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Master of Acupuncture (MAc)

Location: Worcester
Start Term: Fall

Gain the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to practice acupuncture effectively in a variety of settings, including in private practice and hospitals. In the Master of Acupuncture program, you will learn how to provide highly skilled and effective acupuncture to patients of all ages, helping them with pain and other conditions.

The Master of Acupuncture program includes both classroom and clinical education in Chinese Acupuncture Studies (CAS), emphasizing hands-on learning with other students. In addition to on-campus courses, students are required to complete assistantships, during which they shadow licensed acupuncturists in the NESA Acupuncture Treatment Center, as well as in community settings.

Students in the first year of the program take classes three days per week, but with additional required courses, co-requisites, assistantships, and clinical placements, students should expect an additional two days per week of related coursework as the program progresses.

During the third year of the program, students are placed in clinical settings to provide care under the direct supervision of senior faculty. Upon completion of the program, students will be well-prepared to pass board examinations and seek licensure by the state.

We prioritize the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in our rolling admission process, so it is to your advantage to submit your application as soon as possible. All applicants are automatically considered for scholarship with their application. We have a rolling admission process, and the sooner you submit your application, the more favorably you will be considered both for admission and scholarship.

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

  • Completed MCPHS Application
  • Official college transcript(s) from all colleges/universities attended demonstrating completion of a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 60 transferable college credits
  • A personal statement indicating your desire to study acupuncture at MCPHS University

Additionally, students will be required to successfully complete a faculty interview (by invitation only) to be considered for admission.

*Students with international coursework must submit a course-by-course evaluation from the World Education Service (WES). Please note that a WES evaluation is not required for applicants for coursework from English-Speaking Canadian universities and colleges.

The following courses must be completed either prior to enrollment, or at MCPHS within the Acupuncture curriculum.

*Anatomy lab must be in-person for licensure in MA per the Committee on Acupuncture.

English Language Competency

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

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL® iBT) - Acceptable scores: TOEFL iBT total score – 61 with minimum speaking score – 20 and minimum listening score – 17; or
  2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Format - Acceptable scores: IELTS overall band score 6 with minimum speaking score – 6.5 and minimum listening score – 6.
  3. The student must have completed a two-year (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) baccalaureate or graduate level, English-based education in an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. English must have been the language of instruction and the language of the curriculum used.

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


Fall Term 1st Year

SACAS 101 Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory I 4
SACAS 111 Point Location I 2.5
SACAS 121 Materials & Methods I 2
SACAS 131 Living Anatomy I 2
SAMTP100 Internal Exercise  1
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship  1
SASCI 101/110 Anatomy & Physiology I / Lab 4
Total Credits 16.5

Spring Term 1st Year

SACAS 102 Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory II 4
SACAS 112 Point Location II  2.5
SACAS 122 Materials & Methods II  2
SACAS 132 Living Anatomy II   2
SAJAS 100 Introduction to Japanese Acupuncture  1
SACHM 100 Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine 2
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship II 1
SASCI 102 Anatomy & Physiology II 3
Total 17.5

Summer Term 1st Year

SACAS 161/162 Actions & Effects of Points 3
SACAS 190  Clinical Skills of TCM 2
SACAS 211 Western Medical Pathology & Pharmacology I  3

Epidemiology/Biostatistics 2
MAc Elective 1 1
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship III  1
SASCI 120 General Biology 3

First Year Comprehensive Examination 0
Total 15

Fall Term 2nd Year

SACAS 171 TCM Etiology & Pathology of Disease I  3
SACAS 201 Intro to Clinical Internship I  2.5
SACAS 212 Western Medical Pathology & Pharmacology II  3
SARES 100 Research Design & Evaluation 3
SABUS 121 Practice Management: Marketing 1
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship IV 1
Total 13.5

Spring Term 2nd Year

SACAS 172 TCM Etiology & Pathology of Disease II 3
SACAS 202 Intro to Clinical Internship II 2.5
SACAS 213 Western Medical Pathology & Pharmacology III 3
SACAS 270 Clinical Theater 1
  MAc Elective 2 2
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship V 1
SASCI 130 Psychology  3

Second Year Comprehensive Exam  0
Total 15.5

Summer Term 2nd Year

SACAS 220 Patient Provider Relationship  3
SACAS 180 Microsystems  1
  Acupuncture Channel Treatment  2
SACLC CAS60 MAc Clinical Internship I, II, III*  6
Total 12

Fall Term 3rd Year

SAMTP 130 OM Bodywork  1
SACAS 231 Clinical Case Management  1
SACAS 250 Chinese Nutrition  1
SAMTP 100  Internal Exercise  1
SABUS 122 Practice Management: Business Skills   1

MAc Elective 3  1
SASCI 170 Microbiology  3
SACLC CAS60 MAc Clinical Internship IV, V & VI* 6
Total 15

Spring Term 3rd Year

SABUS 123 Practice Management: AOM Professional Issues  1
SACAS 240 Survey Classic Chinese Medical Texts  1
SACAS 140 History of Chinese Medicine  1
SACAS 260  Western Nutrition  1
  MAc Elective 4  1
  MAc Elective 5 1
SACLC CAS60 MAc Clinical Internship VII, VIII, IX*  6
Total 12
 *Valid CPR/First Aid certification is required throughout Clinical Internships.

Total MAc Program Credits: 117

At the end of your first year, you will have the option to continue to focus on CAS alone, or choose to complete the specialized Japanese Acupuncture Styles (JAS) track to enhance your knowledge.

The Japanese Acupuncture Styles track includes an optional sequence of five courses in Japanese Acupuncture Styles. Typically, Japanese acupuncture uses thinner needles and needling tools and relies more heavily on palpatory technique. Each needle is inserted more superficially and within this style, non-insertive needle techniques can be used. Japanese acupuncture is beneficial for all types of patients, but is especially suited for children. This track is comprised of the core curriculum and courses providing application of two predominant therapeutic styles of Japanese Acupuncture: Meridian 5 Phase and Extraordinary Vessels. Students who complete the Japanese Acupuncture Styles (JAS) track earn a Master of Acupuncture (MAc) with a concentration in JAS. Students complete requirements for graduation in a minimum of 32 months.

Applicants who are interested in practicing both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are able to apply to our Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM) program. Upon graduation, you'll be eligible to sit for the national board certification examinations in acupuncture and herbs and apply for state licensure.

Enrollment into the MAOM program is also possible for students in the Master of Acupuncture (MAc) program up until the end of the first year of the program.


MCPHS New England School of Acupuncture

Close up of Acupuncture needling.

NESA at MCPHS is the oldest college of acupuncture in the United States and prepares students for careers in holistic patient care.

Watch the video