Who ultimately made the decision to close the school? Was CIIS leadership involved?

The decision to close ACTCM was made by CIIS’ Board of Trustees. CIIS leadership had convened an external review audit at the request of the Board.

Was the decision to close the school purely financial?

No. The decision to close was multifaceted; finances, leadership, changes in the field, among others, were also involved.

Can I see a copy of the reviewer’s report?

An Executive Summary of the report with all pertinent information has been made available to the public.

Who owns the ACTCM brand/IP? How can someone purchase/acquire it?

CIIS currently holds the ACTCM brand. When the two institutions merged, ACTCM became a school of CIIS. It ceased to exist as a separate entity. As such, the “brand” is owned by CIIS. For another organization to use the name and curriculum, agreement would need to be reached between CIIS and the other entity. 

Would it be possible for us to salvage or start up ACTCM again as a standalone institution?

See above. Creating a new standalone institution was one of the options in the report. Because the likelihood of viability was low, this option was not recommended.

What about the accreditation; does CIIS hold that, and can we get it back?

Current WSCUC accreditation for ACTCM programs and degrees is held at the institutional level by CIIS.  Once those programs complete their teach-out and close, the ACTCM-specific accreditation will be null and void.

Current ACAHM accreditation will likewise be null and void once ACTCM closes.

Students completing their programs as part of the teach-out will be receiving fully accredited degrees.

What is happening to the books and publications from ACTCM’s library?

Decisions on books, publications, and similar resources will be included in a detailed teach-out plan, currently being developed. Acupuncture and TCM-related physical collections (print books and journals), e-books, and electronic subscriptions (e-journals and databases) remain available to students and faculty.

What is happening to ACTCM’s medicinal garden?

Decisions on the medicinal garden will be made as part of the detailed teach-out plan currently being developed. We will do our best to ensure that this resource will remain available to the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

ACTCM Students

Is ACTCM closing immediately?

No, ACTCM will remain open for a teach-out of students who can complete their degree by Summer 2024.

What is a teach-out?

A teach-out allows currently enrolled students to continue with their coursework over a set period of time.

What is the timeline for the teach-out?

While the timeline for the teach-out has not yet been finalized, we are committed to giving students a period of approximately two years to complete their degree.

What will the process be for the students? Will I be able to graduate or transfer?

We have contracted with a consultant with expertise in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine education to help guide the teach-out process. She is holding individual meetings with every currently enrolled student to review their course of study and advise on the best path to degree completion. You will either be able to graduate from ACTCM at CIIS or to transfer to another school and graduate from there.

How will part-time students be supported through this process?

Part time students will meet with our consultant to review their course of study. You will be advised of your best path to degree completion; this will vary based on each individual situation.

I want to find out whether I should transfer or continue at ACTCM. How can I learn what is best for me?

Please watch for an invitation for an individual meeting with our consultant; she will help you determine whether you should transfer or remain at ACTCM.

Will you negotiate on students’ behalf so that all credits, including audit credits will transfer fully?

We are in communication on transfer credits with the other greater Bay Area schools of Chinese Medicine. We cannot guarantee that all courses you have taken will transfer as programs differ. You will be advised regarding options for transfer.  Ultimately, transfer credit is determined by the other institution and is under the guidance of state and national accreditation standards.

For students who are “halfway” through their program, how can we ensure we are prioritized for individual review so that we don’t pay for classes this summer that won’t be transferable?

We are meeting with currently enrolled students as quickly as possible. If you are eligible to transfer, we will ensure that any courses taken this summer can be transferred. Students should contact Praise Wu immediately to schedule an appointment with our consultant.

Will my credits transfer to another TCM school?

This will be determined through an individual analysis of your transcript. The other local Chinese Medicine schools are working with us to provide maximum transfer of credits within compliance requirements.

What if I can’t finish my program in the timeframe you give us? If I am not able to graduate before the school is closed, should I transfer?

This must be based on an assessment of your transcript and course of study. You will be advised of your best path to degree completion.

Can you help me with the process of transferring? Have agreements been made between ACTCM and another institution where my credits will transfer?

We are in communication with the other area schools of Chinese Medicine. If a transfer is the best path for you, we will assist you with this process.

How do I obtain my transcripts and records? How much time do I have to get them? Will alumni have any issues in obtaining their transcripts?

Your CIIS transcript can be obtained through the Registrar and is available upon request. It is permanently retained and can be requested at any point in the future. All financial records can be obtained through the Finance and Financial Aid offices, respectively. Transcripts submitted for admission to CIIS will need to be re-obtained from those institutions.

Are all classes for next semester going to be held as scheduled?

Yes, Summer semester will occur as planned.

Will Summer 2022 semester be affected by this announcement?

No, there will be no change to Summer 2022 semester.

Is there any process where I can obtain a refund?

Tuition or fees that have been paid for courses taught will not be eligible for a refund.

I have decided to transfer and will have expenses related to that including application fees at my new school. Will CIIS reimburse me for these?

Yes, CIIS will reimburse fees for applications to transfer to up to two schools. Transfer fees - 5 Branches up to $500.

Can the ACTCM clinic stay open?

There will be no immediate changes to the clinic. A plan for the future of the clinic will be developed and communicated as we proceed with the teach-out.

Is it possible to alter school policies for how many clinic shifts are offered and possible for students to take during one semester?

The ACTCM Program Committee, along with our consultant, is looking at clinic shifts and other ways of allowing students to accelerate if they wish to do so.

Will financial aid through CIIS still be available to ACTCM students through the teach-out?


How will closure impact current and past financial aid loans?

It will not impact current or past loans.

Will CIIS be covering the tuition for extra unexpected classes that we would be required to take if we transfer to another institution.

Please review this as part of your individual assessment meeting.

Is faculty/staff going to decrease? Are classes going to become less available?

All core faculty will continue for at least the next academic year if they wish to do so. We will assess needs as we go forward; as students graduate or transfer, there will be a decrease in the number of classes offered, but you will have access to the classes outlined in your individual study plan within the expected timeframe. Availability of classes will depend on you following your agreed plan of study; should you fall behind on your plan of study, we cannot guarantee classes will be available.

A major student support for passing comprehensive exams has been the Tutor Coordinator. This position has been empty since before Covid. Are you prepared to pledge that this position will be filled to ensure that students get the support they need to be able to pass their exams as part of the teach-out?

Yes. We are committed to supporting students in successfully completing their program.

Will I not get to graduate if the school closes because I didn’t pass comps?

There will be support for preparing for Comps. There will be no change to requirements for graduation.

If I finish my degree at ACTCM, will it be a CIIS/ACTCM@CIIS degree?

Yes, there will be no change to your degree.

How will CIIS help with the students who moved to San Francisco near ACTCM from out of state and have no car to drive to other schools or those who have signed leases before this decision was made?

This will be an individual assessment. If, after you have your individual study plan, you believe you will have a housing or transportation impact because of this decision, please schedule an appointment with Fraylanie Aglipay, Student Affairs,

Will former employees have any issues with getting their verification of their employment after ACTCM officially closed?

No. We will maintain all records and will have information about accessing records available on the CIIS website.

Will I have access to past Canvas course spaces and my CIIS email account?

Yes, you will have indefinite access to past Canvas course spaces ( and CIIS email account (

ACTCM Faculty and Staff

What does this mean for my position? Am I no longer employed?

There is no immediate change to faculty or staff employment. The teach-out will take place over an extended period. HR will provide information to faculty and staff as needed.

What does this mean for my benefits, etc.?

There will be no change to your benefits as long as you remain at your current employment level. HR will be available to discuss your benefits and compensation.

What does this mean for my research?

If you are conducting research at ACTCM or CIIS, please contact the Human Research Review Committee (HRRC) to discuss your approval and timeline. For any other research questions, please contact Liz Beaven,

What are important points that I need to make to students during this process?

We want to provide a supportive environment for students as they review their options and proceed with completing their programs. Important points include confirming the Board’s decision of closure and that we have entered a process of teaching-out currently enrolled students. The quality of their education will not be impacted, all graduation requirements remain in place, and you are there to support them. If students have further questions, they should contact our consultant.

ACTCM Alumni and Donors

I graduated before the merger/several years ago. What impact does this closing have on my degree from ACTCM? Does this change the status of my degree?

No, there is no change to the status of your degree.

What will happen to my favorite professors/staff members?

We will be working with faculty and staff to support them in this transition and to ensure that they are informed. We do not anticipate immediate changes to faculty or staff; this transition will take place over time.

I previously sent a gift, am I able to rescind that gift?

Gifts that have been given to ACTCM or CIIS will have been used for their intended purpose. If you wish to discuss a prior gift, please contact Richard Buggs in Advancement.

Contact and Follow-up Meetings

Is there a dedicated address to send feedback to for this issue?


What is the First Professional Doctorate (DACM)?

The Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) is a new first professional doctoral degree in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM). Graduates of the program will be qualified to take the national certification and California acupuncture licensing exams, just as graduates of the master’s program. DACM students will graduate at the doctoral level with enhanced training and skills over the current masters level training.

What is the accreditation approval status for ACTCM's first professional doctorate (DACM)?

ACTCM’s DACM was the first FPD program approved by ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) in November 2014. The program was also approved by WASC with the completion of the ACTCM merger with California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) on July 1, 2015. The ACTCM at CIIS Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) program was granted initial accreditation by ACAOM in November 2018, effective through February 2025. Accreditation status and notes may be viewed here.

Will financial aid be available to students enrolling in the DACM program?

California Institute of Integral Studies is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Students admitted to the DACM program are eligible for federal grant and loan programs through our WSCUC accreditation.

How is it different from the MSTCM degree?

The DACM degree will differ from the MSTCM degree in the number of hours of class and clinical work necessary to complete the degree, as well as differences in the curriculum. The DACM degree is a first professional degree at the doctoral level; the curriculum expands upon that of the MSTCM degree.

Will the DACM replace the MSTCM degree?

No. The MSTCM degree and the DACM degree will provide two different paths for pursuing a first professional degree and licensure as an acupuncturist.

Will the DACM graduates receive a different license than those who graduate from the MSTCM program?

No. The license to practice acupuncture is the same for graduates of both the MSTCM and DACM programs.

Can I transfer into the DACM program as a current Master's student?

Transferring students are required by ACAOM to complete at least two years as a matriculated student in first professional doctoral degree program. For questions about transferring into the DACM program, please contact our Admissions office.

Can I get a doctorate degree if I have nearly completed my master's degree?

If you are a current student in a master’s degree program in Chinese medicine and have completed nearly 50% or more of your master’s program, you should complete your master’s program. You can then enroll in ACTCM’s postgraduate doctoral program (DAOM) to get your doctorate degree while you practice. Upon completion of your MSTCM, you will be eligible to get your license in acupuncture while earning a doctorate in the DAOM degree program. If you have completed less than two years of training in the MSTCM then transferring into the program may be an option for you. Please contact the Admissions office for details.

What is the resident requirement for first professional doctorate degree from ACAOM standard?

The Accreditation Standard for the First Professional Doctorate in Acupuncture and/or Oriental Medicine from ACAOM states: “The FPD program must ensure that transfer (or ‘advanced standing’) students take at least two academic years in residence before receiving the FPD degree.” This means that if you have less than two years remaining in your first professional degree program and transfer into the first professional doctorate you may be required to repeat curriculum that you had previously covered in your masters program.

Since DACM is a new degree, how can I be assured I can practice in any state?

In order to ensure that DACM graduates will be eligible to practice throughout the country, including states that do not yet recognize the first professional doctoral degree, students will receive an articulated degree. This means that they will be conferred both the DACM and a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) degree concurrently at graduation after completing the degree requirements for the DACM.

Can I receive the MSTCM degree ‘on the way' to the DACM?

No. For students in the DACM program, these two degrees, DACM and MSTCM are conferred only when all requirements for both degrees are completed. Should you decide to work toward a MSTCM degree only, you will need to transfer to the DACM program.

How can I find out more information around the DACM?

Ask us! Email

Where can I find out more information about the CIIS-ACTCM Merger?

Learn about the merger in Acupuncture Today’s story Merger Creates New Model of Care.

Where can I learn more about the accreditation?

California Institute of Integral Studies is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501 (510-748-9001). The Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) programs of ACTCM at CIIS are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55347 (952-212-2434), which is the recognized accrediting agency for programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. The ACTCM at CIIS Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) program was granted initial accreditation by ACAOM in November 2018, effective through February 2025. Accreditation status and notes may be viewed here.

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