Speak with an admissions advisor. 562-475-4604

Speak with an admissions advisor. 562-475-4604

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM)

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a form of medical treatment established in China thousands of years ago that has developed into a well-established, effective, and popular form of healing for countless patients around the world for many centuries. In the midst of the opioid crisis, acupuncture has been growing in popularity in the United States. Primarily used for pain management and overall wellness such as immunity enhancement and stress management, this ancient Chinese form of medicine—which involves thin needles inserted into the skin—has gained support from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid.
Alternative care continues to grow in popularity. As a result, healthcare organizations are actively searching for talented holistic health professionals. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioners use methods such as needling, herbal medicine, and many others to help individuals with a wide variety of conditions.
At SCU, you can study an ancient medicine at a contemporary health sciences university committed to transforming healthcare and healthcare education.

Earn Both the DACM and MACM Degree Concurrently Upon Completion

SCU’s designed this program so that upon completion of course requirements, students are awarded both the DACM and the Master of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (MACM) degree that is required to sit for State and National licensing and certification exams. Earning the doctorate only requires one additional term to the master’s nine-term program. In only four additional months, students can earn their doctorate (DACM).
Earning this doctoral title and degree provides graduates well-deserved recognition. All other factors being equal, integrative medical settings may prioritize hiring doctors of acupuncture. Medical doctors and other allied health providers may be more likely to refer to a doctor of acupuncture.
Completion of SCU’s Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) program makes students eligible for the California state licensure exams as well as the national certification examinations, which enable students to become licensed in the U.S.
A representative from our Office of Admissions would be happy to help you learn more. Request more information or apply now to reserve your seat in the next cohort.
Request Information Apply Now
Program Length: 10 trimesters | 3 years and 4 months
Next Start Date: September 8, 2020
Fixed-Rate Tuition: $7,545/trimester*, $75,450 for the entire program (based on 10 trimesters), Average cost per unit (credit hour): $372

An Interprofessional Learning Experience

A key part of SCU’s mission is to help students learn to excel in a team-based and collaborative environment that has become the model of quality and efficiency in today’s healthcare delivery system. DACM students learn from, with, and about other professions such as chiropractors and physician assistants. Students learn side by side with other future health practitioners starting with their first class, throughout the curriculum, and into the clinical experience.
Being immersed in learning with other medical disciplines provides students with an understanding of treatment options and building collaboration skills that will make them more marketable and effective in the workplace.

Fall Start – Online Learning

Students entering in fall will be starting under a Limited Campus Opening scenario. The plan for new students starting in fall is to offer all required classes through Interactive Online Lectures. SCU will also provide an optional Introductory Clinical Experience course.
Interactive Online Lectures: Lecture courses will be taught via synchronous, technology enhanced, and interactive remote learning. Classes are held during scheduled times. Interactive Online classes provide group-based interactive learning through Zoom and/or Canvas. Classes happen in real time with required attendance during a set schedule.
Optional Introductory Clinical Experience Course: Students have the option to participate in a clinical observation course at the University Health Center. Click here to learn more.

What to Expect?

  • New students will get to experience orientation, connect with others, and prepare to make this first step to building a healthier future through our online orientation.
  • New students will have a Virtual Orientation before the term starts, where they will receive more information about the program, expectations, and details.
  • Students opting to participate in the optional Introductory Clinical Experience course must complete the required forms and follow health and safety protocols.
Attend Class

Attend your class in Zoom or through Canvas

Manage Class

Learn and manage class work in Canvas

Join Class

Join in class discussions through Zoom chat or Canvas


Learning Temporarily Continues Online


Join the Movement!

Become part of a university committed to transforming and redefining healthcare and healthcare education. SCU recognizes that healthcare should move beyond treating symptoms by understanding personal circumstances leading to better patient outcomes, lower costs, and improved quality of life.
SCU’s academic community consists of faculty and staff who value and teach whole-person care and empower our students to become patient-centered practitioners. Learning to understand what matters to the patient and their family, what are their personal circumstances, and what are their recovery goals makes SCU student’s balanced practitioners.

Learn to determine what matters to the patient vs. just finding out what’s the matter!

SCU’s unique value-based integrative healthcare model:
  • Value-based: Helping patients improve their health by identifying the right provider for their current need in order to live healthier lives, and to deliver the best outcome for the most efficient cost.
  • Integrative: A healthcare perspective that emphasizes understanding personal circumstances leading to better patient outcomes, providing treatments informed by evidence, building a trusted patient-provider relationship, and making use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches and disciplines.
  • Interprofessional: Students gain an understanding of other disciplines to broaden treatment options and build collaboration skills that will make them more marketable and effective in the workplace.

Program Facts

11% or Higher Job Growth

Projected employment growth much faster than average and viewed as a “Bright Outlook” occupation.1

#1

California is ranked No. 1 for projected job opening 2018-2028 for Acupuncture (part of Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other).1

Three Concentration Tracks

Acupuncture Orthopedics, Healthy Aging, and Women’s Health.

100% NCCAOM Pass Rate

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).3 SCU utilizes ExamSoft, the world’s most advanced assessment platform to prepare students for successful test results.

Cadaver Lab

SCU is the only acupuncture program in the region with a cadaver lab. The cadaver lab transforms students’ understanding of the human body. It helps form their new identity as healers-in-training while wielding scalpels to learn lessons that books cannot teach, and technology cannot replicate.

93.3% CAB Pass Rate

California Acupuncture Board (CAB) Pass Rate.2 SCU utilizes ExamSoft, the world’s most advanced assessment platform to prepare students for successful test results.

Compare the Value

There are a lot of factors to think about when choosing a university, and you want to make sure you’re asking the right questions. That’s why we’ve created this comparison chart, to help you do your homework about what’s included in the cost of your program.

Exclusive Educational Opportunities

Choose Your Concentration
Only SCU provides three specialized concentration areas including Acupuncture Orthopedics, Healthy Aging, and Women’s Health with both classroom and clinical experiences. Students can choose at least 150 lecture hours of concentration coursework.
  • Healthy Aging: Gain understanding of life cycles, basic oncology, diseases of aging, and successfully aging.
  • Orthopedics: Emphasize learning of the anatomy and physiology of the spine and extremities, orthopedic acupuncture, and clinical orthopedic and neurological assessment (CONA).
  • Women’s Health: Gain the knowledge needed to manage today’s commonly seen gynecological disorders.
Capstone Project
Students complete and present a capstone project of their interest in academics, clinical practice, or research, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained while at SCU.
The Capstone Project will:
  • Improve confidence and self-perception: The capstone will let you demonstrate how much you’ve learned and accomplished – it will also prove your potential to yourself. You will realize just how much you are capable of.
  • Hone skills: You are able to learn what you don’t know and ask questions before entering the professional world. The capstone is a safe, guided space to finish learning.
  • Builds your résumé: Your capstone shows motivation, drive, planning, and application of knowledge and skills. A capstone on your résumé is proof to future employers that you have the skills to be a successful practitioner.
On-Campus Health Center with Herbal Pharmacy
Students put foundational principles and clinical science knowledge into practice by consulting on, diagnosing, and treating a variety of basic and complex conditions.
Study Abroad
DACM students’ have the opportunity to study abroad at prestigious universities in Taiwan and China to further refine their mastery of acupuncture concepts and gain additional clinical experiences.
Classical Acupuncture Texts with Modern Research
SCU’s DACM integrates the study of classical acupuncture texts with modern research as part of a comprehensive curriculum.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Today’s healthcare system expects students to be skilled at electronic systems in particular electronic health records. EHR contain the medical and treatment histories of patients and is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care. EHRs are a vital part of health IT system and SCU students graduate prepared to utilize these systems.
On-Campus Herb Garden
DACM students enjoy studying and learning in SCU’s beautiful and peaceful on-campus herb garden.

Curriculum Summary

Courses in the areas of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, clinical laboratory diagnosis, pharmacology, nutrition, emergency procedures, traditional Chinese classical medical theory and related techniques, acupuncture and meridians, Chinese herbology, business management, integrative clinical education, and chosen areas of concentration are offered through the program. Upon graduation from SCU, graduates will have gained a unique education based on an innovative approach to patient care through the understanding of integrating classical Chinese medical theories with biomedicine.
Year 1Year 2Year 3

Focuses on basic sciences, establishing a wide-ranging and comprehensive foundation of the body’s organization on a cellular, tissue, and organ level, along with regional interrelationships. This learning is accomplished in an interprofessional educational environment in classes with students from a variety of healthcare professions. In addition, students learn traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) foundations, acupuncture needling technique, single herbs, meridian points, and begin clinical observations, integrating classroom learning with clinical skills.

This year builds upon year one by focusing on the ways TCM principles and basic science knowledge related to structure and function translate into the clinical presentation of a patient in both health and disease. Learnings from the first-year progress to an increased level of mastery¬—from single herbs to herbal formulas, meridian points to acupuncture prescriptions, integrative clinical medicine, and many other areas of advanced knowledge. Students begin guided clinical practice treating patients under the supervision of licensed doctors and with peers in other professions in SCU’s on-campus health center.

In year three, students experience a series of business courses such as insurance billing and coding, risk management, and practice management, further classical TCM texts, concentration course series, and present a capstone project of interest in academics, clinical practice, or research. Students continue to implement basic and clinical science knowledge through consultation, diagnosis, and treating more complex conditions in SCU’s on-campus Health Center. Clinical proficiency culminates with off-campus clinical rotations in a specialized setting within one of SCU’s affiliated partners such as Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). The graduate is fully prepared to lead in today’s evolving healthcare environment.


Student Spotlight

Dr. Kenneth Mittelstadt

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Graduate Doctor of Chiropractic Student

Elizabeth Robledo

Graduate, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine


Accreditations and Approvals

SCU’s DACM program is the first Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine approved by the California Acupuncture Board (CAB). Graduates are prepared to become licensed acupuncturists in the United States. The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) granted accreditation to Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) professional doctor program in English under applicable ACAOM standards effective 24 February 2018. Accreditation status and notes may be viewed at: http://acaom.org/directory-menu/directory/ ACAOM is the recognized accrediting agency for programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone (952) 212-2434; fax (952) 657-7068; www.acaom.org SCU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), which is located at 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, telephone: (510) 748-9001.
State of California Acupuncture Board ACAOM | Accreditation Comission for Acupunture & Oriental Medicine WACS | WASC Senior College and University Commission

Take the Next Step in Realizing Your Dream

Our enrollment process is quick and easy. The first next step is for you to fill out a short online application for admission, which usually takes 10-15 minutes. Students are encouraged to complete the application process right away to save a seat in the cohort of your choice. A representative from the Office of Admissions is available to answer any questions or help you explore the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Program. Request more information or apply now to reserve your seat in the next cohort.
Request Information Apply Now
(1) Employment growth based on O*Net forecast for Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other (which would include Acupuncturist) 29-1199.01. Projected growth 2018 – 2028.
(2) SCU California Acupuncture Board (CAB) Pass Rates for students taking the test from 2018 to June 2020
*Tuition rate reflected above represents the fixed rate for a student entering during the 2020-2021 academic year. Tuition rates are subject to change and may not be reflected on this website or other SCU materials. Please contact us for the most updated information. For a complete listing of SCU fees, please refer to the academic catalog.
**The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) granted accreditation to Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) professional doctor program in English under applicable ACAOM standards effective 24 February 2018. Accreditation status and notes may be viewed at: http://acaom.org/directory-menu/directory/ ACAOM is the recognized accrediting agency for programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone (952) 212-2434; fax (952) 657-7068; www.acaom.org
–> –>

Request Information


  • By submitting this form, I authorize and agree that a representative of Southern California University of Health Sciences can contact me about educational services and future offers by email, phone and/or text messaging at the email and telephone number provided above using automated technology for calls or text messages. Message and data rates may apply. I understand that consent is not required to purchase any goods or services from this school and that my consent can be revoked at any time by emailing info@scuhs.edu. All information provided shall be subject to our privacy policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.