Doctor of Acupuncture with a Specialization in Herbal Medicine Program Details

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Specialization in Herbal Medicine (DAcHM) degree at PIHMA offers courses that cover all aspects of Asian Medicine: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Tui Na, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Asian Nutritional Counseling, and Contemporary Biomedicine. Students completing this degree will learn the following:

  • How to assess patients using Eastern and Western diagnostic techniques
  • Administer treatments using Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Cupping, Moxibustion, Tui Na, and Asian Nutritional Counseling
  • A deep understanding of individual herbs and formulas and their practical and clinical use.
  • How to modify basic formulas according to different symptoms.
  • The foundational theories and biomedical principles of Asian Medicine.
  • Advanced competencies in Patient Care, Collaborative Care, and Professional Development.

The DAcHM degree program takes four years to complete but may be accelerated or decelerated depending on the student’s previous coursework and needs.

After successful completion of the DAcHM degree, students are eligible and prepared to sit for the National Certification Exams in Acupuncture, Biomedicine, and Chinese Herbs.

What You Will Learn

The Doctor of Acupuncture with Specialization in Herbal Medicine degree (DAc-HM) is offered as a concurrent program with the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) and as a stand-alone degree. The DAc-HM and the MSOM programs share the same content, with the doctoral program requiring additional program competencies in the following areas:

  • Patient Care (advanced diagnostic studies)
  • Systems-based medicine (patient care systems and collaborative care)
  • Professional Development (scholarship, research and evidence-based medicine).

Students completing this degree program will be prepared to assess patients using both Eastern and Western diagnostic techniques and, based upon the findings, administer treatment using acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, tui na, and Oriental nutritional counseling. The foundational theory for Oriental medicine and biomedical principals is integral to these skills, and students are prepared to demonstrate competency in all the above-noted areas as well as, patient care (advanced diagnostic studies), systemsbased medicine (patient care systems and collaborative care) and professional development (scholarship, research, and evidencebased medicine).

Program Goals:

The goals of the DAcHM program include the development of the learner as a health care professional, with clinical skills and ability to act independently or engage collaboratively in clinical care to assess diagnosis and provide treatment. Students can demonstrate competency in identifying syndromes and practical diagnoses related to the herbs and formulas presented. Students will discuss both practical and clinical uses of the individual herbs and formulas, as well as contraindications, and potential interactions with over the counter and prescription medication. Students will also be competent in the clinical use of major Chinese patent formulas and American–made Chinese herbal products, and how to modify basic formulas according to the differentiation of symptoms and signs.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Perform physical assessments, formulate an appropriate diagnosis and provide acupuncture and adjunctive treatments according to generally accepted national acupuncture and Oriental/Asian medicine standards.
  2. Develop individualized short and long-term treatment strategies, including but not limited to dietary and other lifestyle changes, for patients based upon the principles of Oriental/Asian Medicine.
  3. Utilize reasoning skills in identifying situations in which a patient should be referred to another healthcare provider (in addition to, or in lieu of acupuncture/herb treatment).
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the perspectives and value of Western Sciences in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of integrative healthcare and the knowledge and skills required to discuss patient concerns with healthcare providers and insurance company personnel in an effort to more effectively serve patients.
  6. Retrieve, interpret, and apply current research and evidence-based treatments applicable to the profession of Oriental/Asian Medicine.
  7. Pursue lifelong learning opportunities and continuous professional development.
  8. Demonstrate skills necessary to implement and maintain a private practice using effective business and marketing procedures that reflect ethical values and professional accountability.
  9. Consistently practice within accepted legal, professional, and ethical guidelines as outlined by national, state, and local regulatory agencies
  10. Demonstrate the ability to assemble individual herbal substances into classical Asian herbal formulas based upon Traditional Asian Medicine pattern identification and modern applications.
  11. Articulate the expected therapeutic outcome of the application of individual herbs, combinations of herbs, and modification of classical Asian herbal formulas.
  12. Utilize critical thinking, as well as herbal and pharmacological resources to identify and circumvent potential adverse interactions between herbs, drugs, and foods.



  • Satisfactorily completed 90-semester credits at an accredited college or university.
  • English with a grade of 2.0 or better
  • Psychology with a grade of 2.0 or better


  • Must complete a minimum of 3 semester credit hours in each of the following courses:
    • Biology
    • Introduction to Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry

The science classes need to have been completed within the last five years. If your course credits are more than five years old, you have the first year while you are enrolled at PIHMA to re-take and pass the classes. The classes can be taken at PIHMA or a community college.


ProgramAverage Yearly CostTotal Cost
Doctor of Acupuncture with Specialization in Herbal Medicine$19,085.50$76,342


For a full breakdown of the cost please click here.


Oriental Medical Theory I
Point Location & Meridians I
Materials & Methods
Anatomy & Physiology I
Western Medical Terminology
History of Medicine & Integrative Medicine
Qi Gong I
Clinic Preparation and Procedures I
Public Health & Prevention

Oriental Medical Theory II
Point Location & Meridians II
Acupuncture Practicum I
Point Energetics I
Oriental Medical Diagnosis & Practicum
Anatomy & Physiology II
Tai Chi
Clinical Observation I

Oriental Medical III
Acupuncture Practicum II
Point Energetics II
Anatomy & Physiology III
Fundamentals of Herbal Medicine
Qi Gong II
Clinical Observation II

Oriental Medical Pathology I
OM Nutrition
Tui Na I
Evidence-Based Research
Counseling & Communication
Herb Theory IA
Herb Theory IB
Clinical Internship IA
Integrative Nutrition

Oriental Medical Pathology II
Western Pathophysiology I
Evidence-Based Clinical Practice
Tui Na II
Herb Theory 2A
Herb Theory 2B
Practice Management
Clinic Preparation and Procedures II
Clinical Internship IB

Applied Channel Theory
Western Clinical Diagnosis
Western Pathophysiology II
Integrative Case Management
Collaborative Care
Herb Theory 3A
Herb Theory 3B
Clinical Internship 1C
Clinical Internship 2A

Classics Seminar
Western Physics & Oriental Medicine
Acu‐Microsystems Practicum
Western Physical Exam Techniques
Complementary Herbology
Herbal Classics
Clinical Internship 2B
Clinical Internship 2C
Integrative Clinic A
Clinic Prep & Procedures
Herb Clinic I

Advanced Clinical Techniques
Integrative Clinical Diagnosis
Professional Development & Leadership
Herb-Drug Interactions
Herbal Preparation & Pharmacy Practice
Professional Ethics
Clinical Internship 3A
Clinical Internship 3B
Integrative Clinic B
Integrative Clinic C
Herb Clinic II

*Based on the suggested four-year completion schedule

“Many of the lessons at PIHMA have transformed the way I approach relationships and medicine for the better. “
Robert Woods, Alumnus, LAc.



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