Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine FAQs

By browsing the links below, you'll find answers to many of the questions most frequently asked by prospective students.

If you have further questions or would like additional information, please contact the AOMA admissions office at (800) 824-9987, ext 213 or

What is Chinese Medicine?

Encompassing acupuncture and other practices such as herbal medicine, mind-body exercise, Asian bodywork, the essence of Chinese medicine is the people. Both the physician and the patient are interested in a healing process that includes the mind, body, and spirit. A holistic practice, Chinese medicine focuses on healing the root causes of disease in addition to treating symptoms. It is patient-centered care for the promotion of health and wellbeing.

Where can I practice?

A graduate of AOMA's Master of Acupuncture with Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization is eligible to take the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) board exams. The degree is accepted as the professional entry-level degree in all 47 states with an acupuncture practice act as well as the District of Columbia. As of 2020, only South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alabama are without an acupuncture practice act. For further details, please see the interactive map that provides more details on a state-by-state basis, including which of the NCCAOM exams and/or certification requirements for licensure.

Is it possible to take only acupuncture or only herbal medicine classes?

No. Students within the Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) program must complete all of the required curriculum areas and may not take courses within only one curriculum area. However, graduates of a master of acupuncture program may take the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Certificate Program to expand their knowledge and be eligible for licensure in states that require this competency, such as Texas.

How long is the program?

AOMA maintains flexibility within the curriculum so you may choose from different paces of study to complete the graduate program: the accelerated pace or full-time pace.

At the accelerated pace, the master's degree program can be completed in 3 years and 3 months. Students studying at the accelerated pace often enroll in 18-20 credits per term and are typically in class 21-30 hours per week.

Students studying at the full-time pace can complete the degree program in 4 years and 3 months, taking an average of 12-15 credits per term. If studying at the full-time pace, students are typically in class for 12-21 hours per week.

Is it possible to go part-time?

Yes. Part-time students typically take a minimum of 9 credits each term (possibly as few as 6 credits in the summer terms) and must meet this minimum enrollment requirement to ensure they make satisfactory academic progress while maintaining the pedagogical integrity of the program.

Students enrolled at this minimum-level typically complete the program in 6 years and take an average of 3 classes each week. Part-time students can expect to be in class 9-12 hours per week. Students who are enrolled at this level may be eligible for federal financial aid provided they meet minimum enrollment requirements and are making satisfactory academic progress in completing the degree. 

When are classes?

Classes are typically held in three-hour blocks during week-days: in the morning (9:30am – 12:30pm), in the afternoon (2:00pm – 5:00pm), and in the evening (6:30pm – 9:30pm). There are one-hour mind-body classes that meet in between the three-hour classes.

In the fall, winter, and spring terms, each class meets once per week. In the summer term, which is a shorter term, classes usually meet twice per week. Students should expect to take classes in any of these time blocks, and enrollment in some day-time classes is required for program completion.

Browse the following links to view sample schedules for first-term students:

Is it possible to attend classes online?

AOMA currently only offers blended learning class which includes both an in-class portion and an online portion. All other classes are taught on-site at AOMA's campus and clinical sites in Austin, TX.

How much is tuition?

See Tuition and Program Costs

What are the prerequisites courses?

If you have completed a bachelor’s degree, there are no specific courses you must complete prior to applying for admission. AOMA considers students from a wide range of academic disciplines. 

If you do not have a completed bachelor's degree, it is possible to consider your application for admission provided you have satisfied the minimum credit hours and general education requirements in place for students under the "Exception to the Admissions Criteria for Traditional Students". Please see the question, "Do I need a bachelor's degree?", for additional information.

Do I need to have a science background?

No. AOMA does not require, nor give preference to students with a background in natural sciences. While students who have studied natural or health sciences in their undergraduate coursework may be well prepared for AOMA’s biomedical science courses, it is equally valid that students who have studied liberal arts are well prepared for other aspects of the curriculum, and equally well prepared for clinical practice.

Do I need a bachelor’s degree?

See MAcOM Admissions Requirements

What general education requirements do I need to fulfill?

Download General Education Guide 

How do I find regionally accredited undergraduate schools?

Visit the regional accrediting body for colleges & universities in your state:

I have a master's degree in another field. Can I apply to the doctoral program at AOMA?

The Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program is designed for students who have already completed master's-level education in the field of acupuncture & Chinese medicine.

If you have an advanced degree in another field and are interested in pursuing graduate-level education in Chinese medicine, you may apply for the Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (MacOM).

I have been to nursing or medical school. Can my credits transfer?

If you have a background in the health professions and/or western sciences, you may have already completed many of the courses contained in AOMA’s biomedical sciences curriculum. Health care professionals like nurses, medical doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors are often able to transfer and receive credit for courses completed as part of their medical degree programs.

Official transcripts of all previously completed work must be submitted as part of the application process. All potential transfer credits must be reviewed and approved by an AOMA academic advisor prior to enrollment.

I’ve been to massage school. Can my credits count?

AOMA can only accept (for transfer or toward meeting admissions requirements) credits from regionally accredited institutions. Although many massage programs are accredited by programmatic accrediting agencies, most are not regionally accredited, and thus ineligible for consideration towards the admissions requirements or for transfer. 

Please contact the Director of Admissions at or (512) 492-3017 with questions or to request an evaluation of your academic transcript(s). 

If accepted, can I defer admission?

If accepted to the graduate program, you may defer enrollment for up to one year from the date of acceptance before needing to reapply. The date of acceptance is the date on which a student is actually admitted to the graduate program, not the term of desired entry listed on the application form.

Have more questions?  Contact the Admissions Office