Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Admission Requirements

The field of Oriental medicine draws students of all ages and from all walks of life who share an interest in a holistic approach to healthcare. In assessing applicants, NYCC looks for individuals with:

  • Potential to succeed in NYCC’s rigorous master’s degree programs in Acupuncture (M.S.A.) and Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (M.S.A.O.M.)
  • Commitment to helping people through a healing profession
  • Strong communication skills
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Basic understanding of acupuncture and Oriental medicine

Direct contact with an acupuncturist as a patient, volunteer assistant or employee is strongly encouraged as a way of becoming more knowledgeable about the field. Applicants trained in another healthcare profession — such as chiropractic, medicine or nursing — are encouraged to apply, and may be eligible to receive credit for prior learning for some or all of the course work in basic sciences and biomedicine completed at another institution.

Academic Requirements for Admission

  • Applicants are required to show proof of successfully completing 90 semester hours (136 quarter hours) of college credit, including nine credits of bioscience course work, from an accredited, degree-granting institution
  • Proof of completing nine credits in bioscience course work prior to matriculation at least 3 credits of the bioscience requirement must be general Biology or its equivalent.
  • Grade of “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in the prerequisite bioscience course(s)
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher is desired for preprofessional college study

Credit through CLEP or Other Proficiency Examinations

Up to 20 semester hours of a candidate’s preprofessional requirements can be earned through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and certain other college proficiency examinations

  • These credits must be granted by an accredited degree-granting institution
  • None of the science prerequisites can be satisfied through examination programs

Technical Standards for Program Success

New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) is committed to the achievement of academic excellence, quality patient care, and professional leadership. In support of NYCC's vision, a candidate for the Master of Science in Acupuncture or Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree program must have abilities and skills in five areas: observation and participation; communication; motor; intellectual conceptual, integrative and qualitative; and behavioral and social. These guidelines specify the attributes that NYCC faculty consider essential for completing these degree programs. Because these standards describe the essential functions that students must demonstrate to meet the requirements of a first professional degree program, they are pre-requisites for matriculation, continuation, and graduation. Click here for detailed information on these five areas.

NYCC is fully committed to equal opportunity in educational programs for all otherwise qualified individuals without regard to handicap or disability, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In addition to meeting academic standards, candidates for these programs must also meet the following technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations throughout the full course of their education at NYCC.

These standards ensure patient safety and that all candidates are otherwise qualified. Reasonable accommodations can be made in some of these areas provided that they do not require fundamentally altering the applicable degree program. Requests for reasonable accommodations will be reviewed on a case by case basis; however, candidates for admission and enrolled students should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of an intermediary that would, in effect, require a student to rely on someone else's power of observation and/or communication will not be permitted. NYCC reserves the right to rescind admission or continuation to any candidate that is unable to meet all technical standards with reasonable accommodations. Any candidate should evaluate his/her ability to meet all technical standards prior to submission of an application.

Transfer Applicants

NYCC welcomes applicants who have completed course work in Oriental medicine at another institution and who are interested in transferring. Transfer credit will be considered for courses that are equivalent in content and credit hours to the NYCC courses for which credit is sought

Transfer credit will be considered for courses that are equivalent in content and credit hours to the NYCC courses for which credit is sought. The student must have earned a grade of "C" or higher, and the course cannot be used to meet entrance requirements. Course work must have been taken at the master's degree level or equivalent to be considered for transfer credit. Individuals without a master's level education who have an earned professional license (e.g., RN, PT) with relevant work experience may be eligible to receive credit for prior learning for Western science courses.

Evidence of proficiency in the subject matter will be required for course work from professional schools in countries that do not have accreditation systems equivalent to that of the United States. Course work to be transferred must have been completed within five years of the transfer date. Exceptions may be made for candidates holding a first professional degree or an academic graduate degree in a related discipline from an accredited institution.

Transfer credit or credit for prior learning may be awarded to students who can show equivalent training in taiji or qigong, even if training was received at non-accredited institutions or in informal learning situation.

Students must show evidence of previous study through transcripts or letters from instructors certifying dates and length of study (in hours), and/or must take and pass a challenge exam

Transfer applicants must complete all application procedures prior to matriculation and must furnish official transcripts of graduate or professional schools attended. They must obtain and complete an application for transfer credit and wait for an evaluation. An offer of transfer credit, if accepted by the candidate, is not subject to further negotiation after transfer to NYCC. No more than 50 percent of the program credits may be met through transfer credit or credit for prior learning.

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning may be granted for basic science and Western medicine courses at NYCC to individuals with an earned health-professional license (e.g., RN, PT) who have received significant Western science education and training but have not earned a graduate degree. Credit for prior learning may also be granted for basic science courses to individuals who have earned significant education in a particular field that provides equivalent mastery to an NYCC course.

Individuals in this category will be required to take a challenge exam in order to receive credit for prior learning. Based on the evaluation of exam results, transcripts, and work experience, the Prior Learning Assessment Committee will determine the courses for which an individual may receive credit for prior learning. Any credit for prior learning must be determined prior to matriculation for applicants to receive credit in this category. Applicants who wish to receive credit for prior learning must submit a completed Credit for Prior Learning Request Form to the Admissions office. Students may audit courses for which they received credit for prior learning.

International Applicants

NYCC welcomes applications from international candidates. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must meet the same entrance requirements as U.S. citizens, or be qualified via a recognized, non-U.S. equivalency program. International candidates must complete the same application procedures as all others, and must additionally provide the following:

  1. official TOEFL exam results of 213 on the computer-based test or 550 on the paper-based test (PBT). Internet-based test (iBT) scores are currently set at 79 and are subject to change;
  2. evidence of the ability to read, write and speak English at a level of mastery sufficient to successfully complete the course of study for the graduate programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine;
  3. a comprehensive evaluation of educational credentials by an appropriate agency such as World Education Services (WES), International Education Resource Foundation (IERF), etc.;
  4. certified English translation of educational credentials;
  5. an Ability-to-Pay statement.

Financial Aid

The NYCC Office of Financial Aid assists students in meeting their financial obligations with the aid of scholarships, work programs, grants and loans. Below you’ll find a listing of sources of financial aid and information about eligibility. You can find further details on financial aid program requirements and eligibility criteria in the NYCC College Catalog, or by contacting the NYCC Financial Aid Office

Loan Programs

Applicable to: Program Academic Year Interest Rate Eligibility Applications

D.C. and Master Degree Programs

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Master Degree Programs:$20,500
D.C.: May be awarded up to $33,000, less other aid
Variable/Fixed Financial Need Financial aid form, loan application
Federal Direct Perkins Loan $4,000 5% Fixed Financial Need Financial aid form, loan application
All Programs Federal Grad Plus May be awarded up to student budget less other aid Variable/Fixed Credit Worthy Loan Application

All Programs

U.S. and International Student Private Loans Amounts vary Varies by loan program Varies by loan program Contact the financial aid office for information

NYCC participates in all of the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan programs. Eligible students needing to borrow funds are strongly encouraged to secure funding through these programs first. The Direct Loan programs have unique deferment, repayment and loan forgiveness options that other student loan programs do not. If you have questions concerning the terms of these loans you may refer to the U.S. Department of Education's Student Loan website, or you may contact the NYCC Financial Aid Office at 1-800-234-6922 ext. 3063 or email

Work-Study Program

Applicable to: Program Annual Eligibility Applications

D.C. and M.S.A./M.S.A.O.M.

Federal work study

Varies based on workload and unmet need

Financial Need

Financial aid form and NYCC application

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program 2017-2018 Academic Year Budgets

*These estimated expenses represent two trimesters (one academic year/eight month period) and may vary due to modest increases or individual factors. Please consult the Financial Aid office on your special individual financial situation such as child care and insurance expenses.

  *Acupuncture (M.S.A.)
(2 Trimesters)
*Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
(2 Trimesters)
Tuition $16,184 $19,616
Fees $680 $680
Books & Supplies $1,400 $1,400
Room & Board $8,240 $8,240
Transportation $2,000 $2,000
Personal $1,342 $1,342
Loan Fees $220 $220
Total Budget $30,066 $33,498

Tuition for the MSA and MSAOM programs is charged each term at a per credit hour rate of $535.00.

The Master of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine program college tuition and fee costs, based on 2017-2018 school year rates, totals $91,332.00. Tuition and fees are subject to adjustments authorized by the Board of Trustees. In such cases, due notice will be given.

The Master of Science in Acupuncture program college tuition and fee costs, based on 2017-2018 school year rates, totals $67,456.00. Tuition and fees are subject to adjustments authorized by the Board of Trustees. In such cases, due notice will be given.

This Financial Aid information reflects data available at the time of the catalog publication. State and federal legislation may affect the student’s eligibility and the academic year amounts of the award available. Current funding levels and regulations may be requested from the NYCC Financial Aid office.

Applying for Financial Aid

Financial Aid Code of Conduct


Presidential Scholarships

  • This competitive award is open to U.S. applicants (for the D.C. and A.O.M. programs) and is based on a complete application and essay submission. Scholarship amounts vary.

NYCC International Presidential Scholarships

  • Open to students from Canada and countries other than the U.S. based on a completed application. Scholarship amounts vary.

Additional Scholarships and Grants

A variety of additional scholarships and grants opportunities – made possible through the support of NYCC alumni and various professional organizations – are available to NYCC students. Award amounts and criteria for eligibility vary. Ask the NYCC Financial Aid Office for more information.

  • Kenneth W. Padgett/Alumni Scholarship
  • American Specialty Health (acupuncture and chiropractic)
  • New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association Scholarship
  • Business and Professional Women’s Club of New York State Scholarship
  • Foot Levelers Scholarship
  • Standard Process Scholarship Program
  • American Specialty Health
  • World Olympians Association