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PIHMA Joint Acupuncture/Herbal Degree

Acupuncture training

Earn your LAc and ND degrees with our dual-degree program. 

You can practice acupuncture under your ND license in Arizona with SCNM's acupuncture training. Arizona is one of the few states in which acupuncture is part of the scope of practice. You're required to complete a master’s level program and sit for the acupuncture licensing board exam to become a licensed acupuncturist (LAc) in most states that license acupuncture.

We’ve partnered with Phoenix’s oldest and most recognized college of Oriental medicine, Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA), to offer dually-enrolled students the opportunity to earn a naturopathic medical degree and a master’s degree in acupuncture or Oriental medicine. PIHMA’s acupuncture program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).

Approximately 10 percent of SCNM students enroll in the dual-degree program and most study to earn the master’s degree in Oriental medicine as the program trains students in acupuncture and Asian herbs. Both programs allow you to sit for the acupuncture licensing board exam.

SCNM accepts the following PIHMA course credits (when completed with a grade of C or better) toward completion of the ND program's oriental medicine credits:

  • OMT 500: Oriental Medical Theory I
  • OMT 510: Oriental Medical Theory II
  • OMT 530p: Oriental Medical Diagnosis & Practicum
  • OMT 520p: Point Location & Meridians I
  • OMT 525p: Point Energetics I
  • OMT 550p: Point Location & Meridians II
  • OMT 555p: Point Energetics II
  • OMT 540: Oriental Medical Theory III
  • OMT 540: Oriental Medicine Theory III
  • ACU 515p: Acupuncture Practicum I
  • OMP 508: Materials & Methods
  • OMT 605: Oriental Medical Pathology I
  • OMT 625: Oriental Medical Pathology II
  • OMT 605: Oriental Medical Pathology I
  • OMT 625: Oriental Medical Pathology II


PIHMA accepts the following credits (when completed with a grade of C) toward completion of the M.Acup. program at PIHMA: Clinical clerkships credits when completed under the supervision of an LAc

  • ANAT 5014/L Regional Anatomy, Embryology and Histology I/Lab
  • ANAT 5024/L Regional Anatomy, Embryology and Histology II/Lab
  • ANAT 5034/L Regional Anatomy, Embryology and Histology III/Lab
  • BIOC 5014 Biochemistry I
  • BIOC 5024 Biochemistry II
  • IMMU 5024 Immunology
  • MGEN 5034 Medical Genetics
  • MICR 5024/L Microbiology I/Lab
  • MICR 5034 Microbiology II
  • OMND 6010 Oriental Med I: Theory Fundamentals of Oriental Med
  • OMND 6020 Oriental Med II: TCM Diagnosis
  • OMND 6030/L Oriental Med III: Meridians & Points I/Lab
  • OMND 6040/L Oriental Med IV: Meridians & Points I/Lab
  • OMND 7054 Oriental Med V: TCM Pathology I
  • OMND 7055 Oriental Med V: TCM Pathology II
  • OMND 7060/L Oriental Med VI: Acupuncture Techniques/Lab
  • OMND 7070 Oriental Med VII: Case Analysis and Management I
  • OMND 7080 Oriental Med VIII: Case Analysis and Management II
  • PHYS 5014/L Human Physiology and Endocrinology I/Lab
  • PHYS 5024/L Human Physiology and Endocrinology II/Lab
  • PHYS 5034/L Human Physiology and Endocrinology III/Lab

How You Earn Your Dual Degree is Up to You

The program can be customized to fit your needs and goals. Most students find that the program adds 12 to 18 months to their time at SCNM. We recommend you spend at least the first two quarters doing SCNM coursework to assess your course load, time management and finances before you consider joining the dual-degree program. Some students wait until they have completed the basic sciences at SCNM as that knowledge helps with the classes at PIHMA. However, students have also started as soon as they arrived at SCNM.

You'll need to complete the equivalent Oriental medicine courses at PIHMA before graduating from SCNM if you choose to participate in this program.

More Information

Our Student Advisor is here to help you determine which route is best for you.  Contact studentadvising@scnm.edu to learn more. 

For additional information on the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, please contact their admissions office directly by visiting their website at www.pihma.edu.