Online Chiropractic Degree Programs
Chiropractors are state-licensed health practitioners who treat conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Read on to learn about online undergraduate and graduate degree options in this field, the education path to becoming a chiropractor, the curriculum taught in this degree program and the career prospects for licensed chiropractors. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Can I Earn a Chiropractic Degree Online?
Doctor of Chiropractor (D.C.) programs that meet accreditation and licensing requirements generally aren't available online, so you'll have to attend most classes in person. After earning your 4-year degree, which may be available online, you'll need to earn a D.C. before seeking state and national licensure and practicing independently.
You can also earn your Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Chiropractic (B.S./D.C.) in one program. This dual-degree program allows you to complete undergraduate requirements and the necessary training to practice chiropractic medicine. Joint programs may require you to maintain a high grade-point average as an undergraduate in order earn both degrees on an accelerated track of study.
|Online Availability||Extremely rare for programs that meet accreditation and licensing requirements|
|Educational Requirements||High school diploma or a GED, 4-year degree in related field, related coursework|
|Content Topics||Human body and health, spinal anatomy, physiology, physical therapy, ethical practices|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||17%|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Do I Prepare For a Chiropractic Education?
First, you'll need a high school diploma or a GED. The second step toward becoming a chiropractor is earning a 4-year degree in health sciences, physiology, biology or a related field. Some programs award pre-chiropractic Associate in Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees which are specifically designed to meet the prerequisites of a chiropractic program. Regardless of what type of program you enroll in as an undergraduate, you'll likely also need to take courses in psychology, organic chemistry, anatomy and physics.
What Will I Learn?
Once you begin a D.C. program, you'll learn how the structure of the human body is related to overall health. You'll also learn about how certain adjustments to the human body's structure influence certain health conditions, healing abilities and preventative care. In a D.C. program, you can expect to take courses that address spinal anatomy, physiology, pathology and microbiology. Chiropractic courses will teach you about physical therapy, orthopedics and chiropractic techniques.
You'll be taught how to interpret x-rays, use lab results and diagnose conditions related to structural issues in the human body. D.C. programs include a clinical component where you'll practice under the supervision of a licensed chiropractor. This practicum allows you to learn how to interact with patients, demonstrate ethical practices in the profession and operate your own practice.
How Do I Become Licensed?
You'll need to complete a D.C. program accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that only 15 such programs were offered on 18 campuses in the United States (www.bls.gov). After you earn your D.C., you'll need to be licensed to practice in your state. This usually requires successful completion of the 4-part exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Some states may require you to take additional exams.
What Are My Job Prospects?
Other data from the BLS indicates that the number of chiropractors should rise by 17% from 2014-2024. This demand is related to an increased awareness of noninvasive medicine, alternative healthcare and an aging population. Although more insurance policies cover chiropractic care, your practice will be limited to patients' ability to pay and the amount of patients you accept. You may have to spend some of your time as a professional explaining how chiropractic care can help and improve overall health.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: