Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization


Credits Per Trimester
13 trimesters
Trimester of Entry
Fall, Spring

MUIH is no longer accepting applications for admission to its acupuncture and herbal medicine programs. 

For additional information, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at or 443-906-5745.

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization degree integrates the Doctor of Acupuncture curriculum with a deep concentration in the study of Chinese Herbs and prepares graduates to meet the growing need and opportunities for well-trained Chinese medical practitioners to serve in numerous types of integrative medicine settings across the country. It prepares students to be integrative practitioners who can seamlessly weave acupuncture and Chinese herbs into clinical treatment plans, and bring their research literacy, advanced diagnostic studies, systems-based medicine skills and knowledge to bear in a multitude of clinical environments, including integrative healthcare settings alongside practitioners in allopathic and other complementary health fields. As a graduate of this program, you will be recognized as a doctor, both professionally and publicly, and will be prepared to work as a vital part of multidisciplinary healthcare team.


The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization program is designed for individuals who wish to become an acupuncturist, integrate the use of Chinese herbal medicine into their practice, apply research literacy to an evidence-based approach, and work in conventional medical and healthcare settings as well as private practice.

Alumni of MUIH’s Master’s level acupuncture program who are interested in a doctoral program in acupuncture (with or without a Chinese herbal medicine specialization) should visit the acupuncture doctoral completion webpage.

Program Description

MUIH’s Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

MUIH offers four master’s and doctoral programs in acupuncture and herbal medicine: Doctor of Acupuncture, Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, Master of Acupuncture, and Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization. All four programs prepare students to achieve full clinical competency in acupuncture and to become highly skilled, integrative acupuncturists. Each program has unique characteristics that prepare students for different career tracks and aspirations.

All of MUIH’s master’s and doctoral programs in acupuncture and herbal medicine blend acupuncture approaches from two healing traditions, Constitutional Five Element Acupuncture (CFEA) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with contemporary science as the basis for treating the whole person. The programs provide a comprehensive understanding of the classical and theoretical foundations of the field of acupuncture and introduce students to biomedicine from an integrative and holistic perspective. They emphasize self-cultivation and healership through a curriculum that is rigorous, transformative, and relationship centered. By drawing upon ancient wisdom and the gifts of nature students will learn to choose their words and actions intentionally in order to be a healing presence that supports their patients. These programs develop highly skillful and compassionate practitioners who offer acupuncture as a catalyst for healing and wellness, as well as for increased self-awareness and personal transformation. Additionally, the programs provide a solid foundation in career development, practice management, and the business skills necessary to build a practice or enter the workforce and participate in today’s growing healthcare field.

All four programs share these highlights:

  • A rigorous clinical experience beginning as early as the second trimester.
  • The only accredited graduate program to offer the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) training and related clinical experience as part of the curriculum.
  • The opportunity to work with a wide variety of clinical supervisors with different theoretical perspectives and practice styles.
  • Exposure to different clinical approaches such as: Chinese and Western nutrition therapy, qi gong, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, scalp acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, and tuina.
  • The opportunity to see patients from diverse backgrounds and in community outreach settings.
  • The opportunity to engage in specialty courses in the treatment of certain health conditions and populations, including pain management and women’s health.
  • Flexible, full-time formats: two days each week, with some online courses, and occasional intensives and self-scheduled electives offered outside of the two-day schedule.
  • A cohort learning format that provides mentorship and flexibility for students to learn in small groups and in one-on-one settings during clinical rotation.

Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization Program

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization program has the following specific characteristics, in addition to the above highlights shared by all programs:

  • A curriculum consisting of 190.25 credits that can be completed in four years (13 consecutive trimesters).
  • Foundational clinical acupuncture experience consisting of 30 observations, 125 primary treatments, 125 secondary treatment, and 23 community health initiative treatments.
  • Advanced clinical acupuncture experience consisting of 120 hours of evidence informed treatment, integrative clinic, or integrative case discussions.
  • Clinical Chinese herb experience consisting of 40 primary treatments and 65 secondary treatments.
  • The opportunity to gain practical experience in prescribing Chinese herbs, and the management of a Chinese herbal dispensary.
  • The opportunity to experience integrative practices in at least one of several possible conventional healthcare settings.
  • The opportunity to enhance and deepen one’s practice by sharpening diagnostic skills and additional specialization to confidently treat specific populations.

Click here to view an expanded description of the program highlights, learning outcomes, and curriculum of the Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization program, and how it differs from the Doctor of Acupuncture, Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, and Master of Acupuncture degrees.

Admission Requirements

Trimester of Entry: Fall, Spring
Application Priority Deadline: Application deadline by Trimester
General Requirements:
Program Specific Requirements: Prerequisite Coursework: Students must have completed prerequisite courses in chemistry, biology, and psychology; lab courses in these subjects are not required. Students may fulfill this prerequisite coursework through any of the following means:

  • These courses may have been completed at the undergraduate or graduate level as part of a degree program or as individual courses taken at an accredited college or university.
  • Completion of the following low-cost, non-lab courses offered by StraighterLine: Introduction to Biology, General Chemistry I, Introduction to Psychology
  • Completion of the following low-cost, non-lab courses offered by Sophia: Human Biology, Introduction to Psychology
  • Attainment of a minimum score of 50 on each of the relevant CLEP exams offered by the College Board: BiologyChemistryIntroductory Psychology.

Complete Essay Questions in application:

  • How does the program relate to your future personal and professional goals?
  • Share an example of how you typically respond to learning new ways of thinking, being and doing and to being coached in those experiences.
  • How do you expect being in this program will shift your priorities and affect your schedule outside of class?

Additional English language proficiency requirements apply for international students.



For a full description of the curriculum including the required and elective course work, visit the Academic Catalog.

Students progress through three levels of training, each with a specific focus 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. The program can be completed in four years and four months across 13 trimesters.

The program consists of a total 190.25 credits, distributed as:

  • Level 1 courses – 28.5 cr
  • Level 2 courses – 41 cr
  • Level 3 courses – 49.75 cr
  • Bioscience Elective courses – 3 cr
  • Flex Core courses – 7 cr
  • Chinese Herb courses – 39 cr
  • Doctoral courses – 22 cr

LEVEL I – The Tao: Health in Wholeness

Level I begins with an intensive course 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 herbal 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, which 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 10 patients, and completes, under supervision, a minimum of 295 treatments. A portion of the completed treatments will take place in integrative healthcare settings that may be located off-campus. The Chinese herbs clinic consists of 210 hours, including direct diagnostic calibration treatment planning, and extensive practical dispensary training. 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 evidence-informed case reports, and a more extensive case study, on their own patients. Students may graduate upon completion of all coursework, clinical, and other academic requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the history and foundational theories of acupuncture and its different traditions.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the tradition of Constitutional Five Element Acupuncture, Eight Principle treatment strategies and its different traditions.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of Chinese Herbs from a unique integration of Constitutional Five Element perspectives, classical Chinese medicine, Eight Principle diagnosis, and Zang-Fu differentiation.
  • Express an understanding of the biomedical theories of health and disease relevant to the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
  • Demonstrate effective communication with a wide variety of professional colleagues.
  • Develop a healing presence both personally and professionally that will facilitate growth as a practitioner.
  • Develop specialization in the treatment of certain health conditions and populations.
  • Demonstrate support of clients at all levels of being – body, mind, and spirit.
  • Understand the business and practice management skills that will ensure success in the workforce.
  • Develop a collaborative approach to health care.
  • Be an effective clinician/educator in an integrative care setting.
  • Be able to communicate effectively with other health care providers regarding the results of diagnostic studies.
  • Understand research and scholarship in the field of health and wellness.

"What I have learned at MUIH goes way beyond just the treatment room. It has allowed me to develop practices in my own life to strengthen relationships with my own being, loved ones, and nature that I can share with my patients."
Danielle Bellezza, Student

Program Format & Schedule

Program Format

This program is offered in the on-campus formats. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization is delivered primarily on campus with some online courses.

For additional details visit the Academic Catalog.

Program Schedule

For trimester start and end dates, see the Academic Calendar.


For programs that begin in the Fall trimester, class times are 9 a.m – 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. For programs that begin in the Spring trimester, class times are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.

There are occasional scheduling exceptions for intensives, electives, non-credit requirements, and other special courses as described below. Students must plan ahead to clear work schedules and commitments to be available to attend all courses as required.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Courses

The Chinese herbal medicine portion of the program consists of 37 credits delivered as two- to three-day weekends (Friday-Sunday), starting in Level II. Please refer to the Course of Study and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Chinese Herbs in the Academic Catalog for more information.


The program begins with a three-day intensive and has a few intensives, including weekend intensives throughout the 11 trimesters. Most weekend intensives are 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Elective course offerings are typically bioscience (ISCI) courses held Mondays from 6 – 9 p.m, Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., and weekends (generally two weekends consisting of Friday evening and all-day Saturday and Sunday), with some online availability. Offerings vary by trimester.

Tuition & Fees

Course Code Cost per Credit # of Credits University Fee Tuition Cost*
AOM Fall ’23 $640 15 $275 $9,600
AOM Spring ’24 $640 17.5 $275 $11,200
AOM Summer ’24 $640 18.5 $275 $11,840
Total 51 $825 $32,640

*Prices subject to change. Tuition costs are for illustrative purposes only.

Additional Fees

Fees Cost
Application Fee $50
Non-Refundable Tuition Deposit $150
University Fee (per trimester) $275
All students, including students taking a voluntary break in enrollment. Click here to learn more about the fee.
Late Registration Fee
After registration deadline and before start of the schedule adjustment period for current students
During the schedule adjustment period for current students

Licensure, Certification, & Credentialing

Laws & Licensure

Completion of the Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization program does not automatically qualify graduates to begin practicing independently. Each state, including Maryland, has specific licensure or registration procedures that must be met. Governmental laws, regulations, legal opinions, and requirements differ from country to country and state to state. MUIH cannot provide assurance that completion of the program will qualify a graduate to be registered or accepted under a state law other than Maryland. However, the University’s Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization program is designed to provide basic, solid competence in traditional acupuncture. There may be a waiting period between the completion of the program and the legal recognition allowing the graduate to begin practice. Until a graduate receives official notification of legal recognition to begin practice, she or he may continue to practice only under faculty supervision. Students who wish to continue to practice in Maryland after graduating, but prior to being licensed, must enroll in MUIH’s Trainee Program. Most states require successful completion of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine exam. For more information, refer to

Maryland Acupuncture Licenses

Graduates wishing to practice in Maryland may be licensed by applying to the Maryland Board of Acupuncture. MUIH is approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to award a Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization degree, and the program conforms to Maryland laws and regulations regarding the practice of acupuncture. For requirements for licensure in Maryland, contact: Maryland Board of Acupuncture, 4201 Patterson Avenue, Room 311 Baltimore, MD 21215; phone 410-764-4766 or 800-530-2481; or online at

Requirements of Other States

For eligibility to apply for licensure, other states may stipulate additional requirements, such as completion of a course in Chinese herbs or clinical hours beyond what is required by MUIH. Individuals who wish to practice in a state other than Maryland are advised to check the licensing requirements of that state by contacting the medical or acupuncture regulating agency in each state.

Additional Information

Additional information regarding licensure is available in the State Licensure Determination document on MUIH’s Student Consumer Information webpage and in the Academic Catalog.

Program Accreditation & Approvals 

Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM)

The following programs offered by Maryland University of Integrative Health are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM):

(1) Master of Acupuncture

(2) Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization 

(3) Doctor of Acupuncture

(4) Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization 

(5) Certificate in Chinese herbal medicine [currently named Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Chinese Herbs]

ACAHM does not accredit any programs at the undergraduate/bachelor level.

Maryland University of Integrative Health has voluntarily ceased enrolling students in all ACAHM-accredited programs and has instituted ACAHM-approved teach-out plans for all currently enrolled students. During the teach-out period, the programs maintain the current accredited status.

Accreditation status and notes may be viewed on the ACAHM Directory

ACAHM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture practitioners. ACAHM is located at 500 Lake Street, Suite 204, Excelsior, MN 55331; phone 952/212-2434;

Public Disclosure Statement Effective as of 9 August 2023.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of MUIH’s acupuncture and herbal medicine programs are employed in a variety of settings including private practice; integrative group practices; health care systems; hospitals; wellness centers; pain management centers; addiction treatment centers; behavioral and mental health centers; fertility centers; veterans and military organizations and agencies; state and local health departments; and colleges and universities. Many graduates chose to have a portfolio career in which they have multiple positions and employers within one or more profession, rather than one full-time job. A portfolio career provides such individuals with variety in their work life and the opportunity to develop a wide and varied professional network.

The career outlook for acupuncture and herbal medicine (AHM) practitioners is strong, and national statistics indicate that individuals pursuing such careers successfully earn income and either establish a solo practice or are hired into a number of different healthcare settings. The AHM career track has been categorized as a “BrightOutlook” occupation by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), indicating that this occupation is predicted to experience rapid growth during the years 2018-2028. BLS predicts a much faster than average (11%) employment growth for AHM practitioners during this time period. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) reports that approximately 72% of acupuncture and herbal medicine practitioners are actively working in clinical practice with a majority of those practitioners reporting a solo practice being their primary practice setting. NCCAOM also reports that there has been a significant increase in employment in hospital and integrative care settings; the percentage of acupuncturists employed or contracted in these settings grew from 6% in 2008 to 10% in 2015. NCCAOM job analysis statistics indicate that 36% of AHM practitioners reported a total gross income (before taxes) of $40,000-$100,000 with 11% reporting gross incomes of $100,000 and above; the BLS reports the median average salary for AHM practitioners in 2017 was $73,830.

View more about career opportunities.

Upcoming Webinars

Take a look at what our Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine programs offer and how MUIH is the choice for you!

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Program Administration

Sharon Jennings-Rojas, D.O.M; M.Ac.; L.Ac.; RT (NADA)
Department Chair

Janet Padgett, Ph.D., M.Ac.
Director of Acupuncture

Daniel Schrier, M.Ac, D.O.M., L.Ac., ADS (NADA)
Director of Acupuncture Experiential Learning

Jennifer Schwing, M.A.
Department Manager

Crystal Hoyte, M.S.
Associate Director of Academic Advising & Student Orientation Specialist

Casey Simms, M.A.
Academic Advisor

Click here to view the faculty.

An MUIH education is not just for living, but for life.