Master's of Science in TCVM

Learn and master the four branches of TCVM, conduct research, and advance the body of knowledge of TCVM

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Program Overview

The MS-TCVM program is designed for veterinarians and veterinary students with a bachelor’s degree who would like to engage deeply with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) for diagnosis, treatment, and enhancement of the medical care of their patients.

Students are encouraged to complete the MS-TCVM program within 5 years. Students can expect to complete the program in 2 years with full-time study. Certification requires the completion of all core courses (25 semester credit hours), the Master’s Thesis courses (6 credit hours total), and 5 elective credit hours, totaling 36 semester credit hours.

In the state of Florida, only licensed veterinarians can perform acupuncture on animals. The Master's of Science in TCVM does not qualify a graduate of the program to perform veterinary acupuncture without the appropriate licensure to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine in Florida.

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Program Curriculum

The main courses of the MS-TCVM program include studies in fundamental principles of TCVM, acupuncture points and techniques, Chinese herbal materia medica and formulations, food therapy, and Tui-na (Chinese medical manipulation).

The courses are designed to give the student the opportunity to master unique diagnostic skills. Compared to CE courses, the Master's learning platform is more rigorous, with weekly assignments for each course.

Program Objectives

Create and apply a veterinary acupuncture treatment plan for individual animals

Develop a TCVM diagnosis and herbal treatment for individual animals

Develop a TCVM food therapy plan for individual animals

Develop a TCVM Tui-na therapy plan for individual animals

Master TCVM through research

What our graduates have to say

Amy Munsterman, DVM

The MSTCVM program provided a unique opportunity to expand and further refine my skills as a TCVM practitioner. Chi provides the guidance to nurture growth for those pursuing balance and competency in TCVM.

Amy Munsterman

MS-TCVM Class of 2020

 Leslie Schmidt

What I did not expect was that this experience would completely change my way of thinking, my way of treating patients and my whole life.

Leslie Tahon Schmidt, DVM

MS-TCVM Class of 2019

Heidi Mier

It was a wonderful learning experience and I'm happy to contribute to the research with the hope that acupuncture will be recognized as a specialty.

Heidi Mier, DVM

MS-TCVM Class of 2019

Adria Rodriguez

The MS TCVM Program was comprehensive, insightful, and exciting. The support from the caring and dedicated faculty and staff was key to my success in the program.

Adria Rodriguez, DVM

MS-TCVM Class of 2020

Chee May Wong

It gives hope and second chance to my patients to live a better life.

Chee May Wong

MS-TCVM Class of 2019

MS-TCVM Curriculum

All MS-TCVM students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours and meet the curricular requirements described below.

The acupuncture courses provide a foundation in TCVM and give students all the tools they need to integrate acupuncture into their practice.

This course discusses the fundamental principles of TCVM including Yin-yang, Eight Principles, Five Elements and Zang-fu physiology and pathology. Scientific basis of acupuncture and research data are discussed as well as real-world implementation of acupuncture clinical usage including pain management, lameness, musculoskeletal disorders and osteoarthritis. Acupuncture points and techniques including dry-needling and aquapuncture are also discussed. A hands-on wet lab will be provided during the on-site portion of the class in Reddick, FL.

This course discusses in-depth traditional Chinese veterinary medical theories including Jing, Qi, Shen, Body Fluids and Blood. The unique TCVM diagnosis including tongue and pulse, Eight Extraordinary Channels and etiology and pathology are also discussed. The course provides tools and techniques on how to make a sound TCM diagnosis. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0110)

This course reviews not only the advanced acupuncture techniques including electro-acupuncture and moxibustion, but also how to approach internal medical diseases using the traditional Chinese medical modality. The material in the class introduces case examples showing how to put everything together in order to diagnose and treat liver and renal diseases, behavior and skin problems, as well as gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and respiratory disorders. Students learn a systematic approach to the principles and practices of TCVM. Emphasis is placed on clinical application in all aspects of Five Element disorders and reproductive and endocrine diseases. Students are taught management of real-world clinical cases, tools and methods of how to promote TCVM and integrate it into daily practice. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0110 and MS0120)

The herbal medicine courses builds upon the acupuncture courses to give a deeper understanding of diagnosis and treatment. They open students to using herbal medicine with other TCVM modalities, conventional Western treatments, and in their practice.

This course discusses the history, origin, development, safety, toxicity and quality control of Chinese herbal medicine. Students will learn the scientific basis of Chinese herbal medicine and research data, as well as general indications and contraindications of Chinese herbal medicines. This course has a final proctored exam online using Proctorio, an online service.

This course reviews not only the individual Chinese herbals and formulas, but also the in-depth knowledge of the TCM Lung and Heart physiology and pathology. The material in this class introduces how to use TCVM to diagnose and treat respiratory diseases including rhinitis, sinusitis, nasal bleeding, congestion and discharge, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases. Congestive heart failure, hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia are also covered. Tongue and pulse demos with diagnosis instruction in dogs and horses are included as well. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0205)

This course provides an overview of Spleen physiology, pathology, and the importance of the Earth Element to the Chinese herbal medical practice, as well as an overview of the top 30 individual Chinese herbals and formulas. Topics include the TCVM approach to gastrointestinal diseases including stomatitis, gingivitis, gastric ulcer, inflammatory bowel disease, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and colic, constipation and impaction, and obesity. Tongue and pulse demos with diagnosis instruction in dogs and horses are included as well. (Prerequisite MS0205)

This course reviews not only the individual Chinese herbals and formulas, but also the in-depth knowledge of the traditional Chinese medical Liver physiology and pathology. The course provides a systematic approach to endocrine diseases including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, cholangitis, jaundice, ascites, hepatitis, hepatomegaly, liver abscesses, ophthalmic disease, and seizure disorders. Tongue and pulse demos with diagnosis instruction in dogs and horses are included as well. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0205)

In this course, students learn to identify, detect, investigate, and prevent Water Element Disorders including Bi, Lin and Wei Syndromes. Other topics include how to use the TCVM approach to geriatric diseases, osteoarthritis, disc disease, nephritis, cystitis, renal failure, ear problems, urinary and reproductive disorders. Case examples are provided to ensure an understanding of TCVM Kidney physiology and pathology. This course includes TCVM sports medicine discussions. Tongue and pulse demos with diagnosis instruction in dogs and horses are included as well. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0205)

This course provides students with an opportunity to review the TCVM perspective of dermatology, immunology and oncology. In this class, students should learn both oral medication and topical application of individual herbals and formulations and how to use TCVM to diagnose and treat these disorders including hypersensitivity, pruritus, eruptions, eczema, allergic dermatitis, pemphigus and lupus, autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiency diseases, and cancers/tumors in dogs, cats and horses. Tongue and pulse demos with diagnosis instruction in dogs and horses are included as well. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0205)

Food Therapy gives students a modality to enhance their TCVM clinical results. Using the energetic properties of food, students will be able to restore and maintain the health of their patients.

Food therapy is the practice of healing using natural foods along with or instead of herbal medications. This course focuses on the most relevant facets of how to use TCVM to understand and use foods in the treatment of animals. Hands-on labs are provided for hybrid students in Reddick, FL and video recordings of labs are provided for online students, the students gain additional practice in preparation and cooking of each recipe that is designed for a specific medical condition. Clinical case studies help students see the impact of food therapy on skin diseases and cancer. In this course, students should learn and master the basic theory and principles of food therapy, learn and grasp the simple recipes for veterinarians and their patients and be able to assign “homework” to the pet owners to implement food therapy on their pets. This course has a final proctored exam online using Proctorio, an online service.

Tui-na allows students to combine acupressure with manipulation techniques to promote health and healing in patients who may be sensitive to needles.

Tui-na is Chinese manual therapy used for preventing and treating disease. With the intensive hands-on labs (on-site in Reddick, FL), students are provided with an opportunity to train their hands to effectively manipulate using over 30 techniques. The focus is on both quality (evenness and softness) and quantity (duration and force) of each Tui-na technique. The ability to use hands to diagnose and treat clinical conditions is emphasized in order to accommodate an animal that may have an acupuncture needle phobia. The practice of Tui-na enhances the students TCVM diagnostic skills which is an added benefit. Simple, daily take-home techniques for the caregivers are also discussed.

Research helps students solidify their own understanding and expands the body of knowledge of TCVM.

This course is designed to enhance a student’s ability to design and conduct research. A research project can be an experimental study or an observational study that requires a hypothesis, an objective, a research plan, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and preparation of a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal. In this class, students should identify a research question of interest and design an appropriate study, prepare and submit a research protocol for evaluation and feedback and prepare a manuscript suitable for peer review and publication in a scientific journal.

This course provides students with an overview of practical and concrete information about preparing the master’s thesis and manuscript for publication taught over two semesters. In this class students should identify the research area that students are interested in, learn how to use the library and other necessary resources to search for relevant research papers, learn data analysis and interpretation, and learn how to write the thesis and a peer-review publication. (Prerequisite: MS0200)

The MS-TCVM Program Committee will coordinate with enrolled students on forming a Supervisory Committee, which will consist of three members. The first two members must be the Chi University. The third member can be Chi University or external expert on the Thesis topic of the students choosing. A student’s Thesis must be approved by all three supervisory committee members before she or he graduates. (Prerequisite: MS0501)

Elective courses allow you to explore and deepen your understanding on specific TCVM subjects.

The TCVM Palliative and End-of-Life Course introduces palliative and end-of-life care as a recognized field of veterinary medicine. Integration of palliative and end-of-life care with TCVM will give the veterinary professional more options to treat the clinical signs of disease to preserve a longer and better quality of life in pets struggling with aging, chronic and life limiting illnesses. (Pre-requisite: MS0110 or MS0205 or MS0310)

The Advanced Tui-na: Refinement course builds on the foundation laid down during the Veterinary Tui-na course (MS0330). Whereas in the Veterinary Tui-na course the emphasis was placed on developing one’s basic skills and practicing all of the 21 fundamental Tui-na techniques, the focus of this advanced course is for the student to be able to hone his/her technique. The Veterinary Tui-na course focused on acquiring a fundamental skill set and knowledge base mainly focusing on understanding quantity, (duration and force) of the techniques. This Advanced Tui-na: Refinement course has a different focus. Because the student has already learned the basics and about quantity, this course is able to apply its focus to quality; the ability to diagnose and treat with touch. Quality also implies evenness and softness of technique, as well as the ability to seamlessly integrate the 21 otherwise separate Tui-na techniques. These refined skills are what help to separate novices from experts in the field of veterinary Tui-na. (Prerequisite: MS0330)

This course covers three of the most important TCVM studies: TCVM Diagnosis, Classical Acupoints and Advanced Acupuncture Techniques. This course focuses on the canine species and provides advanced acupuncture methods including auricular and scalp acupuncture and gold implantation. In any medical system, effective treatment of disease hinges upon an accurate and complete diagnosis. With real clinical cases, the students are provided with intensive hands-on experience on-site in Reddick, FL and therefore, gain full confidence in making a sound TCVM diagnosis. Locations and usage of additional classical canine acupuncture points are also discussed. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0110, MS0120, MS0130)

This course is similar to MS0361, which covers three of the most important TCVM studies: TCVM Diagnosis, Classical Acupoints and Advanced Acupuncture Techniques; however, this course focuses on equine species. The class provides advanced acupuncture methods including auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture and gold implantation. In any medical system, effective treatment of disease hinges upon an accurate and complete diagnosis. With real clinical cases, the students are provided with intensive hands-on experience on-site in Reddick, Fl and therefore, gain full confidence to make a sound TCVM diagnosis. Locations and usage of additional classical equine acupuncture points are also discussed. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0110, MS0120, MS0130)

This course discusses the TCVM fundamental principles of eyes, and etiology and pathology of ocular diseases. Students will learn the pattern diagnosis, acupuncture and herbal medicine of corneal diseases, uveitis, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, cataracts and other eye disorders. (Prerequisite: MS0110, MS0205)

Students gain practical knowledge in real-world application through this 45 hour internship. Students are required to complete at least two on-site sessions so that they have a functional understanding of what they will observe. Students may choose any certified veterinary acupuncturist to shadow for 45 documented hours. CVAs can be found by consulting the Chi University practitioner directory. Students may choose any willing faculty member to complete their hours with. (Prerequisite or co-requisite: MS0110, MS0120, MS0130)

This course will cover basic business and management practices in operating a integrative veterinary practice. The goal is to prepare students to understand the products and services that his or her practice produces, how to manage client relationships, finances, employee management, marketing, organization and other key concepts in operating an integrative practice.

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Total Tuition & Fees

Total Tuition and Fees: approximately $19,540 (based on 2020 tuition/fee rates - may vary based on elective courses chosen)

Textbook and Supplies: $2,190

Tuition is paid at the beginning of each semester (Spring, Summer, and Fall) on a per course basis.

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Experiential Credits

Students with well-documented learning at the time of admission may earn up to 9 credit hours. The following certifications from Chi or equivalent institutions may be used for experiential credits:

  • CVA - 9 credit hours (MS0110, MS0120 & MS0130)
  • CVCH - up to 9 credit hours (four of MS0210, MS0220, MS0230, MS0240, MS0250)
  • CVFT - 1.5 credit hours (MS0310)
  • CVTP - 1.5 credit hours (MS0330 & MS0350)
  • CVTPEP - 3 credit hours (MS0270)
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Chi CE Discount

Students who have completed CE courses at Chi that correspond to the master’s program courses may discount the courses by the amount they previously paid for the CE courses for up to 9 MS credit hours. The discount amount for each course will be applied in the term the course is enrolled.

Application Process

Veterinarians and current veterinary students, who have completed at least a minimum of 10 credit hours at a college of veterinary medicine, are eligible to apply to the program.

All applicants must provide the following:

  • One letter of recommendation
  • Copy of your driver's license or passport
  • The completed application form

Veterinarian applicants must provide:

  • Official transcripts of your earned Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent

Veterinary student applicants must provide:

  • Official transcripts of your earned bachelor's degree
  • Official transcripts from your current veterinary school
  • Copy of your current veterinary school identification

International Applicants (where English is not a primary language)* must provide:

  • A score of at least 530 on the TOEFL (paper-based), 71 on the TOEFL (internet-based ), 6.5 on the IELTS, OR 50 on the PTE to demonstrate competency in written and spoken English
  • Translated transcripts and evaluation by a NACES recognized organization

*Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution where the primary language for learning was English or are citizens of an English-speaking country are exempt

Applicants must submit their documents as well as the $120 application and registration fee. They may submit their application and payment through:

  • The application portal (click "Apply" below)
  • Email at master@chiu.edu
  • Mail to the Chi Main Campus, 9650 W Hwy 318, Reddick FL, 32686

Chi University reviews the submitted admission documents to determine whether collectively if enrolled, applicants are a good fit for the master’s degree program and align with their academic goals. Following a comprehensive review, applicants are notified whether they are accepted into the degree program.

DEAC Disclosures

The Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Program (MS-TCVM) is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and an institutional participant in the SARA initiative and approved by the Florida State Approving Agency. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

View DEAC Student Achievement Disclosures

Florida Commission for Independent Education

The Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Program (MS-TCVM) is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education. Additional information regarding Chi University may be obtained by contacting the Commission for Independent Education, Department of Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400, toll-free telephone number (888) 224-6684.

Ready to begin?

The program will challenge you and grow you as both a TCVM student and a veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Chi is accredited by DEAC, an institutional participant in the SARA initiative and approved by the Florida State Approving Agency to certify enrollment for Veterans Education Benefits, such as the GI Bill® .

GI Bill ® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at the U.S. government website.

Current Master's Students