According to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), chiropractors focus on the relationship between the body's main structures — the skeleton, the muscles and the nerves — and improving a patient's health through adjustments to these structures, particularly the spinal column. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgical procedures, although patients are referred for these services if they are medically indicated.
Icon of a chiropractor

Degree Program

Most chiropractic schools require that students complete at least three years of college before entering their program, though many others (often depending on the state) require the completion of a bachelor's degree.

To become a chiropractor, you must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree by completing an accredited four-year chiropractic college program, pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and/or other state-required examinations and complete any additional state-specific licensing requirements.


Course Prerequisites

Chiropractor programs typically require 24 credits in the life and physical sciences, half of which must have a lab component.  To find out about what specific schools require, go to their individual websites. You can also review the Association of Chiropractic Colleges' information for prospective studentsPrerequisites may include:


  • English (UW1020 and WIDs)
  • Psychology (PSYC 1001, some programs may require advanced Psychology coursework)
  • Social Sciences or Humanities (at least 15 credits)


  • Biology 1 & 2 (BISC 1111 and BISC 1112; note: some programs may require advanced Biology courses)
  • Chemistry coursework with labs (generally, 12 credits total. For example: CHEM 1111, 1112, CHEM 2151/2513)
  • Physical Sciences: physics, biomechanics, statistics, and/or math (at least six credits; this is school dependent)



Application Requirements



Most chiropractic schools do not require an entrance exam, but you should check with each individual school of interest to confirm specific policies.


Most chiropractic schools require a minimum GPA of 3.0 and no grade below a C in the prerequisite courses. As with other health professions, chiropractor programs are looking for well-rounded applicants.


Application Process

The Chiropractic College Application Service (ChiroCAS) is a centralized application service administered by Association of Chiropractic Colleges (AAC). However, not every chiropractic school participates in the centralized service, so you should check with individual schools to confirm their application process.

Most programs have rolling deadlines, though students are encouraged to apply between six months and one year before their desired start term.


Additional Resources