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. The Diploma of Acupuncture provides students foundational philosophies, diagnostic principles and therapeutic techniques of this ancient and powerful system of medicine, and incorporates them with biomedical sciences and other healing philosophies. The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition is the most comprehensive on-site program of Holistic Nutrition in North America and integrates nutritional philosophies of various indigenous cultures and medical viewpoints. Both 3-year (6-semester) programs can be completed within 5 academic years (10 semesters), or 3.5 years with year-round studies.
Length: 10 semesters
Intakes: Winter, Summer, Fall semesters
Clinical Training: 885 hours
Total Training: 3660 hours
I have been thoroughly impressed by Pacific Rim College. Pacific Rim holds high professional standards while maintaining an atmosphere of wellbeing 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, RTCMP, RYT, Alumnus
Why Pacific Rim College?
What You’ll Learn:
Key Learning Outcome #1
An in-depth understanding of the therapeutic properties and energetics of foods and how to use them to help clients reach their health goals.
Key Learning Outcome #2
Thorough background of biomedical understanding of the human body, its structure, physiology, common pathologies, and also western diagnostic skills and pharmacotherapy.
Key Learning Outcome #3
The blending of different nutrition philosophies, including the ancient traditions of Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and cultural diets with contemporary dietary practices.
Key Learning Outcome #4
The ancient and powerful system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, from classical to contemporary applications, including an in-depth understanding of biological energetic principles of acupuncture.
Key Learning Outcome #5
Wide-ranging professional skills from writing and public speaking to cooking and business development experience needed to establish a private complementary health practice 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, 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 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.
Chinese Medicine Clinical Practice
Nutrition Clinical Practice
Western Herbal Sciences
Students in the Diploma of Acupuncture program complete 525 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.
Students in the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition program can complete all clinical training in PRC’s on-campus Student Clinic, or can participate in our Clinical Externship Program.
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 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.
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.
The Diploma of Acupuncture is approved by the CTCMA of BC and meets the education requirements of many other provinces, states and countries.
The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition 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.
The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition 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).
The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition 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)
The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition 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.)
The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition is approved by the the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals. CAHN-Pro is a professional association for the accreditation of holistic nutritionists.
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.
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.
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 of releasing 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.
Holistic nutrition is the practice of using food to maintain and restore health and vitality. Most if not all indigenous cultures have positioned diet as one of the key tenets of strengthening health and warding off illness. The primary goal of a holistic nutrition-based approach is not to diminish symptoms but instead to assess the body as a whole and make dietary modifications to create more balance and thus health.
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 40 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.
Pacific Rim College is recognized as one of the best holistic nutrition schools in North America. With 2115 total hours, 360 of which are clinical practice, our Diploma of Holistic Nutrition (a degree in holistic nutrition is not available in Canada) is the most comprehensive on-site program in North America. It integrates theories and practices of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Herbal Medicine and Western Medicine to provide students with unique perspectives on how to assess and treat clients. Our Holistic Nutrition Certificate is a 270-hour program for those interested in building personal knowledge rather than gaining practitioner skills. Our courses are taught by physicians, naturopathic doctors, doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine, osteopaths and more, some of whom are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of Holistic Nutrition. Our students benefit from studying holistic nutrition at our beautiful and historic campus in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia.
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).
In Canada there is currently no regulation of the practice of Holistic Nutrition, although some credentialing bodies do exist. The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition at PRC is recognized by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners, the Canadian Health Coach Alliance, and the Canadian Association for Integrative Nutrition. Graduates are eligible for practitioner designations from all of these respected organizations.
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.
There are a number of schools for holistic nutrition in Canada, but none offer holistic nutrition degrees. Educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a college of holistic nutrition can award. Pacific Rim College offers a comprehensive 3-year Diploma of Holistic Nutrition and a 4-month Holistic Nutrition Certificate.