When the combination of scientific aptitude and a heartfelt desire to show other people the path to a better life are part of your DNA, you’re already on track to earning a chiropractic degree. In most cases, this happens after earning an undergraduate degree, usually in the sciences. Once accepted into a chiropractic school, study for a Doctor of Chiropractic degree begins.
Part of the chiropractic college application process is determining the prerequisite coursework completed in preparation for the program. Completing prerequisites is also a part of applying to other professional degree programs like medical or dental school.
What degrees do I need to be a chiropractor?
A chiropractic degree focuses on the diagnosis, care, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. That’s why chiropractic education is intensive in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, and human biology.
Most chiropractic schools require at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate college credits, which translates into about three years of work towards a bachelor’s degree. Of those credit hours, there will be lab work, plus 24 or more credit hours in life or physical sciences: biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, genetics.
There will be some variation between institutions, but the core chiropractic degree prerequisites are very similar. Satisfying the prerequisites is important to ensure you are prepared for the rigorous study involved. Chiropractic school offers a challenging curriculum that mirrors medical school in many ways.
Chiropractic degree students take on at least 4,200 hours of education, covering classroom and laboratory time, as well as clinical time with patients. In fact, the emphasis on hands-on techniques in chiropractic care demands extensive experience in working with patients through internships, working at area treatment facilities, or both. Competency in care is also achieved through independent and group study projects, and research studies.
Chiropractors, M.D.s: How they compare
Licensed chiropractors hold a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an institution accredited by a third-party accrediting organization, which is the same accreditation standard for medical schools. Both M.D.s and D.C.s (chiropractors) complete more than 4,200 credit hours in life and health sciences and patient care courses. Medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic are also similar in that both have:
Because chiropractors do not have an M.D. degree, they aren’t medical doctors. So, are chiropractors doctors? Yes. They are doctors of chiropractic – professional healthcare providers who provide drug-free, non-invasive care.
Choosing the Right Chiropractic Degree Program
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a national leader in chiropractic and health sciences education. CUKC is in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. In 2015, Cleveland Chiropractic College expanded into Cleveland University-Kansas City.
CUKC has been educating healthcare professionals since 1922. More than one in every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. received a chiropractic degree from the CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic program.
Interested in how to become a chiropractor and why patients like the care they get? Download this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession today.