Chiropractic Medicine

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There are many pieces to the chiropractic school application, including your GPA, personal statement, list of experiences, letters of recommendation, and biographical information. Use the navigation below to explore each aspect of preparing for chiropractic programs.


  • What is a Chiropractor?
  • A doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (D.C.) is a specialist primarily concerned with how the spine and how its interplay with the nervous system affects other body functions. He/she uses modern techniques to examine and diagnose conditions. Once a diagnosis is reached, the chiropractor may use any one of many techniques to treat the problem, including dietary guidance and manipulation of the spine and musculature.

    To learn more about the chiropractic profession, check out ACA's "What is Chiropractic?"

  • Becoming a Chiropractor
  • Obtain a bachelor's degree and complete all pre-chiropractic requirements, including prerequisites and experiences (4+ years)

    Attend a chiropractic college (4 years)

    Pass the National Board Exam for Chiropractors administered by the NBCE to become certified

    Become licensed in the state you wish to practice

    Maintain certification & complete Continuing Chiropractic Education (ongoing)

  • Chiropractic School Prerequisites
  • Chiropractic School Prerequisites Courses to Take at UC Davis
    Most schools require:  
    General Biology BIS 2ABC
    General Chemistry CHE 2ABC
    Physics PHY 7ABC or PHY 9ABC
    Psychology PSC 1
    English Composition any ENL, UWP, or COM course

    * Check your major requirements before choosing schools.

    See the Chiropractic Program Prerequisite Chart for a sample list of chiropractic programs and their requirements.

    Note: The above courses are only suggested, not absolute. 

    Several programs require only 90 credit hours to qualify; however, the majority of successful applicants have completed their bachelor’s degree before entering chiropractic school. The 90 hours will include a minimum of 24 semester hours in life and physical science courses. These science courses will provide an adequate background for success in the DCP, and at least half of these courses will have a substantive laboratory component. In each of the six distribution areas, no grades below 2.00 on a 4.00 scale may be accepted.

    At least nine quarter hours of the chemistry courses must include a corresponding lab. The chemistry requirement may be met with the following:

    4.5 quarter hours must be General/Inorganic Chemistry
    9 quarter hours must be Organic and/or Biochemistry
    4.5 quarter hours of Chemistry elective

    You can choose any major and apply to chiropractic school. If you choose a non-science major, you still have to take the science prerequisites required by most schools. Always cross-check your major requirements and the chiropractic school requirements when choosing classes.

    Complete all of your prerequisite courses for a letter grade - DO NOT take any of them P/NP.

  • Standardized Test
  • There is no entrance exam required for admission into chiropractic school.

  • Experiences
  • We strongly recommend exploring this field by shadowing a D.C. You can find a chiropractor through the ICC's HRI System. You can also find a chiropractor on your own and shadow or volunteer in his/her office. You could consider interviewing a chiropractor to learn more about the field, or participate in an internship through one of the schools.

    Choose experiences that are meaningful to you and think outside the box!

    Here are some good places to start looking for experiences at UC Davis:

    Health Related Internships through the Internship and Career Center (ICC)
    Opportunities to publish and present research through the Undergraduate Research Center
    Global Health Internships through Study Abroad
    Health Internships through the Washington Program
    Volunteering for the UC Davis Pre-Health Conference
    Completing community service using the ICC Community Service Database
    Join or create a student organization
    Volunteer at a Student Run Clinic

  • Applying to Chiropractic Programs
  • ChiroCAS

    ChiroCAS is a central application system for applying to chiropractic schools. Not all schools use ChiroCAS. Check with your school's chiropractic program to see their specific application guidelines. 

    Application deadlines vary by program. Check your school's program website to determine their specific application deadlines. Generally, you should apply one year before the intended term start date (For example, if you plan to start chiropractic school in the fall of 2020, you must apply in the summer of 2019.)

    Personal Statement

    The personal statement, or statement of motivation, should answer topics concerning your interest in the chiropractic program, as well as your experience and understanding of chiropractic medicine. 

    ChiroCAS allows 3000 characters (including spaces) for the personal statement. 

    The personal statement is your first chance to provide admissions committees with subjective information about your qualifications and your reasons for choosing this particular career. In other words, the personal statement is your initial opportunity to present yourself as an interesting and unique applicant who deserves a closer look.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Two or three letters of recommendation are usually required. They should be from faculty (at least one science professor) and also from a health professional, preferably a chiropractor who can evaluate your potential in the field.


    Applicants may be invited to schedule an interview prior to matriculation. Not all programs require or offer interviews. Interview styles can include one-on-one interviews with faculty, school representatives, or panel interviews with professionals, and can also be situtational or behavioral. 

    Supplemental Applications

    Certain programs will ask for an additional application to be submitted. Supplemental applications requests vary by school and will be submitted separately from ChiroCAS. Be sure to check the school's deadlines to make sure any supplemental materials are submitted on time. 

    Choosing Chiropractic Schools

    There are 14 chiropractic schools in the US, with 3 schools in California. Check the ACC's website on chiropractic colleges to see the full list.

    California chiropractic schools:
    Southern California University of Health Sciences
    Life Chiropractic College West
    Palmer College of Chiropractic West 

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More questions? Check out our FAQ page or schedule an appointment with an advisor!