How To Apply To Acupuncture School

How to apply to acupuncture school? There are many steps and documents to collect. Applying to acupuncture schools in Ontario can be daunting, read on to learn more.

You want to become a Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) Practitioner or an Acupuncturist and have chosen your acupuncture program at a post-secondary school. You have researched and are interested in an acupuncture school and discover that it meets all the requirements set out by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO).

For more information regarding the requirements go to the CTCMPAO’s Education Equivalency Guideline and Entry Level Occupational Competencies for the Practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ontario.

If you are unsure how to choose an acupuncture school, read this article.

How To Apply To Acupuncture School
How to apply to acupuncture school

The acupuncture program must give you the necessary clinical experience to prepare you for your future TCM profession. The acupuncture school’s clinic must be:

  • structured
  • comprehensive
  • supervised
  • evaluated
  • consist of at least 45 weeks of clinical experience
  • at least 500 hours of direct patient contact

The TCM program must consist of at least four years of full-time education or that is of equivalent duration.

The acupuncture program must consist of at least three years of full-time education, or that of equivalent duration.

Apply To Acupuncture Programs In Ontario

There are many acupuncture programs in Ontario for you to chose from. Both private and public acupuncture schools are available in Ontario. It can be overwhelming when applying to an acupuncture school; this article will help you with each step.

Each acupuncture school has its own unique application process but we have broken it down for you. ***link to schools

Note: when applying to a public acupuncture program there are few extra steps.

Private Acupuncture Programs In Ontario

Start Dates and application deadlines.

Most TCM schools have 3 start dates throughout the year. Be aware of their start dates and when the application is due for your preferred start time

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring

Enrolment can be limited, try not to leave the applications at the last minute.

Full-Time or Part-Time Acupuncture Student?

Full-Time Program: Pros & Cons
  • Longer schools days
  • Tuition will cost less
  • Course schedule more fixed
  • Complete the program sooner
  • Heavy workload
Part-Time Program: Pros & Cons
  • Flexible schedule – can manage a job and personal life easier.
  • Longer to complete program
  • Tuition will cost more.

Academic requirements

Ensure you have fulfilled the acupuncture school’s academic requirements. Academic requirements are similar between each acupuncture school. Go to the school’s checklist to ensure that you have everything you need prior to contacting the admissions department.

Some requirements may include:

  • a 2 year post-secondary education OR equivalent professional experience
  • has demonstrated an understanding of the responsibilities associated with being a healthcare professional
  • has Emergency First-Aid and CPR C or higher certification. With some schools you can earn this through their own program
  • has received a treatment in the student clinic
  • successfully completed an interview with a program administrator.
  • has a strong commitment to learning the principles and ideologies of TCM medicine

Advanced Standing/Academic Transfers

Acupuncture diploma programs in Ontarioincorporates TCM training from the ground up. Meaning you do not need previous acupuncture training to start.

When applying to acupuncture programs in Ontario with prior education or professional training, you may be exempt from some courses. Do you have previous education or professional training similar to a course(s) being offered? Are you a healthcare professional? You may be exempt if you have any previous background in sciences or therapeutic training.

Contact your acupuncture school of interest to see if you qualify. This should decrease your tuition fee per course and time in the program.

English Language Acupuncture Programs in Ontario

Acupuncture schools in Ontario offer classes and clinics in English only. You must have a basic understanding of the English language. All written and oral assignments will be in English. The instructors, clinic clients will also be speaking English.

The interview process will evaluate your English-language abilities. If your first language is not English, may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). You must and receive a passing score, and demonstrate satisfactory written/oral comprehension of English.

Application form

How to apply to acupuncture schools and figuring out how to fill out their application forms can be daunting. Give yourself enough time to fill out the form well before the application deadline. For most acupuncture schools you can download their application forms directly from their website.

The acupuncture school’s application forms collect basic information (they do vary):

  • which program you are applying to
  • preferred start date
  • full-time or part-time
  • name, address, birth date, emergency contact and contact information
  • family physician
  • previous education plus provide transcripts
  • past work experience
  • letter of recommendation from past teachers, professionals or co-workers
  • an essay – regarding your interest in TCM
  • your financial capabilities – how you will finance books and tuition
  • tuition in full amount or installments

Application Documents

Knowing how to apply for acupuncture school can be difficult to navigate. After filling out the application form, you now must collect all the documents that must be submitted with it.

Required acupuncture school’s application documents (they vary) are:

  • Proof with transcripts of 2 years post-secondary education OR equivalent professional experience.
    • Transcripts can be from any post secondary educational institution
    • Transcripts must be sent directly to the acupuncture school from the issuing institution to be official.
  • Medical forms:
    • some acupuncture schools require you have received a full physical within the last year and,
    • that you are in good physical and general health, free from communicable diseases and require your tuberculosis status within the last year.
  • Application fee
    • This non-refundable fee varies between $25- $100
  • Photo identification (e.g. driver’s license, passport, age of majority card)

Interview process

Some acupuncture schools have an interview process as part of their application. They may ask you to bring:

  • Social Insurance Number card
  • Birth certificate
  • Photo identification (e.g. driver’s license, passport, age of majority card)

Notification of Status

After the interview process and have submitted your application form. The acupuncture school should notify you within 30 days as to your acceptance into their program.

Upon acceptance, you will be required to sign an Application for Enrolment form, confirm your tuition payment plan, and submit a non-refundable registration fee, which is part of the student’s tuition fee.

Financial Aid


If your chosen acupuncture school is eligible, you can apply for Ontario Student Assistant Program (OSAP) if you take a full course load and are registered for full-time studies for the duration of your program.


Some acupuncture schools offer scholarships to their students. The Scholarships requirements vary with each school.

Public Acupuncture Programs in Ontario

Public schools in Ontario are referred to as colleges. To apply to an Ontario college there are a few extra steps you must take. Check carefully with your college as for their specific requirements.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary between specific colleges and programs. Go to their website or call the admissions representative to discover what they are for the TCM or acupuncture program that you are applying for.

Apply to Ontario College

You have decided on the college with the program of your choice. There are only two that offer programs in TCM and Acupuncture.

Humber College

Offers an advanced diploma program as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner.

Georgian College

Offers an acupuncture diploma program.

To apply to either college you must register with Submit your application in before the due date.

  1. Create an Account with
  2. Apply to Humber or Georgian College
  3. Review and update your college application
  4. Request Ontario high school transcripts (from participating schools)
  5. Request Ontario college / university transcripts
  6. View and accept offers of admission

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

You may ask for a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) to evaluate skills and knowledge that you acquired through continuing education, work experience, volunteering or life experience. The results can be applied toward academic credit.

Assessments are often conducted through interviews, demonstrations and testing.

English and Math

Your college may require you to take an admissions test. Your English and Math proficiency will be determined.

Letter of Offer

Your letter of offer is your acceptance into the college of your choice.

  • Follow up with the college on how to proceed with the program.
  • Confirm your offer with
  • Pay your tuition deposit to the college by the due date
  • Check to see if you can transfer credits with the college by taking a Prior Learning Assessment.
  • Register for your classes

Congratulations! You can now begin your exciting career as an Acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

The next step is to begin studying for the Pan-Canadian Examinations.

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