The practice of acupuncture or the use of the title "licensed acupuncturist" within New York State requires licensure as an acupuncturist, unless otherwise exempt under the law. Licensed physicians and dentists may be certified to practice acupuncture in New York State, but the requirements and application process are different from those for licensure in acupuncture. Physicians and dentists who seek certification to practice acupuncture should contact the Office of the Professions at 518-474-3817 ext. 560 for additional information.
To be licensed as an acupuncturist in New York State you must:
- be of good moral character;
- be at least 21 years of age;
- meet education and examination requirements; and
- demonstrate proficiency in English if you are a candidate whose application is based upon credit granted for the completion of courses of study in a country where English is not the principal language spoken.
Submit an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.
You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.
- The fee for licensure is $788.
- The fee for a limited permit is $70 (the limited permit fee is not refundable).
The fees listed are the fees in place when this page was posted. Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.
- Do not send cash.
- If you apply for licensure electronically using the online Application for Licensure, you will be required to pay by credit card.
- Other payments must be made by personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
- Mail any required forms and fees to the indicated address on the form.
NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.
Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.
- For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Acupuncture Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 260 or by fax at 518-402-2323.
- The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.
If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.
To satisfy the education requirements for licensure as an acupuncturist, you must present evidence of the following:
Preprofessional College/University Education
Satisfactory completion of at least 60 semester hours at an accredited college or university, including nine semester hours in the biosciences. Biosciences are defined as biological sciences and do not include chemistry or physics. Coursework completed to satisfy your professional education requirement cannot be used to also satisfy the biosciences requirement.
Professional Acupuncture Education
Satisfactory completion of an approved professional acupuncture program registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying or accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) or another accrediting agency accepted by the Department as a reliable authority, or the equivalent.
To be considered equivalent, a program must consist of a minimum of 4,050 hours of classroom instruction, supervised clinical experience, and out-of-classroom or out-of-clinic study assignments. Each hour of classroom instruction must require two hours of out-of-classroom study assignments and each hour of supervised clinical experience must require one-half hour of clinic study assignments. As part of the 4,050 hours, the program must include:
- at least 200 classroom instructional hours in the biosciences including anatomy, physiology and pathology;
- at least 600 classroom instructional hours in acupuncture including acupuncture principles; acupuncture channel and point theory; acupuncture physiology; acupuncture pathology; acupuncture clinical examination and diagnosis; acupuncture techniques; acupuncture treatment principles; and sterilization and precautions; and
- at least 650 hours of supervised clinical acupuncture experience in general health problems to include acupuncture diagnosis; therapeutic treatment planning; acupuncture needling technique; moxibustion; electroacupuncture; pre- and post-treatment instruction; contraindications and precautions; treatment of emergencies; when to refer to appropriate health professionals; and acupuncture hygiene.
You must successfully complete the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's (NCCAOM) Acupuncture with Point Location exam and Foundations of Oriental Medicine exam. If you successfully completed NCCAOM's Acupuncture Written examination, Point Location examination, and Clean Needle Technique course prior to June 2004, you meet the examination requirement for licensure.
For information regarding the examinations and course, including costs, dates of administration, and content, contact:
Your examination results should be sent directly by NCCAOM to:
NYS Education Department, Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234-1000
Reasonable Testing Accommodations
If you have a disability that may require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, contact NCCAOM to request a Candidate Request for ADA Accommodations form or visit their Web site at www.nccaom.org to obtain the form.
English Proficiency Requirement
If your licensure application is based upon credit for the completion of courses of study in a country where English is not the primary language spoken, you must demonstrate English proficiency. If you took the NCCAOM licensing examinations in English and passed them, you have met the requirement. Otherwise, you must pass an examination in English proficiency acceptable to the Department (such as TOEFL). Additionally, you can present proof of credit-bearing postsecondary study offered in English at a university or college if the study was in an area such as humanities or English. Courses in mathematics, computer science, and English as a Second Language cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. An acceptable course must be worth at least 3 semester hours or the equivalent. It is your responsibility to see that verification of English proficiency is submitted directly to the Department from the testing agency or college or university.
A limited permit allows an individual who has satisfied the education requirements for licensure in acupuncture to practice acupuncture under appropriate supervision while waiting to pass the licensing examination. With a limited permit you may only work under the on-site supervision of a New York State licensed and currently registered acupuncturist or a New York State licensed and currently registered physician or dentist certified in acupuncture. Legal practice sites include a public hospital, an incorporated hospital or clinic, a licensed proprietary hospital, a licensed nursing home, a public health agency, the office of a licensed or certified acupuncturist or in the civil service of the federal or state government. No practitioner shall supervise more than one permittee.
You may apply for a limited permit by submitting the Application for Limited Permit (Form 5) and limited permit fee of $70 at the same time or any time after you submit your Application for Licensure (Form 1), initial licensure fee of $788, and all other required documentation. The limited permit is valid for a period of one year and may be renewed once, at the discretion of the Department, for a period not to exceed one additional year. To renew your limited permit you must submit a new Form 5 and an additional fee of $70.
NOTE: Your application for licensure, the initial licensure fee ($788), and all other required documentation must be received and approved before a limited permit can be issued.