Admissions - Master of Science in Acupuncture

Master of Science in Acupuncture

National University's Master of Science in Acupuncture program offers you a comprehensive curriculum in acupuncture coupled with training in how to balance an Eastern medicine approach with Western medicine.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique that is over 3,000 years old. It is based on the insertion of thin, sterile needles into strategic points on the body that lie along specific energy meridian pathways.

Acupuncture Philosophy

Acupuncture is one of the five main branches of oriental medicine. The goal of acupuncture is to promote healing through rebalancing the patient's Qi (or chi) energy. When the Qi is weak, excessive or blocked, it can cause illness and disease.

Aom _effectivelytreats _500w
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture and oriental medicine as
effective for over 43 conditions under the above-listed nine major health categories.
(Source: National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine)

Acupuncture Treatments

An acupuncturist may stimulate acupuncture points and meridians using needles, or employ electronic stimulation, magnets or lasers to acupuncture points for enhanced healing. Other meridian and point therapies may include acupressure, the application of heat through moxibustion, drawing out energy through cupping, and a specialized massage system called "tuina."

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Health Care Career

35% of the hospitals offering complementary medicine provide acupuncture as an outpatient service to their patients.

(Source: Health Forum Complementary and Alternative Medicine Survey of Hospitals)

Acupuncture Careers

Acupuncture and oriental medicine are being recognized as effective treatments for a variety of conditions. An increasing number of hospitals and integrative care centers are employing acupuncturists for both medical treatment and wellness programs. Acupuncturists may also start their own practice, or work in pain management clinics, fertility clinics, weight loss or addiction treatment centers. Even cosmetic and spa facilities are now offering acupuncture for clients to relieve stress and combat the effects of aging.

Pie Chart showing Careers Pursued by AOM Practioners
(Source: National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine)

Program Overview

Integrative Medicine

We believe in bringing together professionals from a broad range of medical specialties for the benefit of patients and the health care industry as a whole. 

Eastern Medicine and Western Science

Small screenshot of videoAt National University, eastern traditional medicine meets modern western science. Acupuncture students not only receive a thorough curriculum in their arts, but also learn fundamental biomedical science and modern medical diagnostics. Understanding both perspectives is fundamental to whole health healing and better patient-centered care. Students become more comprehensive, full-body diagnosticians, evaluating and recommending treatments based on each individual patient's history and symptoms. You will also be prepared for the business and practical realities of your professional career through our business program.

Comparison to the MSOM Program

This program is ideal for those who wish to study oriental medicine but who are not necessarily interested in becoming herbalists. You will study with and receive the same comprehensive training as students in the oriental medicine program with the exception of the study of Chinese herbal medicine.

Outstanding Facilities

Our large integrative care clinic and extensive herbal dispensary ensures outstanding clinical training. The gross anatomy laboratory allows you to learn western anatomy and eastern meridian theory through hands-on dissection of a human cadaver. You will also have access to the Learning Resource Center, one of the region's largest health science libraries on campus and modern classrooms utilizing state-of-the-art technology such as interactive video, and SMART boards.


The Master of Science Degree in Acupuncture and the Master of Science Degree in Oriental Medicine of the National University of Health Sciences are accredited under the Master's Degree standards by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the recognized accrediting agency for 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.

This full accreditation assures that NUHS graduates are eligible to sit for the licensing examinations conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).


Consider National University for its distinct advantages and be well-prepared for the career that awaits you.

Acupuncture Reinforced with Science and Anatomy

Small image of video playerThe unique curriculum at NUHS, integrating eastern and western medicine, allows students a one-of-a-kind experience in anatomy with full dissection of a human cadaver. The anatomy curriculum encourages the study of the relationship between acupuncture points and the human anatomy. In addition to hands-on dissection, NUHS offers The Anatomage Table, today's most technologically advanced digital visualization system for anatomy education.

Apprentice with Expert Faculty 

Faculty at National University are international leaders in their field, committed to training students in the treatment methods and philosophies of traditional oriental medicine. That's why our program incorporates apprentice-style learning so that you can learn via direct transmission of knowledge and skills from our faculty masters. In addition, all full-time faculty in the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program hold PhDs with strong research backgrounds.

Intensive Clinical Training

Students in the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program at National University will receive early clinical exposure with experienced clinicians. Our integrative medical clinic affords students the opportunity to work within a diverse clinic setting and have access to a large herbal dispensary. Prior to graduation, students will also have the opportunity to take advantage of unique internship opportunities such as in the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic or John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.  

Collaborative Learning Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to treat patients collaboratively within an integrative clinic, working with DC and ND interns. The institutional focus at National University is on collaborative learning and encourages students to become colleagues rather than competitors.

Geographic Location

National University is conveniently located 15 miles from the city of Chicago and its diverse neighborhoods, including the bustling Chinatown area with its rich tradition of herbal medicine shops and practitioners. 

The Chicagoland area is also home to one of the largest health care communities in the country with over 120 hospitals and hundreds of area clinics. 

Our Curriculum

The 121-credit hour program is seven trimesters in length and the courses are offered primarily in the evening.

Full Immersion in Traditional Arts

You'll study the full range of traditional diagnostic techniques such as tongue and pulse analysis. You'll learn point location and correct needle techniques under seasoned practitioners. You'll go deeply into the philosophical basis of the medicine so that you can fully understand the causes of imbalance in your patients and how to treat them.

Grounding in Western Health Sciences

We integrate western medical science into our curriculum so that you can better meet your patients' needs. You will also be better prepared to co-manage cases with DCs, MDs, NDs and DOs, and take advantage of new career opportunities in integrative medical venues.

Intensive Clinical Learning

Clinical learning happens very early in the program with clinic observation beginning in the second trimester. This apprenticeship style of learning allows for ample opportunity to apply your clinical skills as you progress through the curriculum.

Distinctive Curriculum

View trimester-by-trimester courses, course descriptions, and the course schedule. Learn more »


Each student in our Master of Science in Acupuncture degree program serves a full year clinical internship. In addition to learning clinical applications of oriental medicine and proper documentation procedures, you will learn important personal and business skills you'll need to help build your own practice.

Your clinical experience can be completed at our on-campus Whole Health Center in Lombard, IL or at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.  

Other Program Opportunities

Dual Degrees

Students who earn their MSAc degree at National University have the option to earn a second degree (DC or ND) through dual enrollment. Course scheduling for a dual degree is made simpler because the MSAc and MSOM programs are offered in the evening and the DC and ND coursework is taught during the day. There is also similarity in some of the coursework across the programs allowing for a reduction in the total number of hours required to complete their second degree. Students are not eligible to begin dual enrollment until the third trimester of their initial or primary program of study.

Post Graduate Programs

After graduation, students may pursue a number of post-professional programs such as our masters and residency programs. Of course, there are also a wide variety of continuing education classes offered which allow graduates to maintain their professional licensure.