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As an acupuncturist, you will make a unique contribution to patients, providing powerful treatment options for pain and other conditions. You’ll help solve public health challenges with acupuncture by treating pain effectively and without medications. Symptoms of stress, fatigue, women’s health disorders, and many other conditions will respond to your care. Through long-term, supportive relationships, you will work to relieve suffering and enhance wellness for patients of all ages.

Throughout your career, you’ll have control over your independent clinical practice as you make your own decisions about business goals, work hours, and schedule. As a leader in integrative medicine, you can provide care across a range of specialties, including pediatrics, women’s health, and elder care. You can focus on increasing patient access to acupuncture in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and physician offices. However you choose to shape your acupuncture career, your clinical care of patients will be superior, based on your training that combines multiple modalities within Chinese Medicine with orthopedic assessments and interventions.

By choosing the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) at MCPHS for your acupuncture education, you’ll be studying an ancient medicine at a contemporary health sciences university. You’ll train side-by-side with other graduate students in the health professions, and through collaborative practice, you’ll learn to understand both their role and your own as part of an integrative medicine team. You’ll also have access to clinical placements in leading hospitals throughout New England. And when you graduate, you’ll be well-prepared to represent acupuncture in team-based care with advanced skills and confidence.

Looking for an undergraduate pathway to acupuncture? We offer a time-saving dual degree program that leads to a combined BS/MAc or BS/MAOM. Please see our Health Sciences: Acupuncture pathway program.

Questions about our acupuncture programs? Connect with our Worcester Admission Office at 508.373.5607.

Distinguished Legacy

A leader in the integrative health medicine field, NESA has been training the next generation of healthcare providers for 40 years. Ours is now the largest acupuncture school operating within a regionally accredited health sciences university.

East-West Connection

By joining MCPHS, NESA connects Eastern medicine with Western health sciences to create the next generation of healthcare providers who embody integrative medicine.

Modern Facilities

Featuring the latest advancements, our brand new facility on the Worcester campus gives students the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective acupuncture.

Clinical Experience

As a vital part of the acupuncture program, all students complete extensive internship components in biomedical partner facilities located in the greater Boston and Worcester areas.

Multiple Track Options

Both MCPHS degrees include a core curriculum in Chinese Acupuncture Studies with an optional Japanese Acupuncture Styles track for additional expertise. Students in the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program also study Chinese Herbal Medicine as part of their required curriculum.

Leader in Japanese Acupuncture Education

Our school is a leader in Japanese acupuncture education in the U.S., teaching several different acupuncture styles brought from Japan.

National Board Certification

Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for national board certification examinations provided by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and to apply for state licensure.

A Field of Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, including acupuncturists, is expected to grow at a faster rate than many other occupations, with a potential 11% increase in jobs needed by 2028.


With innovative training and immersive clinical opportunities, our graduates are extremely well prepared to enter and advance in the field of acupuncture and oriental medicine. Clinical education experiences are varied so that students are prepared for professional practice in an ever-changing healthcare environment.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, including acupuncturists, was $73,960 in May 2018.


All NESA graduates meet the educational requirements to practice in Massachusetts, and are eligible to sit for the National Certification for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) board exams, which are required to practice in most states. Graduates of the NESA California Track program are eligible to sit for the California state licensing exam.

Please access the Registrar page on this website for more information.

Our mission is to be the premier source for medical education rooted in the traditions of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for the next generation of healthcare providers.

Vision Statement

While fulfilling our educational mission within our community of scholarship, research, and public service we advocate for patients and for our profession, and commit to a lifelong process of learning to provide excellence in clinical care that promotes wellness and relieves pain and suffering.

Guiding Principles

We commit to the following beliefs:

  • Tradition: We honor Traditional Chinese Medicine teachings, materials and methods and apply innovative thinking to drive new discoveries and incorporate lifelong learning with historical wisdom.
  • Excellence: We are committed to the highest educational standards for training exceptional acupuncturists who will provide leadership and service locally and globally.
  • Integrity: We are bound by the ethical foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine to practice acupuncture and treat all who are in need of healthcare with respect, the highest quality of service and professionalism.
  • Diversity: We acknowledge and respect the variety of human experience and foster unity and common purpose both within our college and in the community at large.
  • Compassion: We are receptive to the suffering of others and provide relief with benevolence, kindness and tolerance for all who seek care.

Program Learning Outcomes

NESA's carefully designed programs graduate practitioners who:

  • 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
  • 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


MCPHS University / New England School of Acupuncture's master's-level program in acupuncture (MAc) and its master's-level program in Oriental medicine (MAOM) are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Institution/program accreditation history, notes, and dates of review may be viewed here.

ACAOM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone 952/212-2434; fax 952/657-7068.

The MCPHS University / New England School of Acupuncture's professional doctoral (DAc) program, approved to begin enrolling students, is not yet accredited or pre-accredited by ACAOM. Graduates of this program are not considered to have graduated from an ACAOM-accredited or pre-accredited program and may not rely on ACAOM accreditation or pre-accreditation for professional licensure or other purposes.

The professional doctoral program is eligible for ACAOM accreditation, and MCPHS University / New England School of Acupuncture is currently in the process of seeking ACAOM pre-accreditation/accreditation for the program. However, MCPHS University / New England School of Acupuncture can provide no assurance that pre-accreditation or accreditation will be granted by ACAOM.

Institutional accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc. was approved effective March 4, 2016, as NESA became a school with in the University in the merger effective March 31, 2016.

NESA's Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (MAOM) is an approved program with the California Acupuncture Board (CAB), allowing graduates to be eligible to sit for licensure exams in California.

Program Outcomes

NESA Graduation and Retention Rate 2017


2014-15 Enrolled Students

Graduated 2017 (3-Yr)





23.7% (14)





16.9% (10)





40.7% (24)

23.7% (14)

35.6% (21)

The graduation rate for students completing their programs in three years was 40.7% (24/59), reflecting the Newton student population of working adults, who require additional time to complete part-time programs with numerous modified pathways. The overall retention rate, a combination of those who graduated in 3 years and those continuing in an extended sequence is 64.4% (38/59). The remaining 21 students (35.6&) withdrew for a variety of personal and academic reasons, likely reflecting challenges students face in balancing responsibilities for families, jobs, financial obligations, and their graduate studies. For the prior year, the overall retention rate was 77.8%, which included 27.8% (15/54) who graduated on-time in 3 years, 50% (27/54) who continued in an extended pathway, and 22.2% (12/54) who dropped for a variety of personal and academic reasons.

Placement Rate One Year After Graduation





Placement Rate MAc

77.8% (21/27)

72.2% (13/18)

100.0% (15/15)

Placement Rate MAOM

87.5% (21/24)

50% (11/22)

81.0% (17/21)

Graduates are determined to be working in the field one year after graduation by survey and internet research documenting a professional website. Those not working in the field may be completing examination requirements and credentialing for licensure.

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) Certification Examination Pass Rates

NESA/National Yearly Groupings

Acupuncture Point Location


Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM)

Foundations of OM

2017 NESA





2017 National





2016 NESA





2016 National





2015 NESA





2015 National





*First Time Testers

2017 board scores for NESA students exceeded our accreditor’s threshold of 70%, our internal goal pass rate of 80%, and national averages. Scores improved in 3 out of 4 domains. The Biomedicine pass rate improved by 9 percentage points compared to last year’s rate following improvements in a preparation program provided for students.


Major Health Plan Announces Acupuncture Coverage

Acupuncture student administering acupuncture to patient's hands.

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Massachusetts announced that they will soon offer coverage for acupuncture services.


A Focus on Integrative Healthcare

The New England School of Acupuncture - in action

Discover how eastern and western medicine approaches come together at MCPHS.

Watch the Video

Acupuncture in Action

A New England School of Acupuncture student and patient.

Get a glimpse of the oldest acupuncture school in the U.S.

Watch the Video