Frequently Asked Questions About Our First Professional Doctorate
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.
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.
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.
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.
The DAOM degree is an advanced postgraduate degree for licensed acupuncturists. The DACM degree is a first professional degree allowing graduates to sit for the national and California licensure exams. While the DACM expands knowledge in integrative medicine, the DAOM program expands education through diversified externships, capstone projects and case studies and enables acupuncturists to specialize in TCM Pain Management or TCM Gynecology.
No. The MSTCM degree and the DACM degree will provide two different paths for pursuing a first professional degree and licensure as an acupuncturist.
No. The license to practice acupuncture is the same for graduates of both the MSTCM and DACM programs.
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 or check out our transfer policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ask us! Email ACTCMadmissions@ciis.edu or request more information.
Learn about the merger in Acupuncture Today’s story Merger Creates New Model of Care
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.