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Master of Acupuncture (MAc)

Location: Worcester
Start Term: Fall

The Master of Acupuncture (MAc) is a 32-month program that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to deliver highly effective care to patients of all ages in a variety of settings, including in private practice and hospitals. The program features both classroom and clinical training in acupuncture studies, emphasizing hands-on learning under direct supervision of experienced faculty.

In the first year, students learn essential foundational theories and principles of both Eastern and Western medicine. You will immediately begin to practice clinical skills and develop the professional competencies necessary to become a successful acupuncturist with a special emphasis on acupuncture needle techniques. Students begin their clinical experiences by observing and assisting in the delivery of patient care.

In the second-year, students integrate fundamental material from year one of the program with more advanced concepts of Eastern and Western medical theory. Students also develop professional competencies and learn to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan. Students continue their clinical experience as interns responsible for the management and delivery of patient care.

In the third year, students complete clinical experiences and are placed in a variety of clinical settings providing patient care under the direct supervision of senior faculty. Students continue their professional development by completing a series of practice management courses. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for national board examinations and seek licensure.

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 transcript(s) from all colleges/universities attended demonstrating satisfactory completion of at least two (2) years of undergraduate-level education (60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits) from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • A formal statement of purpose 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.

Master’s Admission Requirements

Master’s program applicants must demonstrate satisfactory completion of at least two (2) years of undergraduate-level education (defined as 60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits) from an institution accredited or pre-accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. In considering the acceptance of education and training obtained in foreign countries, credits earned at a foreign educational institution must be validated by a recognized educational credentials evaluation service.

A maximum of 30-semester credits (or 50%) of the prerequisite two-year education requirement may be earned through prior learning assessment using either, or a combination, of the following assessment techniques: (1) credit by examination using recognized, independently administered, and validated standardized tests and/or (2) assignment of credit for military and corporate training based on recommendations established by the American Council on Education.

The following courses must be completed either prior to enrollment or at MCPHS as part of your program. These courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better.

International Applicants

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English proficiency for admission to degree, certificate, and non-degree graduate programs. This must be demonstrated by one of the following means:

The applicant must have completed one of the following:

  • Four years at a U.S. high school demonstrably delivered in English;
  • At least two years (60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of undergraduate- or graduate-level education in an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education;
  • At least two years (60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of undergraduate- or graduate-level education demonstrably delivered in English;
  • High school or two years (60-semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of undergraduate- or graduate-level education in an institution in one of the following countries or territories: American Samoa; Anguilla; Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Botswana; British Virgin Islands; Cameroon; Canada (except Quebec); Cayman Islands; Christmas Island; Cook Islands; Dominica; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; The Gambia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Grenada; Guam; Guyana; Ireland; Isle of Man; Jamaica; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Malawi; Montserrat; Namibia; New Zealand; Nigeria; Norfolk Island; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn Islands; Sierra Leone; Singapore; South Africa; South Sudan; St. Helena; St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Swaziland; Tanzania; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United Kingdom; U.S. Virgin Islands; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

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


The applicant must have completed one of the following assessments at the required level:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT - Total: 61),
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic Format (Overall Band: 6),
  • Duolingo English Test (Score of 90),
  • China Standard of English Language (CSE – Score of 6),
  • Cambridge First Certificate of English (FCE – Score of C),
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE – Score of C),
  • Common European Framework Reference (CEFR – Score of B2),
  • Occupational English Test (OET – Score of 250, C),
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE), Academic (Overall: 45).

Transfer Credit:

The New England School of Acupuncture awards transfer credit towards the completion of its programs based on a review of an applicant’s official transcripts. The credits must have been earned at a post-secondary institution of higher education accredited or pre-accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. Credits earned at a foreign educational institution must be evaluated by a recognized educational credentials evaluation service. All applicants will undergo a comprehensive admissions assessment, including transcript analysis, that demonstrates that all applicable coursework completed is equivalent to the program’s published degree requirements in terms of content, rigor, and the attainment of professional competencies. Petition for transfer credit must be submitted to the Admission Office prior to enrollment. Applicants must meet program admissions requirements that are in effect at the time of matriculation.

NESA considers the following criteria when determining if a course is eligible for transfer credit:

  • The course content must be equivalent.
  • The course must be taught at a similar level of instruction and at a similar depth and breadth.
  • The course must be greater than or equal in hours.
    • If a course has fewer hours, it is up to the Dean to determine if the competencies of the courses in question have been met by this prior coursework.
    • The Dean determines if these competencies have been met or may determine that a challenge exam may be necessary to determine if the course competencies have been met.
  • The student must attain a minimum grade point of C (2.0) as reflected on an official student transcript.
  • Credits earned more than five (5) years prior to admission may only be accepted for transfer after validating and documenting that the student has retained the content knowledge and competencies of the respective course(s) for which transfer credits are being assessed.

NESA allows a maximum of 50% of the coursework needed for graduation from a degree program or certificate of advanced graduate studies to be accepted for transfer. Of that 50% no more than 25% of the program clinical training requirement may be accepted as transfer credit.

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

The New England School of Acupuncture offers a Master of Acupuncture (MAc) program which focuses on Chinese acupuncture styles. Students may also opt to specialize in Japanese Acupuncture Styles (JAS) by completing an additional sequence of courses and clinics.

Semester Hours
MAc w/JAC 
Semester Hours

Fall Term 1st Year

SACAS 511 Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory I 4 4
SACAS 512 Point Location I 2.5 2.5
SACAS 513 Materials & Methods of TCM I 2 2
SASCI 517 Integrated Anatomy I 2 2
SAMTP 511 Self Care I  1 1
SACAS 510 History of Chinese Medicine 1 1
SACLC 511 Clinical Assistantship I  1 1
SASCI 511 Anatomy & Physiology I 3 3
Total Credits 16.5 16.5 

Spring Term 1st Year

SACAS 524 Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory II 4 4
SACAS 525 Point Location II  2.5 2.5
SACAS 526 Materials & Methods of TCM  II  2 2
SASCI 527 Integrated Anatomy II   2 2
SAJAS 521 Japanese Acupuncture I  2 2
SACHM 100 Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine 2 2
SACLC 522 Clinical Assistantship II 1 1
SASCI 522 Anatomy & Physiology II 3 3
SASCI 510 Anatomy & Physiology Lab    
Total 19.5 19.5

Summer Term 1st Year

SAJAS 532 Japanese Acupuncture II 0 2
SACAS 537 Actions and Effects of Points and Channels 3 3
SACAS 539  Clinical Skills of TCM 2 2
SASCI 537 Acupuncture Integrative Pain Management I  2 2
Acupuncture Channel Theory 2 2
SAMTP 530 Self Care II 1 1
SAMTP 533 Bodywork 1 1
SACLC 533 Clinical Assistantship III  1  1
SASC I530 General Biology 3  3
First Comprehensive Examination 0 0
Total 15 17

Fall Term 2nd Year

SAJAS 613 Japanese Acupuncture III 0 2
SACAS 611 TCM Etiology and Pathology of Disease I  3 3
SACAS 612 Introduction to Clinical Internship I  2.5 2.5
SASCI 619 Western Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I  3 3
SASCI 617 Acupuncture Integrated Pain Management II 2 2
SACLC 614 Clinical Assistantship IV 1 2
11.5 13.5

Spring Term 2nd Year

SAJAS 624 Japanese Acupuncture IV 0 2
SACAS 626 TCM Etiology and Pathology of Disease II 3 3
SACAS 624 Introduction to Clinical Internship II 2.5 2.5
SASCI 629 Western Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II 3 3
SASCI 627 Acupuncture Integrated Pain Management III 2 2
SACLC 625 Clinical Assistantship V 1 1
SASCI 620 General Psychology  3 3
Second Year Comprehensive Exam  0 0
14.5 16.5

Summer Term 2nd Year

SAJAS 635 Japanese Acupuncture V  0  2
SASCI 639 Western Pathophysiology and Pharmacology III 3 3
SACAS 635 Patient Provider Relationship  3  3
SACAS 636 Microsystems of Acupuncture Treatment  1 1
SACLC 636 A-C *MAc Clinical Internship I, II, III  6 6
SASCI 737 Physiology of Acupuncture 2 2
SAEXM JAS JAS Comprehensive Examination N/A 0
15 17

Fall Term 3rd Year

SAJAS 613 Japanese Acupuncture VI  0 2
SARES 711 Research Design and Evaluation 3 3
SACAS 717 Clinical Case Management  1  1
SABUS 711 Practice Management: Marketing and Business Skills  2 2
SASC I730 Microbiology  3 3
SACLC 717 A-C * MAc Clinical Internship IV, V & VI 6  6
15 17

Spring Term 3rd Year

SARES 722 Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics  2  2
SABUS 722 Practice Management: Acupuncture Professional Issues  1 1
SACAS 718 Chinese Nutrition  1  1
SACAS 729 Survey Classic Chinese Medical Texts    
SASCI 720  Western Nutrition  1  1
SASCI 729 Patient Assessment 2 2
SACLC 728 A-C Clinical Internship VII, VIII, IX  6 6
14 14
Program Totals 121 131

*CPR/First Aid certification must be current throughout all Clinical Internships.

Japanese acupuncture places an emphasis on palpation (touch) as part of the diagnostic and treatment process. It includes the use of very thin needles as well as other tools for non-needling techniques, which allow for especially gentle treatments. While Japanese acupuncture is beneficial for patients of all ages, it is well suited for children.

All students take an introduction to Japanese Acupuncture Styles course in the first year of the program to familiarize themselves with this specialization. After completion of this course, student may elect to pursue this course of study.

Upon successful completion of the Master of Acupuncture (MAc) program, students will be able to:

  • Apply the foundational knowledge of acupuncture and Chinese 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 with other healthcare professionals.
  • Demonstrate preparedness to establish and maintain a successful clinical practice and to participate collaboratively in a variety of clinical settings.
  • Honor ethical standards in all interactions with patients and healthcare professionals.
  • Evaluate published research to inform clinical practice and an understanding of public health.
  • 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.

For detailed tuition information, visit: 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 Acupuncture faculty


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