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Pre-Chiropractic Preparation

Freshman Checklist

  • Meet with your pre-health advisor and your academic advisor.
  • Begin basic science courses.
  • Join campus student organizations.
  • Get tutoring if you need it!
  • Subscribe to and read science journals and/or news magazines.
  • Seek and begin volunteer/ community experience (and continue throughout undergraduate years). 

Sophomore Checklist

  • Choose a major (if you haven't already done so).
  • Explore all health career options.
  • Start becoming familiar with requirements for various programs.
  • Seek summer internships or research experience.
  • Research schools in which you are interested, see "Web sites" listed below in this sidebar for a good start.

Junior Checklist

  • Attend the University Professional and Graduate School Fair.
  • Make a list of schools you are interested in and research them thoroughly.
  • Find out the earliest date to submit an application.
  • Take appropriate entrance exam.
  • Reality check: What are your chances? 
    • GPA:
    • Activities:
    • Scores:
  • Apply to schools (anytime from late spring through mid fall) Consider taking valuable electives: Biochemistry, Genetics, Communication, Microbiology, Ethics, Foreign Language
  • Ask people to write letters of recommendation.
  • Investigate WICHE opportunities.

Senior Checklist

  • Retake entrance exam, if necessary.
  • Confirm that you meet graduation requirements.
  • Ask people to write letters of recommendation.
  • Complete secondary applications if necessary.
  • Prepare for interviews.
  • Apply for WICHE if applicable.
  • Confirm your commitment.
  • Seek honors & scholarships for graduate school.
  • Send appropriate people thank you notes and inform them of your success or future plans.

Web Sites

Miscellaneous Checklist

  • Experience -  throughout your time in college you should be getting health care experience and exposure in a variety of settings.
  • Extracurricular activities - Health profession schools like to see people who are interested and involved in their campus and local communities.
  • Conduct research with faculty on campus.
  • Develop the ability to read, write and think - science is only one part of health care.
  • Consider seeking leadership positions in organizations in which you are involved.


A Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is a specialist primarily concerned with the spine and how its interplay with the nervous system affects other body functions. Modern techniques are used to examine and diagnose conditions.  Once a diagnosis is reached, the chiropractor may use any one of many techniques to treat the problem, including dietary guidance and manipulation of the spine and musculature.


The educational requirements for chiropractors specify a minimum of two years of pre-chiropractic study and four years of chiropractic school, after which the degree Doctor of Chiropractic is awarded.  However, the majority of successful applicants have completed three or four years of college work before entering chiropractic school. You can also check the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Web site.


You can major in any undergraduate degree program provided that you included the required pre-Chiropractic prerequisite courses. Students must prepare themselves with a basic background in chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology as well as the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities.  Beyond this basic preparation, you should choose a major in what interests you. Students are advised to consult with the Pre-Professional School advisor at each stage of dental school preparation and the application process; assistance is available through numerous printed materials, individual advising sessions, workshops, mock interviews and personal statement critiques.

Course Requirements

Specific requirements vary somewhat for each chiropractic school and can be found on the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Web site.

It is the applicant's responsibility to determine the requirements  of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance. In general, pre-chiropractic courses at the University include:

  • General Chemistry 1 year w/ lab (Chem 121 & 122)
  • Organic Chemistry 1 year w/ lab (Chem 241/242/345 or 341/342/345)
  • Physics 1 year w/ lab (Physics 151R, 152R)
  • English 1 year (English 101, 102)
  • Psychology 3 semester credits (Psych 101)
  • Humanities and Social Science 15 semester credits
  • Biology A minimum of two of the following:General Biology (Bio 190, 191-2Human Anatomy I (Bio 223)Human Anatomy II (Bio 224)Microbiology (Bio 251)


Contact  each chiropractic school for their application materials, approximately one year before the projected date of entrance.

Entrance Exam

There is no entrance exam required for admission into chiropractic school. Some schools require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) so it is best to check the specific requirements or each school to which you are applying.

Letters of Recommendation

Two or three letters of recommendation are usually required. They should be from faculty (at least one science professor) and also from a health science professional, preferably a chiropractor who can evaluate your potential in the field. You may consider storing your letters with a document delivery service, such as Interfolio. You can find more information on their website, Interfolio.

Work Experience

All chiropractic schools advise that you obtain practical experience with a health professional, preferably a chiropractor. This experience will provide a better understanding of chiropractic and aid you in answering the commonly asked question, "Why do you want to become a chiropractor?"

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