Acupuncture Program

New York College of Health Professions Graduate School of Oriental Medicine offers a 145 credit, nine trimester, Acupuncture Program. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Professional Studies/ Master of Science degree in Health Sciences/ Acupuncture. This Acupuncture program was the first in New York to be approved by the State Education Department and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the recognized accrediting agency for the approval of programs preparing acupuncture practitioners. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the board exams administered by the National Certification Commissions for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).  Graduates from the program for acupuncture are qualified to take the exams in Acupuncture with Point Location, Foundations of Oriental Medicine, and Biomedicine.

Acupuncture is about healing, energy and balance. An ancient Chinese healing art, acupuncture employs the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of energy and restore the body’s balance. An essentially painless technique, acupuncture is widely used to treat illness, and to maintain good health.

In keeping with our philosophy of integrating holistic and Western medicine, our acupuncture program curriculum includes courses in Asian Bodywork, Herbalism and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Western bio and clinical sciences, pharmacology, Western and Eastern nutrition and holistic techniques and methods. This program also includes courses in Practice Management and Professional and Medical Ethics. These courses aid students in juggling the demands of private practice and teach them the principles of professional conduct.

Required training in T’ai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong or Yoga helps acupuncture students better understand how their bodies function, thereby enhancing their ability to diagnose and treat their patients.

Educational Objectives

In support of the College’s mission, the Bachelor of Professional Studies/Master of Science degree
programs of the Graduate School of Oriental Medicine have the following educational objectives:

  • To provide students with the knowledge, skills and professionalism to become highly qualified practitioners in acupuncture and/or oriental Medicine.
  • To enable students to be fully capable of obtaining employment in their health care field.
  • To prepare students to be capable of passing the licensure and/or certification exams required to become a licensed or certified practitioner in New York state.
  • To develop in students a sense of ethical responsibility in the therapist-client dynamic and with fellow practitioners.
  • To provide students with an appreciation for continued learning throughout their professional careers.
Courses of Study

The 145-credit recommended Course of Study for the acupuncture program with electives outlined below is designed to be completed in 36 months.  Some students, however, who must work at full-time or part-time jobs while in attendance or have other responsibilities outside of school may attend New York College as part-time students.  For these students, a part-time course of study is available.

Licensing and Certification

The acupuncture program requirements exceed the certification and licensing requirements set forth by the appropriate regulatory bodies.  Graduates of this program are well prepared for the NCCAOM national certification exams which are required by New York State for licensure.

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)

The NCCAOM was established by the profession to promote nationally recognized standards in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and to ensure public safety. NCCAOM certification represents professional recognition. It does not authorize or license an individual to practice acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Medicine. Licensure and registration are state regulatory functions.

As of 2009, forty-one states plus the District of Columbia use NCCAOM examinations as an integral part of their licensure process.

The manner in which states use the NCCAOM process varies. In some states, NCCAOM certification is the only educational, training or examination criteria for licensure. Other states have set additional eligibility criteria. A small number of states have additional jurisprudence or practical examination requirements. Please check with the appropriate state agency for information on the application of NCCAOM certification and recent legislation which affects eligibility criteria.

NCCAOM Certification Policies

Effective September 13, 2011, individuals applying to take the NCCAOM examinations through the formal education route of eligibility must have documentation of a minimum of the following:

Pre-Graduation Eligibility Requirements for Acupuncture
1490 Hours of Education

Pre-Graduation Eligibility Requirements for Chinese Herbology
2050 Hours of Education:

  • 1640 didactic hours (350 must be Chinese Herbology specific)
  • 410 clinical hours

Pre-Graduation Eligibility Requirements for Oriental Medicine
2050 Hours of Education:

  • 1640 didactic hours
  • 410 clinical hours

Graduates of the New York College of Health Professions Graduate School of Oriental Medicine automatically fulfill these eligibility requirements since the Programs are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), recognized by the NCCAOM.

Review Courses

The New York College of Health Professions offers review courses for the NCCAOM exams in both acupuncture and Chinese herbology and for the acupuncture Clean Needle Technique examination through its Continuing Education Department.

Acupuncture Clean Needle Technique Examination

The Council for Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) administers the Clean Needle Technique (CNT) Examination as a requirement for licensure in the State of New York. The college believes that anyone wishing to enter the student acupuncture or oriental medicine teaching clinic must first pass this examination as a demonstration of professionalism and competence. Therefore, a passing grade on the CNT Examination is a prerequisite for entrance into the acupuncture and oriental medicine teaching clinics. Students must apply for and pass this exam during the second year of the acupuncture and oriental medicine programs.

Requirements for a New York State License to Practice Acupuncture

Acupuncture Law in the State of New York

Acupuncture has been a licensed profession in the State of New York since 1991. The licensed practitioner of acupuncture in New York State has thereby joined the ranks of the medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, dentist, psychologist and chiropractor as a primary health care provider. Licensed acupuncturists, in other words, may treat patients without first obtaining a medical referral.

Article 160 of the New York State Education Law contains within it the definition of the profession of acupuncture, as well as the scope of practice of the licensed acupuncturist. The law clearly states that a licensed acupuncturist may treat patients for “diseases, disorders and dysfunctions of the body for the purpose of achieving a therapeutic or prophylactic effect.” To paraphrase, the licensed acupuncturist is not limited to the treatment of a particular type of disease condition, nor is he/she confined to treatment of a specific body part. In addition, the law requires that a licensed acupuncturist must advise his/her patients of the importance of medical consultation regarding their condition. The law which governs the practice of acupuncture in New York State affords the practitioner a broad scope of practice, consistent with the holistic perspective promoted by The New York College’s Graduate School of Oriental Medicine.

Useful Contacts

New York State Education Department Office of Professional Credentialing
Professional Licensing Services
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12230
Ph: 518 473-0221

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
2001 K Street, NW, 3rd Floor North
Washington, DC 20006
Ph: 888-381-1140

Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)
600 Wyndhurst Ave., Suite 112
Baltimore, MD 21210
Ph: 410 464-6040
Fax: 410 464-6042

Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
8941 Aztec Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Ph: (952) 212-2434
Fax: 301 313-0912

Tuition and Financial Aid

New York College of Health Professions is committed to providing students in the School of Massage Therapy with all necessary means to assist them in succeeding in school and in their goal of becoming a licensed holistic health care practitioner.  Tuition for the massage therapy program is charged at $390 per credit for undergraduate level courses and $471 for graduate level courses, and financial aid available to those that qualify.  For Financial Aid information, please visit our Financial-Aid office.

Clinical Education

A thorough grounding in academics is essential to any health care practitioner.  Observation during Grand Rounds, Introduction to Clinic and Clinical Skills Review create a solid foundation for success in clinical internship/practice. Our faculty teaches the importance of partnership – with the patient and with other members of the holistic medical team as well as Western medical professionals.  This team approach benefits both students and patients and is one of the reasons New York College places a high premium on internships.  Each student will spend 885 supervised hours of acupuncture training in our Academic Health Care Teaching Clinic. There, they will talk with patients about their concerns, work with faculty to assess and treat illness with acupuncture and educate patients on making healthy lifestyle choices.


New York College of Health Professions faculty includes American, European and Asian instructors whose diverse backgrounds and experiences reflect the integration of the principles and methodologies of the East and the West.  Faculty members represent the different disciplines within the field of integrative medicine, including specialists in holistic modalities, and Ph.D.’s from the academic world and other health care professions.  The combination of clinical proficiency, academic excellence and experience in complementary medicine makes New York College of Health Professions faculty truly unique.