Applying to a Doctor of Chiropractic program can be overwhelming. To help ease some anxiety, below are tips on how to get into chiropractic school.
In order to be eligible for admissions, applicants must meet the admission requirements set by the chiropractic school. Accredited chiropractic programs require students to have at least 90 undergraduate credits from a regionally accredited school. 24 of these credits must be in the physical or life sciences, half of which must have labs.
Some states require chiropractors to have a Bachelor’s Degree in order to be licensed. You can consult www.fclb.org to determine the specific chiropractor education requirements for licensure in the state you plan to practice.
Each school will have their own chiropractic admissions requirements, with many overlapping similarities. You will need to provide transcripts from the institutions you’ve attended. Some schools, like University of Bridgeport, may allow you to apply with unofficial transcripts and only require the officials (transcripts sent directly from one school to another) if you’re admitted.
In addition, you may be required to provide professional letters of recommendation. The school may have set guidelines for the letters, such as one needing to come from a chiropractor or another medical professional. If so, shadowing a chiropractor can be a great way to secure this letter of reference.
Shadowing will also help you in writing your personal statement or essay, which is another common application requirement. It’s worth reaching out to the chiropractic school’s admissions team to see if there’s a prompt for the personal statement. Generally, it will explain why you’re applying to this specific Doctor of Chiropractic program and what led you to this profession.
In addition, some schools may also require an interview. This is an excellent chance for you to learn more about the program and share why you’ll succeed in chiropractic school. To prepare, it’s a good idea to read the chiropractic school’s mission and values so you can explain why you’re applying to this particular program. Questions you may be asked include why you want to become a chiropractor, what your aspirations are after earning your Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and how you handle a rigorous curriculum.
It’s also a good idea to have some questions prepared for the interviewer(s). Questions you can ask include: How do you see your program evolving over the next 5 years? What sets your school apart from others? What allows students to succeed in your program?
Academic standing requirements
Once in the program, there may be academic requirements in order to maintain your enrollment. For example, some schools might require you maintain a C or better in your classes. If you fall below this, you may be put on academic probation. It’s worth checking in with the school you’re enrolled in to see what their policy is. Schools, like University of Bridgeport, with a low student to faculty ratio help students receive individualized attention and be academically successful.
The duration of the program will depend on the chiropractic school you attend. Most schools are on a trimester or quarterly schedule, meaning students are in class all year long. Programs following this schedule can take three to four years. University of Bridgeport offers the only semester-based Doctor of Chiropractic program in the country. Students have their first two summers off, which gives them time to study for their boards, shadow, or work. Following this schedule, students graduate after four years.
Some chiropractic schools focus heavily on the philosophy and history of the chiropractic practice. Whereas other schools, like University of Bridgeport, focus on scientific, research-based methods and emphasize patient-centered care. This prepares graduates to work in an integrative health care environment with other providers, such as physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons. The Doctor of Chiropractic curriculum generally builds on itself. The start of the program focuses on foundational sciences, such as Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology. These graduate courses are more in depth and challenging than when offered at the undergraduate level.
Next, students move into clinical sciences, such as radiology and adjustments. These courses prepare them for their clinical services.
At University of Bridgeport, Chiropractic students begin their clinical services in a student clinic. Under the supervision of the faculty, they treat students who are earlier in the program. This is a great way to ease students into the practice of managing a patient. Students are then able to do a rotation in our on-campus chiropractic clinic which serves the local community. Again, students are working under the supervision of a faculty member. After completing their on-campus clinic rotation, students are able to complete an external rotation. Students can choose a rotation in a private practice, the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital, or a Community Health Center. Only one external rotation is required; however, University of Bridgeport encourages students to do multiple in various settings to get the most diverse experiences.
If you haven’t already, shadowing a chiropractor is a great opportunity to learn more about the profession and gain a valuable reference when submitting your application.
For questions regarding the Doctor of Chiropractic program at UB specifically, feel free to reach out to your Admissions Officer, Sarah Doran, at email@example.com or join us at an upcoming event.