Master of Acupuncture
Admissions Requirements

Entrance Requirements

Academy for Five Element Acupuncture is dedicated to upholding a high standard of education to ensure that the public is served by caring, competent and knowledgeable practitioners. The program requires a high level of commitment to learning a number of difficult skills.

Applicants must be able to document a minimum of 90 semester credits (or its equivalent) from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or an equivalent institution overseas. Official transcripts from this institution must be sent to the Admissions Office as part of the application.

The Academy does not assess non-traditional prior learning credits or perform portfolio assessments. Only official transcripts from accredited institutions documenting credit hours (or credit hour equivalency) are accepted for admissions purposes.

At least 30 of the 90 required credits must be in General Education or Liberal Arts courses. Only courses that have earned a “C” or higher will count towards the General Education requirement. A range of classes from the following categories will satisfy this requirement:

  • Humanities/Fine Arts
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences
  • English/Communications
  • Science/Mathematics

The following courses are required as prerequisites to the Master of Acupuncture program. These (10) credits are included as part of the required (90) total semester credits required for admission. As with the General Education courses, students must earn a “C” or higher in their prerequisite courses in order to receive credit. These courses must be completed prior to enrollment:

  • General Biology: 3 semester credits (45 hours)
  • General Psychology: 3 semester credits (45 hours)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I: *4 semester credits (60 hours)

If you have not already completed these three courses, please contact Admissions to discuss how you might complete them before you enroll.

*Please note that we require (4) credits of Human Anatomy & Physiology as a prerequisite for admission. In order to fulfill this requirement, you will most likely need to complete a Human Anatomy & Physiology course that is both hands a hands-on lab and a lecture.

International Applicants

Academy for Five Element Acupuncture is not currently issuing I-20s to students seeking F-1 status.

International applicants must meet the same academic requirements as applicants from the US. Students who completed their education at non-English-speaking institutions of higher education, or whose final degree, diploma, certificate or transcript is not in the English language, must document credit-hour equivalency by submitting their transcripts to an independent credentials evaluation service. This applies to students who are now current residents of the US, as well as those international applicants who live abroad. Please contact Admissions for a list of agencies that provide credentialing services.

All coursework at the Academy is taught in English. A student’s success in the classroom and in the clinic is heavily dependent on their ability to communicate effectively in English. Coursework is highly theoretical, nuanced and idiomatic. It demands an advanced level of comprehension of spoken and written English. Students must also be able to listen, understand, and speak effectively with their patients in the clinic. As a result, the Academy requires a higher standard of English language proficiency than what is required for everyday interaction and for undergraduate study.

All students applying to the Master of Acupuncture program must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Students whose native language is not English must demonstrate this level of proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • By obtaining a minimum score of 90 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). Students must arrange to take the TOEFL test and then have an official copy of their results sent to Admissions. Students can go to www.ets.org/toefl for more information on how to register for the test
  • By documenting a minimum of two academic years of full-time study at a regionally accredited or otherwise nationally-approved institution in the U.S. or another English-speaking country
  • By demonstrating proficiency in English during the admissions interview

For additional information about the language requirement, please contact Admissions.

Chinese Herbal Studies
Admissions Requirements

Prerequisite Status

Applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered for admission:

  • Current Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine students. Current 2nd–, 3rd–, or 4th–year students who are enrolled in ACAOM–approved (accredited or candidate) acupuncture or Oriental Medicine programs are eligible for admission. Students enrolled at the Academy may begin the Chinese Herbal Studies program at the end of the first year of the M.Ac. program. In the case of non-Academy students, an official letter or transcript from the school documenting the student’s status are required as part of the application process.
  • Graduates of ACAOM-approved acupuncture or O.M. programs. Graduates of ACAOM approved (candidate or accredited) Master’s level acupuncture or Oriental Medicine programs are eligible. Official transcripts from the institution are required.
  • Licensed Acupuncturists/Oriental Medicine practitioners. Currently state-licensed acupuncturists from any U.S. state that formally licenses acupuncture practitioners are eligible. A copy of the applicant’s current state license must be included in the application.
  • NCCAOM diplomates. Any individual who is a current NCCAOM diplomate in Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbology is eligible. A copy of the current NCCAOM diploma must be included in the application.

Education Requirements

Applicants who are current Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine students enrolled in ACAOM accredited or candidate schools must meet all of the admissions standards for the Academy’s Master of Acupuncture degree program. See the appropriate section of the catalog/website for details.

Applicants from any of the other categories above must be able to document at least 90 semester credits of baccalaureate-level education (or its equivalent) at an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or an equivalent institution overseas.

  • This training must be documented via official transcripts, sent directly to the Academy from the institution itself, before a student will be considered for admission.
  • The Academy does not assess non-traditional prior learning credits or perform portfolio assessments. Only official transcripts from accredited institutions documenting credit hours (or credit-hour equivalency) are accepted for admissions purposes.
  • Students who completed their education at non-English-speaking institutions of higher education, or whose final degree, diploma, certificate or transcript is not in the English language, must document credit-hour equivalency by submitting their transcripts to an independent credentials evaluation service.

Corequisites

Corequisite courses are different from prerequisite courses in that they do not have to be completed before enrollment.
Students who have already completed their admissions requirements may decide to complete at least some corequisite courses before enrolling in order to focus more intensely on their studies at the Academy. We recommend this approach, in particular for the Anatomy & Physiology II corequisite. Students may also complete the corequisite courses while enrolled in the Master of Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbal Studies programs. The flexible intensive-based structure of our programs allows students to complete the required courses when at home, often at their own pace, in between intensive sessions.

In either case, courses must also be completed at an accredited community college, university, or online institution. The Academy can provide a range of recommendations for quality corequisite courses that meet the Academy’s requirements.

Corequisite courses are not part of the regularly scheduled intensive-based curriculum. However, the Academy does periodically offer certain corequisite courses. Please inquire with Admissions for more information.

Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)

General Nutrition (3 credits)

Biomedical Electives (3 individual courses. 9 credits in total)

*For a list of classes that satisfy this requirement, please see Table C in the Catalog or contact Admissions. 

Botany (3 credits)

Please note that the cost of corequisite courses is not included in the Academy’s tuition for the Master of Acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Studies programs. Costs for these courses will vary depending on the institution where the student chooses to take these courses as well as how many courses a student must take. Please see Costs Additional to Tuition in the catalog or contact Admissions.