Curriculum Overview - Herbal Medicine Certificate

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Herbal Medicine Certificate Program

Curriculum detail

Course descriptions

Curriculum outline

The Herbal Medicine Certificate Program is designed for licensed acupuncture practitioners who want to expand their skills in Chinese herbal medicine. The curriculum provides licensed acupuncturists with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary for the safe and effective practice of herbal medicine.

Program length

  • 8 trimesters part-time, 2 2/3 years to complete
  • Length to completion may be extended to accommodate individual circumstances

Program schedule, credits and contact hours

  • Part-time day program, classes held Monday through Friday
  • 10 courses spread out over 8 trimesters and herbal medicine clinical internship
  • More than 40 trimester credits, 500 hours of instruction and 240 clinical internship hours

Program admission


Curriculum organization

Students in the Herbal Medicine Certificate Program take courses according to the schedule for the Master of Oriental Medicine.

The certificate curriculum is comprised of the following 10 courses and clinical training:

  • Trimester 1 (3.4 credits): Materia Medica 1; Medical Asepsis and Risk Management for Acupuncturists
  • Trimester 2 (3 credits): Materia Medica 2
  • Trimester 3 (3 credits): Materia Medica 3
  • Trimester 4 (4 credits): Herbal Formulas and Strategies 1
  • Trimester 5 (5 credits): Herbal Formulas and Strategies 2
  • Trimester 6 (3 credits): Herbal Clinical Medicine 1
  • Trimester 7 (3 credits): Herbal Clinical Medicine 2
  • Trimester 8 (8 credits): Herbal Classics; Herbal Dispensary Management; Herbal Review and Synthesis
  • Clinical observation/internship (8 credits): 240 hours*

* Students must complete 240 hours clinical internship, consisting of four 60-hour shifts and comprised of both herbal and acupuncture internship hours. At least one designated 60-hour shift of herbal internship must be taken, but no more than two herbal internships may be taken. Clinical internship may begin during any term. However, the herbal internship shifts may not be taken until the completion of Herbal Formulas and Strategies 2 (Trimester 5).

Basic Life Support (CPR)

In addition to the courses listed above, students in the Herbal Medicine Certificate Program must take either a Basic Life Support (CPR) course at Northwestern or show proof of having taken a Basic Life Support (CPR) course at the Provider Level within one year of starting the internship portion of this certificate program.


Northwestern Health Sciences University reserves the right to change or discontinue academic programs at the University’s discretion.

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