Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine. Chiropractors believe that interference with these systems impairs the body’s normal functions and lowers its resistance to disease. The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient’s overall health and wellness. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments and rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities. ( 2008-05-08)

Tips for students interested in pursuing a chiropractic degree:

  • A Chiropractic program typically results in a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. Schools generally accept students who have completed at least 90 credits of college level work. A bachelor's degree can often be completed at the Chiropractic school on the way to earning the DC degree. Expect to spend at least three years in an undergraduate program and 4 years at a Chiropractic school.
  • Consider who you will ask for letters of reference for your applications. You should have representation from professionals and professors, instructors or advisors who can speak to your academic ambition and ability, as well as any health-related experience you have acquired.
  • Admission is competitive, so take advantage of any coursework or experience that may give you an advantage. Make sure that you at least meet the minimum GPA and pre-requisite requirements for every school you apply to.
  • See the chart below for recommended pre-requisite courses to take prior to admission to a chiropractic program:

Courses required for admission by most Chiropractic schools**:

UAF Course(s)
General chemistry with lab


Chem 105X, 106X
Organic chemistry


Chem 321, 322 (also Chem 324 if lab required)
General biology8Biol 115X & 116X or Biol 111X & 112X
Physics8Phys 103X & 104X or 211X & 212X
Psychology3Psy 101
English composition


Engl 111X, Engl 211X or Engl 213X
Public speaking


Comm 131X or 141X
Humanities/social sciences (including anthropology, sociology, the arts, and history)


UAF core courses

Courses recommended for completion of 90 credits (varies by school):

Mathematics: at least one course


Math 107X, 108, 200X
Human Anatomy and Physiology8Biol 111X and 112X
Statistics3Stat 200X, 300
Medical terminology3Hlth 204
Additional Psychology courses3-12Psy 240, 245, 304, 310, 335, 370 or 469
Computer literacy3CS 101, AIS 101, or CIOS 150
Philosophy3-6Phil 102, 204
Additional Biology courses4-12Biol 240, 300, 303, 317, 342, 362, 417, 418, 444

**Admission requirements vary by school. While Chiropractic schools tend to be consistent in their pre-requisites, it is important to check for the admission requirements of the specific school that you are interested in. A course listed as recommended here may be required by your school of choice.

Many UAF students choose to major in either Biological Sciences or Chemistry (see the degree worksheets) while pursuing a pre-chiropractic curriculum, because they require many of the same courses as listed above. Since students are not required to complete a degree for admission, choosing a major is up to each student. Having a basic understanding of what is required for a UAF bachelor's degree, and following the recommendations to some extent, can benefit the student if goals change and a bachelor's degree becomes necessary.

Students who are considering becoming chiropractors should contact their major department or the Academic Advising Center to be assigned an academic advisor.

Attending Health Care Programs Outside of Alaska

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