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Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

First Professional Doctorate in Oriental Medicine

Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) is a regionally accredited (WASC) University offering a variety of academic programs and certificates.

SCU will offer the first WASC approved Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM*) degree. The first degree of its kind, this entry level doctorate does not require a Masters degree. Graduates of this program will qualify to sit for license and certification exams.

Why Should You Choose This Degree?

A hallmark of this program is the interprofessional development and fully integrated curriculum both in the classroom setting and in the clinical setting. Graduates of this program learn how to work in a collaborative atmosphere with a patient-centered, evidenced-based focus.

With the integrated multidisciplinary approach in healthcare fast becoming the model of quality, efficiency, and effectiveness, our program truly provides the framework for successful integration and marketability in today’s and tomorrow’s healthcare delivery systems. Unlike a master’s degree, upon successful completion of this program, graduates are recognized as doctors both professionally and publically.


3,820 total hours
209 units
10 trimesters (3.3 years)
Clinical doctorate including a capstone project
Federal financial aid is available!
Starting Fall 2014


High school graduate (or equivalent)
Completed at least three years (90 semester units or 150 quarter units) of education from a US accredited college or university (or international equivalent)
Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grade scale
Students with a GPA of 2.75 to 2.99 may be admitted on an Alternative Admission Track Plan (AATP) with mentoring, counseling, and performance requirements
The 3 semester units each of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology can be taken concurrently during first year of the program
Completed Application/process
Entrance Essay
English competency


Studying side-by-side with students of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in an interprofessional educational program
Options to select a concentration to allow graduates to take special training into professional practice
A capstone project in academics, clinical practice, or research
Clinical externship opportunities in chosen concentrations
Integration of classical Acupuncture texts with modern medicine and research
Integrative healthcare, in both the classroom and in clinic
Opportunities for post-graduate residencies 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a First Professional Doctorate (FPD)?

This is a degree where one gets a doctorate without any other degrees. In the case of AOM, it means one would enter into a doctorate program (with appropriate admission requirements) and when they graduate would have a doctorate without a masters degree. Essentially, it is the same as entering chiropractic or medical school: enter and, four years later with lots of hard work, you have a doctorate. It means someone does not have to complete a masters degree and then enter a supplementary doctoral program.

When will the FPD program start?

Our first cohort will start September 8th, 2014. The DAOM plans for an annual start in September. It will be possible to start in January beginning in 2015, with a modified schedule. Please contact us if you are interested in pursuing these options. Our contact information is below.

How is this different than the DAOM degrees available now?

All of the current DAOM degrees are post-masters doctorates (PMD), meaning you need a masters degree before entering a shorter doctoral program. Typically these programs are 5-6+ years in combined length. The FPD would be 10 trimesters or 3 1/3 years in length.

What are the academic entry requirements for the FPD?

Candidates for admission to the CAOM DAOM program must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and must have completed at least three years (90 semester units or 150 quarter units) of education from a US accredited college or university (or international equivalent), earning a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 grade scale.  Students with a GPA of 2.75 to 2.99 may be admitted on an Alternative Admission Track Plan (AATP) with mentoring, counseling, and performance requirements.

Applicants must also complete a minimum of 3 semester units each in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology, earning a minimum “C” grade in each and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Courses may be completed prior to matriculation or within one calendar year after starting the DAOM Program at SCU.

Are there differences in the curriculums between the Post-masters and First Professional doctorates?

Yes and no. Each school has a similar but unique program for the masters, post-masters, and first professional doctorates. However, we designed our FPD to be similar, but more rigorous, to the current masters and post-masters doctorate combination, including capstone projects and concentrations (we have selectives). Because of this, our FPD program will be much more intensive so we are able to cover similar material as in the combined masters/PMD in a shorter period of time.

Are you going to offer a Post-masters Doctorate (PMD)?

It is definitely on our radar! We hope to be able to offer a PMD incorporating some courses and the unique aspects of our FPD. We will need to follow all the usual procedures, including accreditation, so keep an eye on the website for further developments. 

I am currently a student at an Acupuncture and Oriental Medical school, should I think about transferring into the FPD program?

If you entered a masters program within a year of transferring, most of your classes will transfer into the FPD. You will need to meet the entry requirements which include 90 units of undergraduate courses and several science prerequisites. You will need to take doctoral level anatomy classes, so you may need to repeat a couple of classes. If you know you want to do this, it is possible to take these classes now. Please speak with one of our Admissions Counselors (, if you are interested in pursuing this and have questions or want to see if this is possible.

If you are a year to a year and a half into a masters program, it may be possible to transfer into the FPD program if the above mentioned admission requirements are met. At this point in the masters curriculum, there are lots of issues including the necessity of repeating some, if not many, classes, and financial aid concerns. It may be better to wait and take the PMD as that should be up and running before you graduate. You should discuss your options with one of our Admissions Counselors. The FPD has a 2 year residency requirement, so transferring in at this stage may extend your expected time to graduation. You will not be able to sit the CALE until after graduating from the FPD.

If you are two or more years into a masters program, it will probably be better to wait until the PMD is ready to go. Most of the classes beyond the first year will not transfer into the FPD, and it will be necessary to repeat a large portion of the program.

I have earned my MAOM already. Should I do the FPD program?

Our PMD would be a better fit for you (see above). We encourage you to contact us to explore your options.

How much will this program cost?

You can expect our DAOM tuition to cost the same per unit as our DC program. The exact price points are estimated to be approved in June, 2014. Check back with us then or contact our Director of Admissions at

Is there financial aid for the DAOM?

Yes, financial aid is available for the DAOM program. To learn more about all the financial aid opportunities that are available please contact our Financial Aid Department at 562) 947-8755 ext.766 or by email to

Are there any Scholarship Opportunities?

Yes, ask our Admissions Counselors about the inaugural scholarship opportunities that are available. If you are interested in learning more about all the scholarship opportunities that are available please, contact our Admissions Department at (877) 434-7757 or by email at

Contact Information

Mario Delgadillo, Director of Admissions



Dr. Valerie Razutis, Chair of CAOM Doctoral Studies



Jeff Corral, Community Outreach Liaison



*Degree title subject to change