Curriculum Overview – Master of Acupuncture

Degrees offered

  • ‌‌‌Master of Acupuncture (M.Ac. or MAc)

Program length

  • Master of Acupuncture – 8 trimesters, 2 2/3 years

Program schedule, credits and contact hours

  • Full-time day program, classes held Monday through Friday
  • Master of Acupuncture: More than 117 trimester credits and 2,300 contact hours
  • Curriculum Guide

Program admission

We also offer:


Curriculum organization
Master of Acupuncture

The curriculum for the Master of Acupuncture program provides comprehensive education and training in the following areas:

  • Cultural and philosophical foundations of traditional Chinese medicine
  • Traditional Chinese medical concepts (physiology, pathology, diagnostics, point location and point energetics)
  • Acupuncture treatment principles and practical skills
  • Tui Na
  • Related studies, including introductory Chinese language skills, ethics and practice management
  • Qi Development
  • Nutrition
  • Biomedical clinical sciences to a level required for competence in contemporary practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine
  • Clinical internship

Clinical requirements include:

  • A minimum of 150 hours of observation/assistantship
  • 525 hours of supervised clinical practice to fulfill your master’s in acupuncture

Course sequences
Classroom training sequences

  • Acupuncture and Basic Theory (Trimesters 1-8): Learn basic Chinese medical principles in your lecture classes while building hands-on skills in point location, needling, accessory techniques and tui na in your methods classes.
  • Bioscience (Trimesters 1-9): Learn medical principles that are directly relevant to an acupuncture or Chinese medicine practice through lecture and lab classes.
  • Chinese Medicine (Trimesters 3-9): Begin the study of Chinese herbal medicine with a study of the Materia Medica, continue through formulations and treatment strategies, and complete your study with clinical treatment strategies.

Clinical training sequences

  • Clinical Observation (Trimesters 1-6): Consolidate your learning as you witness the principles you learned in class applied in a real-life treatment setting.
  • Phase I Clinical Internship (Trimesters 5-6): Perform treatments on staff and students in the University Health Service and begin to hone your Chinese medical diagnostic and treatment skills.
  • Phase II Clinical Internship (Trimesters 7-8 or 9 depending on program): Begin treatment of the public at one or more of our clinical internship sites and develop increasing independence as a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostician and practitioner.

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