5 tips for Applying to Acupuncture School

Posted by Justine Meccio on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 @ 11:02 AM


Pursuing a master’s degree in Chinese medicine is a choice that will lead you to a rewarding professional career, one that enables you to have a real impact on the health of people in your community.

Now that you have made the decision to attend acupuncture school, what’s the next step? Your journey will most certainly start with the admissions department!

Check out these handy tips for students applying to the graduate program: 

  1. Connect with admissions before applying.

    Before you apply, it’s a good idea to contact the admissions staff. Not only can they address any questions you have about the admissions requirements, the required application materials, they can even help you decide what term to apply for. It’s important to keep in mind that the admissions staff is here provide guidance during the application process – they’re ready and available to help you!
  1. Apply Early.

    AOMA conducts admissions on a rolling basis, meaning applications are processed individually as they are received. Applying well in advance of the application deadlines ensures that you have plenty of time to gather all of the required application materials. Similarly, by completing the application process as early as possible, you are giving yourself plenty of time to prepare for classes and make your post-acceptance plans.  
  1. Order your transcripts first.

    Official transcripts from your undergraduate education are required as part of the application process. Unfortunately, obtaining official transcripts can take several weeks, potentially extending the length of the application process. To prevent issue, the first step after completing the application form, should be to request official transcripts from your previous school(s) be sent to the AOMA Admissions Office.
  1. Address concerns in your personal statement.

    If you are concerned about factors such as your previous undergraduate GPA, limited experience with health sciences, or anything else that you feel may be relevant to the strength of your application, it’s best to address these issues in a straightforward manner. The personal statement is a wonderful place to do this!
  1. Choose your references wisely.

    As part of the application process, each candidate is required to submit two letters of recommendation. The individuals you select to write these letters on your behalf should be able to address your skills and abilities that are relevant to graduate-level study. Choosing references who can speak to your academic or professional background such as former professors, professional supervisors or colleagues lends strength to overall quality of your application.

With that stated, if you have an author in mind, and you’re not sure whether they’re an appropriate reference, you can always contact the admissions team for guidance.

For more information about applying to acupuncture school, visit AOMA’s website at or contact the admissions office today!

Begin Your Journey: Apply to AOMA Contact the Admissions Office

Topics: acupuncture school, admissions, acupuncture

Oriental Medicine 101: 5 MORE Reasons to attend Acupuncture School

Posted by Justine Meccio on Wed, Jul 08, 2015 @ 09:58 AM


Choosing to attend acupuncture school may seem like an unconventional choice, but for the students who choose this path, that’s okay. Completing a master’s degree in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can lead to a rewarding career – one where your personal values are aligned with your professional ambitions.

A Career That Matches Your Values

Many of the students who attend AOMA cite a desire to change the way health care is practiced in the U.S. as a motivating factor behind their decision to study Chinese medicine.  For some, it’s Chinese medicine’s inherently integrative approach – viewing the impacts of physiological, mental, emotional, and environmental factors, as equally important elements in human health – that makes it so different from other systems of care. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that many acupuncturists seek out opportunities for professional integration and collaboration with other medical practitioners. For others, the practice of Chinese medicine provides an opportunity to address the health care needs of underserved patient communities and to expand access to genuinely patient-centered care.

Transforming your Life

One of the key themes expressed by students graduating from AOMA is just how truly transformational their experience in the graduate program was. Put quite simply, by the time you graduate from acupuncture school, you won’t be the person you were when you started. You’ll be someone different – a healer.

The decision to become a health care provider isn’t one that is made lightly. It’s often the result of much soul-searching, of listening to that persistent voice whispering of your desire to help others, of a vocation. No matter where you start from – whether it’s a corporate boardroom or undergraduate classroom – when you finish your studies at AOMA, you’ll be a competent, skilled health care professional ready to step out in the world and make a real difference in peoples’ lives. Getting there takes a lot of hard work and personal dedication, but it is this very work and the overcoming of challenges that fosters personal growth.

You’re an Explorer at Heart

Despite its history spanning over two millennia, the prevalence of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in contemporary health care is often considered a relatively “new” phenomenon within western medical communities. While organizations like the World Health Organization recognize the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of dozens of conditions, research into the mechanisms behind why and how acupuncture works is still relatively new within the scientific community. For curious students who always find themselves asking “why”, the field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine provides many avenues to explore uncharted territory and to enhance our understanding of human health and the human body.

You Want to Pay it Forward

Spend even a few minutes in AOMA’s student lounge on the first day of classes, and you’ll most likely overhear a new student talking about the impact acupuncture or Chinese medicine had on their own life. Graduate students often start out as patients – maybe acupuncture was the only form of treatment that provided relief from chronic pain, or maybe qigong helped restore balance to an unsustainable lifestyle, or perhaps acupuncture and herbal medicine even aided in the conception of a first child. Whatever the experience, many students often start out by experiencing the power of this medicine first hand before deciding they want to play a role in ensuring that others can find the same relief and benefit.

Your Social Network will get Bigger

One of the most interesting things about describing a “typical acupuncture student” is how hard it is to do. Students of Chinese medicine come from all walks of life – they’re former nurses, massage therapists, computer programmers, teachers, military veterans, biologists, social workers, yogis, writers, doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, and so much more. Despite these differences, there is a common theme – the desire to help others. Studying Chinese medicine introduces you to not only a new system of medicine – but also a new network of people with whom you can connect and relate to. After a few terms studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine, you might discover yourself feeling at ease amongst a whole new set of peers.

Can you think of another reason you’d like to study Chinese medicine? If so, feel free to leave a comment. To learn more about studying at AOMA, visit:

Contact Admissions

Topics: acupuncture school, admissions, acupuncture students

5 Books to Read Before Starting Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine School

Posted by Kate Wetzel on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 10:50 AM

Stepping into the world of traditional Chinese medicine as a student or a patient calls for an openness in acknowledging how tradition and science overlap. Some aspects of traditional Chinese medicine can’t be easily reconciled to a specimen under a microscope, yet the scientific community is increasingly expanding its understanding of how acupuncture and herbal medicine affect the body.

As an intern in the student clinic at AOMA, patients routinely ask why I’m immersed in this field, what the needles are doing, and about this word “qi” that keeps coming up.If you find yourself asking these questions, or are considering a life dedicated to Chinese medical practice, I recommend the following resources to help build your understanding of this medicine.


the_body_electric_robert_becker_gary_selden1. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life 
Authors: Robert O Becker, MD, and Gary Seldon

Dr. Robert Becker’s writing offers a somewhat-rare voice from the modern medical community that connects compassionate medical care to scientific theory—a connection resonating with many of those curious about Chinese medicine. An orthopedist, Becker, opens his book with a description of his medical school experiences in crowded wards before the discovery and application of penicillin. Exposed as a student to this widespread suffering, he explores what it means to define pain as an objective and subjective experience. So compels his subsequent lifework researching electromagnetism as it shapes and heals our bodies. 



2. Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine
Authors: Harriet Beinfeld, LAc and Efrem Korngold, LAc

This text reads almost like an introductory course in Chinese medicine completely accessible to the Western lay reader. Beinfeld and Korngold describe their watershed introduction to Chinese medicine in the 1970s when it was first being introduced in the US. They quickly go through a stepwise comparison of Eastern and Western approaches providing a readable, informative explanation of Yin-Yang theory, the Taoist Five Phases, and tongue and pulse diagnosis—Chinese medicine concepts fundamental to every beginning student.  Rounding out the last chapter is a collection of therapeutic recipes resting on the ubiquitous concept that longevity and vitality require keen understanding of “kitchen alchemy.” Anyone who wants to dive into the world of Chinese medicine through the personal voices of American authors should check out this book.


the_web_that_has_no_weaver_ted_kaptchuk3. The Web that Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine
Author: Ted Kaptchuk, OMD

Like the previous selection, this book holds a place as a foundational staple for new students and curious patients of Chinese Medicine. The Web, however, dives into detail rapidly, quoting readily from classics in the canon of ancient Chinese medical text. It reads less like a personal narrative and more like a compelling cultural textbook. It moves beyond a basic overview of Taoist theory and digs into richer detail of TCM diagnosis, the zang fu (organ) patterns, and meridian system. This book is best appreciated as a cover-to-cover read, appropriate for someone wants to spend time delving into and ruminating on the broader implications of a life in Chinese medical practice.


staying_healthy_with_seasons_elson_haas4. Staying Healthy with the Seasons
Author: Elson M. Haas, M.D.

Many of us who enter the field of Chinese medicine--or merely seek care from an acupuncture and Chinese medical practitioner—appreciate to varying degrees that ancient healing is a life practice and not just a 1-hr session of needles with a bag of medicinal herbs. Staying Healthy with the Seasons fastens a Western life to manageable ancient Eastern practice. It takes the Taoist Five Elements and expands them heartily into a guide for diet, exercise, meditation, and disease prevention. Not only does this book provide great introductory information but also is a bookshelf staple in the homes of wellness-seeking families


the_spark_in_the_machines_daniel_keown5. The Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine
Author: Daniel Keown, MD (England)

Dr. Keown commences his book by hitching together a functional definition of qi (“chee”) to the sheet-like bands of tissue under our skin called fascia. He continues in an explanation of how human anatomy develops prenatally, where acupuncture points emerge in this development, and how fully developed meridians course in the mature human body to connect these points. The book uses anatomical references to define more esoteric acupuncture landmarks. Any layperson can pick up this book for a concrete understanding of where and why major points in the body exist. If you have found yourself as an acupuncture patient asking about the where and why of the needling points, definitely check out this text! 

Learn More: Download an Overview of the Master's Program


 About Kate Wetzel:

kate_wetzel_imageKate is a graduate student within AOMA’s Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine program. Prior to beginning her studies in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine she completed a BA in English at Trinity University and worked as special education teacher for the Austin Independent School District.




Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, chinese medicine philosophy, student spotlight, acupuncture school, yin/yang theory, chinese medicine school, admissions

AOMA Announces New Tuition: Starting in Winter '15 Ensures Lower Cost

Posted by Justine Meccio on Thu, Nov 06, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Throughout its history, AOMA has been committed to providing the best quality education at the most reasonable cost to students. These values must be balanced with quality and care for AOMA's community. In the coming 2015 year, AOMA will increase tuition in order to continue to invest in the quality of its academic offerings, faculty, and campus community.


About the Increase:

AOMA’s graduate program tuition has consistently fallen well below the national average for the top-ranked schools of acupuncture & Oriental medicine. The decision to increase tuition and fees was reached after careful consideration of the institution's values and to ensure the continued well-being of AOMA's community. AOMA has worked with the Tuition Task Force to hear the concerns and needs of students, as well as with senior administrative leaders, and the board of governors to ensure AOMA is able to meet needs of future students.

In a comparison of tuition at the best acupuncture & Oriental medicine colleges, the cost of AOMA’s program is commensurate with the national average.

What This Means for Students:

Master’s Program:

The majority of the increase will take effect for students starting the program in the summer 2015 term or later. By beginning their studies in either the winter 2015 term, new students can ensure a lower program cost.

New Students - Winter 2015 & Spring 2015: For new students beginning the graduate program in the Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 terms, tuition will increase by 3% from its current rate.  This increase represents an anticipated total program cost of $55,158.

New Students – Enrolling in Summer 2015 and after: For new students beginning the graduate program in Summer 2015 or later, the anticipated cost of tuition & fees for the entire program will increase to approximately $72,500 from its current rate.

Students interested in beginning their studies in Winter 2015, should apply by December 1st. Contact the Admissions Office at or (800) 824-9987, ext 213 for additional information about the application process and requirements.

Apply for Winter 2015

Additional Resources:

To help new and current students understand the tuition changes for 2015, AOMA has created a web page that contains estimated cost breakdowns, frequently asked questions about tuition, and financial literacy education.

View Tuition Resources




Topics: masters program, admissions, tuition, winter 2015

3 Reasons to Start Acupuncture School at AOMA this Summer

Posted by Justine Meccio on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:30 PM


AOMA’s Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine program is a transformative educational experience that prepares students to begin careers as professional acupuncturists and herbalists. The program combines extensive clinical education with rigorous & comprehensive coursework in acupuncture theory & techniques, Chinese herbal medicine, biomedicine, mind-bodywork, and Asian body-work therapy.

Here are 3 reasons to begin your studies this summer at AOMA: 

1. Small Class-size Supports Learning & Connection

New students can apply to begin the program at three points per year: the summer, the fall, or the winter quarters. However, the summer term often sees the smallest incoming cohort with typically about 15 students starting the master’s program each July. For new students, a small class size fosters a tight-knit sense of community, allowing you to get to know your peers very well.

start acupuncture school this summer student body cumbo quote2. Flexibility

The summer quarter is only 8 weeks long. As a result, students’ academic load is often is lighter in the summer – meaning students frequently take fewer total credit hours than during other terms. Starting as a new student in the summer term with a lighter load is a great way to soften the transition to graduate school – especially if several years have passed since you were last in a classroom. You’ll become acclimated to the classroom environment, learn to incorporate school into your personal life, and “get into the groove” academically with fewer courses to balance.

Start Acupuncture School This Summer Robert Laguna

3. Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer in central Texas is often the season when many locals take it easy or even take vacations. Why not spend your summer in Austin,TX getting to know the city and enjoying the laid-back lifestyle? You can dodge the summer heat by spending your days inside air conditioned classrooms pursuing your passion and taking study breaks at beautiful Barton Springs!

Start Today Acupuncture School Karen Lamb QuoteBegin your journey this summer with classes starting on July 20, 2015!

Apply Today to Begin Classes in 2015!


Topics: acupuncture school, masters program, herbal studies, Austin, admissions, herbal program, professional acupuncturist, MAcOM

Meet AOMA's faculty and staff: Jillian Kelble

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 01:15 PM

Each month we will be featuring fun information about a faculty and/or staff member to introduce the wonderful community of people behind AOMA’s graduate program!

jillian kelble roundThis month, we’re happy to introduce Jillian Kelble, Admissions Coordinator, who works with prospective students and applicants in the Admissions Office.


Where are you from?

“Short answer is California but I was born in Virginia, then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and then Southern California, then Northern California and now Texas!”

 List 3 hobbies/ activities you enjoy:

 “I love rock climbing, yoga and hiking with my dog and husband”

 What’s the best thing about working at AOMA?

 “The positive, supportive and community-centered environment. ”

 What’s your favorite/most memorable ‘AOMA moment’?

“Welcoming all of the new students each term and getting to meet everyone that I had been working with over the previous months.”

 What’s your favorite thing about Austin?

“The abundance of live music, outdoor adventure and like-minded people.”

Favorite Website?

“It depends on the subject. In regards to Austin events, I would say

To learn more about the AOMA Admissions Office, log on to

Remember to check back regularly to meet someone new!

Learn More: Download an Overview of the Master's Program

Topics: acupuncture school, student services, staff spotlight, admissions

Meet AOMA's faculty and staff: Justine Meccio

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 @ 01:27 PM

Each month we will be featuring fun information about a faculty and/or staff member to introduce the wonderful community of people behind AOMA's graduate program!

justine meccio roundThis week we are pleased to introduce Justine Meccio, Director of Admissions, who works with prospective students and applicants in the Admissions Office:

Where are you from?

"New York State! "

List 3 hobbies/ activities you enjoy:

"Drawing, making jewelry, and hiking."

What's your favorite/ most memorable 'AOMA moment'?

"I really enjoy New Student Orientation each term since it's exciting to see all of the folks we've worked with throughout the application process come together to start their journies. It's very rewarding to see how enthusiastic new students are to start classes."

What's the best thing about working at AOMA?

"Definitely the positivity that exists on campus! It's really nice to feel that everyone- students, faculty, and staff- all enjoy being here and being a part of AOMA."

What's your favorite thing about living in Austin?

"I love that I can hike on the greenbelt, swim in Barton Springs within sight of downtown, grab a delicious meal, and see a great band... all in one day!"

What's your favorite website?

" - they always know what's up!"

To learn more about the AOMA Admissions Office, log on to

Remember to check back regularly to meet someone new!

Download FREE Introduction to Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Topics: acupuncture school, student services, staff spotlight, admissions

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