Master of Science in Oriental Medicine

Questions? 503.552.1660 / Toll-free 877.669.8737 or admissions@nunm.edu

NUNM’s innovative Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) degree is a four-year immersion in the classical foundations of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, a highly sophisticated and effective form of medicine. Our curriculum emphasizes scholarship and practice designed to transmit the art, science and spirit of Chinese medicine to develop clinical practitioners rooted in the ancient tradition of the medical scholar.

Our students develop a deep understanding of the wisdom of the ancient healers. They also receive a holistic education in Western biomedical sciences during their training in the clinical application of major modalities (e.g., herbal formulation, acupuncture, moxibustion, Asian bodywork, qigong and nutrition).

Our curriculum emphasizes personal and professional cultivation to optimize our students’ proficiency as practitioners, and to support their health as they progress through their clinical training.

Our programs are the most comprehensive training in classical Chinese medicine offered in the U.S. The MSOM degree is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) and qualifies graduates to apply for licensure and to take all of the AOM examinations administered by NCCAOM—used in most states as the basis for licensure.

How does classical Chinese medicine and TCM differ? Perspectives On “TCM” and Classical Chinese Medicine—A Comparative Outlook.

Student Experience

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Program News

Faculty Highlight

Xiaoli Chen, Doctor of Medicine (China), LAc

“As a teacher, I want to pass along to my students classical Chinese medicine theories and practices, starting where Chinese medicine begins: at the roots. When you go to the roots, you really understand; you have a better way to absorb the essence of our work.” Dr. Chen’s practice is, for her, a calling. “Using Chinese medicine to heal wounds, treat illness, and prevent diseases is my holy mission. My intention is to always practice with a kind heart.”

Dr. Chen earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in Acupuncture at China’s Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and teaching hospital, where she taught and practiced for many years. At NUNM, she teaches acupuncture and moxibustion, and supervises observers and interns on teaching shifts at the NUNM Clinic. Dr. Chen treats a wide variety of conditions at NUNM’s clinics and in her private practice at Kwan-Yin Healing Arts Center using acupuncture, moxibustion, herbs, diet, qigong and Chinese massage.

An award-winning researcher, Dr. Chen has written three books and published extensively in professional journals. Her research has included a case series on depression associated with menopause and an NUNM Helfgott Research Institute project on the effects of adjunctive acupuncture in the treatment of spasmodic dysphonia (a voice disorder).

Program Options

The Master of Science in Oriental Medicine program may be taken concurrently with the following programs.

  • MSOM

    Admissions Requirements for MSOM

    Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or its foreign equivalent

    A GPA of 3.0 or higher (strongly recommended)

    Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite courses are designed to ensure entering students are academically prepared for the curriculum of the program. Prerequisite courses may be substituted with comparable coursework if the learning objectives are met at the determination of the Admissions Committee, utilizing the evaluation procedures set by that committee.

    General Biology 1 Science-major level preferred with lab; cellular biology recommended.
    General Chemistry 1 Science-major level preferred with lab.
    Physics 1 Must include mechanics.
    Psychology 1 Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    Humanities 1 Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    • General Biology — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab; cellular biology recommended.
    • General Chemistry — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab.
    • Physics — 1 Course
      Must include mechanics.
    • Psychology — 1 Course
      Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    • Humanities — 1 Course
      Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.

    A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisite coursework. Candidates may apply while in progress.

    Documents & Essays

    Applicants are required to submit essays to be considered for admission. Essays provide applicants the opportunity to share their background, abilities, interests and experiences, and how these will make them a good candidate for the programs at NUNM. Applicants should share some personal experiences and genuine thoughts in their essays. Explaining why you are applying to NUNM and how you would enrich that community is also helpful. The Admissions Committee will look for writing ability, as well as content when reading the essays.

    Required Documents and Essays for the MSOM Program

    • Resume

      A chronological resume of work, educational, and volunteer experience. Include work experience, internships, research, activities, publications, community service, and any honors/awards received.

    • Personal Statement

      Please write a 2–3 page personal statement, which should include: the development of your decision to become a naturopathic physician or CCM practitioner; recent steps taken to further explore this career path; qualities and/or attributes you might bring to NUNM that might distinguish you from other applicants. (double spaced)

    • MSOM #2

      Please discuss the specific factors that drew you to apply to the Classical Chinese Medicine program at NUNM.

  • ND/MSOM

    Admissions Requirements for ND/MSOM

    Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or its foreign equivalent

    A GPA of 3.0 or higher (strongly recommended)

    Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite courses are designed to ensure entering students are academically prepared for the curriculum of the program. Prerequisite courses may be substituted with comparable coursework if the learning objectives are met at the determination of the Admissions Committee, utilizing the evaluation procedures set by that committee.

    Biological Sciences 2 Science-major level. Competencies may be met through courses such as: cell biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, genetics, botany, etc. Content should cover cell biology. Lab work required.
    Chemical Sciences 4 Science-major level. Two sequential courses in both general and organic chemistry; biochemistry may serve as a substitute for one organic chemistry course. Lab work required for the general chemistry series.
    General Physics 1
    Mathematics 1 Must be in algebra, calculus, or statistics.
    English Composition 1
    Psychology 1 Any general psychology course 100-level or higher.
    Social Sciences & Humanities 2 Courses in the areas of anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, linguistics, politics, psychology, sociology art, religion, philosophy, literature, music and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    Humanities 1 Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    • Biological Sciences — 2 Courses
      Science-major level. Competencies may be met through courses such as: cell biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, genetics, botany, etc. Content should cover cell biology. Lab work required.
    • Chemical Sciences — 4 Courses
      Science-major level. Two sequential courses in both general and organic chemistry; biochemistry may serve as a substitute for one organic chemistry course. Lab work required for the general chemistry series.
    • General Physics — 1 Course
    • Mathematics — 1 Course
      Must be in algebra, calculus, or statistics.
    • English Composition — 1 Course
    • Psychology — 1 Course
      Any general psychology course 100-level or higher.
    • Social Sciences & Humanities — 2 Courses
      Courses in the areas of anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, linguistics, politics, psychology, sociology art, religion, philosophy, literature, music and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    • Humanities — 1 Course
      Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.

    A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisite coursework. Candidates may apply while in progress.

    Documents & Essays

    Applicants are required to submit essays to be considered for admission. Essays provide applicants the opportunity to share their background, abilities, interests and experiences, and how these will make them a good candidate for the programs at NUNM. Applicants should share some personal experiences and genuine thoughts in their essays. Explaining why you are applying to NUNM and how you would enrich that community is also helpful. The Admissions Committee will look for writing ability, as well as content when reading the essays.

    Required Documents and Essays for the ND/MSOM Program

    • Resume

      A chronological resume of work, educational, and volunteer experience. Include work experience, internships, research, activities, publications, community service, and any honors/awards received.

    • Personal Statement

      Please write a 2–3 page personal statement, which should include: the development of your decision to become a naturopathic physician or CCM practitioner; recent steps taken to further explore this career path; qualities and/or attributes you might bring to NUNM that might distinguish you from other applicants. (double spaced)

    • ND: Primary Care

      While you might not choose to ultimately practice as a primary care physician, you will be trained as such at NUNM and will be expected to work with all patients without bias or discrimination. Please discuss how you anticipate dealing with the following situations while you are a student at NUNM: a) Providing healthcare to patients who may differ from you in terms of gender identity, religion, political viewpoints, race, sexual orientation, etc. b) Providing treatments that you may have conflicting personal beliefs around but are necessary parts of your naturopathic education, including but not limited to administration of immunizations, pharmaceutical drugs, homeopathy, hormone therapies for patients undergoing gender transitions, etc. (maximum 1,000 words, double spaced)

    • MSOM #2

      Please discuss the specific factors that drew you to apply to the Classical Chinese Medicine program at NUNM.

  • MSOM/MScGH

    Admissions Requirements for MSOM/MScGH

    Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or its foreign equivalent

    A GPA of 3.0 or higher (strongly recommended)

    Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite courses are designed to ensure entering students are academically prepared for the curriculum of the program. Prerequisite courses may be substituted with comparable coursework if the learning objectives are met at the determination of the Admissions Committee, utilizing the evaluation procedures set by that committee.

    General Biology 1 Science-major level preferred with lab; cellular biology recommended.
    General Chemistry 1 Science-major level preferred with lab.
    Physics 1 Must include mechanics.
    Mathematics 1 Must be statistics (preferred) or college algebra.
    Psychology 1 Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    Humanities 1 Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    Social Science 1 Any course from the following disciplines: psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology
    • General Biology — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab; cellular biology recommended.
    • General Chemistry — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab.
    • Physics — 1 Course
      Must include mechanics.
    • Mathematics — 1 Course
      Must be statistics (preferred) or college algebra.
    • Psychology — 1 Course
      Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    • Humanities — 1 Course
      Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    • Social Science — 1 Course
      Any course from the following disciplines: psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology

    A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisite coursework. Candidates may apply while in progress.

    Documents & Essays

    Applicants are required to submit essays to be considered for admission. Essays provide applicants the opportunity to share their background, abilities, interests and experiences, and how these will make them a good candidate for the programs at NUNM. Applicants should share some personal experiences and genuine thoughts in their essays. Explaining why you are applying to NUNM and how you would enrich that community is also helpful. The Admissions Committee will look for writing ability, as well as content when reading the essays.

    Required Documents and Essays for the MSOM/MScGH Program

    • Resume

      A chronological resume of work, educational, and volunteer experience. Include work experience, internships, research, activities, publications, community service, and any honors/awards received.

    • Personal Statement

      Please write a 2–3 page personal statement, which should include: the development of your decision to become a naturopathic physician or CCM practitioner; recent steps taken to further explore this career path; qualities and/or attributes you might bring to NUNM that might distinguish you from other applicants. (double spaced)

    • MSOM #2

      Please discuss the specific factors that drew you to apply to the Classical Chinese Medicine program at NUNM.

    • MScGH Personal Statement

      Please share what interests you about this program, why you believe you’re a good match for the program, and what you hope to do in the future with this degree. (2000 words max, double spaced)

  • MSOM/MScN

    Admissions Requirements for MSOM/MScN

    Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or its foreign equivalent

    A GPA of 3.0 or higher (strongly recommended)

    Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite courses are designed to ensure entering students are academically prepared for the curriculum of the program. Prerequisite courses may be substituted with comparable coursework if the learning objectives are met at the determination of the Admissions Committee, utilizing the evaluation procedures set by that committee.

    General Biology 1 Science-major level preferred with lab; cellular biology recommended.
    General Chemistry 1 Science-major level preferred with lab.
    Physics 1 Must include mechanics.
    Mathematics 1 Algebra or Statistics preferred.
    Psychology 1 Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    Humanities 1 Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    • General Biology — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab; cellular biology recommended.
    • General Chemistry — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab.
    • Physics — 1 Course
      Must include mechanics.
    • Mathematics — 1 Course
      Algebra or Statistics preferred.
    • Psychology — 1 Course
      Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    • Humanities — 1 Course
      Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.

    A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisite coursework. Candidates may apply while in progress.

    Documents & Essays

    Applicants are required to submit essays to be considered for admission. Essays provide applicants the opportunity to share their background, abilities, interests and experiences, and how these will make them a good candidate for the programs at NUNM. Applicants should share some personal experiences and genuine thoughts in their essays. Explaining why you are applying to NUNM and how you would enrich that community is also helpful. The Admissions Committee will look for writing ability, as well as content when reading the essays.

    Required Documents and Essays for the MSOM/MScN Program

    • Resume

      A chronological resume of work, educational, and volunteer experience. Include work experience, internships, research, activities, publications, community service, and any honors/awards received.

    • Personal Statement

      Please write a 2–3 page personal statement, which should include: the development of your decision to become a naturopathic physician or CCM practitioner; recent steps taken to further explore this career path; qualities and/or attributes you might bring to NUNM that might distinguish you from other applicants. (double spaced)

    • MSOM #2

      Please discuss the specific factors that drew you to apply to the Classical Chinese Medicine program at NUNM.

    • MScN: Career Goals

      Speaking to your background in nutrition, interests, and philosophy around nutrition, please share how you plan to use nutrition in your career. (maximum of 1,600 words, double spaced)

  • MSOM/MSiMR

    Admissions Requirements for MSOM/MSiMR

    Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or its foreign equivalent

    A GPA of 3.0 or higher (strongly recommended)

    Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite courses are designed to ensure entering students are academically prepared for the curriculum of the program. Prerequisite courses may be substituted with comparable coursework if the learning objectives are met at the determination of the Admissions Committee, utilizing the evaluation procedures set by that committee.

    General Biology 1 Science-major level preferred with lab.
    General Chemistry 2 Science-major level preferred with lab.
    Physics 1 Must include mechanics.
    Mathematics 2 Must be pre-calculus, calculus 1, or statistics.
    English Composition 1
    Psychology 1 Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    Humanities 1 Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    Social Science 1 Any course from the following disciplines: psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology
    • General Biology — 1 Course
      Science-major level preferred with lab.
    • General Chemistry — 2 Courses
      Science-major level preferred with lab.
    • Physics — 1 Course
      Must include mechanics.
    • Mathematics — 2 Courses
      Must be pre-calculus, calculus 1, or statistics.
    • English Composition — 1 Course
    • Psychology — 1 Course
      Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    • Humanities — 1 Course
      Courses in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, literature, music, and other related fields will satisfy this requirement.
    • Social Science — 1 Course
      Any course from the following disciplines: psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology

    A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisite coursework. Candidates may apply while in progress.

    Documents & Essays

    Applicants are required to submit essays to be considered for admission. Essays provide applicants the opportunity to share their background, abilities, interests and experiences, and how these will make them a good candidate for the programs at NUNM. Applicants should share some personal experiences and genuine thoughts in their essays. Explaining why you are applying to NUNM and how you would enrich that community is also helpful. The Admissions Committee will look for writing ability, as well as content when reading the essays.

    Required Documents and Essays for the MSOM/MSiMR Program

    • Resume

      A chronological resume of work, educational, and volunteer experience. Include work experience, internships, research, activities, publications, community service, and any honors/awards received.

    • Personal Statement

      Please write a 2–3 page personal statement, which should include: the development of your decision to become a naturopathic physician or CCM practitioner; recent steps taken to further explore this career path; qualities and/or attributes you might bring to NUNM that might distinguish you from other applicants. (double spaced)

    • MSOM #2

      Please discuss the specific factors that drew you to apply to the Classical Chinese Medicine program at NUNM.

    • MSiMR: Background and Goals

      Please speak to your career goals, background in research or research-related interests, and what interests you about integrative medicine research. (maximum of 1,600 words, double spaced)