Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine


The Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine offers two professional master's degree programs leading to licensure in the field: the M.Ac.O.M. program and the M.Ac. program.  Both programs are based on the philosophy that a small group of students, studying in the clinic and in the classroom with experienced faculty practitioners, gain a deep awareness of the vitality of East Asian approaches to health.  There is also an educational approach in SIOM training that emphasizes learning a variety of approaches to the medicine with a hands-on focus that insures sufficient practical and clinical expertise for graduates to be competent and successful in their profession.

Both programs are three years in length and have the same prerequisites of three years of college study with some specific basic science requirements.  Both programs provide a solid training in acupuncture and its application in a modern health care practice.  The M.Ac.O.M. degree program includes extensive academic and clinical instruction in Chinese herbal medicine and has an integrated Chinese medical language curriculum that ensures graduates have the ability to access Chinese medical sources for additional clinical information.  The M.Ac. degree program utilizes a condensed weekday instructional format to allow students more time for work or study. This is combined with a variety of clinical internship experiences that prepare the graduate for private practice, integrated medical settings, community clinics and public health oriented acupuncture.


Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (M.Ac.O.M.)

Program Description

The Master's of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (M.Ac.O.M.) degree program at SIOM provides a deep understanding of the roots of this ancient medicine, as well as a clear grasp of modern approaches to Chinese medicine. The format of instruction is unique in the field of acupuncture education. It is a result of the last fifteen years of instruction and innovation at SIOM, and supports SIOM's mission to prepare highly qualified, effective and successful practitioners.

The 3,150 hour M.Ac.O.M. program is three years (36 months) in length, with classes and clinic occurring 45 weeks out of the year in three fifteen-week trimesters. Students spend approximately 24 hours per week in clinical training and didactic courses with some weekend intensives.  The courses and clinic are designed to act as a cohesive unit; therefore all students are expected to enroll on a full-time basis.

In the first year, students work with experienced practitioners to gain academic and clinical experience in the classical and contemporary traditions of Chinese medicine. The course work supports the clinical training by focusing on the skills important for treatment and understanding of the patient's condition. By the end of the first year, students acquire basic competence in diagnosis and assessment skills regarding these ancient and modern approaches to Chinese medicine. Most importantly, students experience how the theories and modalities of Oriental medicine are integrated and put to use in the clinical setting by experienced practitioners.

In the second year, students are responsible for providing care to patients.  In clinic, they treat patients utilizing the skills and knowledge learned in their first year. Instruction supplements the clinical education by providing the theoretical and technical support necessary for in-depth understanding of the therapies provided.

In the third year, students work in a variety of internship and externship clinics to experience a wide range of patient conditions and hone their skills, utilizing the different approaches to practice what they have learned in the program.  Academic coursework emphasizes the skills they will need to work in the health care professions and in private practice.

The strengths of the program are:

  • Small class size
  • Clinical preceptorship experience with experienced faculty/practitioners
  • Clinic training from beginning of program
  • Chinese medical language instruction integrated into whole program
  • Hands-on herbal instruction
  • Multiple perspectives on diagnostic and treatment approaches
  • Wide range of clinical experiences and large number of patient treatments
  • Strong bodywork and physical assessment/palpation training

For more information please see the school catalog.

Master of Acupuncture Degree  (M.Ac.)

Program Description

The M.Ac. degree program is designed for those who need to maintain a part-time weekday work schedule and would like to become licensed and certified in this therapeutic approach. Much of the training is provided in a condensed weekday format, leaving more time during the week for work schedules. 

In the first year students observe experienced practitioners at the school clinic.  In the second and third year students provide acupuncture treatments in the school clinic and participate in externships providing care to a variety of patient populations.

The master's degree program is three years in length with each academic year being divided into three 15 week trimesters.  There are an average of two to three weekend intensives in each trimester and two days a week of class and clinic, though clinic in the second and third years can add an additional day of the week to the schedule. 

Strengths of the program:

  • Condensed weekday academic instructional format
  • Small class size
  • Preceptorship with experienced faculty/practitioners
  • A variety of acupuncture diagnostic perspectives learned
  • Strong bodywork and physical assessment/palpation training
  • Emphasis on cultivation of qi and techniques for patient self treatment
  • Wide range of clinical experiences including multiple community and public health sites


For more information please see the school catalog.