Doctor of Acupuncture

Quick Facts


Kenmore, Washington campus

General Requirements

Students have two entry options for the Doctoral program in Acupuncture (DAc).

  • Bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 135 quarter credits.

  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

  • Grade C or higher in prerequisite courses

Length of Program

4 years (14 quarters)
Students enrolled in the DAc program will be concurrently enrolled in the MSA or MSAOM program.


The MSAOM and DAc program of study will be comprised of 248 quarter credits (3572.5 clock hours) including 1290 hours of clinical training.

The MSA and DAc program of study will be comprised of 194 quarter credits (2791.5 clock hours) including 1026 hours of clinical training.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Career Opportunities

  • Licensed acupuncturist (LAc) in private practice
  • Licensed acupuncturist (LAc) with a collaborative patient care model with other private practice practitioners
  • Licensed acupuncturist (LAc) within an integrative clinic or collaborative clinic



Acupuncture is legally recognized in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Requirements for licensure can vary from state to state, with the majority of states requiring the successful completion of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam. Students interested in licensure in a state other than Washington or California should learn the licensing requirements of that particular state to ensure there are no outstanding academic requirements at the time of graduation. Academic advising is available to help students intending to meet additional state licensing requirements.


The Doctorate in Acupuncture (DAc) is a first professional doctoral program for acupuncturists who wish to gain a high level of skills in advanced diagnostic studies, collaborative and integrative care, and professional development that this growing field is demanding. The program is designed to train acupuncturists to the highest level of competency in an entry level degree.


Bastyr University’s master’s-level program in acupuncture (MSA), master’s-level program in Oriental medicine (MSAOM), and advanced practice doctoral (DAOM) program are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Institution/program accreditation history, notes, and dates of review may be viewed at:

The Bastyr University 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.

This program is eligible for ACAOM accreditation, and Bastyr is currently in the process of seeking ACAOM pre-accreditation/accreditation for the program. However, the University can provide no assurance that pre-accreditation or accreditation will be granted by ACAOM.

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;

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • The Doctorate in Acupuncture (DAc) trains graduates to do the following:
    • Safe and effective in the care of patients by demonstrating in-depth ability in the following areas:
    • Knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine diagnostic strategies and their application to individual cases;
    • Skilled in traditional methods of assessing patients, including interviewing, palpation and observation;
    • Competence in selecting the appropriate treatment modalities and plans for a patient utilizing acupuncture, tui na, Chinese herbs (relevant to MSAOM), lifestyle and dietary counseling, and other modalities within the scope of practice; Skilled in the application of acupuncture techniques in an appropriate and safe fashion for each patient;
    • Physical examination, orthopedic and neurological assessment and pain management; and
    • Able to incorporate findings from imaging, laboratory and diagnostic studies in patient care;
    • Critical thinking using cognitive skills to increase the probability of desirable patient outcomes and development of professional judgment
  • Able to integrate Eastern and Western paradigms of medicine for the purposes of informing the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, communicating with other healthcare professionals and patients, and making appropriate medical referrals when necessary;
  • Professional in their approach to setting up and maintaining a private practice, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, working in an integrated healthcare setting and providing leadership in the Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine field;
  • Capable of accessing research information, critically assessing the value of published clinical research in the field;
  • Able to provide health promotion and disease prevention measures based on traditional Chinese medicine theory (such as tai chi, qigong, and therapeutic nutrition) to support the well-being of their patients and themselves;
  • Qualified to pass national and state acupuncture and/or herbal exams.
  • Able to assess personal professional strengths and weaknesses, and implement a professional development plan


All entering students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 to be considered for admission. A grade of C or better is also required in all prerequisite coursework.

Students may apply to the program while completing prerequisite coursework but must have a plan for completing prerequisites before the start of the program in the fall.

Courses Required for all Students:

General Chemistry with lab (survey level)

4 quarter credits

General Biology with lab (survey level)

4 quarter credits


3 quarter credits

General Psychology

3 quarter credits

Intermediate Algebra*

1 course

*Intermediate Algebra is not college level, and credits will not transfer towards undergraduate degree completion.

Undergraduate Entry Option

In addition to the detailed prerequisites listed above, applicants who plan to start the program without an awarded bachelor’s degree must also complete the following General Education Requirements:

English Literature and Composition

9 quarter credits

Speech Communication or Public Speaking

3 quarter credits

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

9 quarter credits

Arts and Humanities

15 quarter credits

Social Sciences

15 quarter credits


70 quarter credits

Recommended Elective Courses

For students entering the program without a bachelor's degree, the following are strongly recommended courses to take while completing your general education requirements:


Chinese Language (Mandarin)


Chinese History/Culture/Philosophy

Organic Chemistry




Cellular Biology


Want to know which classes fulfill these prerequisites? Check these lists:

Interested in completing some prerequisite courses online? Learn more about which lower-division courses can be fulfilled through the Alternative Credit Project.


The curriculum table lists the tentative schedule of courses each quarter. Next to each course are the number of credits per course (Crdt.), the lecture hours each week (Lec.).

PDF icon 2019-20 DAc MSA-MSAOM.pdf

Clinical Training

Becoming an effective practitioner of acupuncture medicine involves close mentoring and instruction by experienced faculty members in a variety of patient-care settings, including opportunity to work side by side with students from other program during the last 2 quarters of clinical training.

Consistency and Quality in Training

The DAc clinical program focus the majority of the students’ clinic shifts in the University's Seattle teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

Bastyr's Acupuncture, and Acupuncture and Oriental medicine program is science-based, led by highly qualified and experienced faculty, many of whom have been in practice more than 20 years in the United States and China.

The student will be prepared for licensure in the 47 states* (and District of Columbia) that legally recognize acupuncture. *some states require MSAOM for licensure

Diverse Patient Population

During your clinical training, you will have the opportunity to provide care to a wide range of patients with a variety of medical conditions. Within Bastyr Center, there are several different types of patient care shifts available to students:

  • General acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine

  • Immune wellness care for patients with HIV/AIDS

  • Integrated acupuncture and naturopathic medicine

  • Opportunities to rotate through off-site community care clinics that provide affordable health care to diverse populations, including seniors, low-income and immigrant communities.

Training Hours

  • The student will spend 44 preceptor hours shadowing and observing acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine professionals in their private practices.

  • The student will have a minimum of 1,026 total clinical training hours.

  • The student will have the unique opportunity to study acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine at one of our sister schools in either Shanghai or Chengdu, China, under the leadership of Bastyr faculty. For information about the China externship, see above on this page.

Kenmore Campus Location

The 51-acre Bastyr University campus, nestled among fields and woodlands on the northeast shore of Lake Washington, is uniquely suited for the study of natural health sciences.
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