Potential students of Pacific Rim College often inquire about how long it takes to become an acupuncturist. The answer depends on which Canadian province, US state or country you hope to practice in, but hopefully this article will provide some insight.
To practice acupuncture in British Columbia, one must become a registered practitioner with College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) of BC. The CTCMA, BC’s only governing body for the practice of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, requires that any registered practitioner must successfully complete 2 years (60 credits) of university education in liberal arts or sciences and must also earn an acupuncture diploma from an approved program in BC. The former can be completed before, during or after studying acupuncture.
All 3 programs within the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Pacific Rim College are approved by the CTCMA. The shortest of the 3 programs is the 6-semester Diploma of Acupuncture. Most students complete this program in 3 calendar years, but students often choose to study 6 continuous semesters, thus completing the program in 2 calendar years.
Having completed the above 4 to 5 years of education, the individual has satisfied the 2 main eligibility requirements of the CTCMA and can apply for the Pan-Canadian Registration Exam. The successful exam candidate is then permitted to practice acupuncture anywhere in Canada.
All told, when factoring in the Canadian registration exam application process, the exam itself, and notification of successful exam completion, and assuming that the candidate studies full-time without break to satisfy both university requirements and to complete a Diploma of Acupuncture, the minimum time required after high school graduation to become an acupuncturist in British Columbia is approximately 5 years.
This being said, not all colleges provide the opportunity for students to complete an acupuncture program in 6 consecutive semesters as Pacific Rim College does. The School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Pacific Rim College provides both enrolment and scheduling flexibility and high quality education delivered by a renowned faculty. Students can choose to study 1, 2 or 3 semesters a year, and can change from year to year. Each student’s semester course schedule is determined by the student, providing flexibility for other life commitments.
What are some other reasons to choose Pacific Rim College? PRC is the only college in the world to offer unique dual program options that provide the opportunity to complete both Dual Diplomas of Acupuncture and Phytotherapy and Dual Diplomas of Acupuncture and Holistic Nutrition.
To enhance clinical acumen and practice safety, all programs within the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine require extensive clinical practice. Students can complete all clinical training in the on-campus Student Clinic that provides more than 7,000 natural health treatments per year. Students seeking to help those in need in developing countries can also participate in our Global Outreach Program (GOP). The GOP provides acupuncture clinical training in 8 countries, including Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda. Additionally, students can complete clinical training with our Chinese university partner, Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Additionally, PRC is located in one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. Its 12,000 square foot heritage campus, located in historic Market Square in the heart of downtown Victoria, BC, boasts numerous amenities including 19th century architecture, natural lighting in all classrooms, a spacious brick-paved courtyard, and a location across the street from Victoria’s world famous Inner Harbour and the Johnson Street drawbridge.
No matter what path you want to take, Pacific Rim College is worth considering. You can study intensely over a shorter period of time, or gradually progress toward the completion of a program. Either way, you will gain the skills, knowledge and experience to help you become a successful acupuncturist.
If you are wondering about the costs associated with attending our school of acupuncture, read our blog post on how much does acupuncture school cost.