What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors focus mainly on the vertebral column, and alleviation of pain caused by spinal difficulties, but they have also built a wider health care model which includes nutrition, exercise, posture, stress management, weight management, and a wide range of lifestyle counseling. The philosophy of chiropractic practitioners is the promotion of general health without the use of drugs or surgery. They believe that the body can heal itself and that the body should be treated as a whole - health is an expression of spiritual, psychological, physical, and environmental factors. Chiropractors are not the physicians of choice for serious pathologies or trauma. As a result, there are few emergency calls for chiropractors, and flexible hours allow for a personal life.
How long will it take to obtain a chiropractic degree, and what is the curriculum like?
It takes four years to obtain a degree in chiropractic medicine. In a typical chiropractic curriculum, the first two years are spent on basic science - gross anatomy, neuroscience, histology, biochemistry, etc. In the third and fourth years, students complete clinical rotations to get supervised hands-on work with patients.
Matthew Collier, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
BDK Science Center 207
What tests will I need to take to become a licensed chiropractor?
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners is divided into four parts. Part 1 focuses on the basic sciences and is generally taken during the second year of chiropractic school. Part 2 focuses on the chiropractic and clinical sciences, including diagnosis of various conditions. It is taken in the student's third year. Part 3 is taken in the fourth year and assesses clinical competence. Part 4 is the practical exam that assesses x-ray interpretation & diagnosis, chiropractic technique and case management and is taken within 6 months of graduation.
What courses should I take at Wittenberg to prepare for chiropractic school?
Most chiropractic schools require the following courses for admission:
- 1 year of General Biology (170 and 180)
- 1 year of General Chemistry (121 and 162)
- 1 year of Organic Chemistry (201 and 302)
- 1 year of Physics (201 and 202 or 280)
- 1 year of English (101 and another English A course)
- 1 semester of Psychology (PSYC 101)
- 5 semesters of Social Sciences or Humanities (Wittenberg S, A, or R courses)
While the above prerequisites apply to most chiropractic schools, some schools add their own requirements. Be sure to check the schools that you are interested in applying to for other required coursework, such as:
- 1 semester of Biochemistry
What major should I pursue at Wittenberg if I am interested in chiropractic medicine?
You can choose any of Wittenberg's 20+ majors as long as you take the prerequisite courses required by the schools to which you apply. As far as chiropractic schools are concerned, they do not put much emphasis on whether you graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree â€“ that choice is yours. Look at the prerequisite requirements for the schools that you are interested in and the degree requirements for your major to determine which degree is the best match for you.
Do I need to have medically related hours when applying to chiropractic schools?
No. Most chiropractic programs do not have specific minimum requirements for number of paid or volunteer hours spent with a chiropractor. However, gaining hands-on experience prior to applying gives you more confidence in your career decision, and demonstrates your commitment to the profession.
Is it important that I participate in extracurricular activities while at Wittenberg?
Yes. While the schools do not require a specific number of extracurricular activities or leadership positions, they look for both in your application materials. They consider how many years you spent with each organization and how involved you appear to be with each one (e.g., leadership roles). The schools use your experiences in this area to better understand your ability to socially interact with others, your leadership potential, and your time management skills. They seek to recruit well-rounded individuals who can successfully balance a heavy academic load with medically related experience and extracurricular activities. If successful, they infer that you will rise to the challenge of their academic program when you have fewer non-academic commitments.
How can I locate the chiropractic program that is best for me?
Start early. Identify 3-5 schools of potential interest before registering for classes in the spring of your SOPHOMORE YEAR. The courses listed above are common to many chiropractic schools, but there may be additional requirements for the schools you are interested in. It is best to know about those requirements while you still have room in your schedule to fulfill them.
Do research. Go to the schools' websites and make a table of courses required, average GPA of their incoming class, and number of hours in a medical setting (if any). These will give you some idea of where you need to be academically when you graduate from Wittenberg, and the courses you need to take inside your major and in the general education program to make you a good candidate for that particular set of schools. Schools consider both your science GPA and your cumulative GPA, so it is not wise to prioritize your grades in science courses over those taken for your general education requirements.
Summarize your findings. Create a sample table of school information assuming all require general biology and general chemistry. Add a column for each different course as you encounter them as prerequisites at your schools of interest.
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Evaluate your findings. Match your cumulative GPA with the averages for the last incoming class at each school. Read all web pages for hospitals/medical centers that have a specialty that interests you. Look for data that reports on the percentage of students that have passed the board exams.
Apply to the school in the state where your parents are living and paying taxes if there is one. You have the best chance to get into the public school in that state, and the tuition at your in-state school is much less than at a private or out-of-state public school. Because there are only 17 chiropractic schools in the United States, you are limited in the choice of schools and geographic location. Consider applying to between 2 and 4 schools.
How and when should I apply to chiropractic schools?
- Apply directly to the chiropractic schools of your choice by the end of October of your senior year if you intend to go directly from Wittenberg to chiropractic school.
- Typically, they will require official transcripts and three letters of evaluation be sent on your behalf. It is best to have at least one chiropractor and one faculty member send letters to the chiropractic school, but be sure to follow the directions provided by each school.
- Most chiropractic schools do NOT require MCAT, GRE, etc. for admittance into their programs.
- Some chiropractic schools do not require on campus interviews. However, it is in your best interest to arrange a visit with the chiropractic schools that you are interested in to better evaluate their faculty, facilities, and students in order to determine which schools are a good match for you.
- Wait for the results of your application after the interview (if required) to find out if you have been accepted, wait listed, or rejected by that particular school.
- You are at a disadvantage if you submit your materials late in the cycle - applications are often considered as they arrive, not at the time of the deadline. Complete and send your materials in a timely manner.
Do I need to go through the Pre-Health Professions Committee when applying?
No. Chiropractic schools do not require their applicants to have a composite letter of evaluation that is generated by Wittenberg's Pre-Health Professions Committee. Instead, you will usually be required to have three letters of evaluation submitted directly to the schools on your behalf. When choosing your evaluators, consider asking at least one chiropractor and one faculty member, but be sure to follow the specific directions for each school to which you apply.
Do I need to coordinate my applications through a service?
No. There is no central application service for applying to chiropractic schools. You must request and fill out separate applications for each chiropractic school to which you apply.
Do you have any tips for preparing an attractive application?
Filling out applications for these professional schools can be difficult and tedious, but require your best effort. Applications must be filled out completely and correctly or they will be returned to you. Having your application returned for further information delays contact with the admissions offices of your target schools. Pay particular attention to the required one page personal statement. Have someone assess your essay (i.e. Career Center staff, Writing Center, etc.). Remember that you are trying to sell yourself to an admissions committee. Irrelevant details, poor sentence and paragraph structure, incorrect grammar, misspelling, typographical errors, etc. detract from the image you wish to create as their ideal candidate.
Which chiropractic schools have accepted Wittenberg students in the last 10 years?
- Life University
- Logan College of Chiropractic
- National College of Chiropractic
- Palmer College of Chiropractic
- Parker College of Chiropractic
What are some of the chiropractic programs in the country?
Life Chiropractic College West
Logan College of Chiropractic
Los Angeles College of Chiropractic
National College of Chiropractic
New York Chiropractic College
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Parker College of Chiropractic
Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
Texas Chiropractic College
University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic
Western States Chiropractic College
- Website for the American Chiropractic Association is: www.amerchiro.org/
- Website for the Association of Chiropractic Colleges is: www.chirocolleges.org/
- A list of Chiropractic web pages are available at: http://www.yahoo.com/Health/Medicine/Chiropractic/Institutes