History

The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) at CIIS is a private, independent graduate school founded in 1980 as a nonprofit benefit corporation. ACTCM is governed by a Board of Directors and is administered by officers appointed by the board.

The historical development of the College started in January 1981 when it enrolled its first class of students. In this same year, the College opened its Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic, which provides affordable care using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to the people of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. In the Clinic, students, under the supervision of licensed acupuncturists (LAc), gain practical experience in the application of acupuncture, Tui Na or Shiatsu and Chinese herbs for the treatment of various conditions and to promote wellness and health.

In 1986, ACTCM became the first college in the country to award a Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM). In 1991, the College was granted accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), and re-approved in 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2013.

In 1987, the College acquired its present campus at 455 Arkansas Street in the Potrero Hill district of San Francisco. In 2004, ACTCM acquired additional space at Pioneer Square, 555 De Haro Street, to expand its number of classrooms and provide a larger library for both master and doctoral students.

The ACTCM at CIIS clinical doctoral program, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) started the 1st cohort in 2006. The DAOM program received a candidate for accreditation with ACAOM in 2010 and a full accreditation in 2012. The doctoral program provides advanced education in TCM with an emphasis on integrative medicine and offers specialty training in women’s health and pain management.

ACTCM at CIIS also offers Asian Body Therapy classes in Tui Na and Shiatsu, which are not only an integral part of the MSTCM program but also relevant to obtaining licensure for and enhancing the practice of acupuncture.

ACTCM’s merger with CIIS in 2015 also established the first professional doctorate (DACM), in acupuncture and Chinese medicine that is both nationally (ACAOM) and regionally (WSCUC) approved.

In 2016, ACTCM launched the Transitional DACM program for graduates from a master’s degree program in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine who would like to enter the doctoral level. The Transitional DACM program is WSCUC accredited.

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