The following objectives outline the methods by which AIMC Berkeley measures its progress toward producing successful practitioners:
To provide a program of study of Oriental Medicine in its Chinese and Japanese traditions that culminates in the award of the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. AIMC Berkeley graduates will be able to satisfy the following standards:
To provide an understanding of diagnostic and treatment procedures of Oriental Medicine and facilitate optimal patient care through appropriate assessment, referral, and collaboration with other healthcare providers. AIMC Berkeley graduates will be able to satisfy the following standards:
To provide students with the proficiency to sit for and pass the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE) and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) examination. AIMC Berkeley graduates will be able to satisfy the following standards:
AIMC Berkeley assesses student achievement of learning objectives according to the following criteria:
Additionally, AIMC Berkeley assesses the institutional achievement of learning objectives according to the following criteria:
AIMC Berkeley offers one of the broadest and most comprehensive curricula in the US for Acupuncture, Oriental, and Integrative Medicine training of entry-level practitioners. The AIMC Berkeley curriculum was created under guidance provided by the Board of Directors, Board Chairman Dr. Shuji Goto, and the curriculum team; and with valuable input from distinguished faculty, dedicated students and committed alumni. AIMC Berkeley is fortunate to have the highest level of collaboration from all factions of the College and licensed professionals in the design of its curriculum. The outcome of this process is a comprehensive curriculum with a clear goal: to produce successful practitioners of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine. In addition to its comprehensive nature, other hallmarks of the AIMC Berkeley curriculum include a flexible program and a consistent class schedule.
33.5 units • 1,005 hours
The heart of any AOM curriculum is its clinical program, and clinical practice begins right awayat AIMC Berkeley. The first trimester marks the observation phase, in which licensed practitioners model how to interview and treat patients in a classroom setting. This early exposure provides clearer focus for didactic classes to come.
Clinic observation continues in a more intimate setting in the second and third trimesters, and students gain valuable exposure to observation skills and diagnosis techniques of tongue and pulse as they gather in small groups to observe licensed acupuncturists engaged in the treatment of patients.
In the fourth trimester, student observers apprentice one-on-one with third-year interns, assist with treatments, practice on fellow students, perform intakes, and observe supervised treatments. In the fifth, sixth, and seventh trimesters small teams of students begin treating patients directly in the AIMC Berkeley Community Clinic.
Clinic interns take on increasing responsibility for patient care in the eighth trimester, working under the supervision of the Dean of Clinical Education and the Clinic Manager to learn how the clinic operates.
By the time students finish their tenth trimester, they will have completed 1,000 hours of clinical training. It is this depth and breadth of clinical experience at AIMC Berkeley that provides AIMC Berkeley graduates with the confidence they need to be successful in the marketplace.
22 units • 330 hours
Oriental Medicine (OM) theory is the keystone of understanding in Oriental Medicine. Students are immersed in the study of OM theory in the first trimester with a comprehensive course that outlines its fundamental concepts. In the following trimesters students receive in-depth training in Oriental Medicine diagnosis just as they begin to practice it in concurrent clinic observation classes.
The study of classic Chinese texts begins in the sixth trimester. OM theory and diagnosis is woven throughout the remainder of the curriculum in both the didactic courses and the clinical practice.
Students take the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine review exam in the tenth trimester to consolidate their knowledge and prepare for the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE) and National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certification examination.
23 units • 345 hours
Education in herbal medicine starts in the first trimester with an introduction to Herbology and the traditional Chinese herbal categories.
The second and third trimesters detail over 350 single herbs, including their functions, indications, dosages, contraindications, temperatures, and channels entered.
Classes in the fourth, fifth, and sixth trimesters educate students on how to combine single herbs to make over 150 formulae—including traditional functions, clinical indications, modifications, combinations, and contraindications—and focuses on the activity of individual herbs within the formulae. During this time students also learn about herb-drug interactions and mislabeling.
The sixth trimester Oriental Clinical Medicine series introduces students to classic and modern prescriptions for treating different types of medical conditions within orthopedics, gynecology, traumatology, and internal medicine.
Students review and test their herbal knowledge in the tenth trimester with Advanced Case Studies and AOM Review classes.
27 units • 405 hours
Training in acupuncture commences in the first trimester with the first of four classes in the Acupuncture Channels and Points series covering the jing-luo system of channels and vessels that transport qi in the body. Students are introduced to the locations and functions of acupuncture points along the twelve regular channels, the Ren (Conception) and Du (Governing) extraordinary vessels, and the pathways, characteristics and functions of the regular channels, extraordinary vessels, muscle channels, divergent channels, and cutaneous regions.
The second trimester incorporates the art of acupuncture in the first of three classes in the Acupuncture Techniques series. This series also covers moxibustion, cupping, spooning, warm needling, ear/scalp needling, and electrical stimulation (with an emphasis on safety). The first of the four-part Acupuncture Therapy series in the fourth trimester focuses on acupuncture treatment strategies. Students master classic TCM point-selection strategies, Master Tong-style acupuncture, extraordinary vessels, and attend a two-class series on Japanese-style acupuncture diagnosis and treatment.
Beginning in the sixth-trimester Oriental Clinical Medicine series (which consists of four classes), students engage in classic TCM acupuncture approaches to treating different types of medical conditions. Students review and test their acupuncture knowledge in the tenth trimester with Advanced Case Studies and AOM Review classes.
17 units • 255 hours
Ideally students have completed a minimum of 14 semester units in Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and Physics before beginning the MSOM program. If a student has not completed his or her Basic Science Requirements (BSRs), he or she may complete the courses prior to beginning the program or concurrently in the first year. The BSRs offered at AIMC Berkeley are conceptual in nature and concentrated on information specific to the MSOM program. Please note: BSRs do not count toward the standard 3,263-hour curriculum.
A two-part Anatomy and Physiology series emphasizing acupuncture point location begins in the first trimester, and in the third trimester students begin in-depth pathophysiology instruction.
38.5 units • 578 hours
Integrative Clinical Medicine instruction provides a solid foundation for the unification of Eastern and Western medical sciences. Students develop fluency in both medical languages and systems beginning in the first trimester with an introduction to Western Medical Terminology. The third trimester outlines both Eastern and Western approaches to nutrition.
Fourth- and fifth-trimester study extends beyond the language to focus on the procedures and methods of Western physical examination and the basics of pharmacotherapeutics, which encompasses the uses and effects of Western drugs. Students also receive training in CPR and First Aid.
In the sixth trimester students begin a four-class series in Clinical Integrative Medicine and a four-class series in Oriental Clinical Medicine. Together these series provide a wide perspective on the treatment of medical conditions. Integrative Medicine focuses on diagnosis and standards of care from a biomedicinal perspective, with a special emphasis on referrals and “red-flag” cases. Integrative Clinical Medicine covers the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions including gynecology, obstetrics, urology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, immunology, oncology, endocrinology, cardiology, respiratory disorders, neurology, pediatrics, dermatology, and ophthalmology, along with the associated Oriental Medicine patterns of disharmony.
12 units • 180 hours
Essentially, this series of classes teaches students how to be successful in the workplace by developing a comprehension of and context in which students will practice medicine as primary health care providers, and the responsibilities involved therein. Included is a discussion of legal and ethical responsibilities, and an in-depth developmental study of practical counseling and communication skills.
Practice Building begins in the fifth trimester with an introduction to the professional landscape and an overview of the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to be successful in practice. Students are guided in the development of understanding their individual interests through role-playing, job shadowing, and public presentation, and taught how to translate their specialties and practice styles into relevant and profitable market niches.
The sixth trimester incorporates education relevant to public health and the role of Oriental Medicine in healthcare today.
Ninth-trimester Practice Management students tackle the nuts-and-bolts of setting up and running a private practice by creating their own business plan.
2 units • 30 hours
Students are required to supplement the MSOM curriculum with a minimum of two additional didactic units in specialized education.
Built into the curriculum of AIMC Berkeley MSOM program are a series of didactic and practical comprehensive examinations. These examinations offer students an opportunity to review and consolidate their knowledge in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Successful passage of these exams is necessary for advancement into the different stages of the clinical program, as well as for graduation.
Click here to view the AIMC Berkeley Curriculum Flow Chart, a 10-trimester timeline geared toward full-time students completing the MSOM program on a standard 3.3 calendar year schedule.
When you look at our Curriculum Flow Chart, you’ll notice the following:
AIMC Berkeley uses a collaborative process featuring distinguished faculty, dedicated students, committed alumni, and top administrators (who are all Licensed Acupuncturists) working together to regularly assess, review, and refine the curriculum.