One question many students focused on healthcare careers ask is, “How many years does it take to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree?” Here’s the good news: As little as 3.5 years at a fully accredited chiropractic college with substantial resources and a solid record of student success.
Now that you know, here’s a more detailed look into chiropractic education. The secret to success is having strong preparation, a deep-seated determination to succeed, and a desire to offer next-level patient care.
Before starting a chiropractic degree program, think about the education you’ve already received. Which “student category” are you in?
If you’re in high school now or perhaps a recent high school graduate, you will need to work toward completing an undergraduate college degree and making sure you’re meeting the expected level of preliminary classes.
Some universities with chiropractic colleges offer undergraduate classes that are important for admission to their Doctor of Chiropractic program. You can learn more about admission standards here.
The standards are high because chiropractic college is rigorous, fast-paced, and comprehensive. Check out the questions and answers in this blog.
If you’re a college student or a college graduate, your first step is to meet with a chiropractic college academic advisor. That’s the best way to see how much of your previous coursework will transfer to the accredited chiropractic degree program you wish to pursue.
If you’re in another field but feel it’s not a good fit for your career goals, it’s not too late to use your people and science abilities to become a chiropractor. Many before you have done so.
Packed into a chiropractic curriculum are more than 4,200 clock hours of classes, instruction, lab time, and supervised internship experiences. You’ll typically be in school year-round (three academic terms per year). Most students graduate in less than four years.
According to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the minimum entry requirement for admission to chiropractic college is at least 90 hours of undergraduate study focused on human biology, biology, pre-med, kinesiology, or exercise science/physiology. Most chiropractic students already have an undergraduate degree.
Of the 90 college hours, the CCE expects at least 24 hours in anatomy, physiology, and chemistry/organic chemistry subjects. Chiropractic colleges will also expect good grades, and most set a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA in college courses.
Students at one chiropractic and health sciences university, Cleveland University-Kansas City, are currently scoring in the top tier of the National Board of Chiropractic Education (NBCE) exams. The University’s incoming student GPA average is 3.25.
Chiropractic programs are demanding because doctors of chiropractic have a responsibility to help others achieve the healthiest possible lives.
Doctors of chiropractic are primary healthcare professionals focused on diagnosis, care, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. They understand the associated effects these disorders have on the nervous system and general health. They know that the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) is central to the chiropractic profession’s approach to safe and effective patient care.
Current accreditation and state licensing standards in the U.S. give doctors of chiropractic the responsibility of a primary portal of care provider, with the right to establish a diagnosis, determine indications for chiropractic care, and consult with or refer to other healthcare providers when indicated.
To ensure you have the necessary knowledge and skills, you’ll take a number of tests as you progress through school. These tests are known as the board exams, administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE).
You’ll be pleased to know that chiropractic universities post the NBCE scores on their websites, so reviewing those NBCE score results is a good indicator of superior faculty instruction and a commitment to student success.
By reading this blog, you can learn more about what earning a chiropractic degree is like.
As you consider the chiropractic programs available, it’s essential to reflect on why you’re choosing to enter the chiropractic profession. For most students, it’s because they feel compelled to help others live healthier lives and want to achieve this without using prescription medicine.
If that’s you, remember the phrase “think three to a degree,” and consider earning your doctor of chiropractic degree.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a part of the Kansas City metro. CUKC has been a leader in chiropractic education and health promotion since 1922. The Council on Chiropractic Education fully accredits CUKC.
Not quite sure of your specific healthcare career path? CUKC has accelerated pre-professional science courses you can complete in just eight weeks. We also offer other healthcare degrees.
Most CUKC students earn their chiropractic degree in less than 3.5 years. Although many of our students already have their undergraduate degrees, some choose our B.S./D.C. degree program, earning their bachelor of science (B.S.) in Human Biology on the way to their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
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For a comprehensive look at earning a chiropractic degree, request information now so you can receive our FREE eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.