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The State Requirements for Acupuncture Licensure in USA

The following is an outline of formal schooling and examination requirements for licensure in the various states. It does not provide complete information regarding eligibility requirements. For example, some states require applicants to graduate from an accredited college or fulfill an English language requirement. A few recognize apprenticeship as a route to licensure; most do not. 

ALASKA
Formal schooling requirements: A course of study consistent with the core curriculum and guidelines of the CCAOM

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Department of Commerce and Economic Development
Division of Occupational Licensing - Acupuncture
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
(907) 465-2695

ARIZONA

Formal schooling requirements: 1850 hours including 800 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Arizona Board of Acupuncture Examiners
1400 W. Washington #230
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-3095

ARKANSAS

Formal schooling requirements: 4 academic years including 800 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: 60 semester credit hours, including 30 credit hours in science

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture and Chinese herbology

CALIFORNIA

Formal schooling requirements: 4 academic years (2348 hours including 800 clinical) with a minimum of 1548 hours of theory including biology, organic biochemistry, physics, psychology, anatomy and physiology, pathology, nutrition and vitamins (400 hours); history of medicine, medical terminology (30 hours); clinical sciences such as internal medicine, pharmacology, neurology, surgery and clinical medicine including dentistry, nursing, chiropractic and homeopathy, western pharmacology and CPR (128 hours); Tai Chi, Qi Gong, traditional Oriental medicine theory and diagnosis, needling techniques, moxibustion, and acupressure (660 hours); herbology (300 hours including botany); practice management and ethics (30 hours)

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: California examination

Contact:
Department of Consumer Affairs
Medical Board, Acupuncture Committee
1424 Howe Ave. Suite 37
Sacramento, CA 95825-3233
(916) 263-2680

Additional California Information

For acupuncture, the schools in California conform to the standards set by the national accreditation body, ACAOM, that is recognized by the federal Department of Education. To be licensed, you must graduate from an accredited school and pass the national board exam. Unlike some states, California also requires additional hours of training in herbal medicine and the passing of an herbal medicine exam. The California schools all include this as part of their regular master's program.

In most cases, licensing of acupuncture is reciprocal -- i.e. if you're licensed in one state, you're licensed in all the states that license acupuncture. However, approximately 20 states do not license the profession and a few do not allow the independent practice of acupuncture. It's worth checking BEFORE you move. For the most accurate and up-to-date information concerning the laws governing acupuncture, the National Acupuncture Foundation publishes a book called "Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Laws." Most schools have a current copy available in their library or career counseling center.

COLORADO

Formal schooling requirements: NCCAOM certification

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Department of Regulatory Agencies
Office of Acupuncturists Registration
1560 Broadway, Suite 680
Denver, CO 80202 - 5140
(303) 894-2464

CONNECTICUT

Formal schooling requirements: 1350 hours including 500 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: 60 semester hours

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
410 Capitol Ave.
MS # 12 APP P.O. Box 34308
Hartford, CT 06134-0308
(860) 509-7562

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Formal schooling requirements: 3 academic years including 500 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Advisory Committee on Acupuncture
D.C. Board of Medicine
614 H. Street. N.W. Room 108
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 727-5365

FLORIDA

Formal schooling requirements: 3 years (2413 hours including 600 clinical) including 330 hours of biomedical clinical science (including 90 hours of pathology, 120 hours of anatomy and physiology, and 120 hours of western biomedical and diagnostic terminology); 1155 hours of traditional Oriental acupuncture diagnosis and treatment (including 705 hours of Oriental medical theory, diagnosis and treatment in acupuncture and related studies and 450 hours of herbal studies); 30 hours of adjunctive therapies, 200 hours electives of adjunctive therapies; 15 hours of universal precautions; 3 of HIV/AIDS, and 20 in Florida laws

Effective July 1, 2001, a 4-year course of study in acupuncture and Oriental medicine including western anatomy, western physiology, western pathology, western biomedical terminology, first aid, and CPR

Any person who enrolled before August 1, 1997 must have completed a 2-year course of study including courses in western anatomy, Western physiology, and Western pathology Undergraduate Requirements: 60 college credits

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Board of Acupuncture
220 Capital Circle S.E., Bin #C 06
Tallahassee, FL 32399-32560761
(904) 488-6015

HAWAII

Formal schooling requirements: 1500 hours including 2 academic years (600 hours) of didactic plus 12 months (900 hours) clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Professional and Vocational Licensing Division
Board of Acupuncture
PO Box 3469
Honolulu, Hawaii 96801
(808) 586-3000 (for application information)

ILLINOIS

Formal schooling requirements: NCCAOM certification

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Illinois Department of Professional Regulation
320 W. Washington Street
Springfield, IL 62786
(217) 782-8556

IOWA

Formal schooling requirements: 2 years

Undergraduate Requirements: 60 semester hours including at least 30 semester hours from an accredited institution of higher education other than accupuncture school. Of the 60 semester hours, 12 shall be in the biosciences such as human anatomy, physiology, and general or advanced biology

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Licensure and Administration
Iowa Board of Medical Examiners
1209 E. Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319-0180
(515) 281-6489

LOUISIANA

Formal schooling requirements: 36 months

Undergraduate Requirements: None specified

Examination: None 

Contact:
Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
830 Union Street, Suite 100
New Orleans, LA 70112-1449
(504) 524-6763 

MAINE

Formal schooling requirements: 1000 hours of didactic plus 300 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: Baccalaureate degree, a professional nursing license or physician's assistant training and examination

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Dept. of Professional and Financial Regulation
Office of Licensing and Enforcement, State House Station #35
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 624-8603 

MARYLAND

Formal schooling requirements: 1800 hours, including 300 clinical hours

Undergraduate Requirements: None specified

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
State Board of Acupuncture
Room 320
4201 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 764-4766 

MASSACHUSETTS

Formal schooling requirements: 1350 clinical/didactic hours combined including 100 hours of clinic with sole responsibility for diagnosis and treatment of patients, 30 hours of herbal training Undergraduate Requirements: 2 academic years including human anatomy and physiology and general biology (2 hours each)

Board Certification for Chinese Herbology: completion of ACAOM herbology program or its equivalent

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Board of Registration in Medicine
Acupuncture Unit
10 West Street 3d Floor
Boston, MA 02111
(617)727-3086, #363 

MINNESOTA

Formal schooling requirements: NCCAOM certification

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Minnesota Board of Medical Practice
University Park Plaza
2829 University Ave. SE - Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3246

MISSOURI

Formal schooling requirements: NCCAOM certification

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
State Board of Chiropractic Examiners
PO Box 672
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0672
(573) 751-2104

MONTANA

Formal schooling requirements: 1000 hours

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Department of Commerce
Board of Medical Examiners
111 N. Jackson
PO Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
(406) 444-4284 

NEVADA

Formal schooling requirements: DOM - 3-year course in acupuncture or a 4-year course in Oriental medicine plus 6 years of practice; Acupuncture Assistant - 3-year course in acupuncture

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: Nevada examination 

Contact:
Nevada State Board of Oriental Medicine
201 Sarah Drive
Carson City, NV 89706
(702) 486-4279 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Formal schooling requirements: ACAOM or board approved, including anatomy and physiology

Undergraduate requirements: Baccalaureate, registered nurse or physician's assistant degree

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
New Hampshire Board of Acupuncture Licensing
Department of Health and Human Services
6 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301-6527
(603) 271-5127 

NEW JERSEY

Formal schooling requirements: 2 year program

Undergraduate Requirements: Baccalaureate degree

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Board of Medical Examiners
Department of Law and Public Safety
Acupuncture Examining Board
140 East Front Street, 2nd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608
(609) 826-7100 

NEW MEXICO

Formal schooling requirements: Entered prior to September 30, 1993, and application for licensing prior to July 15, 2000: 1800 clock hours, including 950 hours of didactic and 750 hours of clinical Entered after September 30, 1993: 2400 clock hours of classes including 1100 hours of didactic and 900 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture and Chinese herbology

Contact:
New Mexico Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
PO Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87504
(505) 476-7100

NEW YORK

Formal schooling requirements: 3-year program of didactic and clinical work

Undergraduate Requirements: 60 semester hours including 9 semester hours of biosciences

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
NY State Board for Acupuncture
State Education Department
Cultural Educational Center Room 3103
Albany, NY 12230
(518) 473-0221

NORTH CAROLINA

Formal schooling requirements: 3-year program

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board
1418 Aversboro Rd.
Garner, NC 27529-4547
(919) 779-5642 

OREGON

Formal schooling requirements: ACAOM accredited or candidacy status or equivalent

Undergraduate: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Board of Medical Examiners
620 Crown Plaza
1500 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97201-5770
(503) 229-5770

PENNSYLVANIA

Formal schooling requirements: 2 academic years

Undergraduate Requirements: 2 years

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Board of Osteopathic Examiners/Board of Medical Examiners
PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 783-4858 

RHODE ISLAND

Formal schooling requirements: Satisfactory to the department

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations
Department of Health, Cannon Building
Three Capitol Hill Rm. 104
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 277-2827 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Formal schooling requirements: NCCAOM certification.

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Board of Medical Examiners 110 Centerview Dr. Suite 202
PO Box 11289
Columbia, SC 29211-1289
(803) 896-4500

TEXAS

Formal schooling requirements: 1800 didactic, including anatomy-histology, bacteriology, physiology, symptomatology, pathology, meridian and point locations, hygiene, and public health plus at least two terms of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: 60 semester hours including basic science courses

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture and Chinese herbology 

Contact:
Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
PO Box 2018 MC-231
Austin, TX 78768-2018
(512) 305-7067 

UTAH

Formal schooling requirements: NCCAOM certification

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
160 East 300 South, Box 146741
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741
(801) 530-6740 

VERMONT

Formal schooling requirements: 3-year program including 800 hours of clinical

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Office of Professional Regulation
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1106
(802) 828-2373 

VIRGINIA

Formal schooling requirements: Graduate of ACAOM accredited school: 1000 hours with 700 didactic and 250 clinical hours in no less than 18 months. Individuals who graduated after July 1, 1990 must document 90 semester credit hours of full time study

Non-accredited school: 2 year course with 1000 hours (700 didactic and 250 clinical) and 5 years of licensed practice in another state

Undergraduate Requirements: 2 academic years of not less than 60 semester credit hours including 18 semester hours in biological sciences (3 hours each in anatomy and physiology)

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Virginia Board of Medicine
6606 W. Broad Street 4th Floor
Richmond, VA 23230-1717
(804) 662-9908 

WASHINGTON

Formal schooling requirements: 2 years of academic coursework including 75 credits of acupuncture sciences (750 hours) and 45 credits (450 hours) of Western sciences including anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, biochemistry, pathology, hygiene, survey of Western clinical sciences and CPR; 1 academic year of clinical including 29 quarter credits of supervised practice with 100 hours of observation and 400 documented patient treatments with 100 different patients

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Department of Health
1300 S.E. Quince Street
PO Box 47868
Olympia, WA 98504-7868
(360) 664-3230 

WEST VIRGINIA

Formal schooling requirements: 1800 hours including 300 clinical hours

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture 

Contact:
Board Secretary
PO Box 252
Huntington, WV 25707-0252
(304) 529-4558 

WISCONSIN

Formal schooling requirements: 2 years

Undergraduate Requirements: None

Examination: NCCAOM examination in acupuncture

Contact:
Dept. of Regulation and Licensure
Bureau of Health Service Professions
Acupuncture Certification
PO Box 8935
1400 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0070


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