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Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc)

Location: Worcester
Start Term: Fall

The Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc) is a four-year program that teaches the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to provide highly skilled and effective care to patients of all ages in a variety of settings, including in private practice and hospitals. The program features an integrative training approach that focuses on interprofessional collaboration. This provides graduates with advanced expertise in navigating the complex world of integrative medicine. The program features both remote and in-person classroom learning, supervised hands-on instruction, and group work exploring critical concepts in acupuncture clinical practice.

In the first year, students learn core foundational theories and principles of both Eastern and Western medicine and begin to integrate these concepts to understand acupuncture from both perspectives. You will immediately begin to practice and develop the clinical skills and professional competencies necessary to become a successful acupuncturist in small groups under the direct supervision of highly skilled faculty. Students begin their clinical training in the first semester by observing and assisting in the delivery of patient care. Students begin their study of Chinese herbs by exploring important concepts and issues in herbal medicine today and learn about individual Chinese herbs.

In the second year, students continue to integrate fundamental concepts from year one of the program with more advanced theories of Eastern and Western medical theory. The focus in this year is on the pathology and treatment of disease from an integrative perspective. Students continue to develop professional skills and patient care competencies necessary to formulate an acupuncture diagnosis and carry out a treatment plan. Students continue their clinical training as interns directly responsible for the management and delivery of patient care. Students continue their study of Chinese herbs with an exploration of Chinese herbal formulas and patent preparations.

In the third year, students study research methodology, epidemiology and biostatistics and begin to incorporate scholarship and research into patient care and case management. Students continue their professional development by completing a series of practice management courses which helps them develop a practice plan to meet their professional goals as an acupuncturist. Students continue their clinical experiences and are placed in a variety of clinical settings, providing patient care under the direct supervision of senior faculty. Students continue their study of Chinese herbal medicine with series of courses related to internal medicine and the recommendation of Chinese herbs as part of clinical case management. Upon completion of the third year, students may receive their Master’s degree and become eligible to sit for national board examinations and seek licensure.

In the fourth year, students further develop research competencies to support evidence-based practice and patient centered care. Students study concepts in advanced diagnostic assessment and how to incorporate these findings in case management. Students study patient care systems prevalent in today’s healthcare system and how to communicate, and collaborate with providers to deliver the highest quality care. This year is highlighted by interdisciplinary clinical experiences that highlight innovative approaches to integrative pain management.

Innovative Clinical Experiences

The Doctoral program features extensive training in the latest theories and clinical approaches in integrative pain management as it relates to the application of acupuncture. Students learn from leading clinicians and educators in the field of integrative pain management from various areas such as nursing, physical therapy, physician’s assistant studies, pharmacy, occupational therapy, diagnostic medical imaging, chiropractic, and naturopathy. Practitioners from these various fields discuss best practices for the delivery of the highest-quality, patient-centered care. Students take part in clinical theater-style learning experiences focused on team-based approaches to healthcare. This allows students to differentiate between models of care and treatment modalities to best guide patient care.

Emphasis on Scholarship

Doctoral candidates learn the difference between evidence-based medicine and evidence-informed practice. Students are trained to use the evidence base to modify treatment plans and to improve and guide patient care. Innovative clinical experiences are enriched through extensive reading and analysis of literature related to best practices and challenges in patient care.

Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc) Completion Program

The two-semester, 20-credit Doctor of Acupuncture completion program is designed for those who have completed a master’s level program in acupuncture or acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization. This program prepares students to communicate and collaborate effectively with other healthcare providers and serve successfully as part of an integrative healthcare team.

Students gain an understanding of today’s healthcare practices and policies that guide patient centered care, and they explore models of integrative healthcare with a focus on pain management. They learn directly from leaders in the emerging field of integrative health and develop the research competencies necessary to guide explorations of integrative healthcare improvement, innovation, and interprofessional collaboration.

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 three (3) years of undergraduate-level education (90 semester credits or 135 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.

Doctorate Admission Requirements

Doctoral program applicants must demonstrate the 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. 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.

Admission to the Doctoral Completion Program also includes the satisfactory completion of a master’s-level program in acupuncture or acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization from an ACAHM accredited/pre-accredited program or institution. NESA conducts a comprehensive admissions assessment, including transcript analysis, that demonstrates that all applicable master’s-level coursework completed is equivalent to published DAc program degree requirements in terms of content, rigor, and the attainment of master’s-level professional competencies.

A maximum of 45-semester credits (or 50%) of the prerequisite three-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.

OR

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).

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:

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 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
admissions.worcester@mcphs.edu
508.373.5607 or 800.225.5506

COURSE TITLE MAc
Semester Hours
MAc (JAS
Concentration 
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
SACAS 538
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
SAEXM CAS1
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
Total 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
SAEXM CAS2
Second Year Comprehensive Exam  0 0
Total 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
Total 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
Total 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
Total 14 14

Summer Term 3rd Year

   
SASCI 737  Physiology of Acupuncture 2 2
SADAC 820  Advanced Diagnostic Studies 2 2
SADAC 812  Systems Based Medicine; Collaborative Care 2 2
Total   6 6

Fall Term 4th Year

 
SADAC 810 Professional Development: Lifelong Learning 2 2
SADAC 811 Systems Based Medicine: Patient Care Systems  3 3
Total    5 5

Spring Term 4th Year

SADAC 821  Advanced Acupuncture Integrative Pain Management 4 4
SADAC 822  Acupuncture Integrative Pain Management Clinic 4 4
 Total   8 8
 Total credits to complete degree requirements: MAc/DAc (JAS) 141 151
*CPR/First Aid certification must be current throughout all Clinical Internships.
COURSE TITLE MAc CHM
Semester Hours
MAc CHM
(JAS Concentration) 
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
SACHM 531 Chinese Herbs I 4 4
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
SACAS 538
Acupuncture Channel Theory 2 2
SAMTP 533 Bodywork 1 1
SACLC 533 Clinical Assistantship III  1  1
SASC I530 General Biology 3  3
SAEXM CAS1
First Comprehensive Examination 0 0
Total 18 20

Fall Term 2nd Year

 
SAJAS 613 Japanese Acupuncture III 0 2
SACHM 612 Chinese Herbs II 4 4
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
SACHM 613 Chinese Herbal Dispensary Assistantship 0  0
SACLC 614 Clinical Assistantship IV 1.5 1.5
SASCI 610 Chemistry for the Health Sciences 3 3
Total 19 21

Spring Term 2nd Year

 
SAJAS 624 Japanese Acupuncture IV 0 2
SACHM 624 Chinese Herbal Formulas I  4 4
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 1.5 1.5
SASCI 620 General Psychology  3 3
SAEXM CAS2
Second Year Comprehensive Exam  0 0
Total 19 21

Summer Term 2nd Year

 
SAJAS 635 Japanese Acupuncture V  0  2
SACHM 635 Chinese Herbal Formulas II 4 4
SACHM 636 CHM: Patent Herbal Medicine 2 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
SAEXM JAS JAS Comprehensive Examination N/A 0
Total 19 21

Fall Term 3rd Year

 
SAJAS 613 Japanese Acupuncture VI  0 2
SACHM 717 CHM: Internal Medicine  4  4
SACHM 718 CHM: Formula Writing  2 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
SACLC 710 Clinical internship – Focused Placement I  1  1
SACLC 717 A-C * MAc Clinical Internship IV, V & VI 6  6
SAEXM CHM CHM Comprehensive Examination  0 0
Total 19 21

Spring Term 3rd Year

 
SACHM 729 CHM: Internal Medicine II  4  4
SACHM 720 CHM: Clinical Pharmacology  2 2
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 1 1
SASCI 720  Western Nutrition  1  1
SASCI 729 Patient Assessment 2 2
SACLC 720 Clinical Internship – Focused Placement II  1 1
SACLC 728 A-C *MAc CHM Clinical Internship VII, VIII, IX  6 6
Total 21 21

Summer Term 3rd Year

   
SASCI 731 Physics  2 2
SASCI 737 Physiology of Acupuncture 2 2
SACHM 735 CHM Classical Texts 2 2
SASCI 730 Microbiology 3 3
SACLC 739 A-C MAc CHM Clinical Internship X, XI, XII*  6  6
Total   15 15

Fall Term 4th Year

 
SADAC 812 Systems Based Medicine; Collaborative Care  2  2
SADAC 810 Professional Development: Lifelong Learning 2 2
SADAC 811 Systems Based Medicine: Patient Care Systems  3 3
Total    7 7

Spring Term 4th Year

SADAC 820  Advanced Diagnostic Studies  2  2
SADAC 821  Advanced Acupuncture Integrative Pain Management 4 4
SADAC 822  Acupuncture Integrative Pain Management Clinic 4 4
 Total   10 10
 Total credits to complete degree requirements: MAc CHM/DAc (JAS) 178 188
*CPR/First Aid certification must be current throughout all Clinical Internships.
COURSE TITLE SEMESTER HOURS

Fall Term

SARES 700 Research Design & Evaluation 3
SADAC 810 Professional Development: Lifelong Learning 2
SADAC 811 Systems Based Medicine: Patient Care Systems 3
SADAC 812 Systems Based Medicine: Collaborative Care 2
TOTAL   10

Spring Term

SADAC 820 Advanced Diagnostic Studies 2
SADAC 821 Integrative Acupuncture Pain Management 4
SADAC 822 Integrative Acupuncture Clinic 4
TOTAL 10
PROGRAM TOTAL 20
  • 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 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

  • Respond appropriately to medical emergencies, and make informed and appropriate referrals

  • Serve successfully as part of an integrative healthcare team

  • Evaluate published research to guide healthcare improvement, innovation, and interprofessional delivery

  • Exhibit an understanding of healthcare practices and policies across the healthcare system

  • Demonstrate the capacity to engage in lifelong learning and regular self-assessment to achieve continuous professional growth

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 DAc faculty

 

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