A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) helps meet the health needs of individual patients and of the public, giving particular attention to the structural and neurological aspects of the body in a non-invasive manner.
Academic preparation for chiropractic school requires completion of a set of prerequisite classes, usually science, which vary from school to school. Most chiropractic programs require that applicants have at least 3 years of undergraduate education, and an increasing number require a bachelor's degree. We strongly recommend students complete the degree. For your degree, any major is appropriate. There is no preference in this regard, so study something you love!
Preparation for chiropractic school involves engaging in experiences that develop and demonstrate skills in communication, leadership, community service, and familiarity with the profession. What you do outside of class is as important as what you do in class so don’t neglect these activities. Keep in mind that activities complement your coursework, but will not compensate for low grades. Both are important!
- Make sure you have contact information for supervisors and chiropractors you work with or shadow in case you need a recommendation letter. Try to keep an open relationship with them after you discontinue activities.
- Keep a record of all hours of service and experiences. The Prehealth Planner Spread Sheet can help with this.
- Writing reflections on each activity in a journal will be helpful when you write your personal statement.
This should be one of your first experiences as a pre-chiropractic student. Observing chiropractors in action will help you gather the information you need to fully commit to and to learn about the profession you have chosen. It is also good to interview several chiropractors.
Chiropractic experience is very important in your application. Most students gain this experience by shadowing a general chiropractor for more than a semester. Consider structuring your experience and earning course credit by making it an internship. More information on how to do that can be found here, http://careers.utah.edu/find-job/index.php.
Because you are preparing for a humanitarian profession, it is important to have volunteer experiences that demonstrate a commitment to serving others in your community. It is suggested that this be ongoing throughout your college years prior to application for admission.
As a chiropractor, you will be a leader and team member in many ways – with your patients, your staff, your colleagues, and in your community. Examples include offices held in organizations, committee work; leadership in church activities; coordinating a project; managing, training, supervising at work or in other activities; teaching experience of any kind; coaching; peer counseling or mentoring, etc.
This guide is designed for applying to a range of chiropractic schools. It is not a comprehensive list. Requirements may vary by school so applicants should look closely at what is required at the schools at which they are applying. The following list indicates the most commonly classes required or recommended by chiropractic schools in the west and the top ten schools that University of Utah graduates attend. See a Preprofessional advisor for more information.
Some chiropractic schools will NOT accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits earned in high school towards their prerequisites, so students with AP or IB credits in science, math or writing should either take the introductory course or a higher level class in the appropriate area.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE CREDITS
Chiropractic schools vary on their view of prerequisite classes taken at Community Colleges. Some accept them but look on them with some disfavor, other schools readily accept them. Students should be aware of this when planning their education.
There are a number of very good reasons for students to begin their college education at a Community College, so we have some recommendations for those who wish to do so. In general it is okay to take the following classes at the Salt Lake Community College. However, to satisfy schools who do not accept Community College work, higher level courses may have to be taken to make up for it.
- MATH 1050 College Algebra and anything below
- BIOL 1610 & 1615 BIOL 1620 & 1625, General Biology 1 and 2 with labs, in place of BIOL 1210 and 2020 at the U of U
- CHEM 1210 & 1215, and 1220 & 1225, General Chemistry 1 and 2 with labs.
- ENGL 1010 and 2010
- CLEP Credit & Correspondence Study—A limited number of these credits may be accepted by chiropractic schools. Check with each school directly.
- Online Courses—Check with each school directly.
- Withdrawals--W’s should be used only for emergencies, although W’s will not affect your
- GPA—All applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. Some schools may have lower GPA requirements and minimum grade requirements for required courses.
- Repeated Courses— Chiropractic schools take most recent grades if you repeat a course.
REQUIRED BY MOST SCHOOLS
The most common Biology requirement is 1 year General Biology with labs
The University of Utah only has one semester of General Biology so Cell Biology fulfills the second semester.
BIOL 1210, Principles of Biology (3 credits)
BIOL 2020 Cell Biology (3 credits) Prerequisites: BIOL 1210 and CHEM 1210
BIOL 2325, Human Anatomy (4 credits) Prerequisite BIOL 1210
The lab is included and fulfills one Biology lab for most chiropractic schools
BIOL 2420 Human Physiology (4 credits), Prerequisites BIOL 1210 and CHEM 1210
In order to take the proper math class, you must have ACT, SAT or math placement test scores, or successfully pass a prerequisite math course. Some students will need MATH 0980 or MATH 1010 before starting the Prechiropractic math sequence.
REQUIRED BY MOST SCHOOLS
The most common requirement is College Algebra and Trigonometry. University of Utah students need to take Trigonometry even if it is not required because it is a prerequisite for the lowest Physics series accepted by chiropractic school.
MATH 1050 College Algebra (4 credits) Prerequisite MATH 1010 or placement
Math 1060 Trigonometry (3 credits) Prerequisite MATH 1050 or placement
REQUIRED BY MOST SCHOOLS
CHEM 1210 General Chemistry I (4 credits) Prerequisite MATH 1050, or math placement
- Lab CHEM 1215 (1 credit)
CHEM 1220 General Chemistry II (4 credits) Prerequisite CHEM 1210
- Lab CHEM 1225 (1 credit)
CHEM 2310 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits) Prerequisite CHEM 1220
- Lab CHEM 2315 (2 credits)
CHEM 2320 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits) Prerequisite CHEM 2310
- Lab CHEM 2325 (2 credits)
REQUIRED BY MOST SCHOOLS
1 year of Physics with labs: Students have 2 series to choose from
Algebra and Trig based Physics
PHYS 2010 General Physics I (4 credits) Prerequisite MATH 1060
Lab PHYS 2015 (1 credit)
PHYS 2020 General Physics II (4 credits) Prerequisite PHYS 2010
Lab PHYS 2025 (1 credit)
Calculus based Physics
PHYS 2210 Physics for Scientists and EngineersI (4 credits) Prerequisite MATH 1210
Lab PHYS 2015 or 2215 (1 credit)
PHYS 2220 Physics for Scientists and engineers II (4 credits) Prerequisite MATH 1220 and PHYS 2210
Lab PHYS 2025 or 2225 (1 credit)
REQUIRED BY MOST SCHOOLS
2 semesters of English Composition courses
WRTG 1010 (3 credits)
WRTG 2010 (3 credits) Prerequisite WRTG 1010
CW course (3-4 credits) If no course in your major, choose something from either Writing or English department
REQUIRED BY SOME SCHOOLS
Any Psychology course
OPTIONAL PREPARATORY COURSES FOR MATH, CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS
- MATH 10 (non credit) Math Boot Camp for Intermediate Algebra, 1 week workshop offered the week before fall and spring semesters begin
- MATH 15 (non credit) Math Boot Camp for Precalculus, 1 week review workshop offered the week before fall and spring semesters begin
- CHEM 10 (non credit) Chemistry Boot Camp for General Chemistry, 5 hours per day 5 days per week for 2 weeks
- CHEM 1200 (3 credits) Preparation for College Chemistry, Usually offered online. Check class schedule for more information
- CHEM 1208 (1 credit) Introduction to the Periodic Table, Offered online between semesters for 2 weeks
- CHEM 2308 (1 credit) Introduction to Organic Chemistry Offered online between semesters for 2 weeks.
- PHYS 1500 (3 credits) Preparation for College Physics, Offered once a year. Check class schedule for more information
OPTIONAL COURSES FOR EXPLORING THE HEALTH FIELD
- College of Health LEAP, LEAP 1100 (3 credits) and 1101 (3 credits) A 2 semester seminar course for Freshman considering health majors
- HEDU 2010 (3 credits) Introduction to Health Profession (Fall only)
Prepare for Letters of Recommendation
Requirements for letters vary between schools, so research schools early and know what you need. Plan ahead! Get to know people from these categories so they can write excellent letters for you. Most chiropractic schools require 2-3 letters mainly from the following
- A Doctor of Chiropractic and
- An academic professor
- A work supervisor.
- Tell professors at the beginning of the semester that you would like them to keep an eye on your performance in class. It will give them a longer observational window.
- Visit their offices regularly
- At the end of the semester, if you do well, ask them if they would be willing to write you an excellent letter of recommendation when you are ready to apply.
- A key to a good letter is the establishment of a relationship between student and
professor based on shared academic interests.
- Ask thoughtful questions
- Delve deeper into concepts presented in lectures
- Share your academic and career goals
- Ask for recommendations for additional reading
- Inquire about their areas of interest and research
- After you have gotten to know professors, ask about further opportunities, e.g. teaching assistantships, individual research projects, etc.
Several chiropractic schools from all over the country visit the U of U campus in Fall semester. They usually give information sessions and sometimes meet with students individually. We strongly recommend our students to participate in these sessions.