Choosing a school to complete your Doctorate in Chiropractic degree can seem like a daunting task. There are currently 18 schools in the United States where one could earn their degree and when comparing them, there are a few important things to look for.
There are different kinds of accreditation a school can have. The school can be accredited by a regional accreditor overall, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education. For a chiropractic school, you want to make sure the program itself is accredited by The Council on Chiropractic Education. It is essential the program is accredited because if not, you will not be able to be licensed. Program accreditation also ensures that the school meets certain standards for their program and students. Such as, admitting students who meet GPA and prerequisite requirements.
Hands-on, clinical experiences to gain experience in the field
When it comes to clinical experience, there are a few questions you should ask your prospective chiropractic school. Do they have an on-campus clinic for students to gain experience at? For off campus rotations, is there a lottery system for students to receive the hours? How many rotations are students required to do on vs off campus?
Options: opportunity to explore other, related fields of study
Schools, like University of Bridgeport, have joint degree options to receive an MS in another field, such as Acupuncture or Nutrition. This allows chiropractors to add more skills to their portfolio and better assist their patients. Earning your chiropractic doctorate at a university with other medical based professions, also allows you to consult and collaborate with students studying other fields. For example, at University of Bridgeport we also have a Physician Assistant program, Nursing program, and a Dental Hygiene School.
Evidence Based vs Philosophical Based
There are two main schools of thought in chiropractic programs. Some schools focus heavily on the philosophy and history of the chiropractic practice. Other schools, such as the University of Bridgeport, have a curriculum devoted to scientific, research based methods of being a chiropractic practitioner. Having a research-based curriculum prepares students to work in an integrative health care environment with other health care practitioners, such as physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons.
When looking at a chiropractic school, you want the faculty to be experienced practitioners in the field. The faculty are an important representation of the methodology and quality of education you will receive. Faculty who are experienced in the field and actively engaged in research facilitate more meaningful and engaging classroom discussions.
Similarly, the class or cohort size will determine how much one on one time you receive with the faculty during classes. Schools with a smaller faculty to student ratio allow for more individualized attention.
Trimester vs Semester Based Programs
University of Bridgeport offers the only semester-based program in the country. While a trimester system may try to lure you with the promise of finishing faster, the danger of burnout is real. With a semester-based program, you have your first two summers entirely to yourself. Which gives you a chance to work, earn some money, study, and take the first two parts of your boards.
Interested in taking the next step on your path to becoming a Chiropractor? Connect with your Admissions Officer, Sarah Doran, for information on applying to UB’s Chiropractic program at firstname.lastname@example.org.