2023-2024 Course Catalog 
    Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog

Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, DAcCHM/ Doctor of Science in Oriental Medicine, DSOM

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Speacialization/ Doctor of Science in Oriental Medicine is a four-year program consisting of 3,930 hours and 266.25 credits. It fully contains the coursework and outcomes of the MAcCHM/MSOM program. In addition, students undertake a more extensive exploration of ancient symbol science and macrocosm-microcosm relationships. They learn how to read and translate the classical texts of Chinese medicine and to apply their understanding to patient care. DAcCHM/DSOM students also achieve competencies preparing them to integrate the principles and practice of classical Chinese medicine into the broader healthcare system.

DAcCHM/DSOM Program Outcomes

  1. Relate the ancient Chinese view of macrocosm-microcosm correspondences to the contemporary practice of medicine
  2. Craft and perform individualized Chinese medicine treatments in which the component parts (e.g., acupuncture, herbal prescription, bodywork, lifestyle recommendations) are applied according to consistent treatment principles
  3. Teach patients how to incorporate traditional Chinese “nourishing life” practices into a regular routine
  4. Design a plan for establishing a sustainable career rooted in classical Chinese medicine education
  5. Integrate evidence-based biomedical analysis into the practice of Chinese medicine
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively within the healthcare system to provide patient-centered care
  7. Describe the theory and practices of Chinese medicine to patients and the public
  8. Apply principles and treatment strategies gained through translation of the classical texts of Chinese medicine to clinical scenarios

Elective Requirement

DAcCHM/DSOM students are required to complete 10 elective credits for the purpose of enhancing the breadth of their education. Students are encouraged to take electives through the College of Classical Chinese Medicine, which deepen the student’s connection with the classical roots of the medicine. In addition, students may also take graduate-level elective courses through the College of Naturopathic Medicine, and School of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies (as long as course prerequisites are met).

Students enrolled in concurrent programs are required to complete the number of elective credit hours of the program that has the greater number of electives between the two programs. 

Clinical Training Overview

The clinical training objectives of the CCM programs are aligned with the overall mission of training competent practitioners in the art and science of classical Chinese medicine. The clinical aspect is expected to be a refinement of the knowledge base acquired in the academic portion of the program, with the implicit understanding that many important skills can only be attained in the applied context of a practical learning situation. These skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of foundational knowledge and understanding of classical Chinese medical concepts and techniques
  • Evolution of interpersonal communication abilities
  • Refinement of problem-solving capacities and clinical judgment
  • Proficiency in executing the technical skills required to effectively apply treatments in Chinese medicine

To begin the second-year Observation component, students must complete the first year of study and pass Herbs I-II, Acu-Moxa Points and Techniques I-III, Palpation and Perception I-III, Chinese Diagnostic Techniques I-II, Evidence-Informed Practice, Introduction to Clinic, and Pre-Observation Rotation. To begin the Clinical Mentoring Rotations in the following year, students must complete the second year of study and pass Chinese Pathology I-III, Herbs I-VI, Acu-Moxa Points and Techniques I-VI, Biomedicine I-III, and Practitioner Cultivation I. Before undertaking the Clinical Pre-Internship Rotation, students must complete Biomedicine IV, Clinical Medicine I, Clinical Case Presentation I, and a minimum of two Clinical Mentoring Rotations.

To advance into Clinical Internship, students must complete the third year of study and pass Biomedicine VI, Clinical Medicine III, Clinical Case Presentation III, Clinical and Physical Diagnosis, and six Clinical Mentoring Rotations. In addition, students must pass all components of the Clinic Entrance Examination. An Internship orientation is required before beginning the Internship rotations.

Students progress through the clinical experience in a sequential fashion, from active observation of highly experienced practitioners, to greater involvement in patient care under fully guided mentoring, to being able to conduct a comprehensive patient intake and assessment, and design and deliver an individually tailored treatment protocol under expert supervision. In the spirit of the classics, emphasis is placed on recognition of Chinese syndrome pattern differentiation (rather than symptomatic prescribing), with the goal of creating individual treatment plans designed to assist patients in returning to a more harmonious and balanced state. With a focus on patient-centered care, students learn how to make and receive appropriate referrals, and to communicate and collaborate within the prevailing biomedically based healthcare system.

Training in how to write a case report (using the CARE Guidelines) is woven through all four years of the clinical education. In order to complete the clinical portion of their program, students must pass the Clinic Exit Examination.

Clinical Training

The components of the clinical portion of the program are Introduction to Clinic, Clinical Pre-Observation, Clinical Observation, Clinical Mentoring, Clinical Pre-Internship, Clinical Case Presentation, Clinical Internship, and Internship Case Presentation. DAcCHM/DSOM students also complete a Collaborative Care Rotation and Collaborative Care Case Presentation. These are organized as follows:

Year of Study  Clinical Component
 1st    Introduction to Clinic: Students learn the fundamentals of working in the NUNM clinics
 1st    Clinical Pre-Observation Rotation: Students get their first experience observing clinical supervisors treating patients in the NUNM clinics
 2nd    Clinical Observation Rotation I-III: Students observe experienced practitioners treat patients
 3rd    Clinical Mentoring Rotation I-VI: Students become involved in patient diagnosis and treatment under direct clinical supervision
 3rd    Clinical Case Presentation I-III: Clinical cases are viewed through multiple lenses
 3rd    Clinical Pre-Internship Rotation: Students learn the role and responsibilities of the intern by following the interns soon to graduate
 4th    Clinical Internship Rotation I-III: Students (under supervision) assume primary responsibility for diagnosis and treatment of patients; needle insertions are observed
 4th    Clinical Internship Rotation IV-IX: Students (under supervision) assume primary responsibility for diagnosis and treatment of patients
 4th    Clinical Internship Holiday Requirement (24 hrs): Students (under supervision) assume primary responsibility for diagnosis and treatment of patients
 4th    Internship Case Presentation I-II: Presentation and discussion of internship cases with peers and supervisors
 4th    Collaborative Care Rotation: DAcCHM/ DSOM students deliver patient-centered care alongside naturopathic primary students.
 4th    Collaborative Care Case Presentation: Presentation of collaborative care cases, with a focus on inter-professionalism and systems-based medical care.

Classical Chinese Medicine Certificate Programs

Students in the CCM programs, who meet the prerequisites and are in good academic standing, are eligible to apply for admission into the Qigong and Shiatsu Certificate programs. Due to space constraints, admission is limited. These are not degree programs and do not lead to eligibility to sit for licensure exams. Contact the Office of Admissions for further information.

Qigong Teaching Certificate Program

The Qigong Teaching Certificate program is taught once the student has completed all of the required Qigong Practicum and Retreat courses in the core program. Over the subsequent year, the student completes the Qigong I-III Teaching Practicums, during which they are mentored in the process of teaching their own qigong classes.

Shiatsu Certificate Program

The Shiatsu Certificate program consists of six courses (204 hours) taken over two years, and the completion of two terms of performing shiatsu treatments in one of the NUNM Health Centers. This certificate program is designed to be pursued concurrently with the DAcCHM/DSOM or MAcCHM/MSOM programs. At the end of the certificate program, students are fully prepared to use shiatsu as an independent treatment modality.

DAcCHM/DSOM Four-Year Curriculum

Note: courses marked with an asterisk (*) are unique to the DAcCHM/DSOM program, and are not included in the MAcCHM/MSOM

First Year


First-Year Fall Totals - Lab: 36 | Lecture: 180 | Total Hours: 216 | Credits: 16.50


First-Year Winter Totals - Lab: 48 | Lecture: 204 | Total Hours: 252 | Credits: 19.00


First-Year Spring Totals - Clinic: 24 | Lab: 60 | Lecture: 234 | Total Hours: 318 | Credits: 23.00

First-Year Totals - Clinic: 24 | Lab: 144 | Lecture: 618 | Total Hours: 786 | Credits: 58.50

Second Year


Second-Year Fall Totals - Clinic: 48 | Lab: 48 | Lecture: 234 | Total Hours: 330 | Credits: 23.50


Second-Year Winter Totals - Clinic: 48 | Lab: 48 | Lecture: 234 | Total Hours: 330 | Credits: 23.50


Second-Year Spring Totals - Clinic: 48 | Lab: 54 | Lecture: 246 | Total Hours: 348 | Credits: 24.75

Second-Year Totals - Clinic: 144 | Lab: 150 | Lecture: 714 | Total Hours: 1008 | Credits: 71.75

Third Year


Third-Year Fall Totals - Clinic: 120 | Lab: 24 | Lecture: 252 | Total Hours: 396 | Credits: 27.00


Third-Year Winter Totals - Clinic: 120 | Lab: 36 | Lecture: 210 | Total Hours: 366 | Credits: 24.00


Third-Year Spring Totals - Clinic: 144 | Lab: 24 | Lecture: 240 | Total Hours: 408 | Credits: 27.00

Third-Year Totals - Clinic: 384 | Lab: 84 | Lecture: 702 | Total Hours: 1170 | Credits: 78.00

Fourth Year


Fourth-Year Summer Totals - Clinic: 144 | Lecture: 18 | Total Hours: 162 | Credits: 7.50


Fourth-Year Fall Totals - Clinic: 120 | Lab: 12 | Lecture: 84 | Total Hours: 216 | Credits: 12.50


Fourth-Year Winter Totals - Clinic: 132 | Lecture: 96 | Total Hours: 228 | Credits: 13.50


Fourth-Year Spring Totals - Clinic: 120 | Lab: 12 | Lecture: 108 | Total Hours: 240 | Credits: 14.50

Fourth-Year Totals - Clinic: 516 | Lab: 24 | Lecture: 306 | Total Hours: 846 | Credits: 48.00

^These hours are cumulative and may be earned in a term other than term registered.

^^May be taken any term in 4th year

Program Totals Before Electives - Clinic: 1068 | Lab: 402 | Lecture: 2340 | Total Hours: 3810 | Credits: 256.25

Program Totals With Electives - Total Hours: 3930 | Credits: 266.25