Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who treat patients by using spinal manipulation techniques. They help with back and neck pain as well as general overall health concerns. The educational path to become a chiropractor is long and arduous, and programs are competitive. Chiropractic school is required before a person can become licensed in the field. However, a bachelor’s degree is not always a requirement for entry into chiropractic school.
Undergraduate Degree Requirements
While many people do obtain a bachelor’s degree prior to going to chiropractic school, the typical chiropractic program does not require it. Schools usually require that their students have at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate education, which is usually less than is required to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Top-notch students who have the right undergraduate courses and experiences may be able to go to chiropractic school without having to complete a degree. For those that do get a bachelor’s degree, a major in premed or a scientific subject area is the best choice.
Recommended Undergraduate Coursework
Even though a bachelor’s degree is not always required, specific courses are needed for admission to chiropractic school. Premed courses are an excellent way to get the credits needed. Those credits include advanced science courses such as biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, and all of their associated labs. Additional courses in psychology and nutrition are also helpful. Some schools also require courses in anatomy and biochemistry. Chiropractors need to be well-rounded individuals, so courses in math, English and technology will serve students well.
Some chiropractic schools such as D’Youville College offer a combination degree. The program can be completed in seven years and results in the student getting a Bachelor of Science in biology with a chiropractic doctoral degree. They also offer a two-year accelerated chiropractic program for doctors trained in India who would like to integrate into United States-based practices. Students who majored in a non-science subject and would like to go back for chiropractic training may want to look into chiropractic schools such as the National University of Health Sciences that has a prerequisite program.
Other Admissions Requirements
In addition to the undergraduate coursework in the sciences, most chiropractic schools have other stringent admissions requirements. A GPA of at least 2.5, sometimes higher, is usually required. Some schools require that none of the prerequisite courses have a grade of less than C. Many chiropractic schools will want an interview too.
Amy Whitmyre has been a writer for more than 10 years. Her career experience also includes work as an educator and market researcher and a librarian in the legal and medical fields. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in library science and is currently working on a Master of Science in education.