A chiropractor is a practitioner of alternative medicine regarding diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractic services are used to treat complaints including back pain, neck pain, pain in arm & leg joints, and headaches. Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) use a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis, and treatment. In the United States, chiropractors earn the professional DC degree following completion of 1-4 years of basic science courses and 4 years in a full-time doctorate program.
Why Should I major in EXS-Human Performance if I Want to go to Chiropractic School?
SCSU students can select any undergraduate major while fulfilling the requirements for chiropractic graduate school; however, majoring in Exercise Science-Human Performance is strongly recommended. There is a dire need for medical professionals with an academic background in Exercise Science/Kinesiology. In 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched with the American Medical Association the Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) initiative. The purpose of EIM is to make the scientifically-demonstrated benefits of exercise and physical activity a standard for health care. EIM focuses on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor lists Chiropractors as projected to grow 17% from 2014 to 2024, described as “much faster than average” for all occupations. The 2015 median salary for a chiropractor was $64,440 per year.
Preparing for Chiropractic School
As a college student preparing for graduate work in chiropractic, you should be aware of several steps necessary for admission into an accredited chiropractic school:
- Contact chiropractic schools to learn what prerequisites are required
- Successful completion of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE)
- Find a chiropractic mentor to meet members of the field
Prerequisite Courses for Chiropractic School
Since the exact prerequisite courses vary for each chiropractic school, it is important for the student to examine the graduate schools they are interested in attending during their sophomore or junior year to allow time to complete all of the prerequisite courses. The list below contains the most common prerequisite courses when examining many chiropractic school admissions requirements:
8 credits – General Biology with lab
8-16 credits – Chemical Sciences
8 credits – General Chemistry withlab
8 credits – Organic Chemistry with lab
8 credits – General Physics with lab
Typically, a grade of ‘C’ or better is required in all of these prerequisite courses. SCSU courses that fulfill these requirements include:
BIO 200 and 201, Human Anatomy & Physiology I&II
CHE 120 and 121, General Chemistry I&II
CHE 260 and 261, Organic Chemistry I&II
PHY 200 and 201, General Physics I&II
Applicants to chiropractic graduate school may be required to take the Graduate Records
Examination (GRE). This exam is normally taken at the end of the junior year or beginning
of the senior year. It is best to complete as much of the required biology, chemistry,
and physics as possible by that time.
Most chiropractic schools have a minimum undergraduate GPA requirement of approximately 3.0 out of 4.0 for admission.
American Chiropractic Association (ACA) – the largest professional organization in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic and promotes a positive public image of chiropractic.