Why ACTCM?

Here, you’ll not only learn to heal, you’ll learn to lead. ACTCM is distinguished by the excellence of our programs and faculty, and by the unequaled opportunity, we provide our students to explore and grow in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). By training with some of the most renowned experts in the field, our graduates prepare to pursue leadership roles as respected practitioners, authors, and educators who advance TCM globally and transform lives.

Leadership & Expertise
Quality & Rigor
Experience & Success
Flexibility & Support
Breadth & Depth


Leadership & Expertise

Founded in 1980, ACTCM is one of the oldest Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) colleges in the country. ACTCM is where experts from all over the world come to practice and teach, and where students learn to be leaders as they seek to improve lives through healing.

A History of Exemplary Education

The College was the first in the nation to award the Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) and also among the first to offer the Doctorate in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DOAM). Our first professional doctorate (DACM) is a  degree program for individuals who wish to enter the acupuncture and Chinese medical field at the doctoral level and do not have prior training in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The Transitional DACM program allows students with a master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine to obtain a doctorate in just under one year.

Many of the instructors at other TCM colleges first received their degrees here. Our history of exemplary professional education means that our students are assured of receiving the highest standard of instruction, in a scholarly academic environment that has a strong track record of producing expert healers.

A Commitment to Shaping Medicine

But our leadership doesn’t stop there. Since its inception, ACTCM has been instrumental in guiding the direction of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the United States, helping the profession to come of age and assume its rightful place as a valuable component of the health care system. Here are some ways in which we engage with the profession as a whole:

Our involvement at the policy level and our many collaborations and partnerships create an ever-expanding network and knowledge exchange that benefits our students. This unique focus on leadership gives ACTCM students the chance to not only change lives through healing but the chance to also go out and change the world.


Quality & Rigor

We are as passionate about academic excellence as you are about helping others through healing. ACTCM’s competitive admissions standards, challenging curriculum and small class sizes reflect the quality of education you expect from one of the most respected colleges in the country.

Uncover Your Greatest Abilities

At ACTCM, you will be called to explore your full potential in an inspiring, stimulating learning environment. Our curriculum, one of the most comprehensive in the nation, combines rigorous coursework in science and biomedicine with an in-depth study of Traditional Chinese Medicine theories and treatments. To prepare students for careers in patient-centered integrative medicine, we also require coursework in western medicine, pathology, and health care systems. You will read, write, and think like you never have before and you will emerge from our programs with the confidence to tackle any professional challenge.

A Quality Experience from Day One

Hands-on clinical training begins right away, in our award-winning Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic, giving you valuable interactions with patients as you build your diagnostic and treatment skills. With an average of 25 students per cohort, our small class sizes allow you to work closely with our preeminent faculty and tailor your course of study to your own interests. Case-based learning is emphasized so that you are always developing real-world skills to incorporate into your future healing practice.

Our goal is to ensure that each student leaves ACTCM with a firm grasp of medical knowledge, highly developed clinical skills, and a demonstrated ability to provide excellent patient care.


Experience & Success

Your professional success during and after your time at ACTCM is important to us. We boast some of the highest student scores on licensing exams in the nation, but what matters more to us is producing outstanding, inspired healers who can pursue any path they choose.

Learn From Experience

Working with the most experienced faculty in the nation will be a key part of your academic and professional success. Our instructors have an average teaching background of 20 years, the highest in the profession, and a passion for passing their knowledge on. Many are the foremost experts in their specialty and several have degrees in both eastern and western medicine. Whether you’re learning how to handle an unusual case or pioneering a new approach to treating disease, they’ve been there and will be at your side to guide you.

Join a Culture of Success

Our students also have access to one of the most accomplished alumni networks in the world. With more than 1,100 members, our Alumni Association includes prominent practitioners, authors, and educators stationed around the world in every type of setting. As your peers, they can provide significant help with mentorships, research opportunities, the perfect post-graduate placement, or advice on starting your own practice.


Flexibility & Support

Our field seeks to bring balance and harmony into our patients’ lives – and we believe that same balance is also essential for you. Our flexible scheduling options, student services, and welcoming community offer the complete support you need to pursue your true calling.

A Schedule that Fits Your Life

Our master’s program offers students the option to attend on an accelerated track, or full time, three-quarters time, and half-time. The doctorate program features an intensive module format, where students attend class and clinical rounds for one four-day weekend per month. The Transitional DACM program is designed with a 43 percent online component, enabling master’s degree graduates and AOM practitioners to complete part of the program off campus.

 A Supportive Community That Understands You

At ACTCM, you’re not just going to school; you’re joining a community. Our students form lasting bonds in and outside of classes in our student lounge, Herb Garden, on Student Council, and during brown bag lunch presentations, student events, and local outings. To enrich your educational experience, we also offer one of the nation’s largest TCM libraries, a computer lab and learning center, an on-campus herbal pharmacy, academic advising, a mentorship program, and excellent work-study and volunteer opportunities.

A Concern For Your Health & Well-Being

Remaining true to the principles and practice of holistic medicine, we make sure you have access to excellent health resources while you’re a student here. These include a comprehensive health plan, discounted acupuncture and TCM services in our clinics, affordable mental health access, on-campus pick-ups for local CSA produce, Qigong and tai chi classes, and several yoga and fitness center discounts.


Breadth & Depth

An ACTCM education includes one of the most comprehensive courses of study in the field of TCM. We make sure you receive the broadest exposure to all relevant subjects and the deepest interaction with the medicine, so that you leave thoroughly prepared with the fullest possible training.

An Emphasis on Integrative Medicine

Our courses emphasize the growing practice of patient-centered, integrative medicine to prepare you for the next direction in health care. We train you to work within a western health care system and collaborate with western physicians, clinicians, and practitioners so that you can practice TCM in any setting post-graduation. Your coursework will include both eastern and western approaches to biomedicine and health care, your professors will often have eastern and western medical training, and your clinical internship may take place in an integrative medical setting, if you choose that option.

A Deep Understanding of The Discipline

At ACTCM, you will go deeper in your study of TCM than many of your peers at other institutions. Here, you don’t just study new trends in Chinese medicine, you see them happening first-hand in China. You won’t just handle herbal prescriptions; you’ll grow the herbs from scratch. You won’t only study the principles of Dayan Qigong; you’ll practice all 64 movements yourself. You’ll log hundreds of clinical hours in Bay Area clinics, underserved communities, and private practices. Our hands-on approach is about more than “been there, done that” – it is about mastering an art and science to become a top-level healer.

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