Texas Health and Science University – Austin: The First Acupuncture College in Texas

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Texas Health and Science University (THSU) is a private university in Texas established in 1990, with the initial purpose of becoming an institution intended to provide training for acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine. Its main campus is located a few minutes south of downtown Austin, situated in one of the city’s major bus routes across Manchaca Road.

Since its foundation three decades ago, the university has seen significant changes and development and has produced over 600 oriental medicine and business students. In this article, let’s discover the history of THSU- the First Acupuncture College in Texas.

Texas Health and Science University (THSU) Logo

History of THSU – Austin

Texas Health and Science University was founded in 1990 as the Texas Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, through Lisa Ping-Hui Tsao Lin and her husband, Paul Lin. During that time, the institute served a single purpose of training acupuncturists, becoming the first of its kind in Texas and producing its first graduating class in 1992.

In 1993, the State of Texas passed a law establishing the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners (TSBAE), which was tasked to protect and improve the public’s safety and welfare by regulating and maintaining standards in acupuncture practices.

TSBAE authorized the school and its candidacy for recognition from the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), followed in 1994, procuring it two years later in 1996.

In 1997, the school secured the authority to offer a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine degree. It had its name changed to Texas College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCTCM) to reflect the development.

Proving its expertise, Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation awarded TCTCM the “Best of the West” prize for two consecutive times, in 2000 and 2002. Another milestone happened in 2005 as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted TCTCM the license to offer the Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree.

In 2012, in line with its aspirations to broaden the school’s scope and start offering business programs, TCTCM applied and was granted accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the national accrediting agency for degree-granting institutions. TCTM was the first acupuncture school to secure accreditation from the organization.

In January 2013, Texas TCTCM had another change of name, getting its present-day designation as the Texas Health and Science University (THSU). Sustaining its continued program growth, its College of Traditional Chinese Medicine started to offer the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in 2014. The same year, its second campus was established in San Antonio, while Business programs started at the THSU-Austin in 2015.

THSU Courtyard

THSU – Austin Today

Since its inception, the Texas Health Science University continues to provide quality Oriental Medicine programs, emphasizing the significance of studying the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, and herbology, and how they work in conjunction to provide the best efficacy and scope of treatments.

Aside from well-trained and professional faculty members, THSU has outstanding facilities to foster education for its students. It has a library with two branches, containing an extensive collection of works, ranging from scientific to medical and business subjects. The institution also operates a Student Intern Clinic, spanning 6,300-square-foot, with a bookstore, discussion room, treatments rooms, and an impressive herbal dispensary that homes over 500 types of granular extracts, herbs, and patent pills.

Furthermore, THSU also has a  Dual Degree Program. After passing licensure board exams and acupuncture certification in the United States, THSU graduates may go to China to defend their research and finish an internship at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University Hospital to receive a Master of Acupuncture and Tui Na degree from its academic institution.

Today, THSU caters to students from different nations, such as Brazil, Columbia, India, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

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