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Home / Academics / Doctoral Degrees / Doctor of Acupuncture / Curriculum & Course Descriptions

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

Curriculum Overview

Students progress through three levels of training, each with an overarching theme that guides program goals and objectives. The trimesters flow and build from one to the next, and the coursework is sequenced to provide a rich and transformative educational experience, as summarized below.

To view the full curriculum and course descriptions, view the Academic Catalog.

Level I: The Tao: Health in Wholeness

Level I begins with an intensive on healership that introduces students to the art, practice, and science of being a healing presence. Students are introduced to MUIH’s foundational philosophical principles: living within the rhythms of nature, living with mindfulness and the skillful and purposeful use of language as tools for being a powerful healing presence and catalyst for change. This intensive is followed by coursework designed to open up the power of observation and sensory awareness. Other topics in Level I include:

  • The foundational laws and theories that underpin the field of acupuncture and oriental medicine
  • Diagnostic skills development
  • Rapport building skills development
  • Surface anatomy and point location
  • History of acupuncture and an introduction to the classical texts
  • Ethics
  • Orientation to information literacy
  • Philosophy, practice, and therapeutic application of qi through the study of classical self -cultivation practices (such as Tai Ji, Qi Gong, and Daoist meditation)

Level II: Ying/Yang: Health in Balance

Level II coursework delves deeper into the topics introduced in Level I, focusing on theory, diagnosis, treatment planning, and skills development. Students continue to observe clinical practice throughout Level II, and begin supervised clinical work. Each student trains at the on-campus faculty-supervised clinic and at the off-campus Community Clinic Sites. Near the end of this level, each student will take the Level II Comprehensive Exam. Upon passing the exam, the student may begin the expanded clinical portion of the program.

Level III: Qi: Health in Movement

Level III begins with a three-day off-campus retreat. The retreat serves as a bridge between the academic work of Levels I and II, and the clinical experience of Level III. During the retreat, students reflect on their clinical transition and build community with peers who will practice with them in the faculty-supervised clinic. Over the course of Level III, each student generates a minimum of 12 patients, and completes, under supervision, a minimum of 310 treatments. A portion of the completed treatments will take place in integrative healthcare settings. Each student also performs at least 180 treatments on patients at Community Clinic Sites (begun in Level II). In addition to the increased clinical focus, Level III coursework focuses more deeply on advanced topics in theory, diagnosis, treatment planning, and skills development.

During the final stages of clinic work, each student must pass an oral exam with a panel of senior faculty that demonstrates the student’s embodied knowledge and skills in the realm of Chinese medicine. In addition, students must complete a capstone project at the end of their program that will include an extensive case study of one of their patients, in addition to a comprehensive research paper analyzing a clinical condition from an integrative (Western biomedical and Chinese Medicine) perspective. Students may graduate upon completion of all coursework, clinical, and other academic requirements.