools
Acupuncture Massage College
Gain the education and training that you need to become a licensed acupuncturist when you choose to attend the Acupuncture Massage College. The school offers a Master’s of Oriental Medicine degree, which the school indicates is designed to ‘introduce students to acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and to familiarize them with working in a clinical setting as acupuncturists.’
The curriculum prepares students to gain a thorough understanding of the holistic benefits of acupuncture as a natural and an effective means of healing. Graduates have the skills to treat both traditionalist and modernist patients.
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine offers several degree programs in acupuncture, including the Master of Acupuncture degree. Students learn the techniques and skills for working in the contemporary health care system, and gain a comprehensive understanding of theories and systems of Chinese medicine. The master’s degree program trains students in the clinical skills that are required to safely and effectively apply acupuncture techniques, and to understand their responsibilities as a practitioner.
Students participate in a clinical internship along with completing regular coursework.
American Institute of Alternative Medicine
The American Institute of Alternative Medicine School of Acupuncture considers its program unique because it is one of only a few such programs available in the Midwest United States. Students enrolled in the master’s degree program must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Students focus on traditional Chinese Medicaine and biomedical science. They employ acupuncture diagnosis and treatment techniques, along with adjunctive therapy and diagnostic techniques that are used for the promotion, maintenance, and the restoration of health and disease prevention.
Northwestern Health Sciences University
The Acupuncture School and School of Chinese Medicine at the Northwestern Health Sciences University explains that more people are realizing the benefits of drug-free treatments. The Master of Acupuncture Degree at the school is a full-time program that provides a comprehensive education in acupuncture. Students gain the skills and training to learn traditional Chinese medical concepts, to learn the practical skills and principles of acupuncture treatment. The courses are taught by leaders in the profession and guide students through gaining the knowledge required for becoming an acupuncture practitioner.
The school also offers a doctorate program in acupuncture. Graduates exceed eligibility requirements for the national certification examinations offered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
Pacific College of Health and Science
The Pacific College of Health and Science offers acupuncture programs at a variety of locations, including the Transitional Doctorate for Acupuncture Graduates. Students in this program have the opportunity to boost their career goals and practice, and to gain the advanced skills necessary to become a leader in the profession.
Students likely enjoy the benefit of the flexible, online and in real-time learning environment, and the opportunity to complete the program in as little as two semesters of study.
Won Institute of Graduate Studies
Students that enroll in the Doctor of Acupuncture Program Completion Track at the Won Institute of Graduate Studies have already completed an accredited master’s degree in acupuncture. Many students that complete their master’s degree at the school continue their education and enroll in this doctorate program. Students gain advanced skills in advanced diagnostic studies, patient care, and collaborative care.
Master’s trained and licensed acupuncture professionals likely recognize the additional career opportunities that are available to practitioners with a doctorate degree in the field. Students can graduate in as little as one year from the completely online program.
Bastyr University offers a comprehensive approach to acupuncture medicine in its acupuncture and East Asian medicine programs. The Master of Science in Acupuncture program is an entry level program for students that want to meet requirements to become a licensed acupuncturist and that want to have their own practice. The school explains that the program is also a good opportunity for current healthcare professionals that want to add another discipline to their areas of practice.
Students complete coursework and also participate in clinical experiences where they have the opportunity to treat patients that have a variety of medical conditions. Some students expand their knowledge and skills by completing a doctoral program at the school after earning their master’s degree.
The tuition rate includes the cost of some fees.
National University of Health Sciences
The Master of Science in Acupuncture program at the National University of Health Sciences provides the traditional apprentice-style learning for students in the program. This extends into the clinical observation classes, and the supervised internships at the on-campus integrative medical center.
Graduates are prepared to assess each patient’s symptoms or pattern of disharmony, to determine the necessary treatment principle and strategy of individual patients, and to then employ several techniques to treat patients.
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, located at the California Institute of Integral Studies, offers a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine online completion program. The 100 percent online program allows acupuncturists that currently hold a master’s degree to expand their career opportunities when they complete the doctorate program.
Working professionals are able to advance their knowledge and skill sets in integrative and collaborative care. They gain the skills to engage in active research and writing to present their work for publication. The fact that there are no labs and no clinic internship likely appeal to working professionals in the field.
Maryland University of Integrative Health
Enroll in the Master of Acupuncture program at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, and prepare for a future of helping other people when you graduate and become an acupuncturist. This program blends the Constitutional Five Element Acupuncture (CFEA), and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with methods of contemporary science to trat the whole person.
The program provides graduates with a solid foundation for career development and practice management, whether the graduate becomes employed at an acupuncture facility or practice, or if the graduate goes into private practice.
The school also offers a doctorate program in acupuncture. The school boasts a 94 percent employment rate for students within one year of graduation.
Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts
The Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts offers the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) Degree Completion Track. The college invites master’s level practitioners to learn the skills that are necessary to advance their career and to expand their practice. Students participate in unique clinical experiences that provides greater insight into specialty areas that are commonly seen in practice, and broadens the ability of acupuncturists to make decisions on patient care and treatments.
The hybrid program allows students to continue their practice while pursuing their doctoral degree.
New England School of Acupuncture
The New England School of Acupuncture invites students to study at one of the top-ranked acupuncture programs in the country. Current acupuncturists with a master’s degree have the opportunity to earn the Doctor of Acupuncture degree to advance their career and practice in acupuncture. Students expand their knowledge and skills as they engage in interprofessional education with graduate students from other departments such as pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, and diagnostic medical imaging.
Students participate in providing care to patients at the school’s onsite state-of-the-art treatment center or to participate in diverse clinical placements at leading hospitals or community health centers.
Finding the right acupuncture school is likely a difficult task so we did the hard work of finding the best schools for you. We included accredited schools in our listing, and only schools that meet at least the minimum requirements for graduates to practice acupuncture.
The stated cost of tuition is for one credit hour of instruction. It does not include fees or other costs unless stated in a school’s description.
Do you need assistance finding the right school for your needs? We can help you, based on the program that you select.
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