Call for Public Comment: Proposed Revisions to Criterion 5.02 [11 Mar 2020]

Proposed changes to Admissions [English Language Competency] – master’s level programs only

Before making any substantive changes to its Comprehensive Standards and Criteria, it is ACAOM’s long-standing practice to provide notice to all relevant stakeholders and constituencies (“interested parties”) of proposed changes; give the interested parties adequate opportunity to comment on the proposed changes; and use the input received to help inform proposed changes. 

At its 19-22 February 2020 meeting, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (“ACAOM” or “Commission”) considered modifications to its Comprehensive Standards and Criteria (“Standards”). Based on its extensive review of stakeholder input received regarding English language proficiency requirements stipulated under ACAOM’s accreditation criterion 5.02: Admissions, the Commission approved a proposal to change the English language proficiency admissions requirements for master’s-level programs only


The Commission proposes the following substantive changes as shown below; new/added text appears in bold, and removed text appears in strikethrough:

STANDARD 5: ADMISSIONS, Criterion 5.02: Admissions, Programmatic Requirements, Section E:

English language competency is required of all students seeking admission to the program. This must be demonstrated by one of the following means: 

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: 
a) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, or 
b) in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, or Ireland. In all cases, English must have been both the language of instruction and the language of the curriculum used;

2. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL® iBT) Acceptable scores: TOEFL iBT total score – 80 TOEFL iBT total score – 61 with minimum speaking score – 20 and minimum listening score – 17; or 

3. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Acceptable scores: IELTS overall band score 6.5 (Academic Format) IELTS overall band score 6 with minimum speaking score – 6.5 and minimum listening score – 6. 


Interested parties are invited to comment on the proposed revisions to the Standards outlined above, using any of the following methods: 

1. Electronically, via this survey instrument:

2. By electronic mail, in the form of a letter (document attachment is acceptable), sent to [subject line must include “Public Comment – Criterion 5.02 proposed revisions”]

3. By surface mail, in the form of a letter, sent to:

8941 Aztec Dr., Suite 2
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Attn: Public Comment – Criterion 5.02 proposed revisions 

Comments must be received no later than 4:30pm US Central Time on April 10, 2020.  Comments must be limited to the proposed change; comments that do not pertain specifically to the proposed change will not be considered at this time.  

Comments timely submitted will be considered by the Commission in accordance with ACAOM’s Standards Revision Policy.  ACAOM cannot guarantee that comments relating to this matter received after the due date and time will be considered.