The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an above average increase in employment opportunities for chiropractors. As alternative medicine becomes more acceptable and the population ages, it is expected that the profession will grow by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020. Students can expect to spend three-and-a-half years in chiropractic school after the completion of four years of college.

Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients with health problems related to the body's muscular, nervous, and skeletal system, particularly the spine. They view their patients as an integrated being and do not use drugs or surgery. The chiropractic theory states that there are many factors that affect our health, including heredity, type of exercise, environmental surroundings, dietary habits and rest.

Common tasks for a chiropractor include patient examination, analysis of posture and spine position, spinal and joint adjustments, application of heat and ice treatments, and patient lifestyle couseling. Some chiropractors use acupuncture, massage therapy, and ultrasound if they have received such training.

Please review the Pre-Chiropractic Fact Sheet for information about suggested undergraduate courses to prepare for chiropractic school, career outlook for chiropractors, and options for your major. Pre-Chiropractic is not a major, and students must still choose a major. Since most of the pre-requisites necessary for application to Chiropractic school are in the sciences, many students choose a science major, though it is not required. Our specialized pre-chiropractic advisor works with students to ensure they understand all of the milestones that must be met in college in order to be a competitive applicant to Chiropractic school. A significant number of volunteer or work hours is often a requirement for application to Chiropractic school so it is important to work with this advisor beginning in freshman year in order to plan all needed activities into your college career.

UWM partners closely with three chiropractic colleges: Palmer College of Chiropractice in Davenport, Iowa; Cleveland Chiropractic College in Overland Park, Kansas; and Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota. UWM students who meet certain academic standards may qualify for guaranteed admission at these institutions. Students are encouraged to work closely with the pre-chiropractic advisor in order to plan early for this transition and to understand the specific requirements of these schools. There are no chiropractic graduate programs in the State of Wisconsin.

A suggested timeline is also available from the advisor to help you plan preparatory activities throughout your four years in college.

Requirements

Entrance to a chiropractic program is very competitive. Although specific admission requirements may vary among programs, the following minimum standards generally apply:

  • 90 completed undergraduate credits
  • Overall GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • 30+ credits at the 300+ level
  • 24 credits in the natural sciences, half with lab work

Other common course requirements include (but are not limited to) the following: anatomy and physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, math statistics, nutrition, kinesiology, genetics, psychology, microbiology, immunology, and toxicology. Due to the variance in admission requirements, it is strongly recommended that students consult with the pre-chiropractic advisor every semester.

Recommended coursework includes:

One year (two semesters) general biology with lab:8
Foundations of Biological Sciences I
and Foundations of Biological Sciences II
One year (two semesters) general chemistry with lab:10
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis
One year (two semesters) organic chemistry with lab:8
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Chemistry
One year (two semesters) physics with lab:10
Option 1:
General Physics I (Non-Calculus Treatment)
and General Physics Laboratory I (Non-Calculus Treatment)
General Physics II (Non-Calculus Treatment)
and General Physics Laboratory II (Non-Calculus Treatment)
Option 2:
Physics I (Calculus Treatment)
and Lab Physics I (Calculus Treatment)
Physics II (Calculus Treatment)
and Lab Physics II (Calculus Treatment)

Other common course requirements include (but are not limited to) the following: anatomy and physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, math statistics, nutrition, kinesiology, genetics, psychology, microbiology, immunology, and toxicology.

Due to the variance in admission requirements, it is strongly recommended that students consult with the pre-chiropractic advisor every semester.