Master's Degree Program

Acupuncture School in LA
Earn the degree you need to become a licensed acupuncturist. Our students leave here as strong individuals, ready to become competent, licensed primary healthcare professionals.

Get the Skills to Become a Licensed Acupuncturist & Qualified TCM Practitioner

The Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization (MAcCHM)

Our four-year Master's Degree Program offers a unique and comprehensive curriculum that combines more than 3,000 hours of rigorous classroom teaching and clinical experience with a rich 38-generation family heritage of Qi cultivation and development.

Educational  Objectives

  • Yo San University graduates demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the theories and principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Yo San University graduates will have acquired the clinical skills and; proficiency to competently evaluate patients using Traditional Chinese Medicine examination techniques, formulate a medical diagnosis and treatment strategy, and carry out the treatment in a skillful and professional manner.
  • Yo San University graduates understand the importance of Qi cultivation in Traditional Chinese Medicine and demonstrate practical skills in the various techniques of Qi cultivation.
  • Yo San University graduates will have acquired the necessary skills to begin their professional practice and be able to effectively communicate, educate and work with the public in integrative medical care models.
  • Yo San University graduates recognize the importance of conducting their practice in an ethical and professional manner, and engage in the practice of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine within the appropriate federal and state legal requirements.
The First Academic Year

In the first academic year, fundamental principles and theories of all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Pharmacopoeia are introduced. Students will also learn basic biomedical sciences such as Biology, Biochemistry, Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Western Medical Terminology. Concurrent with the Herbal Pharmacopoeia courses, students observe and receive hands-on experience in the Yo San University Clinic Herbal Dispensary. Students will also begin exploring and understanding the foundational concepts in Taoist Studies and Qi Cultivation.

The Second Academic Year

The second year’s classroom experience continues with an in-depth study of the practice of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, including subjects such as TCM Diagnosis, Acupuncture Point  Location, Tuina/Acupressure, and Herbal Formulas. Biomedical sciences during the second year include classes such as Clinical Nutrition and Pathophysiology. Students will also continue their studies in Taoism and Qi cultivation.

Through the Clinical Theater course at the end of the second year, students begin their clinical training by observing licensed faculty/practitioners manage real-life clinical patients with the various modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The First Comprehensive Examination, taken at the end of the second year, serves as a benchmark tool to assess academic progress in the curriculum.

The Third Academic Year

In the third year of the Master's Program, students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of both TCM and Western clinical sciences through a series of didactic courses that focus on the clinical aspects of the medicine. Courses will include TCM

Internal Medicine, Herbal Formulation Skills, advanced Acupuncture needling techniques, Western Physical Assessment and Clinical Medicine, Western Pharmacology, Laboratory & Radiological Diagnosis, Biomedical Acupuncture, and other clinically-oriented courses to prepare students for their clinical internship.

Third-year students continue to observe and assist clinical faculty and interns in the care and management of patients at the Yo San University Community Clinic. Students will also complete their Clean Needle Technique (CNT) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) courses in preparation for clinical internship.

On passing the Pre-Clinical examination, usually toward the end of the third year, and fulfilling all the required coursework, students will embark on the final stage of the program: Clinical Internship.

The Fourth Academic Year

The clinical education component in the Master's Program comprises three levels of internship training, with increasing levels of direct participation and responsibilities for patient care and management under the direct supervision of experienced clinical faculty. Intern activities include assessment and examination of patients, formulation of diagnosis and treatment plan, and implementation of treatment with TCM modalities. Students are guided to develop and maintain the highest standards of professionalism and responsibility until such standards become a  fundamental characteristic.

Classroom experience at this stage will be focused on clinical case studies and integrative approaches to TCM, as well as the ethical, legal, business and management aspects of setting up and maintaining a successful acupuncture practice.

Advanced Focused Concentration

During the fourth year, students will also have the opportunity to pursue advanced courses in one of the following focused concentration areas: Acupuncture Orthopedics & Pain Management, Taoist Studies & Qi Cultivation, and Women’s & Children’s Health. The combined power of focus and choice offers both current students and graduates of the Master's Program distinctive skills and deeper understanding to support their chosen career path, as well as to keep our graduates abreast of healthcare advances and market trends.

A total of six (6) units of Advanced Focused studies credits are required in the Master's Program curriculum.

Clinical Education

All students are required to complete 840 hours of supervised clinical internship with a minimum of at least 350 patient treatments. Clinical Internship may begin once a student has completed the prerequisites specified, and must be completed prior to graduation. Yo San University also offers several off-site clinical training opportunities at various multidisciplinary medical facilities including training sites at Venice Family Clinic; Integrative Chronic Pain Clinic at the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center; Being Alive in Los Angeles; WISE & Healthy Aging in Santa Monica and Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. All students are required to participate in at least one of these clinical externship programs.

Externships supplement the clinical experience by offering students learning opportunities in unique integrative settings. Through these valued partnerships, students engage in multi-modality treatment approaches for chronic diseases, pain management, obesity prevention and management, and mental health.

Together with our partners, we have provided more than 255,000 free or subsidized treatments through our Community Clinic and externships since 2000.

From observing a surgery, to working with other healthcare professionals in an interdisciplinary practice, Yo San students complement their formal externships by engaging in a broad range of experiences that deepen their knowledge of integrated healthcare.

Additional information and details on clinical training can be found in the Clinic Handbook.

QI Cultivation Curriculum

Yo San University’s Qi Cultivation curriculum takes root in the 38-generation Ni family heritage of self-healing and Qi cultivation practice which believes that practitioners who have balance and mastery of their Qi will be better healers. The study of Qi cultivation is not just academic, it is also experiential: students have the opportunity to cultivate their awareness, capacity, and skills through not only classes but also through practicing breathing and physical movements designed to mirror and bring alive the TCM content of their coursework. The Qi Cultivation program offers students the opportunity to heal and cultivate themselves energetically in order to directly experience the balance and harmony that underlie Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi Cultivation courses are structured into two tiers: a mandatory foundational level series (6 units) and an advanced focused concentration. A total of six (6) units of Qi Cultivation credits are required in the Master's Program curriculum.

The Doctoral Degree Program

Yo San University also offers a clinically focused Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree. The DAOM is designed to accommodate working practitioners who complete their degree while maintaining their professional practices. The DAOM degree provides students with the opportunity for in-depth study of advanced topics in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, post-graduate level biomedical training, significant supervised clinical work in areas of specialization, exposure to research and evidence based medicine, and the opportunity to develop teaching and leadership skills.

To learn more about our Doctorate Degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM), click here.

Is a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine Right For You? Find Out!
Take the Yo San Graduate Degree Readiness Quiz

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Questions about Yo San University?

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Choose a Concentration:

As a YSU Master’s student you may choose to focus on one of three rewarding specialities:

Taoism & Qi Cultivation
Gain greater appreciation for the development of harmony and balance as the foundation for well-being. Through advanced studies, students become masters of their personal Qi and are better prepared healthcare practitioners.

Women’s & Children’s Health
The health of women and children is pivotal to healthy families and communities. This concentration will provide a platform for gaining and applying advanced integrative learning focused on gynecological and pediatric conditions.

Acupuncture Orthopedics & Pain Management
Today’s integrative environment is bringing TCM practitioners into partnership with a broad array of healthcare providers and disciplines. With proven effectiveness for conditions ranging from arthritis to sports injuries, no area of TCM is as sought after as Orthopedics & Pain Management.

Get more details on the Master's Program Concentration options.

Get Real-World Clinical Experience

YSU is dedicated to providing a diverse learning experience that ensures our students are prepared to pursue their practice interests and meet their patients’ needs. YSU partners with a wide array of medical organizations to augment each student’s clinical training.

You’ll feel confident and eager for your transition from student to TCM professional after gaining so much real-world experience before you graduate.

Get more details on YSU partners and externship opportunities.

Get Personalized Advising & Ongoing Support

Academic advising is an important feature of the program at YSU and an excellent way to ensure that you are progressing toward your goal.

Academic advising begins after you are accepted to the program. You will meet with your academic adviser prior to registering for classes to review program requirements and to schedule your courses for your first trimester.

You’ll also have the opportunity to request FREE tutoring at any time.

Get more info on YSU Tutoring programs

Is a Future in Traditional Chinese Medicine Right For You? Get More Info…

To learn more about becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner and to explore whether Yo San University is a good fit for you, click the “Get More Info” tab.

To speak with a knowledgeable YSU Admissions Advisor right away, please call 310-577-3000.

Questions? Reach Out to Yo San University !

A Master's degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine typically covers a wide range of subjects, including:

  1. Chinese Medical Theory: This category covers the fundamental principles and concepts of Chinese medicine, including the nature of qi, yin and yang, the five elements, and the six channels.
  2. Acupuncture and Moxibustion: This category covers the history, theory, and techniques of acupuncture and moxibustion, including the location and function of acupoints, and the use of needles, heat, and other modalities in the treatment of disease.
  3. Chinese Herbal Medicine: This category covers the use of herbs, minerals, and animal products in the treatment of disease, including the principles of formulation, preparation, and administration of herbal formulas.
  4. Diagnosis: This category covers the diagnostic techniques of Chinese medicine, including pulse and tongue diagnosis, as well as the use of observation, inquiry, and palpation to diagnose and treat disease.
  5. Biomedicine: This category covers the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology, and how they relate to Chinese medicine.
  6. Clinical Practice: This category covers the practical application of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in a clinical setting, including case analysis, treatment planning, and patient management.
  7. Ethics and Professional Practice: This category covers the ethical and legal aspects of practice, including informed consent, patient confidentiality, and other professional standards.

These categories are usually integrated into a comprehensive program of study that provides students with a broad understanding of the theory and practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Students also have opportunities to engage in hands-on training, including supervised clinical practice, to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become effective practitioners.