Master’s and Doctoral Degrees


Due to the recent announcement that CIIS’ Board of Trustees has made the difficult decision to close ACTCM, we regret that we will no longer be accepting new students.

To honor the commitment and investment of current students, faculty, and staff, ACTCM will pursue options for a teach-out, supporting currently enrolled students in completing their degree within a designated timeframe. Each student will be individually advised of their best path forward.

ACTCM has been at the forefront of acupuncture and Chinese medical education since its inception in 1980, offering first professional and postgraduate degrees in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Through their course of study, students have studied with esteemed faculty and practiced hands-on care in our innovative acupuncture clinic and on-site herb garden. Our programs have provided a truly exceptional professional education in the acupuncture and Chinese medicine field.

While the upcoming closure of ACTCM deeply saddens our community, we are confident that the Medicine and amazing work of faculty, students, and alumni will continue to benefit our local and global community.

If you’re a patient of ACTM clinic, you can find more information here.

At the Forefront of Holistic Care

ACTCM provides two paths for people who wish to enter the acupuncture and Chinese medicine field with no prior training.

Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM)

The Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) is a comprehensive graduate program designed to lead students to the level of knowledge and clinical proficiency necessary to become a successful independent health-care provider—whether as an individual practitioner or as part of an integrative medicine team. The MSTCM program emphasizes hands-on clinical training with theoretical study, creating a strong foundation for a career as an acupuncturist. 

Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM)

The First Professional Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) builds upon our MSTCM curriculum with an additional focus on integrative and collaborative health care, research literacy, and evidence-informed practices. At a time when acupuncture is an increasingly valued treatment in mainstream care for patient wellness, it is important for acupuncturists to be equipped with the knowledge, communication, and research skills to effectively work with Western medical doctors, physical therapists, and other health-care professionals

At a Glance

  • 4 years (both MSTCM and DACM)
  • 176 units (MSTCM) or 192 units (DACM)
  • Classes held in-person weekdays
  • Students can choose to study full-time, part-time or accelerated
  • Federal financial aid available

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 students. 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: MSTCM & DACM

Acupuncture Degree: Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Learn the fundamentals of meridians, TCM internal medicine and diagnosis, physical therapy (qi gong), massage (tui na/shiatsu), gua sha, cupping, moxibustion.

Acupuncture degree program students in practice.

Acupuncture Therapeutics

Become skilled in needling techniques and point prescriptions in our Chinese medicine and acupuncture degree programs.

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, acupuncture school

Herbal Medicine

Study Chinese herbal medicine and formulations.

Acupuncture Degree: Acupuncture School Students


Understand the foundation of biomedicine care and practices.

DACM Additional Coursework


is woven throughout the program, training professionals to meet the needs of patient-centered care in institutions providing multiple healing modalities.


instills in students a commitment to care that is culturally sensitive and collaborative.


helps develop DACM graduates as lifelong learners, teaching them skills to critically evaluate scholarly literature.


integrates clinical findings, patient preferences, research, and clinical experience into the process of health-care delivery.

Clinical Options That Open Doors

Read more about ACTCM'S Top Rated Acupuncture Degree Programs


The Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) is a first professional doctoral degree in the field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Graduates of the program will be qualified to take the national certification and California acupuncture licensing exams, as will 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 ACAHM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine), formerly ACAOM, 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 Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) program was granted initial accreditation by ACAHM 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 differs 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.

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 ACAHM to complete at least two years as a matriculated student in first professional doctoral degree program. For questions about transferring into the acupuncture degree program (DACM), please contact the Admissions office at

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 completion program (the DACMCP). If you have completed less than two years of training in your master’s program, then transferring into the DACM program may be an option for you. Please contact the Admissions office for details at

The Accreditation Standard for the First Professional Doctorate in Acupuncture and/or Chinese Medicine from ACAHM 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 master’s program.

In order to ensure that DACM graduates will be eligible to practice in California and  many places throughout the country, including some 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 program. Please see the State Licensure Requirement Disclosure page for more information on practicing outside of California with a degree form ACTCM.

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 MSTCM program.

Join us at an upcoming Info Session or Open House, or ask us! Email or request information through this website.