Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

The Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree is a regionally and professionally accredited clinical doctorate program developed for licensed acupuncturists to address the current trend of increased collaboration between acupuncturists, physicians and other health care providers.

Length of Program: 2 years, full time.
Campus: Kenmore, Washington


Bridging Eastern and Western healing traditions, Bastyr University offers a regionally and professionally accredited Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program, with a special focus on advanced pain management.

Deepen Your Clinical Practice

The DAOM prepares acupuncturists to deliver specialized pain management in integrative care settings. This post-graduate, clinical doctorate program is open to graduates of an accredited master’s degree in Chinese medicine (or its equivalent). Students deepen their understanding of Chinese medical classics and apply theories and treatment principles to clinical practice. Drawing on both traditional Chinese medicine and biomedical concepts, students gain profound skills to assist patients with chronic pain to improve their quality of life.

Program Features 

  • Convenient weekend format. With more than 650 hours of clinical education, this non-residential DAOM program is delivered in a weekend intensive format that allows students the option to live and work elsewhere while completing the two-year degree. Classes take place in Seattle once a month over four days (Friday-Monday).
  • World-class instruction. Bastyr’s expert acupuncture and East Asian medicine faculty delivers high-quality instruction in small class sizes. Their knowledge and experience, along with guest faculty from all over the world, deeply enrich student learning.
  • A clinical doctorate program. Bastyr’s DAOM students develop advanced clinical skills by combining theory and practice in hands-on internships, clinical theater, case discussions, preceptorships and a capstone research project. They also have the opportunity to participate in the China externship at the end of their studies.
  • Emphasis on advanced pain management. The DAOM program is dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills of qualified practitioners in the specialty of advanced pain management. Students experience rigorous training in traditional Chinese medicine and biomedical concepts in an integrative model of care delivery. Areas of study include advanced Chinese medical classics, research literacy and specialty training in the management of chronic pain. 
  • A diverse student body. Bastyr students draw from all across the United States and 28 other countries.


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;



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.), the lab/clinic hours each week (L/C) and the total contact hours for the course over the entire quarter (Tot). This table reflects a full-time course of study. A part-time option is also available.

Course descriptions are available in the Course Catalog.

Educational Objectives

Graduates of the clinical DAOM program’s clinical doctorate will have the skills to:

  1. Develop an advanced TCM diagnosis and treatment plan including all applicable modalities within the scope of practice, commensurate with the status of patients’ health
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental, advanced pain treatment protocols in order to inform TCM care
  3. Discuss treatment planning issues as part of an integrated medical team
  4. Demonstrate an ability to participate as part of a clinical supervisory team educating master’s students in acupuncture and TCM 
  5. Conduct research demonstrating and refining skills in study design and comprehension

Program of Study

Bastyr University’s Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program uses a weekend-intensive format that gives students the option of living and working elsewhere while completing the degree.  Classes and a portion of the clinical training take place over one 4-day weekend (Friday-Monday) per month for two years.  The program offers specialty training in advanced pain management using various acupuncture modalities including Chinese herbology. 

The program can be divided into following areas:​​

  1. Medical Classics including relevant selections from:
    • Huang Di Nei Jing
    • Shang Han Lun
    • Jin Gui Yao Lue
    • Wen Bing Xue
    • These courses allow students to deepen their understanding of Chinese medical classics, and to apply theories, treatment principles and techniques to the clinical relief of pain.
  2. Advanced clinical skills:
    • Clinical diagnosis – Physical exam
    • Clinical diagnosis—Orthopedic/Neurological assessment
    • Clinical diagnosis – Imaging
    • Clinical diagnosis – Laboratory
  3. Research:
    • Biostatistics
    • Research methods
    • Applied Research Skills
    • Case Discussions
    • Recent Research Survey
    • Capstone independent study
    • Capstone presentation
  4. Specialty Modules in Advanced pain management
    • Master Tung’s Points
    • Lasers & Advanced electro-acupuncture
    • Sports/joint/muscle injury
    • Scalp acupuncture
    • Japanese techniques
    • Advanced Tui-na
    • Thai Massage
    • Structural Integration
    • Oncology and Auto-immune
    • Balance Method
    • Microsystems
    • Medical Qi Gong for Pain
  5. Specialty Training
    • Neurobiology of Pain
    • Pharmacology of Pain Management
    • Trigger and Motor Points
  6. Special Topics
    • Pediatrics and Gerontology
    • Urological, Gynecological, Digestive and Vascular Systems
    • Psycho/emotional Aspects of Pain
    • Arthritis & Rheumatology
    • Nutrition, Herbs and Supplements
    • Chinese Herbs for External Application
    • Exercise Physiology           
  7. Clinical training:
    • Supervision in Master’s Degree Clinics
    • Internship Specialty Clinic at BCNH
    • Clinical theater
    • Case discussions
    • Grand Rounds at Harborview Hospital with UW Resident MDs
    • Preceptorship
    • China externship 

Credit-clock hour conversion

  • Didactic classes—11 clock hours = 1 Credit
  • ONL- Online (Canva Forum)—11 hours = 1 Credit
  • HYB- Hybrid (Canva Course)—11 hours = 1 Credit
  • Clinic/Lab sections—22 clock hours = 1 Credit
  • 1 clock hour = 50 min. of instruction + 10 min. break.

Evaluation of didactic competency achievement is conducted on-line via Bastyr’s Elearning system. This is estimated to be accomplished in one hour/credit and is included in the above. The evaluative tool is at the discretion of the instructor and could include an exam, a homework assignment, a relevant case history, etc.

Successful completion of the degree program requires a capstone project pertinent to the area of specialty.

Quick Facts


Kenmore Campus

General Requirements

  • A master’s degree (or its equivalent) from an ACAOM-candidate or ACAOM-accredited school of acupuncture
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 from your master’s degree institution for admission Current Washington or other state acupuncture license
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status
  • Fluency in English
  • Personal computer (not a tablet)
  • Early Application deadline November 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 program start
  • Priority Application deadline March 15, 2021 for Fall 2021 program start

Length of Program

2 years (3-year, part-time option available)

Program Attendance

  • One intensive weekend of classroom instruction (Friday-Sunday) per month in Seattle
  • 3 to 6 clinic days per month in Seattle (typically at Harborview Medical Center), resulting in 3 preparation and 30 clinical internship days total
  • Individual schedule of 6 clinical preceptorships totaling 220 hours, 44 hour increments each
  • Required China externship (88 hours) or alternate Integrated Care Rotation (88 hours)

Post-admission Requirements for Attending Clinical Internship, Partial List:

  • Background checks
  • Vaccination or proof of immunity for TB, Varicella, MMR, Tdap, Hepatitis B, Influenza


Over 1200 hours of didactic and clinical work. Over 50% of the program is clinical.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Career Opportunities

  • Licensed acupuncturist in private practice or within an integrative clinic
  • Acupuncturist in a hospital setting
  • Specialist in pain management, oncology, sports medicine or palliative care
  • Expert author/writer on Chinese medicine topics
  • Teaching position in a school of acupuncture and oriental medicine
  • Acupuncture medicine research

See how our graduates use their degrees.

Where is Acupuncture Licensed?

Acupuncture is legally recognized in 47 states plus the District of Columbia.


Minimum prerequisite for the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree is a master's degree (or its equivalent) in acupuncture or acupuncture and Oriental medicine from an ACAOM-candidate or -accredited program. Applicants must also be licensed in their home state or in Washington state and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The minimum cumulative GPA for required courses is 2.75. 

Request more Information Now accepting applications  for summer and fall  2020 Now accepting applications for summer and fall 2021