The formal training of Licensed Acupuncturists includes four years of formal education (2,800 to 3,000+ hours, 125+ credits), leading to a Master's of Science (M.S.) degree.
The structure of the standard curriculum is similar to that of Western medical schools, where the first two years are intense academic study, followed by a formal, comprehensive examination process that students must pass to move on to the second two years. In the second two years of training, the academic studies lessen and the student begins their clinical internship, working directly with patients.
Students must pass comprehensive, cumulative exams from their school to graduate, and they must pass national board exams in order to gain licensure through the state.
The following information is from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CSTCM) located in Denver, though it is representative of curriculums nation wide.
The hours of the curriculum at CSTCM breakdown as follows.
Chinese Medical Theory and Technique
810 hrs/48 credits
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Basic Theory
Acu Meridian and Point Theory
TCM Diagnosis and Differentiation
Chinese Herbal Medicine
450 hrs / 20 credits
Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) Prescriptionology
TCM Internal Medicine
510 hrs / 34 credits
Western Medicine Anatomy and Physiology
Microbiology of Infectious Diseases
Western Medicine Pharmacology/Pharmacognocy
195 hrs / 9.5 credits
90 hrs / 6 credits
Qi gong and Tai ji