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. This program satisfies curriculum requirements of the CTCMA of BC.
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.
The School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine offers year-round educational opportunities with an academic calendar based on 3 semesters per year. New students may enrol every January, May and September and students may either choose to pursue year-round studies or to take a semester or more off at their discretion. By choosing their course load each semester, students may complete any semester on a part-time or a full-time basis.
Students who wish not to enrol in any program are also eligible to take individual courses for personal enrichment provided that applicable course prerequisites have been met. Please see Non-Matriculating Students below for more information.
Students aiming for practitioner Registration with the CTCMA of British Columbia must complete the Diploma of Acupuncture program in no less than 2 calendar years and in no more than 5. There are currently no time requirements for the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Students in the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program 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.
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 Canadian national registration exam to become Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP) 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)).
Past graduates who have completed required electives in appropriate disciplines have also met 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) examinations 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.
I have been thoroughly impressed by Pacific Rim College. Pacific Rim holds high professional standards while maintaining an atmosphere of well-being and community. The environment supports students and challenges them to grow into skillful practitioners. I would recommend PRC to anyone who is seeking a place that has deep knowledge and embodied understanding in the field of health and healing.
– Jennifer Raye, Alumnus
Admission into the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Pacific Rim College is on a competitive basis. Entering students must have a high school diploma or an equivalency test. In addition, all non-native English speaking applicants must demonstrate a mastery of written and spoken English. Any foreign applicant may be required to submit an official score report from an English proficiency exam such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Test System).
Pacific Rim College is determined to produce only the highest quality health practitioners. As a result, we reserve the right to admit and to retain only students who demonstrate the potential to achieve at the upper-most level. Applicants will be evaluated based on merits such as high academic achievement, emotional maturity, humanitarian activities, morality, community involvement and health-related experience.
To apply for admission into the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program, please click on the link below. Applicants are encouraged to apply apply no less than 6 weeks prior to the start date of the semester. Applications will still be accepted beyond this point, and will be evaluated, but enrolment space may not be available until the next semester. Upon favourable review of your application by our admissions committee, you may be contacted for an interview, which may be carried out via telephone if a person-to-person interview is not possible.
All successful applicants must submit a non-refundable enrolment deposit of $200, which is credited toward tuition fees. Should a student decide not to enrol for the specific semester of study as stated in the application form, the fee is forfeited and cannot be used to offset any charges that the student may incur. All accepted applicants must submit this deposit within 14 days of the date of acceptance if accepted more than 60 days prior to the semester start date, or within 7 days of the date of acceptance if accepted 60 days or fewer prior to the semester start date. Official date of acceptance is the date indicated on the applicant’s acceptance letter. Enrolment space will not be reserved without this deposit.
Students who have earned credits in another recognized Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) program in North America (schools from other countries will be evaluated on case-by-case basis) can apply for transfer into the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine transfer students need to complete the equivalent of one year of coursework (46 credits) at PRC to be eligible to receive a diploma, and all eligible AOM college credits will be transferred for a total transfer fee of $150 for each AOM college attended. Students do not need to submit a Prior Learning Assessment for previous eligible AOM college education but will instead have credits evaluated automatically upon confirmation of acceptance into the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Contact our Office of Admissions today for more information.
Students who have completed a 4-year Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program can apply for admission directly into our Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine program without needing to transfer any credits.
International students are welcome to attend Pacific Rim College and are encouraged to apply. Canadian law requires foreign students to have a valid study permit to study in Canada. Pacific Rim College provides international students with the necessary documentation to receive a valid study permit. In some cases students can apply for and obtain a permit upon entering Canada.
Pacific Rim College is an ideal setting for the delivery of the classical teachings of Oriental medicine to the modern student.
– Cheryl Coull, Alumnus
New changes to the International Student Program, effective June 1, 2014, allow full-time international students enrolled at designated institutions in certain programs to work part-time off campus and full-time during scheduled school breaks without a work permit. According to regulations, international students are 1) eligible to work off campus without a work permit; 2) allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full-time during regularly scheduled breaks; and 3) able to work off campus immediately rather than waiting 6 months. Please visit the Government of Canada website for more information.
Students who wish to take courses at PRC without enrolling in any particular program are welcome to do so as non-matriculating students. Provided that a student has satisfied course prerequisites, he or she is eligible to enrol in virtually any diploma program course. Enrolment priority is given to program students, and full course tuition is due at time of course registration. Any student who has previously been denied admission into any program at PRC or has had an enrolment position revoked must receive written permission from PRC Administration before enrolling as a non-matriculating student. PRC reserves the right to academically dismiss any non-matriculating student who knowingly or blatantly interferes with the learning of program students. Please click on the link below to see a current selection of courses and for registration info.
|Summer 2018||Fall 2018||Winter 2019|
|Orientation||April 29||September 3||January 3|
|First Day of Class||April 30||September 4||January 3|
|Reading Break||July 3-6||October 9-12||February 19-22|
|Holidays||May 21 (Victoria Day)
July 2 (Canada Day)
August 6 (BC Day)
|September 3 (Labour Day)
October 8 (Thanksgiving)
February 18 (BC Family Day)
April 19 (Good Friday)
|Last Day of Class||August 20||December 21||April 26|
Please click below for the current and upcoming (when available) course schedules for the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Tuition is based on a per credit system. Although the college provides a template for course completion within each program, ultimately each student determines his or her 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 class.
Auditing: $150*/credit / $80**/credit
**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. Students can also pick up a paper application from PRC or any other academic institution registered with Canada Student Loans. 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.
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).
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.