You can start on your pre-chiropractic degree by completing the Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree with a major in Science, Specialization: Pre-Medical at SWCC. After completing an Associate, you will continue your pre-chiropractor study by transferring to a four year school. Currently, chiropractic candidates are not required to have a bachelor's degree before entering chiropractic school. However, many students do complete a bachelor's program.
A minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework is required for acceptance into a chiropractic program. You can declare a major in any subject at the four year school to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree which will require an additional two years. Your chosen major does not determine your success in being accepted to a chiropractic school. After being accepted to chiropractic school it will typically take a total of four years to be awarded a Doctor of Chiropractor (D.C.) but programs vary in length.
Early in your academic career you will need to research some of the chiropractic schools you are interested in attending in order to insure you will meet all their criteria for admission. Some basic factors are:
- Good undergraduate grades (overall GPA of 3.0 minimum)
- Test scores (GRE ®)
- True interest in profession as demonstrated by shadowing or volunteering in the field
- Exceptional communication skills
- Strong reference letters from professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic
What is the GRE®?
It is Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized test taken by students who are applying to chiropractic schools. It will be similar to the ACT® or SAT®. It is a broad assessment of your critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills — all skills developed over the course of many years, which includes your two years at SWCC. See GRE® practice tests
Important qualities for chiropractors
Chiropractic practice requires keen observation to detect physical abnormalities. It also takes considerable manual dexterity, but not unusual strength or endurance, to perform adjustments. Chiropractors should be able to work independently and handle responsibility. As in other health-related occupations, empathy, understanding and the desire to help others are good qualities for dealing effectively with patients. Also needed are decision-making skills, detail orientation, desire to learn, empathy, and interpersonal skills.
Is chiropractic for you?
The student should shadow chiropractors and ask questions about the profession. Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat musculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. The chiropractic approach to healthcare 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. They also recommend changes in the patient’s lifestyle such as eating habits, exercise and sleeping habits. When appropriate chiropractors consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners.
There are 15 Doctor of Chiropractic Programs in 18 locations in the United States. You can review them at the following site https://www.acatoday.org/About/Related-Organizations/Chiropractic-Colleges