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Admissions Information

Admission to the College

Requirements for admission to the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine are as follows:

  1. Applicants must provide evidence of an associate’s or higher degree or have completed the minimum equivalent of 60 semester/90 quarter credits through an official transcript from an accrediting authority recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education or a degree from another country evaluated for U.S. equivalence, by a recognized credentials evaluation service. The college will request transcripts on all students seeking admission to the college. Transcripts will become a part of the applicant’s file and must be evaluated by the Chief Academic Officer to ensure that these minimum standards have been met prior to an applicant’s acceptance to the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine. In evaluating applicants for admission to the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine’s programs, and in addition to the information stipulated in its application response, candidates to the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine must complete their 60 semester/ 90 quarter credits at the bachelor’s degree level in an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education. This education must be the appropriate preparation for graduate-level work or the equivalent (e.g. certification in a medical profession requiring at least the equivalent training of a registered nurse or a physician’s assistant), from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  2. Applicants must demonstrate an overall minimum of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. All extenuating circumstances regarding admission into the program will be referred to the Admissions Committee for consideration
  3. Provide three character references (Optional)
  4. A completed essay (Optional)
  5. A current resume (if applicable)
  6. Must complete a mandatory admissions interview and
  7. Must complete an application for admission which includes a $50 non-refundable application fee.
  8. Background Check Fee will be charged.
  9. Effective January 1, 2019, English language competency is required of all students seeking admission in CCOM’s Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine’s program. This may be demonstrated by one of the following:
    1. The student must have completed a two-year (60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits) baccalaureate or graduate level, English-based education in an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. English must have been the language of instruction and the language of the curriculum used;
    2. For programs taught in English, the student must score a total score of at least 61 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL®iBT), including a minimum speaking exam score of 26 and a minimum listening exam score of 22, or an overall band score of level 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)exam

The college will not admit individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor of a violent or sexual nature or any felony. CCOM will deny admission to applicants with such convictions. The College therefore will conduct a criminal background check on all applicants seeking admissions.

Entrance Requirements
Students must indicate the capability and sufficient maturity to function as a health care professional. The expectations of students in CCOM’s health care programs include but are not limited to:

  1. The ability to manage professional boundaries
  2. The ability to properly place acupuncture needles within a patient’s body and manipulate them appropriately
  3. The ability to perform appropriate clinical techniques and procedures and follow a supervisor’s directions
  4. The ability to perform in all laboratory and clinical settings without posing a threat to herself/himself or to the safety and well-being of fellow students or patients
  5. The ability and willingness to receive acupuncture and accessory treatment.
  6. The ability to see with or without reasonable accommodation

Students in the Master of Oriental Medicine degree program must pass the following physical abilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, for completion of their degree:

  • The ability to see with or without reasonable accommodation
  • The ability to identify odors, tastes, colors and other physical properties of herbs and other organic and mineral substances utilized in Oriental medical therapy and
  • The ability to document and prepare herbal formulae in accordance with Oriental medicine therapeutic principles, including but not limited to reading, writing, chopping, reading, mixing and grasping.

Transfer Students and Transfer Policy
Students wishing to transfer from another Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine program or any other college or program must follow the same application procedures as new students (see Admission Information above) but with the following exceptions:

  1. Forward all official transcripts from any other Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine program(s) they have attended
  2. Submit two letters of recommendation written by faculty members from the acupuncture or Oriental medicine program(s) they attended and one from outside third party that is not a relative.
  3. Provide a letter from the registrar at that Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine program indicating that the students are in good academic standing and could continue studies at that institution, if so desired.

Courses may transfer to CCOM if the student has received grades of C or better. Transfer courses must have similar course content, name, length or objective and correspond to courses within CCOM’s Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine curriculum. The Chief Academic Officer will determine comparability. A syllabus or other detailed course description and a copy of the catalog from the original institution may be required. Normally, the course must be an academic course from an accredited institution at the bachelor’s degree level or better and passed within the past five years with a grade of C (an overall CGPA of 3.0) or better.

  1. Transfer credit may be awarded for equivalent coursework documented by an official transcript that indicates the credits are from a post-secondary accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. Transfer courses must have similar course content to courses within CCOM’s Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine curriculum.
  3. A grade of “Pass” or “C” (2.0) or above in a given course with an overall CGPA of 3.0 is required for transfer.
  4. Credit must have been earned within the last five years unless the applicant provides acceptable evidence of continuous activity within the last two years in the specific field for which transfer credit is requested e.g., a physician for clinical science.
  5. Transfer credit is granted only when the total hours for any given course have been documented.
  6. Coursework taken at another institution after admission to the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine is not transferable unless approved in advance in writing by the Chief Academic Officer.
  7. At least 50% of the program must be completed at the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine.
  8. Applicants with life experience can request a review with the Chief Academic Officer to determine credit eligibility.
  9. Transfer credit accepted will decrease the number of hours of study at the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine. The tuition will be adjusted accordingly.

Responsibility of Applicant
It is the responsibility of the applicant to meet the entrance requirements of CCOM and make sure all the requirements are met prior to enrollment. If the student does not meet the requirements of the college, the student will not be allowed to enroll or to continue at CCOM.

Illinois Immunization Requirement
Students must provide evidence of immunity as stipulated by the State of Illinois as a condition of enrollment in the following areas: diptheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, and mumps per Title 77: Public Health, Chapter I: Department of Public Health, Subchapter K: Communicable Disease Control and Immunizations Part 694 College Immunization Code and Section 694.100 Proof of Immunity.

Application Procedure and Selection of Candidates
Applicants seeking admissions into CCOM will be expected to do the following:

The steps in the application process must include:

  1. Submitting a properly completed application for admission.
  2. An application processing fee of $50. This fee is non-refundable;
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges attended sent directly to the Chief Academic Officer at the Chicago College of Oriental Medicine. High school transcripts are not required. NOTE: Indicate if your transcripts will be arriving under another name.
  4. Names and addresses of three character references.
  5. A completed essay
  6. A current resume (if applicable)


Selection of Candidates
The Admissions Committee in general seeks to admit students who can demonstrate motivation, a solid general education foundation, a sense of service, a caring attitude and the ability to communicate effectively. Students interested in seeking transfer credit should apply as early as possible, in order to assure that the admission committee has sufficient time to obtain relevant documents prior to the first day of class. CCOM strongly encourages campus visits.

Students with Disabilities
All students, with or without reasonable accommodation, must be able to carry out clinical assignments and diagnostic interpretation. Qualified persons with disabilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, must be able to pass oral, written and practical examinations and meet all of the program’s clinical requirements. It is in the best interest of both the student and the College to assess the degree of limitation caused by any disability. However, the College will make the final determination of whether or not an individual meets all qualifications for study at the College. Questions regarding qualifications or accommodations should be directed to the Chief Academic Officer.