HomeAdmissionsDoctoral Program

Doctor of Science in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (DAcHM)

Program Overview

Designed for future acupuncturists who want to practice the full breadth of functional & integrative medicine allowed under their license.

The DAcHM can be completed in four years, ideal for full-time students eager to become licensed practitioners. The program is also available part-time for students with other commitments. First-year students focus on academics: learning the fundamentals of Oriental Medicine, Herbology, and Western Medicine. In the second year, students begin the observation portion of their clinical training: shadowing and learning from more advanced students and clinical supervisors. By the third year, students are actively participating in the clinic, taking patients and working with supervisors on the best treatment strategies. In the final year, students focus on the most advanced training, specialized topics, practice management, and electives. 

*The DAcHM program is offered in English and Korean.

Doctor of Science in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (DAcHM):

  • Duration: 4 years (full-time) or part-time option available
  • Curriculum: 2,430 hours of academic coursework and 1,000 hours of clinical internship
  • Structure: Classes and clinic shifts are offered quarterly
  • Languages: Offered in English and Korean
  • Delivery Format: In-Person, Online, Hybrid

Admission Requirements

The following items are required to be considered for admission:

  • Application: Complete the application in English (online or paper) with the non-refundable fee ($100 for U.S. citizens/residents, $200 for international students).
  • Official Transcripts: Submit sealed official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • International students: Provide a course-by-course evaluation from a NACES member service (see for degree equivalency.
  • Non-English transcripts: Must be translated into English and evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation agency for U.S. educational equivalency.
  • Diploma(s): Provide a copy or copies of diplomas from colleges and higher-education institutions.
  • Recommendation Letters: Submit two letters of recommendation (in English or Korean) detailing your strengths and character traits.
  • Personal Essay: Write a one-page typed essay in English addressing:
    • Your motivation to attend Dongguk University Los Angeles.
    • Your interests and/or philosophical views of Oriental medicine.
    • Your strengths and skills that make you a suitable healthcare practitioner.
  • Photo: Provide one recent 2”x 2” color headshot.
  • Proof of Residency: Submit a copy of your passport, birth certificate, permanent residency card, or other documents verifying legal status in the U.S.
  • Interview: Participate in an interview with a member of the Admissions Committee.


By clicking the “SUBMIT” button below, I consent to representatives of Dongguk University Los Angeles reaching out to me regarding advancing my education through email, text messages, and phone calls, as provided below, using automated technology or prerecorded messages. I understand that my consent is not a condition for enrollment, and I have the right to withdraw my consent at any point.

    Entrance Criteria

    All MAcHM applicants must have completed:

    • Education Requirement: A minimum of an Associate's degree, or 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of baccalaureate level education from a regionally accredited, degree-granting college or university.
    • GPA Requirement: A minimum 2.25 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or an equivalent international entity.
    • Prior Learning Assessment: A maximum of 30 semester credits (or 50%) of the prerequisite two-year education requirement may be earned through prior learning assessment using either, or a combination, of the following techniques:
      • Credit by examination using standardized tests.
      • Assignment of credit for military and corporate training based on recommendations established by the American Council on Education.

    English Language Requirements

    The language requirement for English program is satisfied by;

    • Four years at a U.S. high school demonstrably delivered in English
    • At least two-years (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of undergraduate-or graduate-level education in an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education;
    • At least two-years (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of undergraduate-or graduate-level education demonstrably delivered in English;
    • High school or two-years (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) of undergraduate- or graduate-level education in an institution in one of the following countries or territories: American Samoa; Anguilla; Antigua & Barbuda;Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Botswana; British Virgin Islands;Cameroon; Canada (except Quebec); Cayman Islands; Christmas Island; CookIslands; Dominica; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; The Gambia; Ghana;Gibraltar; Grenada; Guam; Guyana; Ireland; Isle of Man; Jamaica; Kenya; Lesotho;Liberia; Malawi; Montserrat; Namibia; New Zealand; Nigeria; Norfolk Island;Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn Islands; Sierra Leone; Singapore; SouthAfrica; South Sudan; St. Helena; St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Vincent & theGrenadines; Swaziland; Tanzania; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands;United Kingdom; U.S. Virgin Islands; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

    In all cases, English must have been both the language of instruction and the language of the curriculum used.


    The applicant must have completed one of the following assessments at the required level:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) –  Total: 61
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Format –  Overall band: 6
    • Duolingo English Test –  90
    • China Standard of English Language (CSE) –  CSE 6
    • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) –  C
    • Cambridge English Advanced –  C
    • Common European Framework Reference (CEFR) – B2
    • Occupational English Test (OET) – 250, C
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE), Academic – Overall: 45

    International Applicants

    DULA is authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue an I-20 and enroll non-immigrant international students into both the Master’s program (MAcHM) and the Doctorate degree (DAcHM).

    State Authorization of Distance Education Outside of California

    Please be aware of the following information if you will not reside in California while enrolled in distance education courses at Dongguk University Los Angeles (DULA).

    As distance education has become increasingly popular in the past few years, many states have prescribed an authorization process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents. Most states in the US are members of an organization called the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) that allows students to reside outside of the state where the institution they are taking online classes from is based. California, however, is not a SARA member state and thus non-California resident Distance Education students at all California schools, including DULA, must check with the individual state higher education agency in order to determine whether the state they reside will allow them to enroll in the program.

    Authorization (sometimes referred to as “registration,” “licensure,” “approval,” etc.) indicates that certain minimum standards have been met by the institution under the laws and regulations of that state. Authorization does not constitute an endorsement of any institution, course or degree program. Credits earned at an institution do not necessarily transfer to all other institutions.

    Because DULA cannot ensure or control whether its programs comply with state requirements for enrolling distance education all prospective DULA Distance Education students will be directed to contact their state higher education agency with a list of contacts provided also in the Distance Education Orientation materials.

    Dongguk University Los Angeles (DULA) is institutionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAHM) and physically located at 440 Shatto Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90020. Dongguk University Los Angeles has been granted approval from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) pursuant to California Education Code Section 94900. Both the MAcHMand the DAcHM programs have been approved by BPPE and is legally authorized to operate in the state of California. Dongguk University cannot confirm that its courses or degree programs meet the requirements for authorization or professional licensure outside the state of California. DULA strongly encourages prospective and current students to contact the appropriate or applicable state higher education agencies and/or licensing board(s) in states in which they reside prior to beginning any program of study.

    Students’ residency for State Authorization purposes is determined by their local address. For more information please contact the Registrar’s Office.