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?
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
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.
Chinese Medicine Clinical Practice
Phytotherapy 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 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.
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 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).
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.
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.
Phytotherapy (also referred to as Western Herbal Medicine) is the use of plant-based remedies typically native to Europe and North America to help maintain and restore 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 a leading school of herbal medicine in the world. Our Diploma of Phytotherapy is one of the most comprehensive programs available and includes more than 500 hours of herbology clinical training. Our Community Herbalist Certificate is a 270-hour program for those interested in studying herbal courses for building personal knowledge rather than gaining practitioner skills. All our herbology courses are taught by highly qualified and respected herbalists, some of whom are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of herbal medicine. Our students benefit from studying herbal medicine at our beautiful and historic campus, which includes an impressive herbal dispensary stocked with hundreds of organic and wild-crafted herbs, and is located in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. With our comprehensive herbalist coursework, biomedical studies and extensive professional development courses, we help each graduate to build a successful herbalist career.
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 and thus no herbalist certification that is required for someone to practice Western Herbal Medicine. Various credentialing bodies do exist and graduates of PRC’s Diploma of Phytotherapy are eligible for membership into the Canadian Herbalist’s Association of British Columbia (CHA of BC), the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), and the Ontario Herbalist Association (OHA).
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.
Educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a herbalist school can award. Although some schools of herbal medicine in the United States and Europe can offer a degree of herbal medicine or another herbalist degree of sorts, colleges in Canada only offer diplomas and herbology certification (e.g. master herbalist certification, community herbalist certification). Pacific Rim College offers a comprehensive 3-year Diploma of Phytotherapy and a 4-month Community Herbalist Certificate.