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Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (DAIH)

Location: Online
Start term: Fall, Spring

Grow the skillset needed to thrive as an acupuncturist in an integrative healthcare environment.

This program is designed for those who have completed a master’s level program in acupuncture or acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization. The 25-credit, 16-month Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (DAIH) program prepares students to meet the demands of today’s healthcare field and serve successfully as part of an integrative healthcare team.

Students gain an understanding of healthcare practices and policies that guide collaborative care, explore models of integrative care management, learn directly from leaders in the emerging field of integrative health, and develop a foundation of research competencies to guide explorations of integrative healthcare improvement, innovation, and interprofessional delivery.

Experiential Learning

As part of the program, students gain experience through immersive experiences in integrative care settings. We maintain affiliations with leading hospitals and medical centers committed to integrative care delivery. Based on their initial experiences during this multi-site immersion in a range of clinical environments, students then choose an area of focus for a clinical placement where they concentrate their studies on the delivery of care, in cooperation with resident experts in acupuncture and integrative health.

Students also attend Grand Rounds and lectures by experts in integrative medicine at academic medical centers, including the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Emphasis on Scholarship

DAIH candidates will learn to apply the evidence base to problems of practice. Clinical placement experiences are enriched through extensive reading and analysis of literature related to best practices and challenges in care delivery in students’ areas of interest. The program by designing, completing, and disseminating a capstone project which will explore practice-based research problems. Students will draw inspiration from their coursework and clinical experiences to develop their capstone project, with support from a designated academic advisor. Students disseminate their findings through a variety of methods such as publications, policy initiatives, clinical innovations, and educational outreach.

The purpose of the capstone project is to assist you in learning the skills required to thoughtfully question current practices in healthcare through critically searching, reviewing, and appraising research literature; understanding research methodology; promoting research utilization; and participating in the development and implementation of evidence-based outcomes in your area of practice. You will become a leader and a facilitator in the translation of evidence to promote positive healthcare outcomes.

We prioritize the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in our rolling admission process. All applicants are eligible to receive merit-based scholarships up to $8,000, renewable each year. Consideration for this scholarship is based on a holistic review evaluating candidates’ passion, interest, academic background, and work experience.

For admission consideration, the following application materials must be submitted:

  • Completed MCPHS Application.
  • Official college transcripts(s) demonstrating satisfactory completion of a master’s-level program in acupuncture or acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization from an ACAOM accredited/pre-accredited program or institution.
  • Official college transcript(s) from all colleges/universities attended demonstrating satisfactory completion of at least three (3) years of undergraduate-level education (defined as 90 semester credits or 135 quarter credits) from an institution accredited or pre-accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • Applicants who earned credits at a foreign educational institution must have their transcripts validated and submitted by a recognized educational credentialing evaluation service.
  • A formal statement of purpose indicating your desire to study acupuncture at MCPHS University.

Additionally, NESA will conduct a comprehensive admissions assessment, including transcript analysis, that demonstrates that all applicable master’s-level coursework completed is equivalent to NESA’s program degree requirements in terms of content, rigor, and the attainment of master’s-level professional competencies.

The following prerequisite undergraduate-level education courses required for admission must be completed either prior to enrollment, or at MCPHS University as part of your NESA program. Linked courses are available through the MCPHS School of Professional Studies.

Corequisite courses (as indicated above) must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS will not be accepted.

Applicants will also be required to successfully complete a faculty interview (by invitation only) to be considered for admission.

English Language Competency

English language competency must be demonstrated via one of the following:

  1. The student must have completed a two-year (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) undergraduate- or graduate-level, English-based education in an institution:
    1. accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, or
    2. in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, or Ireland.

In all cases, English must have been both the language of instruction and the language of the curriculum used;

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL® iBT) - Acceptable score: TOEFL iBT total score – 80; or
  2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Format - Acceptable score: IELTS overall band score – 6.5.

All official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and supporting materials can be sent to:

Worcester Admission Office
19 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608
508.373.5607 or 800.225.5506


First Term

BB 101.SP21 MCPHS Online 101 0
HSC 801 Introduction to Doctoral Studies 3
HSC 815 Healthcare Research Methods 3

Second Term

PBH 710 Introduction to Health Policy & Management 3
HSC 852 Evidence-Based Health Capstone I: Question Development & Search for Evidence  3

Third Term

SACLC 701.0  Focused Clinical Placement in Integrative Medicine I* 2
HSC 854 Evidence-Based Health Capstone II: Appraisal of the Evidence 3

Fourth Term

SSACLC 702  Focused Clinical Placement in Integrative Medicine II* 2
HSC 856 Evidence-Based Health Capstone III: Dissemination Plan 3
SACAS 705 Interprofessional Communication 3

 * Clinical placements are in Massachusetts. 

  • Apply the foundational knowledge of acupuncture, Chinese medicine and/or Chinese herbal medicine, including philosophies and theories, to patient care.
  • Synthesize information from the health history, intake and physical examination to accurately diagnose illness and develop and implement an effective treatment plan for patients.
  • Utilize critical thinking and professional judgment to manage a case appropriately over time.
  • Apply sufficient understanding of western biomedical terminology, pathophysiology and treatment strategies to support effective communication and collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
  • Demonstrate preparedness to establish and maintain a successful clinical practice, participate collaboratively in a variety of clinical settings, and serve successfully as part of an integrative healthcare team.
  • Honor ethical standards in all interactions with patients and healthcare professionals
  • Evaluate published research to guide healthcare improvement, innovation, and interprofessional delivery.
  • Exhibit an understanding of healthcare practices and policies across the healthcare system.
  • Respond appropriately to medical emergencies, and make informed and appropriate referrals.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to engage in regular self-assessment and lifelong learning to achieve continuous professional growth.
Online tuition is calculated at a cost-per-credit rate based on the program you choose and the number of credits for which you register. Learn more about Online tuition and fees.

Our students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields and are committed to the success of each student. Discover our full list of DAIH faculty


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