Pre-Chiropractic is not a degree-granting major, but rather a track for students who plan to attend chiropractic school. Doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients with health problems of the musculoskeletal system and treat the effects of those problems on the nervous system and on general health. Pre-Chiropractic students are able to choose a major in any discipline provided they successfully complete all prerequisite coursework. Pre-Chiropractic students work with a pre-chiropractic advisor who helps with course sequencing and academic preparation for chiropractic school.
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The Council on Chiropractic Education has designated the following pre-chiropractic requirements. Students should consult specific chiropractic programs directly for various interpretations of these requirements. 90 semester hours at accredited institution with a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The 90 hours will include a minimum of 24 semester hours in life and physical science courses. At least half of these course will have a substantive laboratory component. The student’s undergraduate preparation should include a well-rounded general education program in the humanities and social sciences. The coursework below is offered only to provide some idea of the range of courses that may be needed. All applicants should check with the individual schools in which they have interest.
- General Education
- English Language Skills: 6 semesters hours or 9 quarter hours
- Psychology: 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours
- Social Sciences or Humanities: 15 semester hours or 22.5 quarter hours
- Biological sciences with lab: 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours
- Chemistry with corresponding lab: 12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours*
- Physics with corresponding lab: 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours**
*The chemistry requirement may be met with at least one general or inorganic chemistry and at least two organic chemistry/biochemistry courses with unduplicated content. At least two of the courses must include related laboratory experiences
**The physics requirement may be met with either one or more physics courses with unduplicated content (of which one must include a related lab), or one physics course with laboratory and one course in biomechanics, kinesiology, statistics or exercise physiology.
The chiropractic approach to healthcare focuses on the patient’s overall health. Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments, relying on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities.
Learn more about Physical Therapy at these websites:
- The Association of Chiropractic Colleges: www.chirocolleges.org
- American Chiropractic Association: www.acatoday.org
- Council on Chiropractic Education: www.cce-usa.org
- Explore Health Careers: http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/home
- Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, chiropractors:
- Applicants must have completed 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours of under graduate work with specified coursework leading to a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution, or the completion of an undergraduate degree at a four-year college (an increasing number of chiropractic programs require the baccalaureate degree.
- At least a 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale (some chiropractic programs may consider a cumulative GPA of 2.75 for baccalaureate degree-holding students).
- Applications are considered for each academic term. It is recommended the application be submitted one year prior to the desired enrollment.
- The application process varies between programs. It is important for students to check their specific program for their process and deadlines.
- Applicants will be required to submit transcripts and a personal statement or essay that expresses their motivation for choosing the chiropractic profession.
- Applicants must provide at least one letter of references from a licensed practicing Doctor of Chiropractic. Other reference and evaluation process may vary.
- Some programs conduct informal interviews with each applicant. These interviews generally take place in conjunction with a campus visit.
- Applicants may be required to provide signed consent for conducting an External Criminal Background Investigation.
- Doctor of Chiropractic programs admit students whose goals, abilities, and character are consistent with the DCP’s mission.
- Chiropractic shadowing and mentorship.
- Strong letters of reference specifically from a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic.
- Demonstrated success in academics, particularly in science.
- Some questions to ask yourself when considering chiropractic school:
- Am I committed to serving other?
- Do I have a strong interest in science?
- Do I enjoy working with people?
- Do I enjoy working with my hands and problem-solving?
- Have I shadowed a chiropractor? Am I interested in the work chiropractors do?
- Am I committed to the time, money and effort involved in chiropractic education?
- Do I have empathy? Can I see myself working with people who may be in pain or afraid?
- How to get started:
- Meet with your Pre-Chiropractic academic advisor
- Check out the Association of Chiropractic College information for Prospective Students: