Diploma of Acupuncture
The Diploma of Acupuncture is a 3-year (6-semester) program that deeply explores theoretical and clinical concepts of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 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. 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 Medicine Clinical Practice
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.
Students in the Diploma of Acupuncture 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 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 Acupuncturists (R.Ac.) in the province of British Columbia. Based on reciprocity agreements, this distinction permits registrants to practice acupuncture 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) 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 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.
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).
My time at Pacific Rim College was very special. In my three years at the college, I deepened my understanding of TCM and also discovered so much about myself as a patient and practitioner. Some of my peers are now my closest and dearest friends and colleagues. I feel so blessed to have learned under some of the most skilled teachers and practitioners in Canada. It was an experience so unique and unforgettable. I would highly recommend PRC to anyone interested in the alternative healing arts.
– Victoria Rohac, Alumnus
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 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.
I had a wonderful experience studying at Pacific Rim College for my Diploma of Acupuncture. The instructors are very knowledgeable, friendly and easily approachable. The clinical training is well balanced to foster independence while providing appropriate guidance.
– Victoria Dong, Alumnus
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.
Via the International Student Program, full-time international students enrolled at designated institutions in certain programs are permitted 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.
PRC has been more than school, it has felt like family, and though I have finished my course work, it is hard to leave.
– Carmen Bedard-Gautrais, Alumnus
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 2019||Fall 2019||Winter 2020|
|Orientation||May 5||September 2||January 5|
|First Day of Class||May 6||September 3||January 6|
|Reading Break||July 1-5||October 14-18||February 18-20|
|Holidays||May 20 (Victoria Day)|
July 1 (Canada Day)
August 5 (BC Day)
|October 14 (Thanksgiving)|
November 11 (Remembrance Day)
|February 17 (Family Day)|
April 10 (Good Friday)
|Last Day of Class||August 26||December 23||April 24|
|Graduation Ceremony||May 11|
Please click below for the current and upcoming (when available) course schedules for the Diploma of Acupuncture.
Tuition and Fees
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.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that is part of the comprehensive medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The practice of acupuncture 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. The primary goal in releases blockages is to help the body restore health. Although acupuncture is not a panacea, virtually any recipient can benefit from the balancing effects provided by an acupuncture treatment.
Why study acupuncture at Pacific Rim College?
Pacific Rim College is recognized as a leading school of acupuncture in Canada. The acupuncture training we provide meets or exceeds acupuncture certification standards throughout Canada and satisfies the acupuncture certification standards of many US states. Our acupuncture classes are taught by experienced and qualified acupuncturists, and many of our lecturers are world-renowned experts in the field of acupuncture. Having admitted students from more than 35 counties, we truly are an international college of Traditional Chinese Medicine. All our acupuncture students complete more than 2100 hours of on-site education, which includes more than 500 hours of acupuncture clinical practice.
Do I need to be licensed to practice acupuncture?
In North America there are a number of different acupuncture 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 (this credential is equivalent to an acupuncture license in the United States) and thus to legally practice acupuncture throughout Canada. The CTCMA requires candidates to learn acupuncture at a recognized college of acupuncture and to subsequently earn an acupuncture diploma (an acupuncture degree is not currently available in Canada).
What is the difference in an acupuncture diploma and an acupuncture 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 Traditional 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 a diploma of acupuncture. A program to program comparison may reveal virtually no differences between a diploma of Acupuncture program and a Master’s of Acupuncture degree program, but educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a college Chinese Medicine can award.