Category: Welcome

Five Branches University – Celebrating 30 Years as a Leader in TCM

Thirty years ago, we embarked on an ambitious venture. We founded Five Branches University with a mission to set the standards for Traditional Chinese Medicine education and healthcare in the West. 1984 marked the beginning of an auspicious 60 year cycle on the Chinese calendar, and halfway through that cycle we could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. … Continue reading

FBU Treats 100 At Another Successfull Community Wellness Fair

Five Branches University was one of more than 25 organizations offering complimentary services  and samples at the 9th annual College of Botanical Healing Arts (COBHA) Wellness Fair in Downtown Santa Cruz, CA. More than 1,000 attendees flocked to the event to experience the health and wellness business offerings in the area.

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“How I Found TCM” with Mary Lyell, L.Ac.

Mary is a faculty member at the Santa Cruz Campus since 2007, practicing Five Element Acupuncture along with TCM. During her time here, Mary also founded the Veterans’ Clinical Externship, which provides complementary treatments to veterans.

“I got my law degree and was practicing law for several years.  It seemed that I went straight from undergrad to Law school and then right into litigation….  In my first job, I was not even working for a month when I tried my first case… Two months later,  the judge made a decision on my  first case, but by that time, I had  been in court so many times that I forgot what my first case was about”… She recalls.  

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Five Branches meets with the Consul General of Korea

On March 11, 2014, Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University, Heerei Park, Director of the Korean Program, and the Korean Student Council President Saul Tak met with Dongman Han, the Consul General of Korea,in San Francisco, California to discuss the Korean Traditional Medicine program and the Five Branches graduates currently serving the Korean community in the Bay Area.

The Consul General confirmed that there are a large number of Koreans now studying abroad. New scholarship opportunities for existing and potential students were discussed. … Continue reading

Visit to Consul General of China in San Francisco

In August, Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University (photo: middle row, furthest to the left) joined leaders of the Traditional Chinese Medicine profession for a private meeting with the Consul General of China,Yuan Nansheng (photo: middle row, center), in San Francisco, California. … Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Kevin Zhu’s New Book

“I have always known that I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up, but I was afraid of blood.” This is what brought young Kevin Zhu to the University of Beijing to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). “Chinese medicine and acupuncture are gentle, yet powerful forms of medicine that suit my character better. Unlike other TCM programs in China, the University of Beijing offered a six year program which included many elective courses and options to graduate with a medical specialization.” … Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Senior Professor Jeffrey Pang

Last year Five Branches University’s Senior Professor Dr. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac., MD (China), collaborated with one of the University’s oldest alums, Adam White, L.Ac, to write and publish a textbook on nutrition from a Chinese medical perspective titled Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I).The text explores Chinese medical dietetics, food preparation techniques, theory and detailed information on many types of individual foods including a wide variety of grains, tubers, oils, condiments, liquor, beans, tea, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I)presents both a Chinese and a Western medical perspective on nutrition, and offers integrative approaches to healthy eating and food remedies. … Continue reading

Five Branches Establishes New Hospital Externships in Vietnam and China

Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University and Joanna Zhao, Academic Dean traveled to Vietnam in March to establish two new hospital externships in Saigon and Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam has a rich history of Traditional Medicine and is a beautiful country. Our graduate and faculty member, Phu Tran, DC., L.Ac., and graduate Diem Nguyen traveled to Vietnam with Ron and Joanna after helping to facilitate relationships with these hospitals.

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Leaders of the Northern California Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Profession Attend a Press Conference


On February 21, 2013, leaders of the Northern California Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine profession, including  Ron Zaidman,  President and CEO of Five Branches University, held a press conference in San Francisco, California to announce the benefits California residents will receive with the inclusion of Acupuncture in Obamacare (effective January, 2014). This is an important and significant development, as Acupuncture joins Western Medicine as an essential healthcare benefit to be included in private insurance plans.

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Second Student Externship to Korea a Success!

For the second year in a row Heerei Park, our Director of the Korean Language Master’s program, led a group of Five Branches students on a Study Abroad externship at Dae Jeon University and Dun San Oriental Medicine Hospital. This time around, students from the English program and the Chinese language program joined the Korean MTCM students. Students had two very packed weeks with activities scheduled from 9am-6pm including visiting each hospital’s various clinical departments.

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Five Branches University Graduates 60 from its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine Program

On December 16th, 2012 Five Branches University graduated 60 students from its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine program, its largest graduating class to date. Accompanied by the lovely piano melodies by Joanna Zhao, Five Branches Academic Dean and accomplished concert pianist, the faculty and graduates from both campuses, English, Chinese and Korean programs entered the hall to take their seats.  The graduation ceremony took place at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s magnificent Coconut Grove Ballroom.  With Lion Dancing and heartfelt speeches by Ron Zaidman, Five Branches President & CEO, Dr. Angela Tu, Chair of FBU’s Board of Directors, and student elected class speakers; the graduates moved on to celebrate with their proud families and friends.

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Dr. Shi Xuemin Inaugurates New Stroke Research Centers

On Saturday, November 10, 2012, Dr. Shi Xuemin and Five Branches University celebrated the cooperation between Five Branches and the Tianjin University of TCM with an inauguration of the new Five Branches University Stroke Research Centers in San Jose and Santa Cruz, California. … Continue reading

Five Branches signs Cooperation Agreement with the Fujan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

On September 15th, 2012, President Ron Zaidman exchanges a gift of gratitude with Dr Li Candong, Vice-President of the Fuijan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the signing of our Cooperation Agreement.

Master’s and Doctoral students of Five Branches are invited to study with leading TCM practitioners in the hospitals of the Fujian University; and Five Branches will continue to invite their leading faculty to teach at the University. Dr Li complemented Five Branches University for our diverse and unequaled quality of Doctoral faculty.

Thank you to Five Branches faculty, Carol Wang and Susanna Shen, graduates of the Fujian University of TCM, for arranging this cooperation.

Five Branches University’s Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine Program Receives Seven-Year Re-Accreditation by ACAOM

Five Branches University is proud to have earned the highest level of institutional and programmatic re-accreditation, 7-years, for its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree program in Santa Cruz. In parallel, the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in San Jose is now fully accredited by ACAOM, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We congratulate the Board, administration, faculty and students of Five Branches for this double accomplishment and recognition, and thank you for your contributions to the continued growth and development of the University.

DAOM Program Fully Accredited by ACAOM

Five Branches University is proud to have earned full accreditation for its Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree program in San Jose, CA by ACAOM, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We are also pleased to annouce that our Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree program in Santa Cruz, CA earned the highest level of institutional and programmatic re-accreditation, 7-years. We congratulate the Board, administration, faculty and students of Five Branches for this double accomplishment and recognition, and thank you for your contributions to the continued growth and development of the University.

Five Branches Students Visit Korean Oriental Medicine Hospital

Eleven students of the Five Branches University Korean Master’s Degree program traveled to Korea in December 2011 to train at the hospital of Dae Jen Oriental Medicine University as part of a new Clinical Externship offered by Five Branches. Students gained advanced knowledge in a busy hospital with leading Korean acupuncturists and herbalists in the internal medicine and gynecology departments, and learned first-hand of how Oriental medicine is applied in an integrative setting. One student remarked, “This has opened my understanding of what’s possible in Oriental medicine”. Korean Program Director Heerei Park, R.N., L.Ac., is planning the next hospital visit for Summer 2012.

Congratulations to the First Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Graduating Class!

On March 1st 2009, 36 doctoral fellows graduated from the Five Branches University Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) Program. This is the first graduating class from the DAOM program, which began in 2006.

Five Branches University began the DAOM program with a vision of creating a TCM community of experts in the U.S. The long list of renowned TCM and Western medicine experts participating in the program include prestigious faculty, renowned clinicians, and researchers from the Tianjin University of TCM, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

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List your Practice

All your submitted data, except your graduation year and month, will be posted in the Alumni Practitioner Directory on this website.

  • When did you graduate from Five Branches?

  • About You

  • Your Practice Address

  • Practice Contact Info



Five Branches University recognizes our alumni as valuable members of our community and perfect examples of our commitment to excellence. We are proud of our graduates who have gone on to become esteemed and successful practitioners, teachers, international lecturers and published authors. Five Branches reputation of providing a high quality TCM education is landing our graduates positions at medical facilities such as Kaiser-Permanente, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and at spas and resorts, such as the Westin.

Alumni Support

Our Alumni Relations coordinator is your personal contact to the administrative team at Five Branches and is available to answer your questions and provide you with the assistance you need. The Five Branches University Portal is a convenient way to access your academic records, update your contact information, and request copies of your transcripts.

In keeping with the university’s mission of increasing the growth and acceptance of Chinese Medicine in the U.S., Five Branches is committed to assisting you in the development and growth of your practice. Throughout the year we offer on-going practice management seminars, a practitioner directory and job placement services.

Practitioner Directory

Five Branches offers alumni and doctoral students the opportunity to promote their practice online. Go to the Five Branches Alumni Practitioner Directory and post your profile to receive the benefits of our web-marketing strategies.

Continuing Education

If you are looking to broaden your knowledge in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Five Branches University offers a range of options, many of which are structured so you can maintain your practice while you advance your education.

The doctoral program provides you with a unique opportunity to study with experienced senior faculty from China and the U.S., to develop advanced TCM knowledge and skills, receive a medical specialization, and advance your research and teaching skills.

Continuing Education classes and specialization certificates offered by our Extension Department allow you to expand the offerings of your practice and increase your knowledge in Asian Bodywork and Medical Qigong.

International travel to China, Korea and Taiwan, provides you with a unique opportunity to study directly with renowned experts in traditional Chinese medicine, while experiencing the adventure and beauty of traveling abroad.

Stay Involved

Five Branches University recognizes how important it is for you to stay connected, not only with the University but also fellow alumni. In order to help you keep in touch, Five Branches maintains an online alumni directory. The directory will allow you to easily find fellow classmates to share and network with to build your practice.

We encourage you to stay connected and involved and to share your knowledge and experience as a TCM practitioner with Five Branches students and others in the integrative health field. You can mentor a student by participating in our Externship program, give a presentation at the University, or write an article for the Five Branches Newscenter. You can also coordinate events in your community that students and other alumni can participate in; this is a great way to extend community beyond the campuses of Five Branches.


Student Services

Five Branches faculty and staff work together, with not only a passion for the medicine, but a genuine interest in your well-being, personal growth, and success. This supportive and respectful environment is the ideal place to learn, heal and excel, and the reason Five Branches students have gone on to become successful and esteemed practitioners of Chinese medicine across the nation and internationally.

Student Services Blog – You will need to sign in using your FBU email.


The registrar’s office provides you with a number of services including: maintenance of school records, information on policies and procedures, grade reporting, preparation of transcripts, and certification of graduation.

Financial Aid

Our financial aid program can assist you with the financial costs of your education, including both tuition and living expenses.

Library and Research

For students working on patient cases or preparing for exams, our libraries are quiet havens for research and study. The library, on both campuses, is the information conduit of the University with over (5,000) books and journals about TCM and Western medicine.

Health Centers

Five Branches active health centers provide clinical education, as well as public healthcare. With 38 treatment rooms, herbal pharmacies containing over 500 medicinal products and expert clinical instruction, our modern facilities are places of learning and community service. Students and their families enjoy discounted prescriptions and services.

Career Development

Chinese medicine is one of the most requested forms of treatment in the growing field of integrative medicine, offering you many new and outstanding career options. Our Career Development department will prepare you to meet the needs of this growing profession by providing practice management classes and job placement assistance.


At Five Branches University our top priority is to prepare our graduates to become exceptional practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Our nationally accredited degree programs provide students with a strong foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, the latest TCM research, extensive clinical training, and a comprehensive education in integrative medicine. Explore our programs:

Graduate Degrees

You plan to practice in California after completion:
Doctor and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM/MTCM)The new Dual Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree program, is presented in English at our Santa Cruz campus, and in English and Chinese at our San Jose campus. The DTCM/MTCM program is the foundation for understanding and practicing the “five branches” of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, Herbology, Tuina (Chinese medical massage), Energetics (Qigong and Tajiquan) and Dietetics (Nutritional medicine). Western medical studies, which comprises one-third of the entire program provide you with knowledge of Western diagnosis and pharmaceuticals, allowing you to work closely with highly skilled faculty in a clinical environment. Our dual degree DTCM/MTCM program prepares you for the national and state examinations required to become a licensed acupuncturist. The DTCM/MTCM program is eligible for Federal financial aid.
More Program Detail »
You can read in Chinese, you may consider:
Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine (MTCM)Students who have two rather than three years of undergraduate studies may enroll in the Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine (MTCM) degree program, a four-year graduate professional degree program comprising 3435 hours in length and a total of 195.5 units. The program, taught on a trimester basis, is presented in Chinese at our San Jose campus. The MTCM programs are daytime programs.
The students in MTCM program is eligible for Federal financial aid. Eligibility for financial aid is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to qualify for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
More Program Detail »
You plan to practice outside of California, or you have the MD degree:
Master of Acupuncture (MAc)The Master of Acupuncture (MAc) program is offered in English only at our Santa Cruz and San Jose campuses. It is specifically designed for students who wish to practice outside California, or those interested in developing a practice emphasizing acupuncture. The program includes both academic and clinical training, with a focus on working in an integrative medical environment, or establishing a Community Acupuncture Clinic. The Master of Acupuncture program is a three-year professional degree program consisting of 2256 hours and a total of 119.25 units. The curriculum is taught on a trimester basis with clinical training and other designated courses continuing during the summer term. The MAc program is eligible for Federal financial aid.
More Program Detail »
Five Branches University Santa Cruz and San Jose have received full 7 years accreditation for both the Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine programs:
San Jose Campus | Santa Cruz Campus

Postgraduate Degrees

You are a licensed acupuncturist, and plan to advance your TCM knowledge.
Postgraduate Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program (DAOM)The Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program at our San Jose campus is for TCM practitioners interested in developing advanced TCM knowledge, medical specialization, or a career in TCM research and education.  Our renowned senior TCM faculty and biomedicine experts from China and U.S. as well as our partnerships with Stanford University and Zhejiang Chinese Medical University provides a collaborative and diverse educational and clinical setting in which one can effectively learn advanced concepts of TCM and Western Medicine. The DAOM program is offered in both English and Chinese. DAOM courses are offered once a month during an intensive four-day weekend with a flexible clinical training schedule, allowing you to earn a doctorate degree in as little as 24 months while maintaining your private practice. Financial aid is available.
More Program Detail »
You want to add more value on top of the DAOM degree:
Joint DAOM/PhD Degree with leading Chinese UniversitiesThe joint Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine / PhD program at our San Jose campus is for TCM practitioners interested in adding a year of study and research to their DAOM and earning a PhD degree with one of our four sister TCM universities in China. After earning the DAOM, students study and research a specialization with a chosen preceptor at one of the Five Branches’ four sister universities in China. The DAOM/PhD program is offered in both English and Chinese. Financial aid is available for the two-year DAOM, and not for the third PhD year.
More Program Detail »
Thank you for considering Five Branches University! Contact our Admissions Office:

A few reasons why Five Branches University is academically the best Traditional Chinese Medicine School in the Bay Area:

* Respected University

As one of the oldest Chinese medicine schools in the United States, Five Branches University is recognized as one of the nation’s top TCM and integrative medicine schools.

* Top Academic and Clinical Experts

Learn from highly accomplished faculty in TCM. Many of our doctors and professors have decades of experience teaching and practicing TCM and integrative medicine in renowned hospitals and medical schools in China and the United States.

* Specialty Certificate Options

As a Doctor & Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine student you can receive advanced academic and clinical training in one of our specialty certifications in Classical Chinese Medicine, Sports Medicine, Medical Qigong, Five Element Acupuncture or Tuina Massage to enhance and distinguish your TCM practice.

Our Study Abroad program is one of the best ways to experience the authentic practice of TCM integrated with modern western medicine. Study at one of our sister schools in China, Taiwan or Vietnam and learn TCM from highly knowledgeable doctors and teachers while completing up to 25% of your clinical training in an integrative hospital setting.
Our commitment to excellence in education continues beyond graduation with our continuing education programs. Bringing expert teachers and lecturers together, we offer a wide variety of high-quality courses in advanced Traditional Chinese Medicine and Integrative Medicine.
Study at one of our two beautiful campuses in Santa Cruz and San Jose, California or attend classes at both. Enjoy breathtaking coastal views or a unique cultural city experience. Both campuses offer plenty of sunshine and a diverse and progressive environment in which to live.
In addition to the two TCM clinics at our Santa Cruz and San Jose campuses, students have the opportunity to train in a variety of off-site clinical externships. Students can rotate in clinical settings focusing on mental health, HIV/AIDS, gerontology, community style acupuncture, U.S. veterans, or study at the first TCM residency in a U.S. teaching hospital at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California.
Federal Financial Aid is available for all of our degree programs to cover tuition and living expenses, so you can focus your attention on your studies and not have to worry about the rest.
Flexible course schedules allow you to attend school full-time or part-time and take courses at both campuses, so you can maintain balance in your life and still have time for rest and recreation.
Five Branches prepares you to achieve high passing scores on both the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam and the National Certification Exams. The Cumulative Review Department ensures our students master the material and become experts in the field. Upon graduation, you will be qualified to apply for a top-paying positions at renowned medical institutions, integrative medicine group practices, leading cancer treatment centers, or establish a successful TCM practice anywhere in the world.


Employers Job Posting

We’ve moved!

The Career Opportunity Service has been moved to Five Branches Alumni Services Site.

The comprehensive academic programs, renowned faculty and extensive clinical training offered at Five Branches University produces a highly respected group of alumni who are sought out by medical organizations and employers. If you currently have a position available within your organization and would like to reach students who are ready to graduate or Five Branches alumni seeking employment, you can post your career opportunity online.

If you are a TCM practitioner who would like to post space for rent or a practice for sale you may also post your information here.All career opportunities, space for rent and practices for sale will be posted online. All listings are posted free and exclusively for Five Branches University. For assistance with the posting process, please contact Student Services.

Thank you for your interest in Five Branches students and alumni!

Career Development

While the majority of graduates from Five Branches University enter practice as sole proprietors, opportunities in integrative medicine, corporate wellness, academics, publishing and TCM research are continually increasing.

Five Branches provides students with the support, education and resources to move forward in their chosen career endeavor. We offer the following Career Development services:

Practice Management Courses

Specialized practice management courses are taught by experts in the field on how to start, manage, build, and sustain a practice. We also invite successful alumni to speak to students about their unique experiences in practice.

Career Development Fair

Five Branches University students participate in a Career Development Fair prior to the completion of their Masters degree. This requirement is fulfilled through a community health fair or a classroom outreach event where students demonstrate their knowledge and mastery of TCM to inform and recruit new patients. These events are a valuable opportunity for students to engage with the public, enhance their speaking abilities, and practice their TCM skills.

Career Resource Library

Practice management books, videos, and other valuable business resources are available in the library to help you establish a new career or start a successful practice.

Job Placement Services

An online database of professional opportunities connect employers with students. Graduating students can search for job openings, space to rent, integrative practice opportunities, and practices for sale.

Practitioner Directory

Five Branches offers alumni and doctoral students the opportunity to promote their practice online. Five Branches Alumni Practitioners can post their profile to receive the benefits of our web-marketing strategies.

Continuing Education Discounts

Continuing Education courses, and specialization certificates offered by our Extension department, allow alumni to expand the offerings of their practice and increase their knowledge in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Five Branches alumni receive discounts on CEU courses.

The doctoral program provides TCM graduates with a unique opportunity to study with experienced senior faculty from China and the U.S. and to develop advanced TCM knowledge and skills. Five Branches alumni receive discounts towards enrollment in the DAOM program.


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