Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
The Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is a 4-year (8-semester) program that deeply explores theoretical and clinical concepts of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine involves disciplines such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese massage, diet therapy and therapeutic exercises. Students learn foundational philosophies, diagnostic principles and therapeutic techniques of this ancient and powerful system of medicine, and incorporate them with biomedical sciences and other healing philosophies.
Length: 8 semesters
Intakes: Winter, Summer, Fall semesters
Clinical Training: 705 hours
Total Training: 2985 hours
Pacific Rim College offered a supportive learning environment that helped me become the practitioner I am today. There was plenty of opportunity for discussions with professors both inside and outside of class which enriched the information we were receiving. The Administration Faculty was always willing to help and go the extra mile to make sure your needs as a student were met. Even though I have completed my studies at Pacific Rim College, I know that I could still contact the teaching staff and administrative faculty if I ever had any questions or needed assistance on my career path.
– Nicole Longstaff, RAc, Alumnus
Why Pacific Rim College?
What You’ll Learn:
Key Learning Outcome #1
The ancient and powerful system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including all the meridians, systems and acupuncture points, and the extensive herbal materia medica.
Key Learning Outcome #2
Extensive background of biomedical understanding of the human body, its structure, physiology and common pathologies.
Key Learning Outcome #3
Nutrition therapies and physical exercises pertaining to the time-tested philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Key Learning Outcome #4
The use of TCM therapies in the treatment of comprehensive internal and external disorders, including in the practice of pediatrics and gerontology.
Key Learning Outcome #5
The experience to establish a private clinic of Traditional Chinese Medicine or to join an integrative health centre.
I don’t think I could say enough good things about PRC. After spending three years at a large university, the smaller class sizes and compassionate teachers were an inspiring change. The school itself is a beautiful and nurturing space, and the staff and students make it that much more amazing. I learned so much about myself, gained a new outlook on the world and was trained in an amazing form of healing that has given me a job I am so proud of. I would recommend PRC to anyone, the staff and faculty are educated, kind and helpful individuals who want to see their students grow and succeed in the world of health. I will forever be grateful for my experiences and education from PRC as well as the continued support as I start my own career path. Thank you so much for those three life changing years.
– Sasha Ormiston, RAc, Alumnus
Core Program Instructors
Below is a list of all courses that must be completed for a student to be eligible for graduation with a Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Some course prerequisites do exist, and it is the responsibility of students to ensure that they are eligible to enrol in any particular course. Please click on course links below to see more course information including descriptions and prerequisites.
Chinese Botanical Medicine
Chinese Medicine Clinical Practice
Students in the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program complete 705 hours of direct clinical practice. Students can complete all clinical training in PRC’s on-campus Student Clinic, or can participate in our Global Outreach Program, Clinical Externship Program, or with our clinical partner in China, Liaoning University of TCM. Full-time students generally begin clinical training via observation during the very first week of studies.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition is based on a per credit system. Although the college provides guidance for the order of course completion within each program, ultimately each student determines personal course load and schedule and thus per semester tuition. Audited credits do not apply towards graduation requirements. All prices listed are in Canadian dollars. For each semester, full tuition payment is due on the first day of the semester.
Auditing: $150/credit plus tax
*Discount Audit tuition is available to current program students and diploma alumni. Current program students must maintain the equivalent registration of 9 semester credits to be eligible and pay the regular rate should registration drop below that threshold. Discounted audit rate is not available for courses for which there is a waitlist, weekend workshops, or CPR and First Aid. Diploma alumni no longer enrolled in a program are required to pay all applicable tuition at the time of course registration.
Please click here for a description of Academic Fees in PDF format.
This program is approved for Canada Student Loans. British Columbia residents can apply for student loans online through StudentAid BC. For non-British Columbia residents, please visit hrsdc.gc.ca for information about Canada Student Loans.
For a list of all financial aid programs available to PRC students, please visit our Financial Aid page.
Graduates of the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program who have met the requirements of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) of BC, which includes 60 university credits of liberal arts or sciences, will be eligible to sit for the provincial registration exam to become Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr.TCM) in the province of British Columbia. Based on reciprocity agreements, this distinction permits registrants to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine across Canada.
Students aiming for licensure by the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners are eligible to do so only after completing PRC’s Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine program. The DTCM program meets the requirements of R4-8-403 and R4-8-404 (licensure qualifier under Arizona Revised Statutes 32-3924(2)).
Graduates who have completed required electives in appropriate disciplines may also meet the professional standards set by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) in the United States. This has permitted them to sit for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) acupuncture examination and thus be licensed in the majority of US states. PRC graduates aiming for licensure in the United States must have their credentials evaluated by ACCRAO.
Practitioner licensing requirements vary based on region of governance. The Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program is approved by the CTCMA of BC and meets the education requirements of many other provinces, states and countries. It is students’ responsibility to ensure they meet eligibility criteria in their chosen region.
Oriental Medicine, also commonly referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a comprehensive and ancient medical system developed over many centuries in China and regularly employed there as part of the standard medical system. TCM includes many different therapies, including acupuncture, which is an ancient form of medicine that specifically involves the insertion of extremely thin metallic needles into the body at various points – known as acupuncture points or acupoints – of which there are hundreds. The acupuncture needle metaphorically acts as a key to open up a blockage, which may be physical or energetic (e.g. stress, sadness) in nature. Other therapies also comprise the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and these include herbal medicine, Tui Na (therapeutic massage), cupping and Gua Sha (massage-related therapies using implements), nutrition, Tai Qi Chuan and Qi Gong (movement- and energy-based therapies), and moxibustion (the external application of the herb known as mugwort). The primary goal in TCM is to release blockages to help the body restore balance and thus health.
Pacific Rim College is recognized as a leading college of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Canada. The acupuncture training and Chinese Medicine courses we provide are taught by experienced and qualified acupuncturists and practitioners and doctors of TCM. Many of our lecturers are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of Oriental Medicine. All programs within our School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine meet or exceed acupuncture certification standards and Traditional Chinese Medicine certification standards throughout Canada and in many US states. Having admitted students from more than 35 counties, we truly are an international college of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our students benefit from studying Chinese Medicine at our beautiful and historic campus in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. Class sizes in all our herbal and acupuncture classes and Chinese Medicine clinics is monitored to maximize students’ learning of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In North America there are a number of different Traditional Chinese Medicine certification standards that vary from state to state and province to province. In British Columbia, one must meet the standards of the CTCMA to become a registered acupuncturist and practitioner or doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (these credentials are similar to an acupuncture license or Oriental Medicine license in the United States) and thus to legally practice acupuncture and Oriental Medicine throughout Canada. The CTCMA requires candidates to learn acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at a recognized college of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and to subsequently earn a TCM diploma (an acupuncture degree and a degree in Chinese Medicine are not currently available in Canada).
- What is the difference in an acupuncture and Oriental Medicine diploma and an acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree?
There are many schools and colleges that provide the opportunity to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (a system of medicine of which acupuncture is part). A college of Chinese Medicine (also commonly known as a college of Oriental Medicine) in the USA typically awards a Traditional Chinese Medicine degree (Oriental Medicine degree) of some sort, which may be known as a Master’s of Acupuncture or a Master’s of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Currently any school of Chinese Medicine in Canada is only permitted to award diplomas in acupuncture and TCM. A program to program comparison may reveal virtually no differences between a diploma of TCM or program and a Master’s of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree program, but educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a college of Chinese Medicine can award.