Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

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. Practitioners use methods such as needling, herbal medicine, and many others to help individuals with a wide variety of conditions.

SCU pioneered this first-professional Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) program – which does not require a master’s degree as a prerequisite – preparing future practitioners to make a difference in a meaningful and rewarding career in less time at a lower cost.

A representative from the Office of Admissions would be happy to help you learn more.
Request more information, schedule a campus tour, or apply now to reserve your seat in the next cohort.

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Program Length: 10 trimesters | 3.33 years
Next Start Date: September 3, 2019
Fixed Rate Tuition: $11,395/trimester*

Why the First-Professional Doctorate?

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) often complete a master’s program followed by a post-masters doctoral program. SCU was the first university in the acupuncture profession to develop a First-Professional Degree – meaning it does not require a master’s as a prerequisite.

This unique DACM program prepares today’s students for the healthcare system of tomorrow with an accessible and comprehensive doctorate that does not require an additional master’s degree. The program is completed in only 10 trimesters.


A Unique Integrative Learning Experience

Part of our mission is to help students learn to excel in a team-based, collaborative, and integrative environment that has become the model of quality and efficiency in today’s healthcare delivery system.

DACM students are not educated in silos – they 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.

When different professions bring the best of what is needed for the patient, it results in better patient outcomes at lower costs. Being immersed in learning with other medical disciplines prepares students to work in and lead healthcare teams – with the patient at the center of everything we do.


Exclusive Educational Opportunities

Annual Trip to Asia

DACM cohort travels to countries in Asia such as Taiwan and China to to further refine mastery of acupuncture concepts and gain additional clinical experiences.

Capstone Project

Students complete and present a publishable capstone project of their interest in academics, clinical practice, or research.

Choose Your Concentration

Choose from specialized concentration areas such as acupuncture orthopedics, healthy aging, and nutrition / functional medicine within the classroom and clinical experience.

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.

On-Campus Herb Garden and Koi Pond

DACM students enjoy studying and learning in SCU’s beautiful and peaceful on-campus herb garden.

On-Campus Health Clinic with Herbal Pharmacy

Students put foundational principles and clinical science knowledge into practice by consulting with, diagnosing, and treating a variety of basic and complex conditions.


Curriculum Summary

Year 1Year 2Year 3

Focus 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 inter-professional educational environment in classes with students from a variety of healthcare professions. In addition, students learn TCM foundations, acupuncture needling technique, single herbs, meridian points, and begin clinical observation 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, TCM classics, 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 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), Oncology Institute, or California State University, Fullerton. 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


Watch Webinar Recordings

DACM Program Webinar with Dean Jenny Yu

Current DACM Student Discuss "Why SCU?"


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

Recent News from DACM


Take The Next Step in Realizing Your Dream

The enrollment process is very fast and easy. The first next step is 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 your seat in the desired cohort.

A representative from the Office of Admissions would love to help you explore the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Program. Request more information, schedule a campus tour, or apply now to reserve your seat in the next cohort.

Request Information Schedule A Tour Apply Now

*Tuition rate reflected above represents the fixed rate for a student entering during the 2018-2019 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

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