To become a chiropractor, you must be accepted into a chiropractic college, and this requires prerequisite coursework. Prerequisites are basic courses, and they’re not just a chiropractic education requirement. Completing prerequisites is a part of applying to medical or dental school as well.
Like medical schools, most chiropractic school requirements include approximately 90 semester hours of college credits found in standard undergraduate work. Usually, that means a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) although sometimes a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) will work if the degree includes a good number of sciences courses. Of those 90 prerequisite credit hours, 24 or more should be in the life or physical sciences along with lab work. This means studying chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, and biology.
While there is some variation between institutions, the core chiropractic degree prerequisites are very similar. A major reason that prerequisites factor into the admissions process is that they help to ensure that you have a well-rounded general education foundation from which to start your chiropractic degree.
Coursework in the humanities and social sciences broaden your knowledge base, and more work in the sciences will serve you well when you begin the rigors of the chiropractic program. Since the curriculum deals extensively with the human body, a solid background in the sciences is excellent preparation, such as:
What If I Don’t Have Everything Need?
While chiropractic schools have set academic requirements, they also have people in place to help you meet those requirements. The Office of Admissions at any chiropractic school will be able to offer you guidance on how to complete your prerequisites. Often, you can take the necessary coursework at their institution to help you meet the academic requirements.
Again, the most important thing is to develop a plan for your application process, so you have enough time to prepare. It’s not uncommon to begin planning to apply for chiropractic school a year in advance. Since prerequisites are so important, start with those first and see where you stand.
Consider Online Courses
You could also get moving toward a chiropractic career with online science courses. Some colleges might deliver essential online science courses like anatomy and physiology online yet offer little or no assistance if you run into problems.
Online science courses are more challenging than regular online options, so a better choice is to look for colleges with strong student services and the commitment to deliver their science courses in a hybrid format.
An online hybrid format requires students to meet on campus a specific number of times each term. Examples include:
Now is the Time to Become a Chiropractor
The chiropractic profession is the third largest doctoral-level healthcare profession. What’s made the Doctor of Chiropractic degree increasingly attractive:
In addition to helping patients with a drug-free approach, most chiropractors choose to be their own boss and set their own hours. This entrepreneurial freedom is a notable contrast to typical on-call medical professions and allows chiropractors to spend more time with their families and with patients.
People Appreciate the Chiropractic Degree
The public is recognizing the value of conservative-first medical treatments. A 2016 chiropractic study of those who sought relief from neck or back pain said 97% of them would return for more chiropractic care; 95% of chiropractic patients said their treatments were effective.
Individuals who become a chiropractor also have a healthy future. Aging baby-boomers and millennials – along with longer life expectancies – ensure an increasing number of patients seeking relief from pain and recovery from injuries.
Increasingly, physicians, physical therapists, and other specialists are referring patients to doctors of chiropractic when medically appropriate. In 2020, a U.S. News report has chiropractors in its compilation of “Best Health Care Jobs.”
Learn About Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. Our history in chiropractic education began in 1922 with the founding of Cleveland Chiropractic College. Today there are more than 11,000 CUKC graduates.
You can find excellent starting information about the College of Chiropractic at Cleveland University-Kansas City here. Our admissions and advising staff is ready to help you throughout the admissions process.
Get more information about earning your chiropractic degree now, or find out about the chiropractic profession by downloading this FREE ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.