Dual Diplomas of Acupuncture and Holistic Nutrition

Study Option Overview

The opportunity to earn dual diplomas in Acupuncture and Holistic Nutrition from one institution is a world-first. Both 3-year (6-semester) programs can be completed within 5 academic years (10 semesters). By electing a year-round study option, a student can complete both programs in 3.5 years. Both programs have been approved by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.


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 a Diploma of Holistic Nutrition. 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.

Total Requirements

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Study Options

Both the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the School of Holistic Nutrition offer 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 to be Registered Acupuncturists in British Columbia must complete the Diploma of Acupuncture program in no less than 2 calendar years and in no more than 5.

Clinical Training

Students in the Diploma of Acupuncture and Diploma of Holistic Nutrition programs 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.

PRC’s flexible, student-oriented schedule allowed me to complete the acupuncture program while managing family and work. The curriculum fully prepared me for licensing exams. And, there was room left over to sample from the vast and ever-expanding menu of courses in complementary medicine presented at PRC from both local and global perspectives.

– Cheryl Coull, Alumnus

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.

Graduates of the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition have the most comprehensive training offered in Canada with more than three times the on-site education than any other diploma program in the field. Having completed a minimum of 360 hours of clinical training, and having received specific education in practice management and business development, graduates are poised to be successful nutritional practitioners and consultants. Additionally, graduates can also seek employment in other sectors of the health and wellness industry by filling positions such as retail consultants, product developers, teachers, fitness advisers, restaurant consultants, spa managers and more.


Post Accreditation

This program is recognized by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals as an approved and recommended education program. Graduates who have sufficient professional experience are qualified for professional membership with NANP and to sit for the holistic nutrition national board exam offered through the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB). Successful exam candidates will become Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition.

CANNPThis program is approved by the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners (CANNP). Graduates are eligible to be considered for the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners designation of NNCP (Natural Nutrition – Clinical Practitioner).

This program is approved by the Health Coach Alliance (HCA), which is proud to fall under the Canadian Association for Integrative Nutrition. Graduates are eligible to apply for membership to become a Registered Health Coach (RHC) or a Registered Health & Nutrition Counselor (RHNC). (Licensed will replace Registered in areas where Registered is not permitted)

This program is approved by the Canadian Association for Integrative Nutrition (CAIN). Graduates are eligible to use the designations of Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (RHNP) or Registered Holistic Health Practitioner (RHHP). (Licensed will replace Registered in areas where Registered is not permitted.)

This program is approved by the the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals. CAHN-Pro is a professional association for the accreditation of holistic nutritionists.

Licensing Requirements

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. Currently there are no government restrictions to the practice of Holistic Nutrition in Canada. It is students’ responsibility to ensure they meet eligibility criteria in their chosen region.


Admission into both the Diploma of Acupuncture and the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition at Pacific Rim College is on a competitive basis. Entering students must have a high school diploma or an equivalency test and 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.

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.

– Sasha Staples, Alumnus

Application Process

To apply for admission, please click on the link below. An applicant may choose to begin by applying for one program only, or can apply for admission into both programs. Separate applications are not necessary. 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 can 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 or registration 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 60 days of the published semester start date, or within 7 days of notice of acceptance if accepted within this time. Enrolment space will not be reserved without this deposit.

Transfer Students

Students who have earned credits in another recognized Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in North America can apply for transfer into the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at PRC. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) transfer students need to complete the equivalent of one year of coursework at PRC to be eligible to receive a diploma, and all eligible AOM-school credits will be transferred for a total transfer fee of $150. Contact our Admissions Office today for more information.

Holistic Nutrition students may also apply for transfer credit for prior coursework. Transfer credits that do not overlap with the Diploma of Acupuncture program are subject to a transfer credit fee.

International Students

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.

Non-Matriculating Students

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.

 Fall 2019Winter 2020Summer 2020
OrientationSeptember 2January 5May 3
First Day of ClassSeptember 3January 6May 4
Reading BreakOctober 14-18February 18-20June 30-July 3
HolidaysOctober 14 (Thanksgiving)
November 11 (Remembrance Day)
February 17 (Family Day)
April 10 (Good Friday)
May 18 (Victoria Day )
July 1 (Canada Day)
August 3 (BC Day)
Last Day of ClassDecember 23April 24August 24
Graduation Ceremony
  May 9


Class Schedule

Please click below for the current and upcoming (when available) course schedules for the Diplomas of Acupuncture and Holistic Nutrition.

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.

Credits: $225/credit
Auditing: $150*/credit / $80**/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.

Financial Aid

These programs are 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.

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