What Courses Should I Take to Become a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors use advanced education in anatomy and biology to help correctly align the bones of the body. These professionals typically complete coursework in anatomy, chiropractic methods and therapeutic rehabilitation. Read more to learn about the educational courses you should take at the undergraduate and graduate level to become a chiropractor. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Undergraduate Coursework

You'll need a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree to work as a chiropractor. Admission to a D.C. program typically requires 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework at minimum. Some schools offer a pre-chiropractic track that can prepare you for graduate work without a bachelor's degree; however, some states require a bachelor's degree before they'll grant you a chiropractic license.

If you're considering a bachelor's degree program at the undergraduate level, your classes should focus on biology, chemistry, general science, and physics. These courses provide much of the basic education you'll need as a chiropractor. Some recommended courses include:

  • Human anatomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Embryology
  • Histology

Important Facts About Chiropractors

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree or minimum 90 college credit hours, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, minimum 24 credit hours in physical/life science with a C or better
Online Availability None for Doctor of Chiropractic degree
Concentrations Orthopedics, pediatrics, sports rehabilitation
Continuing Education Yes
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth
Median Salary (May 2018) $71,410

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctor of Chiropractic Degree

Once you've completed your undergraduate coursework, you can pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Graduate programs for aspiring chiropractors include extensive clinical training and performance-based classes. You may need up to 5,000 clinical hours to graduate, depending on your program. It may take four years to complete a D.C. program, although some schools offer a condensed format that takes three years.

Chiropractic programs provide a review of scientific fields like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and radiology. They also cover chiropractic philosophies, skills, diagnostic techniques, and business practices. Some courses you may encounter include:

  • Spinal anatomy and biomechanics
  • Organ system anatomy
  • Chiropractic care history
  • Public health and wellness
  • Chiropractic ethics
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Therapeutic rehabilitation
  • Full spine adjustment techniques
  • Soft tissue palpation
  • Insurance coding and billing

Continuing Education

Most states require that you participate in continuing education courses to maintain your chiropractor's license. Information on these classes is available at licensing agencies and schools. Continuing education courses can help you improve your skills and knowledge, while remaining current on the latest trends in this health field. They are offered in areas such as:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Gender sensitivity
  • Anti-aging nutrition
  • Sports medicine
  • Neurological dysregulation
  • Holistic practices
  • Subluxation neurology
  • Upper cervical fusion
  • X-ray procedures
  • Acupuncture

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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