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A doctor of chiropractic medicine (D.C.) is a specialist primarily concerned with 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 can use any one of many techniques to treat the problem, including dietary guidance and manipulation of the spine and musculature.


The educational requirements for chiropractors specify a minimum of two years of pre-chiropractic study and four years of chiropractic school, after which the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is awarded. However, the majority of successful applicants have completed three or four years of college work before entering chiropractic school.

Basic Requirements

One year of English

WRI 10 –  College Reading and Composition and
WRI 100 – Advanced Writing or
WRI 116 – Science Writing in Natural Sciences

One year of general chemistry w/lab

CHEM 2 –  General Chemistry I (includes lab) and
CHEM 10 – General Chemistry II (includes lab)

One year of organic chemistry

CHEM 8/L –  Principles of Organic Chemistry with lab and
CHEM 100 – Organic Synthesis and Mechanism with
CHEM 100L – Organic Chemistry lab

One year of biology with lab

Effective Fall 2023:
BIO 11/11L - Introduction to Molecular Biology (with lab) and
BIO 12/12L - Introduction to Introduction to Organismal Biology (with lab)

Prior to Fall 2023:
BIO 1/L –  Contemporary Biology (must take lab) and
BIO 2/L – Introduction to Molecular Biology (must take lab)

One year of physics

PHYS 8 - Introductory Physics I or
PHYS 18 - Introductory Physics I for Biological Sciences and
PHYS 9 - Introductory Physics II or
PHYS 19 - Introductory Physics II for Biological Sciences

Courses in psychology

PSY 1 – Introduction to Psychology (check with individual schools)

Courses in humanities and social sciences

Check with individual schools for specifics

Note: The requirements of each chiropractic school may differ; check individual school catalogs/websites for specific course requirements.

GPA Calculator

Professional and graduate schools, and the application services they use, expect you to report all attempted classes as part of your overall GPA calculation. Please refer to the "course work" sections of the instruction manuals -- available below -- for how to accurately compute your Math-Science or Science GPA and overall GPA based on your professional goals.

Please refer to the GPA calculation guidelines through their respective application services.


Check individual schools for application processes and deadline information.

Entrance Exam

There is no entrance exam required for admission to chiropractic school.

Letters of Recommendation

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

Work Experience

All chiropractic schools advise that you obtain practical experience with a health professional, preferably a chiropractor. This experience provides you with a better understanding of chiropractic medicine and helps you understand why you want to be a chiropractor. The Center for Career & Professional Advancement can be helpful in arranging volunteer experience.

California Chiropractic Schools