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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.

*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 prerequisite undergraduate-level education courses required for admission must be completed either prior to enrollment, or at MCPHS as part of your NESA program. Linked courses are available through the MCPHS School of Professional Studies. Corequisite courses (as indicated below) must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better.

Transfer Credit:

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.

NESA requires course descriptions and syllabi when determining the award of transfer credit for acupuncture coursework which must have been completed within the last three years. Non-acupuncture coursework earned more than five years prior to admission may be accepted for transfer credit if the applicant provides evidence of retained competencies of the coursework in their specified field for which transfer credits are being assessed. New England School of Acupuncture reserves the right to require a challenge exam in the determination of all transfer credit.

English Language Competency

Candidates applying to the New England School of Acupuncture programs must demonstrate English language competency by one of the following means:

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:

I. accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, or
II. 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;

2. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL® iBT) - Acceptable score: TOEFL iBT total score – 80; or

3. 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

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 101 Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory I 4 4
SACAS 111 Point Location I 2.5 2.5
SACAS 121 Materials & Methods I 2 2
SACAS 131 Integrated Anatomy I 2 2
SAMTP100 Internal Exercise  1 1
SACAS 140 History of Chinese Medicine 1 1
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship I  1 1
SASCI 101 Anatomy & Physiology I 3 3
SASCI 110 Anatomy & Physiology Lab  1  1
Total Credits 17.5 17.5 

Spring Term 1st Year

SACAS 102 Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory II 4 4
SACAS 112 Point Location II  2.5 2.5
SACAS 122 Materials & Methods II  2 2
SACAS 132 Integrated Anatomy II   2 2
SAJAS 100 Japanese Acupuncture I  2 2
SACHM 100 Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine 2 2
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship II 1 1
SASCI 102 Anatomy & Physiology II 3 3
Total 18.5 18.5

Summer Term 1st Year

SACAS 161 Actions and Effects of Points 3 3
SACAS 190  Clinical Skills of TCM 2 2
SACAS 132 Integrated Anatomy III  2 2
Acupuncture Channel Theory/Treatment 2 2
SAMTP 100 Internal Exercise 1 1
SAMTP 130 Bodywork 1 1
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship III  1  1
SASCI 120 General Biology 3  3
SAJAS XXX Japanese Acupuncture II N/A  2
First Comprehensive Examination 0 0
Total 15 17

Fall Term 2nd Year

SACAS 171 TCM Etiology & Pathology of Disease I  3 3
SACAS 201 Intro to Clinical Internship I  2.5 2.5
SACAS 211 Western Medical Pathology and Pharmacology I  3 3
SASCI XXX Integrated Acupuncture Pain Management I 2 2
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship IV 1 2


Japanese Acupuncture III N/A 2
Total 11.5 13.5

Spring Term 2nd Year

SACAS 172 TCM Etiology and Pathology of Disease II 3 3
SACAS 202 Intro to Clinical Internship II 2.5 2.5
SACAS 212 Western Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II 3 3
SASCI XXX Integrated Acupuncture Pain Management I 2 2
SACLC AA30 Clinical Assistantship V 1 1
SASCI 130 Psychology  3 3
SAJAS XXX Japanese Acupuncture IV N/A  2
Second Year Comprehensive Exam  0 0
Total 14.5 16.5

Summer Term 2nd Year

SACAS 213 Western Medical Pathology & Pharmacology III 3 3
SACAS 220 Patient Provider Relationship  3  3
SACAS 180 Microsystems of Acupuncture Treatment  1 1
SACLC, CAS60 Clinical Internship I, II, III  6 6
SASCI 201 Physiology of Acupuncture 2 2
SAJAS XXX Japanese Acupuncture V N/A 2
SAEXM JAS JAS Comprehensive Examination N/A 0
Total 15 17

Fall Term 3rd Year

SARES 100 Research Design & Evaluation 3 3
SACAS 231 Clinical Case Management  1  1
SACAS 250 Chinese Nutrition  1  1
SABUS 121 Practice Management: Marketing & Business  2 2
SASCI 170 Microbiology  3 3
SACLC CAS60 Clinical Internship IV, V, VI 6  6
SAJAS XXX Japanese Acupuncture VI  N/A  2
Total 16 18

Spring Term 3rd Year

SARES 145 Epidemiology/Biostatistics  2  2
SACAS 240 Survey Classic Chinese Medical Texts  1  1
SABUS 123 Practice Management: Acupuncture Professional Issues  1  1
SACAS 260  Western Nutrition  1  1
SASCI XXX Patient Assessment 2 2
SACLC CAS60 Clinical Internship VII, VIII, IX  6 6
Total 13 13
Program Totals 121 131

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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