Dual Diplomas of Acupuncture and Phytotherapy

Study Option Overview

This opportunity to earn dual diplomas in Acupuncture and Phytotherapy 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 Phytotherapy, the most comprehensive program of western herbal medicine available in either Canada or the United States, explores the medicinal uses of North American and European herbs in both traditional and contemporary practices. 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: 1035 hours
Total Training: 3645 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?

The Diploma of Phytotherapy at Pacific Rim College is the most comprehensive and recognized program of western herbal medicine in North America and offers more than 500 hours of clinical training.
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Pacific Rim College has been a recognized leader in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine education since 2007. Through Pacific Rim College’s Student Clinic, students can complete all clinical training or partake in some of our unique global opportunities.
All programs at Pacific Rim College are approved by the Canadian Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training (Private Training Institutions Branch) and Canada Student Loans.
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Pacific Rim College is actively engaged in many forms of environmental stewardship including 100% green energy offsets for our campus, the highest eco-certification, and planting of 10 trees in British Columbia for every program graduate.

What You’ll Learn:

Key Learning Outcome #1

Extensive knowledge of traditional herbal medicine practices from various cultures alongside contemporary applications of herbal therapies. 

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

A deep understanding of the comprehensive materia medica of western herbal medicine and the therapeutic applications of those herbs.

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 communication to research and business development experience needed to establish a private complementary health practice or to join an integrative health centre.

My proudest achievement is having studied at Pacific Rim College and completing the Diploma of Phytotherapy program. Pacific Rim College attracts the most passionate teachers, students, and healers, and that strong, positive energy is apparent on the PRC campus. I feel honoured to have learned from amazing teachers about the human body, ancient traditions and herbal folklore, modern scientific research, and in depth information on herbs and working with people from all backgrounds and health concerns. Years after graduation, I still find myself on campus often, visiting the herbal dispensary and utilizing the amazing student clinics. I am forever grateful for the knowledge I’ve gained and the amazing community of people I am a part of because of Pacific Rim College.

– Lauren Truscott, Alumnus, Herbalist, Practitioner at Body Blueprint Fitness, Wellness, & Education

Core Program Instructors

 

Curriculum

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 Phytotherapy. 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.

Acupuncture

ACU101/102
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
ACU111/112
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
ACU113/114
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
ACU211/212
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
ACU321
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
ACU322
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
ACU323
1.5 credits 1.5
22.5 hours 22.5
ACU324
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
ACU325
1.5 credits 1.5
22.5 hours 22.5
ACU
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Total
 
39 credits 39 crds
585 hours 585 hrs

Biomedical/Biological Sciences

BMS101/102
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
BMS103
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS112
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS121
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
BMS122
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
BMS201/202
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
BMS211
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS212
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS231
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS232
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
BMS431
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Total
 
35 credits 35 crds
525 hours 525 hrs

Chinese Medicine Clinical Practice

CMCP101
9 credits 9
135 hours 135
CMCP102
3 credits 3
90 hours 90
CMCP200/300
10 credits 10
300 hours 300
Total
 
22 credits 22 crds
525 hours 525 hrs

Nutrition

NU
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Total
 
3 credits 3 crds
45 hours 45 hrs

Oriental Medicine

OM101/102
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
OM111
1.5 credits 1.5
22.5 hours 22.5
OM112
1.5 credits 1.5
22.5 hours 22.5
OM113
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
OM121
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
OM201/202
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
OM231
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
OM301
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
OM302
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Total
 
30 credits 30 crds
450 hours 450 hrs

Phytotherapy Clinical Practice

PCP101
6 credits 6
90 hours 90
PCP200
3 credits 3
90 hours 90
PCP300
11 credits 11
330 hours 330
Total
 
20 credits 20 crds
510 hours 510 hrs

Professional Development

PD101
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD211
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD301
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
PD302
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD303
1 credit 1
15 hours 15
PD304
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
PD306
2 credits 2
30 hours 30
Total
 
16 credits 16 crds
240 hours 240 hrs

Western Herbal Sciences

WHS101
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS102
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS103
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS111
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS151
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS201
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS202
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS203
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS204
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS301
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS302
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS303
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS305
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS306
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
WHS
9 credits 9
135 hours 135
Total
 
51 credits 51 crds
765 hours 765 hrs

Total Requirements

Acupuncture
39 credits 39
585 hours 585
Biomedical/Biological Sciences
35 credits 35
525 hours 525
Chinese Medicine Clinical Practice
22 credits 22
525 hours 525
Nutrition
3 credits 3
45 hours 45
Oriental Medicine
30 credits 30
450 hours 450
Phytotherapy Clinical Practice
20 credits 20
510 hours 510
Professional Development
16 credits 16
240 hours 240
Western Herbal Sciences
51 credits 51
765 hours 765
Grand Total
 
216 credits 216 crds
3645 hours 3645 hrs

Clinical Training

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 Phytotherapy 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.

Study Options

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. Both programs can be commenced simultaneously or at different times. 

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 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.

Admissions

Admission into the Diploma of Acupuncture and Diploma of Phytotherapy at Pacific Rim College is on a competitive basis. Entering students must have a high school diploma or equivalent, or satisfactory post-secondary education. We will accept mature students on a case by case basis; eligible mature students must demonstrate they have achieved sufficient post-secondary education credits in lieu of high school credits.

All applicants must demonstrate a mastery of written and spoken English. English proficiency is evaluated on a case by case basis, and applicants 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).

To apply for either or both programs, please click on the link below. We do not have a set deadline for applications and will continue to accept students up until the start of classes, provided there is space within the program. Typically this program fills prior to the semester start, so we recommend applying 6 months in advance. 

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.

Please click here for a description of Academic Fees in PDF format.

Financial Aid

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.

Post-Graduation

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 Phytotherapy can use knowledge and experience gained to establish a professional herbal clinic to assist clients with health issues, work in the health and wellness retail sector, grow and maintain herbal gardens, create herbal preparations, provide consultancy services to the herbal industry and work with natural health regulatory bodies.

Graduates are eligible for membership into the Canadian Herbalists Association of British Columbia (CHA of BC), the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), and the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA).

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. It is students’ responsibility to ensure they meet eligibility criteria in their chosen region.

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


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