How Long Does it Take to Finish Acupuncture School

So you’re wondering “How long does it take to finish acupuncture school?” Well, the answer to this question will depend on several factors. First you must decide whether you want to get a certificate or diploma from an unaccredited school, which might not qualify you to work in your state and will definitely not transfer to other educational institutions. For more acupuncturists, the only schooling option that makes sense is getting a master’s degree in acupuncture or oriental medicine from an accredited school. This can take two to four years.

In order to get a master’s degree from an accredited acupuncture and/or oriental medicine school, you will need to have earned a bachelor’s degree first. Some students get degrees that are associated with health, medicine and the healing arts, while other acupuncturists come from varied educational and professional backgrounds such as business, marketing, teaching, writing, music, art and many others. Getting a bachelor’s degree takes four years, though, and you must get the master’s degree on top of that to be a licensed acupuncture practitioner in most states, which takes at least two years. Usually it takes more like three or four years to complete if you’re working as you train.

During your master’s program in acupuncture you will take specific courses that will provide the knowledge and skills to embark on a career in the healing arts. Most students specialize in a certain subject area during acupuncture school, such as five elements acupuncture or oriental medicine. The specialization you choose and the school you’re attending will determine the curriculum you take, but you can always expect to take courses in anatomy, Chinese herbology, five elements, physiology, traditional oriental medicine and western acupuncture during your training. You will also need to do hands-on training, and many schools require that you complete an internship with a licensed practitioner before you can graduate.

After your schooling is complete you’ll need to pass a state board exam to get licensed and begin working in the field, although this will depend on what state you live in. It will be a long road, but the schooling will be worthwhile when you have a career you love.

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