UPDATED SEPT. 3, 2021
If you’re thinking that a healthcare career is right for you, and the title “doctor” has an appealing ring to it, there are many options — M.D., osteopathic medicine, chiropractic. However, many people have the most questions about the doctor of chiropractic degree because of myths and misinformation. Here are the answers to eight big questions about attending a chiropractic college.
1. What does a doctor of chiropractic education involve?
Attending a chiropractic college means choosing a healthcare career focusing on a whole-person, biopsychosocial philosophy of health, rather than only a biomedical approach. Doctors of Chiropractic believe in optimizing health through good nutrition, constructive exercise, good posture, and proper spinal and extremity joint biomechanics.
Chiropractic education includes more than 4,200 hours of classroom education. Patient-care experience often begins as early as the first year, and most students graduate in 3.3 years through a year-round trimester schedule.
Among the areas of academic focus:
2. What’s the average size of a newly admitted class?
Typically, chiropractic colleges admit students in the spring, summer, and fall. Fall class starts are usually the largest, with from 80 to 100 students. The spring and summer classes range from 40-60 students.
An additional note is that a chiropractic college’s student-to-faculty ratio is usually less than 12:1. That’s significantly lower than the 18:1 national average for colleges reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
3. Can chiropractic students balance work with attending classes?
Some chiropractic students work while going to school but do so part-time because it is fast-paced and challenging. Students who are disciplined and highly organized can do well working part-time.
Most chiropractic colleges participate in the federal work-study program, which places students in on-campus positions. Most school-based jobs are administrative, and departments with work-study positions honor a student’s academic schedule.
4. What about students with families?
Many chiropractic college students already have their undergraduate degrees, and it’s not unusual for them to be married or have young children at home.
The primary recommendations are to discuss the time demands with family members, inquire about university services like childcare, tutoring, and nearby living accommodations, and have support from friends and other family members.
5. Which classes are the hardest?
Typically, biochemistry is a challenging course. Other difficult courses are cadaver labs, nutrition, and cardiovascular/pulmonary physiology.
Chiropractic college faculty have a reputation for wanting their students to succeed, so students should take advantage of faculty office hours for questions or request extra instruction.
Academic support services are also a hallmark of chiropractic colleges. When deciding to attend chiropractic college, find out early what they are and how to use them as need.
Some examples include:
6. Who can apply to a chiropractic college?
The minimum standards for admission to a chiropractic school or college:
In certain instances, when a student has a GPA that’s not quite a 3.0, some colleges may accept students by providing them with a personalized educational plan to help ensure their opportunity for success.
7. Where does accreditation for chiropractic colleges come from?
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) issues accreditation for the nation’s Doctor of Chiropractic degree-granting institutions. CCE maintains recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting body for chiropractic programs. A list of CCE-accredited colleges is here.
8. What factors are important when considering chiropractic college?
Some factors to consider are graduates’ National Board of Chiropractic Education (NBCE) exam scores, class size, faculty with a reputation for student success, and the likelihood of the college’s location to fit individual or family priorities.
Many students say the culture and feel of the campus influence their decision. Some things to look for:
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university specializing in the chiropractic and health sciences. Since our founding in 1922, more than 11,000 chiropractors in the United States have earned their degrees from our College of Chiropractic.
The CUKC campus is in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City area suburb of 190,000 people. Overland Park is recognized for its livability, family friendliness, and affordability.
CUKC also offers a B.S. in Human Biology degree, which you can use as a springboard into the College of Chiropractic. This bachelor’s degree coursework is tailor-made for those who plan to pursue the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Some CUKC students choose a B.S./Chiropractic degree (Doctor of Chiropractic) program to reduce the total amount of time in school.
Contact an admissions advisor and you’ll have access to this free 41-page eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.