Five Branches University: Graduate School of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Mission Statement

Five Branches University: Graduate School of Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to provide a professional medical education in the art, science and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine through classroom courses and clinical training. The program emphasizes traditional Chinese medical theory and diagnosis, acupuncture, herbology, and Western medicine as applied to integrated healthcare.

Providing a community of learning and TCM healthcare, Five Branches University is dedicated to making the views and methods of traditional Chinese medicine a part of world medicine.

Philosophy, Values & Principles

Five Branches University is dedicated to providing the highest level of education in traditional Chinese medicine. For decades, Five Branches' TCM faculty and practitioners have successfully practiced and taught in both the United States and China.

The attainment of this goal is reflected in Five Branchesi consistently high rate of graduates who pass the National Certification and California State Licensing exams - and in their development of successful TCM practices throughout the nation.

Five Branches University's education is threefold, focusing on: (a) the art, science and practice of TCM as rooted in the classics, (b) TCMis success in modern clinical practice, and (c) the integration of TCM with the best practices of Western medicine.

Five Branches' faculty are chosen for excellence demonstrated in their specialized fields. They also must be skilled as teachers, and passionate about teaching. Students are chosen for their academic competence, and for their commitment to serving people through traditional Chinese medicine. TCM philosophy views medicine as a compassionate response to human suffering.

Five Branches provides not only TCM skills, but also an environment where kindness prevails. In thus balancing a studentis program, Five Branches encourages the constellation of qualities needed to become a successful TCM practitioner. Students enjoy a respectful camaraderie with their extended Five Branches family, while nurturing relationships in the local and global community. Together with their faculty mentors, Five Branches students offer TCM to the widest population possible.

The Institute's educational objectives are:

To preparegraduates to diagnose, prescribe and provide medical treatment within the parameters of traditional Chinese medicine.

To provide graduates with sufficient knowledge of TCM's non-technical modalities of diet, massage, taijiquan, and qigong to become capable advisors to their patients on lifestyle issues that influence their state of health.

To instill in itsgraduates universal and professional medical ethics and the social responsibilities of providing primary healthcare.

To impart to each graduate the knowledge to make, whenever necessary, appropriate referrals of patients to other healthcare professionals.

To give each graduate the knowledge and skills to prepare for the National Certification and California Licensing exams.


Since its inception in 1984, the Five Branches family of doctors, faculty and staff has dedicated themselves to providing the highest quality education possible in the art and science of Chinese Medicine.

Five Branches Institute first received candidate status from the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 1992. It was accredited in 1996, and was reaccredited in 1999 and 2003. A branch campus of the college opened in San Jose in 2005, and was granted candidate status in October 2005.

Programs Offered

Five Branches' coursework concentrates on five academic departments, representing the branches of TCM: acupuncture, herbology, tuina (Chinese medical massage), energetics (qigong and taijiquan), and dietary medicine. In addition, students receive a wide range of in-depth clinical practice, comprising one-third of the curriculum. Five Branchesi TCM Clinic assists over 100 patients a day. In this setting, students observe faculty practitioners diagnosing and treating patients with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. In their final year, students diagnose and treat patients under direct faculty supervision. The clinicis herb room, stocked with 350 bulk herbs and 300 patent medicines, provides students with hands-on experience in Chinese herbology and pharmacology.

The curriculum is taught on a semester system, allowing students to complete the program in four yearsoor three and a half years, if students continue their clinical training during summer and winter inter-sessions. Throughout their coursework, students assimilate and cultivate the TCM practitioneris skills: observing, listening and becoming sensitive to the human energy flow. To further supplement study, specializations such as gynecology, pediatrics and traumatology are offered. Electives, including Five Elements and advanced study of TCM specializations, round out the curriculum.

Five Branches also offers specialty certificates in medical qigong, sports injury, Five Element acupuncture, and tuina massage.

Contact Information

For more information on the Five Branches University, contact:

Santa Cruz Campus:

Five Branches University
200 7th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Tel: (831) 476-9424
Fax: (831) 476-8928

San Jose campus:

Five Branches University
3031 Tisch Way, Suite 507
San Jose, CA 95128
Tel: (408) 261-0608
Fax: (408) 261-3166

Toll-free number: (877) 838-6789

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