Acupuncture Training and Degree Programs

Learn about degree options in acupuncture, a type of alternative medicine used for pain management. Find out the requirements of a Master of Science in Acupuncture program as well as certification information for acupuncturists. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Become an Acupuncturist?

To earn your advanced degree in acupuncture, you must first complete a bachelor's degree program. Your bachelor's degree does not need to be specifically in acupuncture, but it may help if you have earned a bachelor's degree in a science-related field. Once you are enrolled in a degree program, you will pair coursework with clinical practice and begin the necessary path to become an educated and licensed acupuncturist.

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree
Acupuncture Degrees Master's degree, doctorate
Certification Each state has its own requirements for licensing; NCCAOM offers additional training and certification

What Degree Options Are Available?

Acupuncture degrees are offered at the master's degree level and are usually labeled as a Master of Science in Acupuncture. Some degrees will combine acupuncture studies with Oriental medicine, and master's degree programs usually take three years to complete. Courses will include basic medical courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and biomedicine. These courses will be paired with acupuncture practice, needle placement, herbology, Oriental medicine practices, and acupuncture therapy and history.

In addition to clinical hours and practice, most master's degree programs require an internship. It's important that the school is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine ( Also, doctorate programs are available if you wish to continue your education after earning your master's degree.

Do I Need to Earn Certification After I Earn My Degree?

Every state has individual licensing requirements for acupuncturists. Certification and additional training options are available through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). A master's or doctoral degree in acupuncture is required to take the certification exam. The exam covers topics in Oriental medicine and acupuncture practice and performance.

Professional experience or an existing apprenticeship may also count for exam eligibility. While each state has individual requirements you must meet before you can become a licensed and state-recognized acupuncturist, most processes begin with certification earned through the NCCAOM (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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