- Basic Requirements
- Educational Paths
- Continuing Education
- Board Certification
Want to become a chiropractor? Here’s what you need to know about the educational requirements and what courses you’ll need to take.
Checkout this video:
To become a chiropractor, you will need to complete a four-year undergraduate program at an accredited chiropractic college. During your undergraduate studies, you will take classes in anatomy, physiology, and other health-related subjects. Once you have completed your undergraduate studies, you will need to pass a national board exam to become licensed.
Must have a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree
In order to practice chiropractic in the United States, you must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from a school that is accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). There are currently 16 CCE-accredited chiropractic colleges in the U.S. A typical D.C. program takes four years to complete and includes at least 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.
Chiropractic students take many of the same basic science courses as students in traditional medical programs. However, they also receive training in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, diagnosis and chiropractic techniques. Once they have completed their D.C. degree, chiropractors must pass a state licensure exam before they can begin practicing.
Must be licensed in the state where they practice
All states require chiropractors to be licensed. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all states require a doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an accredited chiropractic program and passing scores on national and, in some cases, state-specific examinations.
After completing undergraduate prerequisites and obtaining a D.C. degree, candidates must complete a clinical internship and then take the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) four-part examination series. Some states also require candidates to pass state-specific board exams.
Chiropractors who want to specialize in a certain area of practice may complete additional training. For example, they may complete an internship or residency specializing in orthopedics or rehabilitation or earn a certificate or diploma in sports medicine, nutrition, acupuncture, or applied kinesiology.
There are many paths to becoming a chiropractor. Some people complete a four-year undergraduate degree before entering a chiropractic college, while others go straight to chiropractic college after high school. There are many different chiropractic colleges across the United States and each has their own requirements. However, all chiropractic colleges require the completion of a four-year Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
4-year undergraduate degree
In order to become a chiropractor, you will need to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by a four-year chiropractic program. After completing your chiropractic program, you will need to obtain a state license in order to practice.
4 years of professional doctoral study
To become a chiropractor, you will need to complete at least four years of professional doctoral study at an accredited chiropractic college. Upon graduation, you will be awarded the doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) degree. In order to practice, all states require that chiropractors obtain a license. Specific requirements vary by state, but generally include passing written and practical exams.
Before you can enter a chiropractic college, you must first complete at least three years of undergraduate college education, although many chiros elect to complete a bachelor’s degree before beginning their professional doctoral studies. During your undergraduate years you will take prerequisites in biology, chemistry, physics and other basic sciences. You should also expect to take courses in communications and humanities to ensure a well-rounded education.
Residency and internship programs
All 50 states and the District of Columbia require chiropractors to be licensed. Chiropractors must also fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain their licenses. Specific requirements vary by state, but generally include taking specified courses and passing written exams on basic chiropractic principles and state law and ethics. Some states require demonstrations of clinical competence.
After completing a 4-year bachelor’s degree, aspiring chiropractors must complete a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree program resulting in approximately 4,500 hours of academic, clinical, and practical experience. Admission requirements for D.C. programs generally include at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate study, including courses in biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, and social sciences such as history and sociology.
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) accredits all professional chiropractic degree programs in the U.S., which leads to eligibility for state licensure. There are currently 15 CCE-accredited chiropractic colleges in the U.S., 3 in Canada, and 1 in Australia (see International Candidates below). A few online programs exist but are not currently accredited by CCE; these would not lead to eligibility for licensure in any state. Graduates of non-accredited programs may attempt to become licensed through special examinations administered by some state boards of chiropractic examiners; however, licensure rates for graduates of non-accredited programs are generally lower than those for graduates of accredited programs.
After completing a D.C program, students must pass National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exams before obtaining a license in most states; spinal manipulative therapy requiring special training is an exception to this general rule (see below). Although many states accept the results of all 4 NBCE exams as evidence that an applicant has met the basic didactic and clinical standards necessary for licensure as a Doctor of Chiropractor (D.C.), some states have additional requirements such as jurisprudence or practical examinations or both before awarding a license to practice chiropractic medicine; other states may require successful completion of only some NBCE exams along with additional examinations or coursework specific to that state’s laws about the practice of chiropractic medicine before awarding a license to practice
Chiropractors need to complete continuing education (CE) courses to maintain their licensure. Although CE requirements vary by state, most require chiropractors to complete a certain number of hours of CE every year. CE courses can cover a wide range of topics, such as new chiropractic techniques, business management, ethics, and anatomy.
Chiropractors must complete continuing education (CE) to maintain their license
Chiropractors must complete continuing education (CE) to maintain their license. CE requirements vary by state. Many states require at least 10 hours of CE per year, and some require up to 20 hours. The Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) website provides information on CE requirements by state.
Chiropractors may take Continuing Education courses through various means, including online, seminars, conferences, and traditional classroom settings. The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) accredits many chiropractic continuing education providers. A list of CCE-accredited providers is available on the CCE website.
CE can include attending seminars, conferences, and taking online courses
Chiropractors are required to complete continuing education (CE) in order to maintain their licensure. CE can include attending seminars, conferences, and taking online courses. The number of CE hours required varies by state, but most states require at least 20 hours per year.
To become a licensed chiropractor, you must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from a chiropractic college and pass a series of national board exams. Once you have a doctorate, you can apply for state licensure.Board certification is one way to stand out from the competition and show that you are committed to your chosen career.
Chiropractors can choose to become board certified through the American Board of Chiropractic Specialties (ABCS)
Chiropractors who have been in practice for five years or more may choose to become board certified through the American Board of Chiropractic Specialties (ABCS). To be eligible, they must pass a written examination and an oral examination, as well as meet continuing education requirements.
Board certification requires passing an exam and meeting other requirements set by the ABCS
To be eligible for certification by the American Board of Chiropractic Specialties (ABCS), candidates must:
-Be of good moral character
-Be a graduate of an accredited chiropractic college with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree
-Pass a four-part examination administered by the ABCS
-Meet all other requirements set forth by the ABCS Board of Directors