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Professional School Information

Chiropractic

Overview

Students interested in becoming chiropractors have numerous obligations including the development of a strong science foundation and involvement in diverse extracurricular activities such as shadowing, health care exposure, service, leadership, and research. It can be a bit daunting, however, it is possible to do everything you need to do by starting now and working consistently throughout your undergraduate years.

Please read the basic information we have provided while recognizing that the majority of support the Prehealth Advising Office provides students is through face-to-face advising appointments. We would be happy to sit down with you to discuss your journey to becoming a successful chiropractor and answer any questions you may have.

Academic Planning

Chiropractic graduate programs do not require or favor ANY specific major. We encourage you to consider a major that interests you and one that will provide you an alternative pathway if you change your mind about your career goals. There are many facets to the chiropractic business and ideally your undergraduate degree will prove functional with whatever career you pursue. For example, if your ultimate goal is to own your own practice, a degree in business administration could prove beneficial. No matter what you choose to major in, you will be most prepared if you counsel with both your major academic advisor and your pre-health advisor on a regular basis.

Find a Degree     Major Exploration

The most common question we get asked is “what classes do I need to take to prepare for chiropractic school?” This question is fairly straightforward to answer for chiropractic students, because school requirements are more streamlined than requirements for other health professional schools. Below is a table of commonly required courses. Please keep in mind while using this table as a guide that each school varies in their recommended courses and in additional requirements. In order to be best prepared, we encourage you to do your own research to determine which courses (in addition to those listed below) would be beneficial for you to take based on which schools you are planning to apply to.

Courses

Extracurricular Activities

A common misconception students have is that chiropractic schools make admissions decisions based solely on your GPA. While your GPA is an important piece of your application, it is not enough on its own to earn you a place in chiropractic school. Your extracurricular preparation is a vitally important aspect of your application. To help you best prepare, we have broken down extracurricular activities into the areas listed below.

Do you know how much paperwork is involved in the daily life of a chiropractor? Do you know what kind of problems face professionals on a day-to-day basis? Can you handle the sights/sounds/smells associated with being a chiropractor? Shadowing provides you with important and realistic exposure to the profession and can help you answer some of the important questions listed above- plus, it is required for admission to chiropractic school.

Many students ask, “How do I get started with shadowing?” Start with people you know. Do you have any family members or friends that are chiropractors? Use your connections. If you don’t know any chiropractors, don’t worry! Many students call offices directly to find shadowing opportunities, and generally chiropractors are happy to support the up-and-coming healthcare workforce by allowing students to shadow them.

In order to be adequately prepared for chiropractic school, you’ll need some experience interacting with patients during the years leading up to your application. You can gain patient exposure many different ways (CNA, EMT, Hospice, medical assisting, etc.), and your exposure can be paid or volunteer experience.

However you choose to approach direct patient exposure, be sure to choose something that is meaningful to you.

Oh no- the “R” word! While it is not required for admission to chiropractic school, undergraduate research is important in your application because it demonstrates that you have an intimate understanding of the scientific method. Being involved in research will help you develop critical thinking skills and will allow you to be an informed consumer of new research studies that will be presented to you as a health care professional. Plus, there’s no better way to solidify concepts you learn in class than actively applying them in the lab.

Becoming a successful chiropractor includes developing a service-oriented outlook. Because of this, programs are looking for how you have developed this character trait through various activities. Many health professionals will tell you that service plays an imperative role in their influence on the community and their ability to help their patients heal and improve.

Your service and volunteer repertoire need not be limited to health-related exposure; rather, find things that you are passionate about and be mindful of volunteer and service opportunities that arise.

All health professionals are leaders to some degree and chiropractic schools appreciate students with these skills. There is no one way to gain leadership experience, but some common ways are getting involved in a club and participating in club administration, student government, working as a tutor, TA, SI, etc. Remember, demonstrating leadership doesn’t always come with a “title”! You can demonstrate leadership many different ways and through many different activities.