Please note: the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Post-Graduate Doctorate (DAOM) will not be accepting applications for Spring or Fall 2020 at this time.

How to Apply

ACTCM has a rolling admissions policy, which means that we accept applications for the DAOM program throughout the year. Due to limited space in each cohort, the College strongly encourages candidates to apply early. Classes begin every January, May, and September.

We have created a side-by-side comparison chart to help you find the degree program that is right for you.

This chart highlights the requirements, goals and the differences among all of our programs, including the first professional degrees (MSTCM, DACM), the transitional doctorate (DACMt) and the postgraduate doctorate (DAOM).

International Student Information 
Contact the Admissions Office

Semester Application Deadline
Summer 2019 Semester

April 6, 2019

Fall 2019 Semester

August 1, 2019


-A completed ACTCM Health Certificate will be required upon acceptance. 

-Applications submitted after the application deadline will still be considered. Priority, however, is given to those individuals whose applications are received before the official deadline.

Entry Requirements

To enter the Doctorate of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM), you must have completed the following requirements before applying:

  1. Graduation from an accredited program (or candidate for accreditation) in Oriental Medicine, or foreign equivalent.*
  2. OR A minimum of 10 years documented experience, plus formal college training in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Applicants must provide ACTCM with official transcripts and may need to take challenge examinations in areas identified by the Admissions Committee.
  3. Good academic and financial standing at the last institution attended.
  4. Demonstrated competency in English, or a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based (PBT) TOEFL test for international students.

*Approval status for the foreign equivalency of each institution will be determined by the Admissions Committee.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements:

A completed ACTCM Application Form

Complete the ACTCM graduate application.

Application fee ($65)

There is a non-refundable $65 fee required with your application. Payments can be made online when submitting your application.

Official sealed transcripts from all institutions attended

Submit official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Transcripts from institutions outside the US or Canada require a foreign credit evaluation through World Education Services (WES).

Please follow the directions at the top of the page for submitting materials.

Copies of all medical license(s)

Submit medical licenses (if applicable).

Please follow the directions at the top of the page for submitting materials.

2 Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who have been teachers, mentors, supervisors, or other professionals (other than relatives and friends) and should specifically address the candidate's potential as a doctoral student. Please follow the directions at the top of the page for submitting materials.

Case Study

Please include references and citations in your case study and use the sample case below to complete your case study. 

General information: 38 year-old male
Chief complaints: insomnia and palpitations for two (2) years
History of present illness: the patient has been suffering from insomnia and palpitations for the past 2 years. Other symptoms include irritability, hot flashes and abnormal sweats, blurred vision and excess thirst. Recently, the patient has recurrent canker sores, a dry cough, and frequent urination with burning sensations. He also experiences sexual dysfunction characterized by premature ejaculation. His appetite is good, but recently tends to be constipated.
Tongue: red body and tip with thin, yellow and dry coat
Pulse: rapid, bowstring with strength, weak in chi positions
Physical examination: red eyes and complexion with moist skin. He is a talkative person with a tendency to exaggerate. He is also agitated and hyperactive.

Please answer the following areas in depth. Your response should be no less than 5 pages and no more than 7 pages. Case studies must be typed and double spaced.

  • Diagnosis, both Eastern and Western
  • Acupuncture points and specific techniques
  • TCM Treatment Principle
  • Herbal formula and modification
  • Referrals, lab test or other medical specialties
  • Dietary and lifestyle recommendations
  • Other recommendations

Please follow the directions at the top of the page for submitting materials.

A current resume

Please submit a complete resume with this application. Include the following information, if applicable:

  • Education and post-graduate training
  • Work history and professional experience
  • Professional and health care licenses received
  • Research

Please follow the directions at the top of the page for submitting materials.

A Statement of Purpose essay

Please submit a typed, double-spaced essay of approximately 500 words in response to the following questions:

  • Discuss the personal and professional reasons that have led you to pursue a graduate degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Why do you wish to study at ACTCM specifically?
  • What do you hope to learn/gain from this experience, both personally and professionally?
  • What do you hope to contribute to the ACTCM community?
  • What specific traits and experiences do you have that you believe will allow you to be successful, both in ACTCM's degree program and as a future TCM practitioner?

Please follow the directions at the top of the page for submitting materials.

Foreign Credential Evaluation

For students with an international academic history, please follow these steps for your foreign credential evaluation (e.g. WES – World Education Services):

  1. Please provide your complete and entire academic history on the application form.

  2. For degrees earned outside of the United States or Canada, we will need a foreign credential evaluation. You, the applicant, need to initiate and request this, at your own expense, through a CIIS-approved foreign credential evaluation provider.

  3. CIIS favors foreign credential evaluations provided by WES – World Education Services, and specifically the course-by-course-report. CIIS accepts the WES 'Basic' report, but applicants may wish to complete the 'ICAP'.

  4. CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

  5. The foreign credential evaluation is used in lieu of sending original transcripts from abroad to CIIS. Original or notarized copies of the transcripts should only be sent to the foreign credential provider, per the foreign credential provider's instructions; there is no need to send these to CIIS!

  6. When requesting the foreign credential evaluation, choose the appropriate degrees to be evaluated for the degree that you are applying for. If applying for a PhD at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA and MA must be evaluated. If applying for an MA at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA must be evaluated.

  7. If you have studied abroad as part of a degree received in the United States or Canada (i.e. transfer credits from abroad), no WES evaluation is needed - provided these units are showing on your US/Canadian degree transcript. If you wish to receive transfer units for any courses earned outside of the United States/Canada that are not showing on a US/Canadian degree transcript, we do need a foreign credential evaluation for these courses.

$5000 Diversity Scholarship for School Year 2020-2021

CIIS is a university deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and advocating for social justice. The university, guided by these principles, is offering forty $5,000 Diversity Scholarships for the academic year 2020-2021. In line with our institutional mission of embracing traditions that enhance social and political liberation, these scholarships are intended to support the recruitment of a diverse student body, particularly students historically underrepresented in higher education. Apply for the Fall 2020 semester by April 15, 2020 via this application link below. Start the Diversity Scholarship application now!

We are offering five different types of Diversity Scholarships:

  • People of Color Scholarship
  • Men of Color Scholarship
  • First Generation College Student Scholarship
  • LGBTQIA Scholarship
  • Diversity Scholarship

All eligibility rules and application instructions are on the form:

Contact Us

If you have any additional questions about admissions, please contact our ACTCM Admissions Team:

ACTCM Admissions Team
(415) 401-0464

Stay Connected to CIIS