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Acupuncture Colleges and Universities in the United States

Higher Education Articles March 5, 2013

Injury and illness can be treated by using an ancient Chinese healing therapy known as acupuncture that requires insertion of small needles into specific points of the body. The acupuncturist identifies areas where energy flow encounters blockage and needle insertion serve to clear up such areas, this referred to as ‘qi’ in Chinese culture. In this article, we will cover possible factors to consider when choosing an acupuncture college or university.

How to Choose an Acupuncture College or University

Typically, schools of natural healing and alternative medicine centers offers acupuncture training. It normally takes three years to complete an acupuncture course, and once students have successfully completed the program, they will be awarded a master degree in acupuncture. There are also doctoral programs in acupuncture and students should consider it while selecting a school. Programs in acupuncture require both hands-on clinical experience and classroom study with patients. Students enrolled in the acupuncture program will study oriental medicine and the history of acupuncture along with subjects such as meridian or channel therapy, techniques and treatment planning, acupuncture theory and point location.

Students may choose to earn a Master of Science in Acupuncture or gain knowledge in acupuncture as part of a Master of Science program in traditional Chinese acupuncture or medicine and Oriental medicine. Studies in herbal medicine will be included in latter two programs. Oriental Medicine and Doctor of Acupuncture program is another option for aspiring acupuncture students; aspects of western medicine are incorporated into the coursework.

Another factor to consider while choosing an appropriate school is accreditation. Every state has its own unique licensure requirements, but a majority of states grant certification only to aspiring acupuncturists with accredited graduate degrees; such accreditation need to be awarded by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Passing the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine board examination and completion of three to five years of experience is required by some states before they can grant licensure. NCCAOM maintains a list of licensure requirements that various states want satisfied.

Largest Acupuncture Colleges and Universities in the United States

Name of School Student Enrollments Type of Institution
Academy for Five Element Acupuncture 51 Private, four-year
Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences 92 Private, four-year
Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College – Berkeley 181 Private, four-year
Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine 101 Private, four-year
Bastyr University 988 Private, four-year
Dongguk University Los Angeles 187 Private, four-year
Five Branches University 289 Private, four-year
National College of Natural Medicine 71 Private, four-year
National University of Health Sciences 691 Private, four-year
New England School of Acupuncture 191 Private, four-year
New York Chiropractic College 842 Private, four-year
New York College of Health Professions 820 Private, four-year
New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine 129 Private, four-year
Northwestern Health Sciences University 877 Private, four-year
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine 296 Private, four-year
Samra University of Oriental Medicine 155 Private, four-year
South Baylor University 551 Private, four-year
Southern California University of Health Sciences 475 Private, four-year
Tai Sophia Institute 444 Private, four-year
University of Bridgeport 5,323 Private, four-year

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