Chiropractic education requires at least 4 years of professional study and includes a 4-year undergraduate/college prerequisite in most states.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, 15 chiropractic programs at 18 different locations are accepted by the Council on Chiropractic Education, which is an agency certified by the Department of Education.1
Chiropractic Educational Requirements
Specific chiropractic educational requirements are typically comprised of the following:
- Of the 4 years of training to be a doctor of chiropractic, 2 years of basic sciences are required followed by the need for a successful completion of National Boards, Part 1
- The next 2 years of chiropractic training include the clinical sciences after which National Boards, Part 2 is required
- Part 3 of the National Boards chiropractic training that is necessary if the chiropractor plans to use physiological therapeutics in practice.
- Part 4 tests three practical skill areas, including:
- Diagnostic imaging
- Chiropractic technique
- Case management.
This part may be utilized in place of a state specific practical examination in some states.
Chiropractic Educational Training: Internships
An internship of 1 year at a college clinic is also required for those training to become a licensed chiropractor.
Preceptorship programs are optionally available after the boards are taken by the individual training to become a chiropractor, the internship requirements are completed and prior to chiropractic licensure.
In the program, the chiropractor learns many of the skills included in a private practice setting by working in a chiropractic clinic outside the teaching institution.
Post-Graduate Requirements for Chiropractors
For chiropractors on a post-graduate educational level, the state of Wisconsin requires 40 hours of approved course work credits every two years, and this is also similar in other states.
There are also post-graduate residency programs available where chiropractors can work towards the goal of gaining board certification. These programs are offered at many of the chiropractic colleges in 1-3 year programs or can be taken while in active practice at various sites throughout the U.S.
The course work for chiropractic doctors includes 300+ hours, with a minimum of 5 years in practice, followed by successful completion of a written followed by an oral examination.
These chiropractic certification programs include:
- Sports medicine
- Family Practice
- Pediatrics (being considered).