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Health Careers

Pre-Chiropractic Medicine Career Resources

 

Considering a Career in Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractors manipulate and provide manual therapy to the skeleton, muscles and nerves of patients with the goal of providing pain relief (mainly for the back, neck, muscles and joints) or promoting good health.  They do not treat patients with medicines or perform surgery.

See Also:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook “Chiropractors”
Northeast College of Health Sciences “4 Career Paths Aspiring Chiropractors Should Consider”

Central Washington University (CWU) does not offer a pre-chiropractic major. 
However, CWU provides students health field advising and prerequisite coursework which can prepare you for admission to a professional chiropractic medicine program at another institution. Many students major in biology, healthcare or related fields for their undergraduate degree.
 

How to Become a Chiropractor

To practice within the United States, you will need to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and be licensed to work in whichever state you are employed, which involves passing the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners [NBCE] exam, an additional jurisprudence exam for the state where you work, and any other state-specific exam or continuing education requirements there may be.

To get there, plan on a minimum of four years of chiropractic graduate school from an accredited program, as well as at least three years of undergraduate coursework (typically 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours).  Some schools will require a bachelor’s degree prior to admittance.  See the Association of Chiropractic Colleges for further admission requirements you need to be admitted at particular colleges.  The Council on Chiropractic Education [CCE] is the agency that evaluates and accredits these programs. Only CCE accredited programs are valid.

Unlike many health field programs, there is no centralized application service for chiropractic schools. Students should research their top choice of chiropractic schools for specific requirements. In general, however, no entrance exam is required. Students should plan to have at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members in addition to obtaining observation experience before application.

See Also:
U.S. News and World Report: “How to Get Into Chiropractic School”

 

CWU Coursework Recommended for Pre-Chiropractic Students

The list below consists of the primary coursework needed to prepare for admission to such programs. If you know of a specific chiropractic medicine program you want to attend, it is a good idea to check the program's website or contact the program to find out the coursework required prior to admission, since many programs throughout the U.S. vary in their admission requirements, including prerequisite requirements.

The following coursework is required by most pre-chiropractic professional programs:

  • BIOL 181, 182, 183 with labs*
  • CHEM 181, 182, 183 with labs*
  • CHEM 361, 361LAB, 362*
  • PSY 101

Other recommended courses:

  • BIOL 220* or BIOL 430*
  • BIOL 355, 356*
  • EXSC 250*
  • English or Speech Communications 
  • Additional courses in social sciences and humanities

*These courses have pre- or co- requisites you should also factor into your course plan.  For a description of each CWU course, please consult the CWU Undergraduate Catalog for your year of admission. Ask your CWU Advisor for suggestions on appropriate complementary courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

 

CWU Advisors

Questions about pre-chiropractic? We highly recommend that students interested in pre-chiropractic contact an advisor as early as possible.

Mary Cairns Park, MS, CN
Phone: (509) 963-1498
Mary.Cairnspark@cwu.edu
Advising for students with interest in pre-chiropractic study paired with Biology or Chemistry majors.

Patrick (Pat) Coffey
Patrick.Coffey@cwu.edu
Advising for students with interest in pre-chiropractic study paired with Clinical Physiology or Exercise Science majors.
 

FAQ

What is the application process for becoming a chiropractor?
There is no centralized application service for chiropractic schools. In general, however, no entrance exam is required. Students should plan to have at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members in addition to obtaining observation experience before application. We recommend you research your top choice of chiropractic schools for specific requirements before you apply.

See also:
Northwestern Health Sciences University: “How to Become a Chiropractor”

Can I Major in Pre-Chiropractic?
No, the pre-chiropractic program is not a major, but when taken along with the major of your choice it will prepare you with the right courses and a strong foundation to apply for chiropractic school. 

What Should I Major In?
While there is no specific major required by chiropractic schools to be admitted, there are, however, specific prerequisite courses required for admittance. This is to ensure you have a strong foundation to prepare for the coursework of the program. Most students choose to pursue a B.S. in clinical physiology, because the coursework of this major and the prerequisites required by most chiropractic schools line up best. Please note that when preparing to apply to chiropractic schools you should research the specific prerequisites required by the school and plan accordingly.  You can meet early on with one of our pre-chiropractic advisors to go over the prerequisities and make sure what you are planning to take at Central will help towards these requirements.

What Should My GPA Be?
GPA requirements vary by school, but it is important to make sure your GPA is at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students should note that some chiropractic schools also require a minimum GPA for science or prerequisite courses, so it is very important to research the GPA minimum of the school(s) you wish to apply to.  You need to ensure you are meeting (or exceeding!) the requirement. 


Other Resources

The Association of Chiropractic Colleges for a list of programs and their academic requirements.

American Chiropractic Association for a list of accredited chiropractic colleges

The Council on Chiropractic Education student information about accreditation

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.

Admissions@cwu.edu