Oriental Medicine

National University's Master of Science in Oriental Medicine program offers you a comprehensive classical curriculum in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine coupled with training in how to balance an eastern medicine approach with western science.  

What is Oriental Medicine?

Oriental medicine is the oldest codified system of medicine in the world. It restores health and balance by treating illness and disease through the Five Major Branches of Oriental Medicine, which include: acupuncture; Chinese herbal medicine; oriental nutrition and dietary therapy; tuina or oriental bodywork; as well as tai chi and qi gong.

Oriental Medicine Philosophy

Oriental Medicine relies on a highly comprehensive and individualized diagnosis of a patient's Qi (or chi) energy. The weakness, excess or imbalance of Qi affects key organ systems in oriental medicine and is the underlying cause of disease and disharmony. The oriental medicine practitioner uses a broad scope of therapies to restore balance to a patient's Qi, thereby encouraging health and healing. 

Oriental Medicine Treatments

In addition to acupuncture, tai chi, tuina (meridian bodywork therapy) and qi gong (mind, breath and physiological exercises) a practitioner of oriental medicine will employ Chinese dietary therapy as well as the full range of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Chinese herbal medicine encompasses the prescription of single herbs, complex herbal formulas, tinctures and patent herbal medicines in pill form.

Oriental Medicine Careers

Oriental medicine practitioners enjoy the full range of career opportunities available to acupuncturists. Additionally, those with an MSOM degree are able to prescribe traditional herbal medicine to their patients. This broader scope of practice gives the practitioner maximum flexibility in their career options.

Program Overview

Integrative Medicine

We believe in bringing together professionals from a broad range of medical specialties for the benefit of patients and the health care industry as a whole.

Comprehensive Training in Oriental Medicine

You'll learn oriental medical diagnosis, point location and needling, treatment strategies, Chinese herbal medicine, as well as rich exposure to oriental healing arts such as tuina, tai chi, qi gong, moxibustion, cupping, and more.

Solid Foundation in Western Science

Our oriental medicine students not only receive a thorough curriculum in their arts, but also learn fundamental biomedical science and modern medical diagnostics including coursework in radiology, pathology, physiology, microbiology and public health. You will also be prepared for the business and practical realities of your professional career through our business program .

Outstanding Facilities

Our large integrative care clinic and extensive herbal dispensary ensures outstanding clinical training. Other facilities, such as our gross anatomy laboratory allow you to learn western anatomy and eastern meridian theory through hands-on dissection of a human cadaver. You will also benefit from modern classrooms utilizing state-of-the-art technology such as SMART boards.


The Master of Science in Oriental Medicine program of the National University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), which is the recognized accrediting agency for the approval of programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located in the Maryland Trade Center Building, Suite 760, 7501 Greenway Center Drive, Greenbelt, MD 20770, 301-313-0855; fax 301-313-0912. This full accreditation assures that NUHS graduates are eligible to sit for the licensing examinations conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).


Consider National University where Eastern Medicine treatments meet Western Medicine science for a well-rounded education.

Combining Eastern and Western Medicine

The unique curriculum at NUHS allows students a one-of-a-kind experience in anatomy with full dissection of a human cadaver. The anatomy curriculum encourages the study of the relationship between acupuncture points and the human anatomy.

Faculty at National University are committed to training students in the treatment methods and philosophies of traditional oriental medicine and all full-time faculty hold a PhD with strong research backgrounds.

Intensive Clinical Training

Students in the Oriental Medicine program at National University will receive early clinical exposure with experienced clinicians. The large clinic setting affords students the opportunity to work within a diverse clinic setting and have access to a large herbal dispensary. Prior to graduation, students will also have the opportunity to take advantage of unique internship opportunities such as in the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic or John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County .  

Patient-Centered Care

The Oriental Medicine program at National University focuses on training students to practice whole health healing. Students become full body diagnosticians to evaluate and recommend treatment based on each individual patient's body and symptoms.

Collaborative Learning Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to treat patients collaboratively within an integrative clinic, working with DC and ND interns. The institutional focus at National University is on collaborative learning and encourages students to become colleagues rather than competitors.

Geographic Location

National University is conveniently located 15 miles from the city of Chicago and its diverse neighborhoods, including the bustling Chinatown area with its rich tradition of herbal medicine shops and practitioners. 

The Chicagoland area is also home to one of the largest health care communities in the country with over 120 hospitals and hundreds of area clinics.

Our Curriculum

The 167.5-credit hour program provides comprehensive training in the Five Branches of oriental medicine. The program covers the history, theory and philosophy of oriental medicine as well as rigorous training in diagnosis and treatment planning. Students will also graduate with a solid foundation in the basic sciences of western medicine, having developed skills necessary for integrative and collaborative practice in health care settings of their choosing. 

Intensive Clinical Learning

Clinical learning happens very early in the program with clinic observation beginning in the second trimester. This apprenticeship style of learning allows for ample opportunity to apply your clinical skills as you progress through the curriculum.

Herbal Dispensary

You'll work in our fully stocked Chinese herbal medicine dispensary learning herb identification, and to both prescribe and compound herbal formulas for patients.

Distinctive Curriculum

View trimester-by-trimester courses, course descriptions, and the course schedule. Learn more »


Each student in our Master of Science in Oriental Medicine degree program serves a full year clinical internship . In addition to learning clinical applications of oriental medicine and proper documentation procedures, you will learn important personal and business skills you'll need to help build your own practice.

Your clinical experience can be completed at our on-campus Whole Health Center in Lombard, IL or at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County .

Other Program Opportunities

Dual Degrees

Students who earn their MSOM degree at National University have the option to earn a second degree ( DC or ND ) through dual enrollment. Course scheduling for a dual degree is made simpler because the MSOM and MSAc programs are offered in the evening and the DC and ND coursework is taught during the day. There is also similarity in some of the coursework across the programs allowing for a reduction in the total number of hours required to complete their second degree. Students are not eligible to begin dual enrollment until the third trimester of their initial or primary program of study.

Post Graduate Programs

After graduation, students may pursue a number of post-professional programs such as our masters and residency programs. Of course, there are also a wide variety of continuing education classes offered which allow graduates to maintain their professional licensure.

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