The Commission

The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM or the Commission) is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1982 by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the American Association of Oriental Medicine. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a “specialized and professional” accrediting agency, ACAOM’s primary purposes are to establish comprehensive educational and institutional requirements for acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs, and to accredit programs and institutions that meet these requirements.

The Commission is composed of up to eleven commissioners who approve ACAOM’s accreditation standards, policies and procedures, and oversee the accreditation process; two Commissioners are administrator members, two are academic members, two are educator members, two are practitioner members, two are public members, and one member is at-large. Commissioners are elected by the Commission and not by any outside organizations. All Commissioners serve as volunteers. Regular meetings of the Commission are held twice a year. The work of the Commission is facilitated by an administrative staff that currently includes an Executive Director; a Director of Accreditation Services; a Director of Regulatory Affairs, a Director of Information Technology/Operations, and an Executive Assistant.

Our Scope of Recognition 

ACAOM is limited to the following scope of recognition by the United States Department of Education:

“The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is the accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for the accreditation and pre-accreditation (“Candidacy”) throughout the United States of professional non-degree and graduate degree programs, including professional doctoral programs, in the field of acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine, as well as freestanding institutions and colleges of acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine that offer such programs.”

The Commission may not accredit programs whose content lies outside this scope, nor may it award institutional accreditation or pre-accreditation to institutions that offer credit-bearing programs outside this scope.

Our Mission

The mission of the Commission is to foster excellence in acupuncture and Oriental medicine through the implementation of accreditation standards and criteria for educational institutions of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Our Vision

The Commission promotes institutional and programmatic integrity, self-improvement and innovation through continuous self-study and assessment applying clearly defined and appropriate standards and criteria.

Our Values

The Commission’s work is guided and informed by our beliefs in and commitments to:

  • Honesty
  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Teamwork


The Commission operates as a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting commission for acupuncture and Oriental medicine schools providing a program of instruction for the training of entry level practitioners and/or degree-granting programs. The Commission advances the cause of education in acupuncture and Oriental medicine schools throughout the United States by:

  • Developing, encouraging, maintaining and improving sound educational standards and criteria;
  • Promoting interests common to acupuncture and Oriental medicine schools, including research and teaching in the science, art, use and application of traditional oriental medicine; and
  • Supporting the improvement of education and practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine within the United States.