The purpose of the Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization at AOMA is to educate and graduate competent Oriental medical practitioners who are eligible to practice.
MAc Educational Goals
Graduates of AOMA’s MAc program will:
- Have the knowledge base necessary to enter the profession.
- Practice professional behaviors and values.
- Provide patient-centered care.Incorporate evidence- and experience-based practices.
- Participate in collaborative patient care.
MAc Program Learning Outcomes
MAc graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
- Collect and analyze diagnostic data, determine disease diagnoses, and distinguish syndrome pattern differentiations.
- Construct acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment plans according to the principles of Oriental medicine, safely and effectively perform Oriental medical treatments, prescribe herbal and dietary remedies, and provide patient instruction.
- Perform biomedical assessments, analyze laboratory reports, explain reports to patients, identify pathologies and red flags, and utilize biomedical knowledge in the context of Oriental medical practice.
- Communicate professionally, chart accurately and completely, seek guidance and evaluation, perform self-evaluations, and practice legally and ethically.
- Collaborate with patients on healthcare design, consider patients’ unique circumstances, provide lifestyle recommendations, and demonstrate motivating patients for treatment compliance through shared decision-making.
- Perform literature reviews, record and compare initial assessments and outcome measures, and utilize evidence and experience to inform clinical decision-making.
- Collaborate with colleagues for best possible patient care, communicate with other healthcare practitioners, and demonstrate commitment to the team and to patient outcomes.
View the Master's Program at a Glance - Full Time and Accelerated Sample Tracks [PDF]
MAc Program Overview
The MAc with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization program engages each learner in an individual process of transformation from student to professional. The program begins with foundational courses in Chinese medical theory, acupuncture point location, meridian theory, acupuncture techniques, biomedical sciences, Chinese herbal medicine, and clinical observation. By the end of the first five terms, a student has achieved the foundational knowledge necessary to begin his or her clinical internship. In the second year, learning progresses with advanced courses in acupuncture techniques and acupuncture treatment of disease, biomedical assessment courses, and the continuation of the herbal medicine sequence. During the second year, the clinical internship emerges as a platform for applied integration of classroom knowledge.
As students begin their third year, they complete the acupuncture sequence and move into advanced courses in Chinese herbal medicine and biomedical treatment of disease. They are increasingly called upon in clinic to apply their knowledge in support of their patients’ health. By graduation, students have provided care for more than 450 patients using the main modalities of Oriental medicine: acupuncture and associated methods, Chinese herbal medicine, mind–body exercise, Asian bodywork therapy, and nutrition.
Personal transformation is encouraged through courses that focus on a student’s professional development. For example, in the case management, ethics, and legal issues as well as the mindful somatic therapies courses, students explore the boundaries of the patient– practitioner relationship and learn to improve their clinical outcomes through listening and educating. In the practice management curriculum, advanced students develop the essential components of their business and marketing plans, explore accounting and insurance billing, and develop short- and long-term post-graduation plans. As Chinese medicine is a holistic medicine, this is also a holistic transformation.
As part of the program, students take courses in taiji and qigong, and these courses provide quiet opportunities to reflect on health and healing. Students learn to recognize the connection between mind–body exercises and healthful living and are able to share that understanding with their patients in clinic. Students also choose from one of two sequences in Asian bodywork therapy, and may apply for membership to the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA®) upon completion of their studies.
Throughout the program, students create a professional portfolio and are thus empowered to observe their development as practitioners. Via the portfolio, students gather examples of their work in class and clinic; reflections from intern meetings, patient visits, advanced clinical opportunities, and self-assessments; as well as notes on professional development as it pertains to their post-graduate plans. Students participate in three formative portfolio reviews, each with the goal of cultivating professionalism, clinical effectiveness, and emotional intelligence.
Upon completion of a final review, students keep their own portfolios, effectively providing them with a robust and thorough document of their development as skilled practitioners. Thus, a key component of the program is the development of students’ clinical and management skills through staged competencies, ensuring that graduates obtain the confidence and abilities necessary for a successful career in the healthcare professions.
MAc Graduation Requirements
The Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization program must be completed within eight calendar years from the date of enrollment and within six years for students on federal financial aid. The following requirements must be met in order to graduate from the program:
1. Completion of all didactic and clinical instruction listed below:
Master's Program Courses
- Acupuncture Studies and Chinese Medicine Fundamentals
The foundations and diagnostic skills of traditional Chinese medicine are the fundamental cornerstone of Chinese medical science. This theoretical system forms the basis for clinical practice. The well-rounded and comprehensive acupuncture curriculum builds on these fundamentals, creating a strong foundation for other didactic instruction and for clinical internship.
- Introduction to Palpation
- Foundations of Chinese Medicine 1
- Foundations of Chinese Medicine 2
- Diagnostic Skills of Chinese Medicine 1
- Diagnostic Skills of Chinese Medicine 2
- Point Location and Meridian Theory 1
- Point Location and Meridian Theory 2
- Point Location and Meridian Theory 3
- Acupuncture Techniques 1
- Acupuncture Techniques 2
- Meridian and Point Energetics 1
- Meridian and Point Energetics 2
- Advanced Needling Techniques and Theory
- Advanced Channel Needling Techniques
- Acupuncture Treatment of Disease 1
- Acupuncture Treatment of Disease 2
- Acupuncture Treatment of Disease 3
- NCCAOM Board Exams Preparation
- Additional Acupuncture Courses available as electives
- Asian Bodywork Therapy
AOMA believes that touch is an integral part of healing and has incorporated a strong Asian bodywork therapy component into the program. The Asian bodywork therapy curriculum is based in the philosophy and application of Chinese medicine and the harmonization of qi. Students have two forms of Asian bodywork therapy from which to choose: tuina and Chinese medical qigong. Students may also elect optional courses in Asian bodywork therapy, which, upon completion, qualify the student to apply for membership to the American Organization for Bodywork Therapists of Asia (AOBTA).
Tuina, the Ancient Healing Bodywork of China
- Tuina 1
- Tuina 2
- Tuina 3
- Chinese Pediatric Tuina
Chinese Medical Qigong
Chinese medical qigong is one of the oldest branches of Chinese medicine, predating acupuncture by thousands of years. It is a therapeutic method for improving health and well-being, regaining and maintaining mind/body balance, preserving health, and enhancing longevity through the training of the mind, the breath, and the physiological processes of the body.
- Chinese Medical Qigong 1
- Chinese Medical Qigong 2
- Chinese Medical Qigong 3
- Mind-Body Studies
AOMA believes that the internal development of qi facilitates focus and concentration and therefore enhances the students’ educational experience. Additionally, students learn corrective and therapeutic exercises for self-care and as an additive to the treatment plans of their patients.
- Taiji 1
- Taiji 2
- Taiji 3
- Qigong 1
- Qigong 2
- Qigong 3
- Herbal Studies
AOMA’s herbal program is one of the most comprehensive in the nation, with education in the theory, identification, and function of more than 300 herbs and the combination of those herbs in formulas to restore states of health. Resources include an herbal lab, an herbal medicine center which stocks more than 350 herbs in bulk and powdered form, patent formulas, tablets, capsules, and extracts, and a learning garden where herbs are grown in conjunction with the American Botanical Council.
- Chinese Herbology 1
- Chinese Herbal Studies Lab 1
- Nutrition and Dietary Therapy
- Chinese Herbology 2
- Chinese Herbal Studies Lab 2
- Chinese Herbology 3
- Chinese Herbal Studies Lab 3
- Chinese Herbal Formulations 1
- Chinese Patent Herbal Medicine
- Chinese Herbal Formulations 2
- Chinese Herbal Formulations 3
- Syndrome-based Herbs and Formulas
- Chinese Herbal Safety & Herb-Drug Interactions
- Chinese Herbal Treatment of Disease 1
- Chinese Herbal Treatment of Disease 2
- Huang Di Nei Jing
- Shan Han Lun
- Chinese Herbal Treatment of Disease 3
- Jin Gui Yao Lue
- Wen Bing and Wen Re
- Biomedical Sciences
AOMA’s biomedical sciences curriculum provides students with a practical foundation of the concepts and diagnostic techniques of biomedicine, enabling them to interface successfully with allopathic practitioners. It is intended to provide students with information applicable to their Chinese medical practice upon becoming licensed practitioners and to enhance their ability to communicate with patients and other practitioners regarding biomedical diagnoses and treatment plans.
- Anatomy, Physiology and Histology 1
- Anatomy Lab 1
- Anatomy and Physiology 2
- Anatomy Lab 2
- Anatomy and Physiology 3
- Medical Biology
- Medical Biochemistry
- Biomedical Terminology
- Public Health and Biomedical Survey
- Microbiology and General Pathophysiology
- Systemic Pathophysiology
- Biomedical Pharmacology
- Biomedical Diagnostic Techniques: Body Imaging, Fluids Analysis and Lab Reports
- Physical Assessment: Internal Medicine
- Physical Assessment: Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal
- Evidence-Based Medicine in CAM Practice
- Women’s Health: Management of Gynecological and Reproductive Conditions
- Biomedical Treatment of Disease, Segment 1
- Biomedical Treatment of Disease, Segment 2
- Integral Studies
Integral studies courses at AOMA connect concepts interdepartmentally by educating learners in the core values and behaviors of professional practice in Chinese medicine, the integration of Chinese medicine and Western medicine, and the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in clinical practice.
Through case management, practice management, communication skills, ethics, and evidence-based practice, AOMA emphasizes the skills essential to producing best possible outcomes in patient care and practice. These courses address practical business education and ethics, skills to help students connect with their patients and to provide systems-based healthcare in America, and the importance of research in classical and current literature to promote best possible patient outcomes. MAcOM students may elect to take PT0101 Psychology and Clinical Communications in place of PT0411 Mindfulness Somatic Therapies.
- Psychology and Clinical Communications
- Case Management
- Practice Management
- Mindfulness Somatic Therapies
- Ethics and Legal Issues
- Clinical Internship
AOMA’s clinical education provides students with hands on experience and is a means of service to the greater Austin community. At AOMA, clinical education begins in the first term and continues throughout the first year with a sequence of clinical theater and observation. Supervised clinical internship begins in the second year and goes on to include 972 hours of internship and 36 hours of herbal dispensing, focused herbal and community clinic hours, and optional hours focused on tuina and medical qigong. Throughout the internship, students take on increasing levels of responsibility for patient care and case management, and attend regular intern meetings to support their education and professional development. Finally, as they progress through the program, students compile a portfolio of their work, including, for example, self-reflections, clinical case studies, and selected coursework. A detailed description of clinical requirements is included in the Student and Clinic Manual.
- Clinical Theater 1
- Clinical Theater 2
- Clinical Observation
- Clinical Internship
- Clinical Internship – Community
- Advanced Clinical Observation
- Clinical Internship – Herbal
- Clinical Internship – Herbal Dispensary
- Advanced Herbal and Biomedical Clinic Theater