The Top 5 Best Online Doctor of Oriental Medicine Degrees in 2023

Best Online Doctor of Oriental Medicine - featured image

Oriental Medicine, often known as Traditional Chinese Medicine, has significantly increased in popularity as a complementary approach to healing and treating common health issues. Therefore, it is not surprising that young individuals interested in pursuing higher degrees in a subject where they can improve the lives of others have taken an interest in this traditional style of medicine.

A Chinese medicine completion program will help you understand the field of acupuncture or oriental medicine even more.

Students who want to attain mastery of a particular field are aware that obtaining a doctoral degree is essential, especially in any healthcare-related field. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine programs will demand your highest commitment and concentration. A doctorate in oriental medicine is only for those passionate about helping others, natural bodily healing, and learning Chinese medicine.


Students who pursue a Doctor of Oriental Medicine may learn more about conventional Asian medicine, particularly Chinese medicine, and acupuncture, and carry out research that advances the science of medicine in this area.

Additionally, they might better understand the moral, legal, social, and ethical obligations that come with becoming Oriental medicine practitioners. 


Doctor of Oriental Medicine programs explore advanced complementary therapies, which they can use to open their clinic once they graduate. People who obtain a doctorate education can improve their organizational and research literacy, which will help them succeed as they advance in their careers.

Here are the factors we considered in picking the outstanding Oriental Medicine online doctorate programs:

  • Available as a distance learning Doctor of Oriental Medicine program that is either 100% online or taught in a blended format to accommodate adult learners,
  • Comprehensive, rigorous coursework covering the many aspects of Oriental Medicine, equipping doctorate students and candidates with the competency and ethical knowledge for professional practice, 
  • Doctor of Oriental Medicine Candidates are given opportunities for real-world clinical experience in applicable settings,
  • Outstanding faculty of terminal degree holders and academic professors with in-depth knowledge of the discipline from research or practical perspective,
  • Emphasis on doctorate program availability, giving financial aid access to qualified students or candidates,
  • Fully accredited by agencies that set and maintain academic standards,
  • Relevant partnerships and affiliations with industry organizations that utilize the skills of Doctor of Medicine degree holders,
  • Positive reviews from students and graduates.

Read our Methodology page and learn our processes for collating and ranking doctoral degrees.

The Top 5 Online Doctor of Oriental Medicine Programs

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
Online Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine offers a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine that is available online. Enrolled students in the DAOM degree are required to complete 48.6 credits, including women’s health and aging adults specializations and didactic and clinical hours.

The professional doctorate program is built around 20 intense teaching modules that occur every 4-5 weeks over the course of about 24 months.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in Chinese medicine from an accredited institution, a license to practice acupuncture, and active practice.

This Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree includes a clinical research course and a lecture series with renowned researchers in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) who discuss cutting-edge studies and discoveries related to Chinese medicine.

Students also participate in a capstone project: a finished research study, a research study proposal, or a scholarly publication.

Daoist Traditions College

Daoist Traditions College
Online Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Daoist Traditions College offers a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine that is available online. Students must complete 16 credits and 305 hours of coursework to help them gain skills suitable for a modern acupuncturist. Students will have advanced knowledge in systems-based medicine, collaborative care, and evidence-informed practice, plus mastery of their chosen specialty.

Applicants should prove they have at least one of the educational requirements: a master’s degree in Oriental medicine or acupuncture program or a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization Certificate program from a regionally accredited institution.

Students who have graduated five years prior to enrollment must complete a written examination to prove retention of the subject matter knowledge and professional competencies from the master’s program.

In addition to online coursework, students are required to participate in a face-to-face clinical experience. This opportunity will allow students to work with other healthcare professionals, including Chinese medicine and allopathic practitioners, and develop additional skills to have added competency in clinical practice.

You will participate in discussions about western nutrition therapy, acupuncture, Chinese food therapy, herbal medicine, and patient care in clinical settings.

Pacific College of Health and Sciences

Pacific College of Health and Sciences
Online Acupuncture Doctorate Completion Program with Integrative Medicine Focus

Pacific College of Health and Sciences offers a Doctor of Acupuncture with Integrative Medicine Focus that is available online, which allows students to earn either a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine or a Doctor of Acupuncture and achieve degree parity. 

Students must complete 22 units or 360 hours, which will help students gain a broad understanding of acupuncture, biomedicine, Chinese medicine, and applied integrated western medicine. And because most of the students enrolled in this degree are acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioners, the program allows students to enroll in one course per semester.

The program requires applicants to hold a master’s in Oriental medicine, Chinese medicine, or acupuncture degree. Prerequisites are also needed, including 90 semester units of undergraduate coursework with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

This truly exceptional professional education provides students with one-on-one mentorship. During the one-on-one mentorship, students receive academic and professional guidance to help develop and advance their skills and competencies.

Students can also join a group of pioneers and benefit from exchanging best practices, working together, and learning new things as they prepare for the movement for holistic healthcare.

Won Institute of Graduate Studies

Won Institute of Graduate Studies
Online Doctor of Acupuncture Program Completion Track

Won Institute of Graduate Studies offers a Transitional Doctor of Acupuncture Program available online. Students in this acupuncture program completion track are required to complete 24 credits offered in a 99% asynchronous online format which can be completed in 12 months.

Throughout the online program, students will study integrative medicine leadership and participate in research on acupuncture and its role in holistic medicine, which will prepare them for a rewarding career in acupuncture through the courses they take each term.

Applicants must be a graduate of a master’s program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine from an accredited institution. Prerequisites include three-credit chemistry, biology, and psychology courses.

The school ensures students have a thorough education so they can grasp how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide holistic treatments for various medical ailments. To help students focus on both their studies and acupuncture practice, the Won Institute of Graduate Studies allows them to obtain scholarships.

Additionally, students will be invited to attend on-campus classes for a hands-on learning experience.

Emperor’s College

Emperor's College
Online Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Emperor’s College offers a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for students who want a hands-on learning experience throughout the program. There are three specialization options, two of which—Internal Medicine and Physical Medicine—can be pursued as dual concentrations. The dual specialty uses the best conventional procedures while concentrating on essential aspects of the modern healthcare system. 

Applicants must hold a master’s degree in acupuncture or Chinese medicine. Students who lack prior training must submit additional requirements, such as professional development (PDA/CEU) coursework in herbs and formulas, herbal certificate programs, or herbal and formula coursework from an accredited institution or program.

On the other hand, students with clinical experience are required to have at least five years of full-time clinical practice in Oriental medicine or acupuncture.

Students can create a customized clinical training plan based on their prior experience, clinical training, and educational objectives to progress their careers and set them up for success. Mentorships are another essential component in the personalization of clinical training and internships and preceptorships.

Students have the chance to learn from a physician in their chosen field of medicine.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine Common Courses

Advanced Acupuncture Techniques

This course is an extension of the methods covered in a master’s degree that explores the use of advanced acupuncture techniques, including plans and protocols. The main topics include advanced theory and contemporary development strategies.

Advanced Anatomy

This course examines the musculoskeletal system in greater detail, along with the upper and lower limbs’ deeper muscles, ligaments, and neural innervation. This course is necessary to help students apply orthopedic connections for diagnosis and treatment.

Western Pharmacology

This course introduces students to the broad array of medications used in Western medicine and, when pertinent, their biological sources. In addition to pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and drug and toxin metabolism, fundamental drug interactions are also covered. This course is a prerequisite for an integrated western medicine II didactic course.

Modern Internal Medicine

The topics of general internal medicine, a broad-based specialty with origins in basic care and a focus on delivering main and specialized treatment to adults, are covered in this course. Additionally, students will learn how to apply TCM practice to diagnosing and managing common acute and chronic disorders in adults.

Advanced TCM Therapeutics

The application of TCM ideas to the management and treatment of aging populations, TCM crises and conditions involving the sense organs, and TCM emotional and mental illnesses are all covered in this course. Students will study and debate traditional views and current TCM research on these topics.

TCM Research Methods

This course gives students an understanding of TCM’s fundamental principles, terminology, and academic research techniques. It helps students defend current knowledge sources in TCM and recognize the applicability of published data while also developing critical skills to evaluate published data on a topic. 

Necessary Skills for an Oriental Medicine Doctor

Oriental medicine is one of the oldest practices in the world that provides a variety of holistic treatments for illnesses affecting your body, mind, and spirit, including physical, emotional, and mental ailments, making it rich in tradition and history. And because it’s one of the oldest practices, students will have a lot on their plate as they begin to study the field. Being a doctor of oriental medicine will be difficult. 

Critical Thinking

In addition to a master’s degree, students interested in an online doctor of oriental medicine must be fully dedicated to studying this complex system of medicine. Students must also be aware that there is always more to learn, even after graduation. People’s awareness of how acupuncture works is continually expanding thanks to new research, and all students of Oriental medicine must possess the capacity to think critically and imaginatively.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are also crucial as you will be coming into contact with patients daily. As an oriental medicine doctor, you’ll deal with many people from different backgrounds. You need the best communication skills to let your patients know your diagnosis and treatment. 

You also need to have acceptance, compassion, and empathy. Prejudice has no place in an acupuncture clinic, and in this profession, the ability to pay attention to a patient’s needs is almost as crucial as clinical expertise in and of itself.

Diagnostic Skills and Palpitation Skills

Oriental medicine diagnostic abilities go much beyond simply connecting the symptoms. Palpation and observational skills are beneficial, but these only come with practice and time spent in the clinic. In-depth practical courses will teach other skills like point localization, needling, and prescribing medicines. So you will have all you need to start up in practice by the time you graduate.


You will not always get all you want, so learning to accept this and keep going can help you be optimistic, composed, and dedicated to your profession.

Best Online Doctor of Oriental Medicine - fact

Oriental Medicine Licenses and Registrations

Once acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners complete years of training, they must continue to pursue national certification. The AAAOM, or the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, is the national agency responsible for accrediting acupuncture schools, provider organizations, and practitioners. 

It is required that each member has a clear understanding of the principles, practices, and procedures related to acupuncture and that they are certified in those areas by their State Board or equivalent. This undergoes a review every three years by a reviewer who holds this position on an interim basis while a new process is developed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an Oriental Medicine Practitioner actually do?

Oriental medicine practitioners use a set of diagnostic techniques that include four areas: inquiry, palpation, visual inspection, and olfactory-auditory data gathering to evaluate a patient’s symptoms or pattern of disharmony.

They can then decide the essential treatment principle and approach to prompt the patient back to functional harmony by using a variety of procedures, including stimulating particular body spots with the insertion of extremely fine, sterile, stainless steel needles to trigger a predictable physiological reaction.

The points may also receive this stimulation using light electrical stimulation, hand pressure techniques, or heat administration utilizing various methods, such as Moxibustion.

Is an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Doctor legitimate?

Acupuncturists, often known as acupuncture physicians, are qualified primary healthcare clinicians who use the modalities of Oriental Medicine to identify, treat, and prevent diseases. They must have a Master’s degree or higher from an authorized university to be licensed at the state level.

What is the difference between Oriental and Western Medicine?

While Western medicine practitioners frequently suggest physical therapy, surgery, pharmaceuticals, or psychological therapies, practitioners of Oriental medicine typically use natural forms of treatment such as herbs, acupuncture, diet, mind-body activity, or massage.

Is a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine worth it?

A doctor of oriental medicine is worth it if you have interests and career aspirations beyond acupuncture practice. A doctor’s degree will help you develop advanced academic research and obtain specialization, which will help you succeed in your field and possibly contribute to future studies.

What are the professional organizations for Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?

There are several professional organizations for AOM. A few examples include the National Acupuncture Foundation (NAF) and the Council of Colleges for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM).

Key Takeaways

  • With a focus on specialized practice, academic teaching, and clinical research, doctorate programs in Oriental Medicine are intended to provide exceptionally high-level instruction in the subject.
  • Students with interests and career goals beyond clinical acupuncture practice, such as academic research and/or advanced specialty, are perfect for a doctorate of oriental medicine program.
  • While oriental medicine is one of the oldest practices in health care systems, there’s still a lot to learn. Students and practitioners must keep an open mind and be adaptable to succeed in the field.

Additional Resources:

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor