Admissions: Educational Requirements

Traditional Track

At time of enrollment, students must have completed a minimum of an assiciates degree plus 16 additional semester credits (or 24 additional quarter credits).  All the prerequisite biomedical sciences must be included. All credits must be at post-secondary level, obtained from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Practitioner Track

This track is comprised of Classical Five-Element education contained in the above program information. It assumes proficiency in other courses contained within the ITEA curriculum, such as biomedical courses, Oriental bodywork, AOM history and philosophy, practice management and clinical supervision. If proficiency in these other courses have not been attained, the applicant must have a plan for fulfilling these requirements in order to be accepted into the program. The plan may include attending these classes at ITEA for an additional fee. All credits must be at post-secondary level, obtained from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Internationally Educated Students

US Citizens who have studied outside the United States must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree that documents at least three full years of post-secondary education from a nationally or regionally accredited (or otherwise approved or recognized) institution. The Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture recognizes that most non-U.S. institutions of higher education often cannot provide academic transcripts in the standard U.S. credit hour format. In such cases applicants may be required to submit original course descriptions to verify the actual content and hours of prior training. Non-English language credentials equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree must be demonstrated prior to admission via a report from an approved credentialing translation and evaluation organization only. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for such a report to be sent to the Institute.

English Proficiency

Instruction is in English only. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English-language proficiency by scoring at least 61 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet based test (iBT), which also requires a minimum speaking exam score of 26 and a minimum listening exam score of 22, or a level 6 on the International English Language Testing System (TELTS) exam.

Advanced Standing

For Traditional Track students, ITEA does not generally recognize advanced standing. Course work from other acupuncture schools usually does not have emphasis on Classical Five-Element Acupuncture (CF-EA) and point location. Even CF-EA schools have diverse instruction sequences because the discipline is an oral tradition. In exceptional cases, students may be admitted to the program with Advanced Standing within the first year of Intensives. Applicants must agree to test out of basic coursework and point location with an 85% passing grade to enter a class already in session. Advanced Standing applicants must fulfill all other admissions requirements listed above as for a regular application process. Tuition will be equal to that of the class the applicant joins.

For Practitioner Track students, individual applicants are evaluated for Advanced Standing in all prior coursework at the discretion of the Academic Dean, and admitted into the program with an established plan for fulfilling all requirements of the program.

Transfer Credits and Prior Learning Credits

ITEA will evaluate previous education and training, and when applicable, transfer or prior learning credit will be given. Advanced Standing students receive transfer credits for all coursework satisfactorily tested upon entry into the program. It is the responsibility of the student either to make up or obtain transfer credits for other necessary courses which are part of ITEA’s program. Students in the Traditional Track may enter ITEA’s program no later than the beginning of the second year. ITEA does not guarantee transferability of credits to another institution unless there is a written agreement with that institution.


The study of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture can be challenging, and one can never know it all. There is always more to learn—a greater depth of understanding to be explored. Learning basic theory and technical facts is only a small part of becoming a Classical Five-Element acupuncturist. The sensory understanding of nature as a teacher is the real essence of the work. This learning cannot be explained through words, but must be experienced. Being a Classical Five-Element acupuncturist may be the most compelling thing you’ve ever done.


Tell us about yourself!


Traditional Track Admissions Form 2018

Practitioner Track Admissions Form 2019


For more information on a Masters in Acupuncture in Classical Five-Element Acupuncture please download the ITEA Catalog.