When looking at your options for a professional healthcare career, the four years of professional school, plus four or more of a residency, can seem intimidating. Explore earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. You can earn your doctor of chiropractic degree from a chiropractic college in just 3.3 years.
Most likely, you heard the call to enter a caring profession early on. A doctor of chiropractic degree program – like becoming a medical doctor (M.D.), doctor of osteopathy (D.O), or a Doctor of Dentistry (D.D.S.) – is a professional graduate degree in the healthcare field.
As a doctor of chiropractic (D.C.), your area of specialization is the musculoskeletal system. Natural back pain relief through soft-tissue treatments and spinal adjustments are only part of what a chiropractor does. In addition to a drug-free approach, chiropractors lead patients toward better health through therapeutic exercise, nutritional and dietary assistance, and lifestyle counseling.
Preparing for the Doctor of Chiropractic Degree Program
How you’ll prepare for chiropractic college depends a lot on where you are in your educational journey. Which sounds most like where you are?
3 to a Chiropractic Degree: Undergraduate First
If you’re a high school student or a recent high school graduate, one path is to start with an undergraduate college education before going the “3 to a degree” chiropractic route.
Consider a pre-health science major in college and continue advancing your science and math knowledge. Make sure you ask about the college’s reputation for teaching excellence in areas such as biology, anatomy, and physiology.
Also, remember that students often transfer from one college to another. Ask about articulation agreements, which can assure you that earned college credits will apply toward admission and prerequisite hours for the chiropractic college that fits you best.
3 to a Chiropractic Degree: In College/Graduated
Done carefully, you can make a change in your major or career. Some people realize their natural helping talents are not fully used, or their interest in the healthcare profession grows more intense as they learn what they want to do.
Chiropractic colleges will list their degree requirements, so it’s easy to see how well your undergraduate classes should (or did) match up to expectations.Chiropractic colleges will expect at least 90 semester hours of college credit. If you’re still in college, know that your college’s advisors are excellent at helping you figure this out.
3 to a Degree: the 3+3 Approach
If you have superior time management skills and a lot of determination, you can enter into a special doctor of chiropractic degree program. Called a concurrent degree program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology (or Human Biology) on the way toward completing your D.C.
The fourth year of the B.S. degree and the first year of the doctor of chiropractic degree program overlap. Students in a concurrent program can begin their chiropractic career after six years of college instead of the traditional seven.
3 Reasons to Study Chiropractic
1. A satisfying feeling of helping people
Chiropractic college programs are demanding, and rightfully so. Patients expect chiropractors to be knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared to care for those who entrust them with their health. Doctors of chiropractic need to pass national board exams and earn continuing education hours to get and maintain their chiropractic license.
2. Promoting noninvasive care treatments
Statistics show patients use and like chiropractic care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession’s growth rate is expected to be 12 percent from 2012 through 2026. Contributing to the increased use of chiropractors is the public’s interest in healthy lifestyles and nonprescription treatments whenever possible.
3. Expectations of a rewarding career
The chiropractic profession continues to be in the top tier of “Professions With the Best Job Security” by U.S. News and World Report. Salaries are high as well. For example, a D.C. in the top one-third of all chiropractors has a yearly compensation of $98,040 or more.
3.3 Years to a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree: Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Overland Park is well-known for its livability, and family friendliness.
The University’s College of Chiropractic has been a national leader since 1922. Aspiring doctors of chiropractic can receive their D.C. degree in 3.3 years. An option to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is the concurrent B.S./D.C. option. This educational choice results in both a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology degree and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. This choice reduces time in school by as much as a year.
To learn more about becoming a chiropractor, download the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.