Master’s Program in Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine

The master’s of traditional Oriental medicine program at Emperor’s College is one of the oldest and most sought after acupuncture programs in the nation. We provide students with the education necessary to function as primary healthcare providers in today’s demanding medical landscape.

Download the 2010-2012 master’s program academic catalog.

Program Length

Emperor’s four year masters program is one of the most comprehensive in the nation, consisting of 3,210 instructional hours or 224 didactic units and 970 hours of clinic training.

The curriculum is taught year round on the quarter system. Each quarter is eleven weeks in length with an average two week break between quarters.

Part time coursework is available for students who are unable to attend a full-time academic program. A maximum of 8 years is allowed for completion of the masters degree program which allows students to continue working while taking classes in the evening and around their work schedule.

Western physicians, nurses, chiropractors, non-California acupuncturists and other medical professionals are able to complete Emperors’ masters degree and obtain a California acupuncture license in two to two and a half years of full time coursework. Emperor’s College is accustomed to transferring in previously completed bio medicine and Chinese medicine training and is happy to conduct a Pre-Enrollment Evaluation for students desiring a curriculum assessment prior to applying for admission.

Program at a Glance

Year 1 – 2

The curriculum opens with the ABC’s of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and bio medicine. You will be introduced to theories and philosophies such as qi, yin and yang, constitutional make ups, zang fu (internal medicine), acupuncture points and meridians, tongue and pulse diagnosis and Chinese herbal medicine, including lab time in the herbal dispensary. You will also start an extensive study of Western medicine, beginning with biology, chemistry, biochemistry, medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, western nutrition and pathophysiology.

To prepare you for your clinical training, you will begin a 9 month study of acupuncture points and techniques as well as 150 hours of immersion into the clinical setting in observation theater and rounds.

We encourage you to start a daily tai chi and/or qi gong practice at the onset of your studies so you can begin to experience the value of these therapies early on. As such many students enroll in at least one of the two required tai chi and qi gong classes within their first two years. Emperor’s offers three of the four internationally-recognized styles of tai chi for students to choose from: Yang, Chen and Sun.

To conclude the first half of the program, students sit for a comprehensive Pre-Clinical or Mid Curriculum exam which tests their comprehension of the first two years of coursework and successful completion gains them access to their clinical training.

Year 3 – 4

In the second half of the program, students focus on integrating and synthesizing the information they learned in their first two years. Classes take a more clinical approach and students spend approximately 5-15 hours a week applying their clinical skills while treating patients under the supervision of an instructor in Emperor’s Community Acupuncture Clinic and various externship sites.

Student interns are able to choose which clinical faculty they work with based on the faculty member’s medical specialty. Emperor’s boasts a wide array of highly trained specialists, many of whom are also MDs, in areas such as auricular acupuncture, blood disorders, cardiology, dermatology, gerontology, internal medicine, mental health, orthopedics, pediatrics and woman’s health, to name a few. Because of the high patient volume at Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic, all interns treat their own patients affording real-life experience of what it is like to be a private practitioner.

At externship sites such as Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, Venice Family Clinic’s Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center where integrative medicine is the focus, interns work alongside MDs, nurses and chiropractic interns in patient treatment and round-table presentations.

Students also begin preparing for their board exams and entering the professional world with review seminars, practice management and marketing classes.

One of the unique attributes of Emperor’s College is its broad range of elective classes, a feature not common to most acupuncture schools. Throughout the curriculum, students at  Emperor’s College are encouraged to select elective classes in specialties that most interest them such as Korean acupuncture, Japanese acupuncture, five element theory, advanced herbal medicine, classical Chinese medicine, acupressure, shiatsu, meditation, advanced tai chi, advanced qi gong or even a weekend-long team building retreat at Big Bear Mountain.