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Preparing for Chiropractic School: What Should You Major In?

Dr. Michael Zumpano instructing NYCC students

Pursuing a career in the most rewarding and fastest-growing healthcare field can be an exciting journey. When looking to earn the title of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), preparation is key. At Northeast, you can become a licensed chiropractor in just over 3 years when you complete the proper prerequisites. But the big question is, what are those prerequisites and what should you major in to set yourself up for success?

Explore Chiropractic Program

When it comes to choosing an undergraduate major in preparation for chiropractic college, it's important to note that prerequisites often differ by graduate school. If you have an institution in mind, it might help to check out their specific requirements. Generally speaking, most chiropractic schools require a minimum of 90 credit hours, typically in the form of a bachelor's degree (although the degree is not required). Of those 90 credit hours, most institutions (including Northeast require at least 24 credits in life and physical sciences like chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, or biology, with at least half having an additional substantive laboratory component.

  • A life science is any of several branches of science -- such as biology, medicine, and ecology -- which study the structural and functional organization of living organisms and their relationship to each other and the environment.
  • A physical science is any of several branches of science (like chemistry and physics) that study the nature and properties of energy and nonliving matter. Included in this category are movement science coursework such as kinesiology, exercise science, and biomechanics.

It's also recommended to take classes related to humanities and social sciences to be more prepared for your chiropractic curriculum.

If thinking about a chiropractic specialty like chiropractic pediatrics or athletic performance, you might need to meet additional requirements to achieve specific certifications. It's important to research what certificates and requirements you will need; the American Chiropractic Association is a great resource.

As well, some courses are recommended but not required depending on your post-graduation plans. For example, if you are considering opening your own chiropractic practice, Northeast will provide you with additional coursework for practice management and practice start up.

Dr. Michael Zumpano instructing Northeast students

If you are interested in becoming a chiropractor but find that you don't meet prerequisite requirements, don't worry. Most chiropractic educational institutions can help you with a plan to meet those requirements.

The field of chiropractic continues to advance and offers opportunities in areas that include research, rehabilitation, sports and human performance, pain management, orthopedics, workplace ergonomics, pediatrics, geriatrics, and more. Because of these growing options, it's important to start the application process early -- sometimes even up to a year in advance. The earlier you start the application process, the more time you have to complete those prerequisites. At Northeast, we have a convenient application checklist to help make the process easier.

If you are considering pursuing a career in chiropractic care, now is the time. With the average salary of a D.C. in New York State being $160,974, and job growth projected to be 7% by 2028, it's the perfect time to put healing in your hands and pursue a rewarding career.

If you are interested in learning more about our Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program that can be completed in just over 3 years and that is built on a science-based, evidence-informed professional foundation, click here or contact us today!


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