Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Completion Program


The Time Is Right to Become a Doctor
and Take Your Practice to the Next Level

Health care is rapidly changing in the face of the global pandemic. Our role as practitioners is expanding and will require us to be equipped with the knowledge, communication, and research skills to effectively work with all health care professionals.

The online Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Completion Program (DACMCP) equips students with a deeper knowledge base so that they can provide the best-quality collaborative care essentials to treat the whole health of their patient. With entry-level practitioners now graduating with doctoral degrees, the DACMCP helps experienced practitioners remain competitive in today’s health care environment.

This degree is designed for those graduates with a master’s-level education approved by ACAHM. This program is for those who want to advance their knowledge and skill sets in integrative, collaborative care while completing their doctoral degree.

Designed with the working professional in mind, this online doctorate offers the opportunity to obtain doctorate education in a convenient two-semester program. The DACMCP program builds on master’s level knowledge to provide additional coursework in systems-based medicine, oncology, advanced syndrome-based herbal study, research literacy, and evidence-informed practices.

At a Glance

  • Designed for prospective students with previous Chinese medicine education and experience
  • 8 months (2 semesters)
  • Format: 100% online, no onsite clinical component
  • Requirement: Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine from an accredited college or university
  • Financial aid: Federal financial aid is available

Fall 2022 Applications are now being accepted for an August 26th, 2022 start date!

For questions about the admissions process or the program, please email

Entry Requirements: Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Completion Program (DACMCP)

Students entering our online doctorate program must have completed the following requirements before applying:

  • Graduation from a master’s degree program in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine accredited by (or in candidate status with) the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM, formerly ACAOM), or the foreign equivalent, with at least 90 college semester units (or 135 quarter units) from undergraduate studies (co-requisites: general biology, general chemistry, and general psychology courses). Status of each institution or foreign equivalent will be determined by the Admissions Committee. 
  • Be in good standing at the last educational institution attended. 
  • English language competency is required of all students seeking admission to the program. Read more on the CIIS English language competency requirement.

Please note that ACTCM does not accept non-matriculated students into the DACMCP program.

Application Materials Needed 

  • A completed ACTCM Application Form
  • Application fee ($65) 
  • Official electronic or official sealed hardcopy transcripts from all institutions attended 
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 
  • A current resume 
  • A Statement of Purpose essay 
  • GPA Statement (for those with a GPA under 3.0)
  • Additional requirements for applicants with international educational history

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and School Fees

View 2021-2022 CIIS Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid Information.

Financial Aid

ACTCM believes that the cost of a high-quality education should not be a deterrent to prospective applicants. In recognition of the concern students and families have with finding adequate resources to meet these costs, our financial aid program is designed to make ACTCM affordable to those students we admit. Approximately 80 percent of our students receive some form of aid from federal, state, and institutional sources.

Check for Financial Aid Eligibility

CIIS Financial Aid Office 

Hours: 9am–5pm, Monday through Friday

California Institute of Integral Studies 
1453 Mission Street, 4th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94103 
Phone: (415) 575-6122 
Fax: (415) 575-1268

Curriculum: Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Completion Program (DACMCP)

This program consists of coursework in doctoral-level research and collaborative communications with the addition of advanced Chinese medicine-specific content. Students will engage in academic research and writing with the intent to gain skills suitable for publication and professional presentation as Doctors of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. This program does not include clinic internships or lab classes. The classes are didactic, or based on clinical analysis and mentorship, making online instruction suitable for deepening and extending practitioner knowledge.

Learn more about the DACM Completion Program Curriculum.

Course CodeCourse TitleUnitsHoursWork
ACMC 7142Literature Research23090
ACMC 7632Herbal Comparison and Syndrome-Based Herbal Study345135
ACMC 7633TCM Classics: Jin Gui Yao Lue23090
ACMC 7637Case-Based Clinical Mentorship23090
ACMC 8133TCM Oncology23090
ACMC 8222Laboratory Diagnosis and Medical Imaging23090
ACMC 8235System-Based and Integrative Medicine23090
ACMC 8312Advanced Case Analysis and Clinical Research I23090
ACMC 8313Advanced Case Analysis and Clinical Research II23090
ACMC 8352Clinical Case Analysis Final Project345135
 Program Total22330990


Program Outcomes


Graduates inform their acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice with biomedical knowledge, routine lab and imaging reports, chart notes, and more. They effectively manage patient cases, such as treatment plans and referrals.


Graduates understand and communicate the role of evidence-based medicine and evidence-informed practice in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. They are proficient in providing patient care in a collaborative setting and educating other health care professionals regarding the appropriate use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.


Graduates can access, evaluate, and apply the latest research information in their practice. They demonstrate the ability to self-assess and make changes to continuously improve professional and clinical outcomes.



The online Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Completion Program (DACMCP) allows a graduate of a master’s level acupuncture program to complete their doctoral-level degree online. The program provides knowledge beyond the professional master’s degree and is considered a post-graduate program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The online doctoral program format allows students to complete their coursework while maintaining their practice and creating an environment in which students can immediately apply the knowledge and skills to patient care. The classes are didactic, or based on clinical analysis and mentorship, making online instruction suitable for deepening and extending practitioner knowledge.

The DACMCP program completes a DACM degree for a master’s level graduate and confers the DACM degree. Building on the master’s degree, required for entry, the courses in the DACMCP degree teach the same doctoral-level competencies earned from an entry-level DACM.

The online DACMCP is designed to meet the following objectives: 

The program is taught in an integral manner, bringing in a variety of resources and paradigms to enhance the prior training of graduates with a master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The online DACMCP focuses on integrative care in the context of the broader health-care field. Integration involves patient-centered care and evidence-informed practice in collaboration with the broad range of health-care providers in a team context.

The online DACMCP is designed to support prior training in acupuncture and Chinese medicine while bringing in advanced training in systems-based medicine, oncology, and advanced syndrome-based herbal study. The current configuration is designed to meet the goals of the professional doctoral degree for students who already hold a master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. New and innovative program-delivery methods are employed. The DACMCP online courses are managed through CIIS’s online learning system, Canvas.

Graduation from a master’s degree program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, or a graduate-level certification in Chinese herbology; must be accredited from the ACAHM or candidate status programs. At least 90 college semester units (or 135 quarter units) from undergraduate studies. Chemistry is a co-requisite and may be completed at ACTCM (or approved by a previous accredited college). Status of each institution or foreign equivalent will be determined by the Admissions Committee.

  • In good standing at the last educational institution attended.
  • ACTCM will not accept non-matriculated students into the DACMCP program.

Transfer credit will only be awarded for coursework at the graduate level that supports the program’s objectives and meets the standards for completion of the program. These credits must come from an accredited institution or its international equivalent.

  • All courses submitted for transfer credit will be evaluated by the Admissions Committee for applicability to the curriculum. Applicants must provide course descriptions and syllabi for each course they wish to be considered.
  • Transfer credit awarded by the program shall not exceed one-sixth of the total hours of the DACMCP.

Clinical hours/experiences or CEU credits are not accepted as transfer credit.

The Center for Writing and Scholarship (CWS) offers comprehensive writing support for distance learning to assist students in their development as academic writers, scholars, and practitioners, through in-person and online consultations, courses and community workshops, editing services, and access to resources on academic writing, research, and pedagogy.

Faculty are available to students through Canvas to help with questions regarding online courses. The ACTCM Manager is available by email or phone to answer questions regarding

Canvas, and to coordinate with faculty depending on the issue being addressed. The Director of Post Graduate Programs works with faculty and students regarding Canvas related issues, in addition to the staff of the Office of Online Learning and the Canvas helpdesk.

Students, faculty, and staff in the academic programs of ACTCM at CIIS have their library and information resource needs provided by the Laurance S. Rockefeller Library housed at the CIIS Mission Street campus. ACTCM community members have access to world class collections, library services, and instruction, ensuring their ability to maximize their impact in enhancing the knowledge base and clinical skills of Chinese medicine practitioners through scholarly activities, including teaching and research. Students have access to Medline and Alt Healthwatch through the EBSCO portal. This portal provides access to the National Library of Medicine databases as well as extensive free full-text papers. This is an outstanding research resource for students working on case studies and their clinical research.

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Library collection has strengths in Eastern and comparative philosophy and religion, clinical and somatic psychology, integral health, human sexuality, east-west psychology, and anthropology and social change. The collection provides access to over 175,000 books (25,000 physical books and 150,000 e-books), full-text content from nearly 14,000 journals (including access through databases), over 30 individual database subscriptions, and over 4,500 videos (in both physical media and digital streaming content). Though the Rockefeller Library’s collection development policies have historically focused on content that would support the strengths listed above, the library subscribes to three large, multidisciplinary e-book and journal collections that include a multitude of scholarly resources that directly support research in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, as well as many other subject areas that complement DACM research: ProQuest EBook Central, SAGE Premier, and Springer Journals.

A variety of support services are available at CIIS for all students, whether taking courses “on-campus” or “off-campus.” The Office of Student Affairs produces the Student Handbook; conducts new student orientations (both on campus and online); coordinates information about campus safety, housing, and health and wellness; offers services and support to  international students and students with disabilities; works closely with the Student Alliance and other student groups; offers career development services and community engagement opportunities; administers the annual student satisfaction survey; and plans and conducts the annual commencement ceremony.

ODI (Office of Diversity and Inclusion) is available for all students. ODI is a collaborative leader and initiator of transformative change at CIIS, working closely with students, staff, and faculty to advance diversity and student success, create an inclusive academic environment, and incorporate the principles of diversity and inclusive excellence into the classroom and curriculum.

ACTCM has a Student Success and Retention Committee (SSRC) that is committed to creating an environment that promotes student success and identifying issues that impact student success and retention, including online students. This includes evaluating student success at the individual, cohort, and class level. If meetings with students are deemed necessary, they may be conducted in-person, by telephone or through a teleconferencing option, such as Zoom or Skype.

Placement and search opportunities are available through the Career Development Office, an extension of the Office of Student Affairs at CIIS, which works closely with students, alumni, and organizational partners to offer a comprehensive array of services, programs and resources to achieve professional success

ACTCM offers online students individualized support while planning a course of study and progress through the program. Students may be advised by the ACTCM academic advisor, programs manager, or the director of postgraduate doctoral programs to assist them in progressing through the curriculum in an orderly manner. All advising is conducted in person, by telephone or other teleconferencing method, as necessary. Advisors are notified about interruptions or revisions in the progression of a student’s program to discuss how any changes may affect their overall student experience and career development.

Graduates from the DACMCP will receive the title of Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM).

Yes, students must graduate from an ACAHM (formerly ACAOM) accredited Masters of Acupuncture in Chinese Medicine prior to the beginning of the DACMCP program.

Having a masters and acupuncture with herbal certification or a masters in both acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a minimum requirement.  The herb certification can be additional to the masters, but it must be an ACAHM accredited certification.

If you are someone looking to enhance your practice through refining your clinical thinking and case management skills, deepen your understanding through the application of traditional literature and modern research; if you are someone looking to advance your career in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine by earning a doctorate degree, we look forward to meeting you in our DACM Completion Program.

Financial aid services are available to all students, including those who are defined as distance or online students. The Financial Aid Department at CIIS is available in person, by email or telephone, to answer questions concerning grants, scholarships, loans, default prevention and counseling, financial planning, financial aid appeals, and scholarships.

Read more about ACTCM Financial Aid and Tuition.