Tuition and Fees

The Equation

What is the most important numerical equation for a prospective acupuncture student to think about? It doesn’t have anything to do with the 5 Elements or the 2 texts of 81 chapters in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. This is the Equation:

the cost of becoming an acupuncturist (education, certification, licensing, and setting up a practice) should roughly =  what an acupuncturist can expect to earn in their first 12-18 months of practice

Everything about POCA Tech’s program is designed to make the Equation work. We think about these numbers all the time, and if you are applying to POCA Tech, we want you to think about them too. We want you to be a member of the POCA Cooperative so that you can look at the data from our annual Survey, and you’ll have an idea of what you can expect to earn as an owner or an employee of a POCA clinic. Our program is designed to be lean so the Equation doesn’t get skewed . Our program is designed to give you skills that POCA employers want, or to set up your own POCA clinic in the most efficient and affordable way.

POCA Tech's tuition is $5800 per year. Twice-yearly payment plan, paid in 6 equal payments over three years, of $2900 due on the first class day of each semester – September and March.

Other Costs (estimated)

  • Co-requisite Classes (a broad range based on costs at individual institutions)
  • Clean Needle Technique Class ($175)
  • First Aid and CPR Class ($70)
  • Program materials such as books (~ $100 - $500)
  • Student clinic fees ($500)
  • Acu-punk/student POCA membership

Depending on which states you want to be licensed in:

  • NCCAOM Examination ($650 to $2500)
  • State Examination (for instance - California $675)
  • State Licensing fees ($300 to $1000)


  • Private NCCAOM Exam Preparation Course ($250-$600)

If POCA Tech offers a program that is equivalent to many other acupuncture schools, why is it so much cheaper?

  1. POCA Tech’s program was bootstrapped into existence by thousands of volunteer hours and hundreds of small donations through the POCA Cooperative.
  2. POCA Tech faculty and staff salaries are capped at a very low rate.
  3. There are strings attached.

The best way to understand the true costs of starting up an acupuncture school that offers an accredited program is to read ACAOM's accreditation manual. We encourage all prospective POCA Tech students to read this manual in order to get an idea of what it's going to take in order to make this happen.

So what does learning in solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed really mean?

Among other things, it means running the school in the leanest way possible. Concretely, this means:

  • student services are provided by students
  • textbooks are shared library resources
  • many administrative duties involve students
  • we share the building with other non-profits, including a Clothing Bank and a neighborhood homeschool
  • we share the classroom with an AA group