Acupuncture licenses are granted by state governments. Consequently, licensure laws and scope of practice regulations are unique to each state.
At the national level, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) administers the national board examinations for Acupuncture, Foundations, Biomedicine, & Chinese Herbology. Most US states require national board certification for licensure. (See NCCAOM's State Licensure Summary for more information on individual states).
NCCAOM resumed the adaptive exam administration on May 18, 2020 (linear model of exam re-write was concluded). See more on the NCCAOM Exam Administration Page.
Click here for the latest updates Re: NCCAOM and COVID-19. The Temporary Exception for graduating students to begin taking the exams prior to registration has been extended by NCCAOM through 2021. Therefore, anticipated grads can start their NCCAOM account
NCCAOM Application Timelines If you are graduating on... Then the earliest date* to start your NCCAOM Application is: April 2, 2021 Mon. Feb. 1, 2021 July 9, 2021 Mon. May 10, 2021 Sept 10, 2021 Mon. July 12, 2021 Dec 17, 2021 Mon. Oct. 18, 2021
*Complete all 4 internal AOMA Competency exams by this date in order to be ready for your transcript submission to NCCAOM. Start your online portal application with NCCAOM around this date; you will likely receive an invitation email from NCCAOM.
- Licensure Resources & Links
Licensure requirements vary by state. It is important that each individual begins researching the requirements for licensure for the state in which they wish to practice as early as possible.
For licensure in the state of Texas, the AOMA Licensure Checklist (PDF) is a good place to start.
- AOMA Acupuncture Licensure Resources: Quick Reference (PDF)
- AOMA Estimated Summary of Licensure Costs & Fees (PDF)
- Texas Medical Board: Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners (TMB:TSBAE)
- Acupuncture Overview
- Acupuncture Board Meeting Dates (2021: Jan 29, May 7, Sept 17).
- MyTMB Portal Set-Up/Login
- Acupuncture Documentation Checklist
- Complete the top portions of TMB Forms D (Dean's Certification) & L (Supervisor Reference) and mail to: AOMA Registrar, 4701 West Gate Dr., Austin, TX 78745. Originals are preferred, mail is best at this time. (The Building C Drop-Box has been discontinued due to campus being closed at this time). Form D requires a color 2X2 headshot photo, but does not have to be an official passport photo. Form B Photo Affidavit in the Supplemental Documents list is not required for Acupuncturists.
- NCCAOM State Licensure Summary (with links to State Board sites).
- Check State Board sites for other documents required from the school (titles like Dean's Letter/Certification, Certification of Moral Character, Professional Reference, Education Certification, etc). Submit these forms and any additional instructions, with your transcript request, by mail to the address above, or by email to Registrar@aoma.edu.
- Note on California: To be eligible to take the California Licensure Examination, graduates who enroll in the program after January 1, 2005 must also complete 15 credits in basic sciences either as pre-requisites to admission or as electives prior to graduation. These credits include three credits in each of the following categories: general biology, chemistry (including organic and biochemistry), general physics (including a survey of biophysics), general psychology, and pathology. Academic advisors maintain a list of courses available at Austin Community College that fulfill this requirement for students who have not already satisfied it upon admission. Once completed, these courses are listed on a student’s transcript as transfer credit.
- If you are planning to pursue licensure in New York, California, or New Mexico, start the process early!
Requests for Official Transcripts for Licensure can be submitted by email to Registrar@aoma.edu, or by mail to the address above. The fee for your initial licensure transcript is included in your Graduation Fee; only alumni applying for licensure in new or additional states need to pay the $15 Official Transcript Fee at the online store. Please allow for additional processing time for documents that require notarization, and please specify this in your request.
Please allow 10-14 bussiness days for the processing of official document requests. Thank you!
- Professional Associations
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental (AAAOM)
Mission: to promote excellence and integrity in the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in order to enhance public health and well-being.
State Acupuncture Associations
Individual websites collected at: http://www.aaaomonline.org/?StateAssociations
Mission: Varies depending on association.
Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (TAAOM)
The Texas Acupuncture Association (TAA) was founded in 1992 before the practice of acupuncture was legal in the state of Texas. It was through their efforts that acupuncture became legal and professionally licensed in Texas. In 2001 TAA changed its name to the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (TAAOM) in order to better represent all facets of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA)
The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA®) is a non-profit, professional membership organization that represents instructors, practitioners, schools and programs, and students of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT).
American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA)
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) promotes the integration of concepts from traditional and modern forms of acupuncture with Western medical training and thereby synthesize a more comprehensive approach to health care.
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) serves its members by promoting the responsible commerce of products which contain herbs and which are used to enhance health and quality of life.
National Acupuncture Detoxification Association Protocol (NADA)
Mission: Ear acupuncture protocol for addiction, stress, and trauma. Professional membership organization.
- Professional Publications