Best Acupuncture Schools in the US: It’s difficult to choose a school because there are so many places that offer acupuncture degrees. Prospective students should start looking at institutions that have been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).
ACAOM was founded in 1982 as a non-profit organization by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the American Association of Oriental Medicine. ACAOM is acknowledged as a “specialized and professional” accrediting organization by the U.S. Department of Education.
More than 50 schools and colleges in the ACAOM have accreditation or are candidates. The ACAOM has accredited each of the colleges we choose for our list.
The following factors affected both our decision on which schools to include on this list and their relative ranking:
- Quality of the faculty, both as acupuncture practitioners and as scholars developing the discipline
- The training program’s comprehensiveness, which includes practical training and internships
- Achieving success in preparing students to lead their field
- The duration of the school’s existence and its track record of achievement during that time
- A doctoral acupuncture program is not necessary but is advantageous for a school.
What is Acupuncture?
More than merely poking needles into a patient’s skin is involved in acupuncture. It is a discipline with a long history of research and application that also considers other holistic therapies.
The earliest kind of recorded medical therapy is acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM), which includes insertion of tiny needles into specific points on the skin, typically to treat pain.
Traditional medicine accepted this as a technique to control energy flow, but acupuncture is now seen by medical professionals as a way to stimulate nerves and tissues.
Acupuncture students should anticipate learning not only about needlework, herbal medicine, and diet, but also about biological science, as Traditional Chinese Treatment (TCM) has developed to incorporate parts of Western medicine.
The use of acupuncture as a form of healing by millions of people worldwide shows how prevalent this therapy has become outside of its native Asia.
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Acupuncturists Average Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, acupuncturists made an average yearly salary of $82,420. (BLS).
According to the bureau’s statistics, which combine acupuncturists and healthcare professionals who diagnose or treat patients into one group, more than 36,000 people were employed in that sector in May 2020, with Maryland and California having the highest concentrations of workers (5,440 people each) (5,430 people). Maryland also had the highest mean annual wage for practitioners, at $139,530.
To practice acupuncture or Oriental medicine, one must pass a licensing test administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
Best Acupuncture Schools in the US
1. Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA)
In Bastyr University’s acupuncture department, students receive instruction from doctors who practice both Western and Eastern medicine.
This strategy is based on how individuals currently in China learn about and practice healthcare. Leading experts in Chinese medicine instruct students in topics such as patient care coordination with Western medical professionals.
Additionally, they receive clinical training, the majority of which is completed at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in neighboring Seattle, which treats 35,000 patients annually.
Additionally, students have the opportunity to receive training at community clinics that provide care to a variety of local communities. This allows them the opportunity to practice both general acupuncture and more specialized techniques, such integrated pain treatment.
Along with degree studies, the university provides a certificate in Chinese herbal medicine. There are master’s and doctoral degrees in acupuncture as well as degrees in acupuncture and oriental medicine, among others.
Graduates are prepared to apply for acupuncture licenses in all 47 states and Washington, D.C.
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2. New England School of Acupuncture at MCPHS (Boston, MA)
There are various acupuncture degree programs offered by this program, which is a component of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Students have a choice between two PhD programs and two master’s degree programs in acupuncture or acupuncture and oriental medicine (Doctor of Acupuncture or Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health).
Undergraduates can benefit from combined degree programs that allow them to acquire a bachelor’s in health science/in master’s acupuncture or a bachelor’s in public health/in master’s acupuncture.
Students can pursue specializations in orthopedic, Chinese, and Japanese acupuncture, and they can attend classes both in person and online. During clinical lessons, which begin during the first week of classes and take students to various healthcare facilities, licensed acupuncturists instruct small groups of students.
3. Maryland University of Integrative Health (Laurel, MD)
The Maryland University of Integrative Health’s acupuncture program offers students the option to specialize in Chinese herbal medicine in addition to earning their master’s or doctoral degrees.
Full-time students in this adaptable program attend classes in person and online two days a week. Throughout their clinical training, they receive one-on-one mentoring in addition to learning in small groups as a cohort.
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) coursework and clinical practice are included in this school’s curriculum exclusively because it is an accredited graduate program.
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certification exam is developed for students who desire to pursue the additional herbal medicine specialization and learn how to use herbs in their practice.
The program also teaches them how to run a Chinese herbal pharmacy and prescribe the products.
4. University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, CT)
In its graduate program, the University of Bridgeport offers both traditional and contemporary acupuncture methods.
The Master of Science in Acupuncture is the only degree available in the subject area through the school’s Acupuncture Institute.
Lessons emphasize the relationship between Traditional Chinese Medicine and contemporary Western medical procedures.
In order to choose the best course of treatment, students learn how to examine patients not just from an Asian medicine perspective but also from pharmacological and biological ones.
At the university’s Health Sciences Center, students work with patients of all types alongside medical professionals to get practical experience. They give back to the neighborhood by taking part in outreach clinics. All of this teaches students how to work with other medical professionals in addition to teaching them how to care for patients.
5. Northwestern Health Sciences University (Bloomington, MN)
At Northwestern Health Sciences University, candidates for a master degree in acupuncture must undergo hundreds of hours of clinical training.
A Master of Acupuncture and a Doctor of Acupuncture with Chinese Herbal Medicine are also offered by the school. The university’s Bachelor of Science in Human Biology Degree Completion Program is open to undergraduate students who want to pursue a profession in acupuncture but still need to complete their degree.
Students must complete at least 150 hours of observation or an assistantship and 525 hours of supervised clinical practice in order to acquire their master’s degree.
Doctoral applicants must finish this clinical requirement in addition to three more shifts. The history and principles of Chinese medicine, as well as actual acupuncture procedures, are all topics covered in courses.
The duration of the full-time master’s program is two and a half years, while the duration of the full-time doctorate program is somewhat longer at three years.
6. The University of Texas Health and Science (Austin, TX)
As part of their coursework for the Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, students study the four classical texts of ancient China.
The curriculum for Chinese acupuncture is 95% aligned with the program at Texas Health and Science University. Students leave the curriculum with understanding of herbal medicine in addition to notions like the Golden Chamber and the Four Streams of Scholars.
Additionally, there are many lectures about Western medicine in the curriculum to help students comprehend how acupuncturists collaborate with other practitioners and how modern healthcare is provided.
Students who want to start their clinical internship must pass a five-part exam. They have the opportunity to collaborate with actual patients throughout this clinical experience, create a treatment plan, and then put it into action.
7. Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (Fairfax, VA)
The Virginia University of Integrative Medicine offers a more affordable education than the national average and has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.
The institution provides two doctorates in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, as well as a Master of Science in the subject for acupuncture students.
All programs combine classroom instruction with clinical training, and students must complete hundreds of hours of practical training. Additionally, depending on the school, doctoral students must complete 600 to 1,752 hours of lab work.
In three years, students finish the master’s program. While the DAc program lasts four academic years, the DAOM degree can be completed in two years.
Compared to the national average of $63,000, tuition at VUIM costs $41,000 per student on average.
8. National University of Health Sciences (Lombard, IL)
At the Illinois branch of the National University of Health Sciences, students can complete their Master of Science in Acupuncture in in seven trimesters.
Students learn about the history of acupuncture, including its theory and philosophy, in this 121-credit curriculum.
The course material examines various Eastern approaches and also provides students with a foundation in Western medical knowledge.
This aims to prepare individuals to use these traditional practices as part of a team effort in healthcare alongside medical professionals at various medical facilities.
During their clinical training, students can use the university’s herbal dispensary and learn in an apprenticeship-style setting. They can also intern at facilities like community clinics and the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
The program’s full-time faculty members are all researchers with PhDs.
9. New York College of Health Professions (Syosset, NY)
The New York College of Health Professions’ acupuncture program offers full-time and part-time study options for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Students can enroll in this flexible program at either the Long Island or New York City locations, and it offers classes throughout the day, at night, and on weekends.
With the lowest undergraduate and graduate tuition of all private, non-profit, and accredited universities of its kind in the area, the institution is also one of the more reasonably priced options in the tri-state area.
Students study Asian bodywork, herbology, and both Chinese and Japanese acupuncture techniques. Additionally, in addition to participating in a clinical internship like the majority of acupuncture students, they study qigong, yoga, and t’ai chi as well as other wellness techniques.
10. Pacific College of Health Science (Multiple Locations)
Despite its name, the Pacific College of Health Science has campuses not just in San Diego, California, but also in Chicago and New York.
The Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Doctor of Acupuncture, and Master of Science in Acupuncture programs are all accessible at the Chicago campus, which also offers the most acupuncture degrees.
Students can obtain both the Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine and the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in San Diego. A Master of Science in Acupuncture program is offered in New York.
Students can enroll in the Transitional Doctorate for Master’s Graduates program at any of the three sites, where they can proceed to obtain either a Doctor of Acupuncture or a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, depending on their prior degree, after receiving a master’s in acupuncture.
Additionally, Pacific College is expanding and will soon begin providing a Cosmetic Acupuncture Certificate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What nation practices the finest acupuncture?
Acupuncture, an age-old Chinese medical practice, is becoming more and more well-known around the world due to its success in treating conditions that Western medicine has so far been unable to address.
How can I study acupuncture in the USA?
A master's degree and enrollment in a recognized program in acupuncture or Chinese medicine are often needed in the United States in order to become a licensed acupuncturist. Take note of the trend toward training for PhD degrees.
Is Acupuncture recognized in the USA?
Only licensed medical professionals may administer acupuncture in all 50 states of the United States. Some allow them to be carried out under medical supervision by non-professional acupuncturists.
An acupuncturist sees how many patients in a day?
With an average of 8–10 people each day, the identical procedure is repeated throughout the day. Although most acupuncturists follow this pattern, some do it differently. While some people only see one per hour, others may see five or 10. Everything depends on your location, temperament, and stamina!
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