DAc Program

DAc Program

Professional Doctorate Program in Acupuncture (DAc)

Program Description

The length of the PD Acupuncture program is four (4) academic years in length. The program consists of three (3) years of foundational studies in the MSA programs and additional studies in advanced courses. The PD in Acupuncture program is composed of 1,752 didactic/lab hours and 810 clinical training hours.

  Credits Hours Lecture Hours Lab Hours
Fundamental Level (MSA)
Oriental Medicine 33 340 320 20
Acupuncture 35 420 280 140
Herbology 0 0 0 0
Biomedical Science 50 520 480 40
Management & Ethics 10 100 100 0
Mind-Body Exercise 2 30 10 20
Electives 6 60 60 0
Clinical Internship 23 690  
Sub-Total 159 2,160 1,250 220
PD Advanced Level
PD Advanced Didactic 28.2 282 282  
Clinic Internship 4 120    
Total 191.2 2,562 1,532 220

Program Objective

The Objective of the Professional Doctorate in Acupuncture Program is to create leading practitioners of Acupuncture through student-centered educational structures and experiences that will produce the following competencies:

Program outcomes:

  1. Formulate disease prevention strategies utilizing a justified etiology of disease from an Oriental Medicine perspective.
  2. Develop Acupuncture treatment principles and strategies that are logically supported by an Oriental Medical diagnosis and actionable through Oriental Medical modalities.
  3. Formulate patient diagnoses and develop treatment plans based on the Four Pillars of Diagnosis.
  4. Create acupuncture treatment prescriptions along with supplemental modality treatment plans that are logically supported by Oriental Medicine treatment principles.
  5. Administer a treatment plan during the clinical encounter.
  6. Recognize situations and symptoms which necessitate the need for referral to an appropriate health care professional and perform needed actions in such contexts.
  7. Communicate in a professional manner with patients, teachers, and other qualified complementary healthcare professionals.
  8. Maintain and exhibit the highest personal and professional ethical standards.
  9. Demonstrate advanced clinical skills, specialization, and collaboration competence.
  10. Demonstrate advanced Diagnostic skills.
  11. Demonstrate a knowledge of the contemporary patient care system.
  12. Demonstrate the ability to formulate and implement plans for individual professional development.
  13. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate scholarship, research, and evidence-based medicine/evidence-informed practice into patient care. 

Graduation Requirements

General graduation requirements are as follows:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all required course work and clinical hours in accordance with the Residency Requirement.
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  3. Satisfactory passing of Graduation Examination
  4. Passing of Phase Exams (each before entry of observation, intern level 1, 2, 3), among other requirements including First aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification
  5. Annual training of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  6. Complete the program within one and one-half time of the program length.
  7. Meet all financial obligations to the University

A student must satisfy degree requirements, as outlined in the catalog in effect at the time of enrollment at the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine as a degree program student unless the student interrupts his/her program. It may become necessary to satisfy the program requirements as outlined in the catalog in effect at the time the student re-enters as a student.

License Requirements

The design and structure of the programs offered by the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine are in accordance with guidelines and requirements established by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students with plans to practice Acupuncture in other states and locales are advised to review the licensure requirements for those states to determine if appropriate academic qualifications are being met for professional practice. The requirements to be licensed may vary in each state.

To be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Acupuncturist in Virginia, an acupuncture practitioner must have graduated from a school-sanctioned by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) and have passed exams required by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). To sit for the NCCAOM exams, students must complete a course of study that includes graduation from an ACAOM accredited school. VUIM (accredited by ACAOM) requires all students to pass a Comprehensive Graduation Examination during the final stage of their studies, which includes questions from four modules: Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory, Acupuncture, Herbology, and Western Medicine. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Graduation Exams, in addition to successful completion of coursework at VUIM, allows the student to graduate, sit for NCCAOM exams, and apply for licensure in Virginia.  The requirements to be licensed may vary in each state.