The San Diego campus of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) is happy to announce its approval by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to offer the entry-level doctorate of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. This is what the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) has been calling the first professional doctorate (FPD). ACAOM approved Pacific College’s plan by which its master’s degree graduates will be able to earn this doctorate.
What does this mean for Pacific College students and graduates?
If you graduate or have graduated from Pacific College’s Master of Science (Traditional Oriental Medicine) (MSTOM), you can “upgrade” your degree to our entry-level Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine*
(factsheet and application) by taking the courses described below. We intend to make this opportunity available to graduates of our Master of Science in Acupuncture (MSAc) as soon as possible.
This is a unique opportunity for Pacific’s master’s students.
What is a First Professional Doctorate (FPD)?
A first professional doctorate or entry-level doctorate is, quite simply, a doctoral program that students can enter after an undergraduate program without prior acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine education. Contrast this with the post-graduate Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) that requires students to complete a master's degree in acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine prior to entrance.
Because Pacific College’s master’s degrees are so comprehensive, there is very little difference between their outcomes and the first professional doctoral standards. Pacific College’s faculty and academic deans completed a detailed comparison and created courses to fill the gaps. Those courses comprise what we call our “alumni upgrade path.” MSTOM graduates can earn the entry-level doctorate by taking the following courses:
- Evidence Informed Practice (3 units)
- Advanced Integrative Diagnostics (3 units)
- Healthcare Systems (3 units)
- Practice-Based Learning (3 units)
- Application of Inter-Professional Communication (2 units)
- Inter-Professional Communication (1 unit)
These courses are conveniently offered online to meet the scheduling needs of licensed acupuncturists.
This is great news. We look forward to calling you DOCTOR.
*As mentioned above, Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) has been calling the first professional doctorate (FPD), although they have not yet reached a consensus on a degree title. At this time, Pacific will award the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree and title to graduates of this program. If ACAOM recommends an acceptable alternative in the future, Pacific College will in all likelihood adopt it.
The entry-level Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is not accredited or preaccredited (candidacy) by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Graduates of this program are not considered to have graduated from an ACAOM accredited or candidate program and may not rely on ACAOM accreditation or candidacy for professional licensure or other purposes. Graduates of Pacific’s master’s programs have graduated from an ACAOM accredited program and may rely on ACAOM accreditation or candidacy for professional licensure or other purposes.
This program is eligible for ACAOM accreditation and Pacific College of Oriental Medicine is currently in the process of seeking ACAOM candidacy/accreditation for the program. However, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine can provide no assurance that candidacy or accreditation will be granted by ACAOM.