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 

  • Designed for working professionals. Live and work while completing your doctoral degree, with the flexibility of a weekend intensive format. 
  • Practice acupuncture in a hospital environment. Join the integrative care team and help treat patients at the level 1 trauma center of Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Visit and care for patients with acute and chronic pain, offer TCM diagnosis and treatment plans, and provide acupuncture treatments to select patients.
  • The highest degree available in the field of acupuncture. Prepare for a fulfilling career in pain management or research. Receive a world-class education from international experts in acupuncture while enjoying the benefits of small class sizes. 
  • A clinical doctorate program. Combine theory and practice in hands-on internships, clinical theater, case discussions, preceptorships and a capstone research project. Optionally finish your studies by joining the China externship.*

*China externship is dependant on international travel restrictions


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;


Quick Facts


Seattle 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

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 4 clinical preceptorships totaling 176 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, COVID-19


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.


The curriculum table lists the tentative schedule of courses each quarter. This table reflects a full-time course of study. A part-time option can be designed by delaying preceptorships, capstones and/or some clinical work. The program must be completed in four years. 

Course descriptions are available in the Course Catalog.

Educational Objectives

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

  1. Develop advanced acupuncture and traditional Asian medical diagnoses and treatments for complex or severe conditions.
  2. Demonstrate diverse pain treatment strategies in acupuncture and traditional Asian medical care.
  3. Deliver evidence-informed treatment and describe traditional Asian medical practices in biomedical terms, as part of a collaborative integrated medical team.
  4. Participate in a clinical supervisory team educating master's level students of acupuncture and traditional Asian medicine.
  5. Apply academic and clinical research fluency and hone research skills involved in study design and preliminary investigations.
  6. Educate varied audiences about traditional Asian medical systems.
  7. Exercise leadership to advance the profession and foster generations of the professional community.

Program of Study

Bastyr University’s Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program uses a monthly 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 or 5 day period per month for two years. The program offers specialty training in advanced pain management using various acupuncture modalities including Chinese herbal medicine.

The program can be divided into following areas:​​

  1. Medical Classics including relevant selections from:
    • Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic)
    • Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Injury due to Cold)
    • Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essentials of the Golden Cabinet)
    • Wen Bing Tiao Bian (Systematic Differentiation of Warm DIseases) and other classics of warm disease theory
    • Zhen Jiu Zi Sheng Jing (The Classic of Supporting Life with Acupuncture and Moxibustion)
    • Zhen Jiu Da Cheng (The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion)
  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
    • Structural Integration
    • Oncology and Auto-immune
    • Balance Method
    • Microsystems
    • Point Injection Therapy
    • Trigger and Motor Points
  5. Specialty Training
    • Neurobiology of Pain
    • Pharmacology of Pain Management
  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
    • Clinical Internship includes table rounds at Harborview Medical Center with Integrated Pain Care physicians and pain specialists
    • Preceptorship
    • China externship or Integrative Care hospital intensive

Credit-clock hour conversion

  • Didactic classes—11 clock hours = 1 Credit
  • ONL- Online (Canvas Forum)—11 hours = 1 Credit
  • HYB- Hybrid (Canvas 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.


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. 

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