How to become

How To Become A Chiropractor Without A Degree

How To Become A Chiropractor Without A Degree


A Chiropractor is specialized in enhancing the overall health and wellness of a patient by providing required medical care through a hands-on, non-surgical approach. Chiropractors are also not allowed to use drugs to heal patients, but instead of that, they completely rely on treating individuals with

  • Manual Therapies
  • Nutrition
  • Lifestyle Counseling
  • Physical Medicine And
  • Exercises Meant To Rehabilitate The Body

For this type of medical field, a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree is the required entry-level education, as per The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After fulfilling all their educational requirements, the Chiropractors should additionally obtain a license for practicing in the United States. To satisfy specific licensure requirements, which vary from state to state), Chiropractors should take and also pass an examination which is administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). The exam will cover basic- and clinical sciences, clinical case studies, and will also include a multiple-choice test section.

Chiropractors earned a median salary of $66,160 per annum where professionals representing the top ten percent earned more than $142,950, as of 2012. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook anticipates a 28% rise in Chiropractor jobs from 2010-2020, which means the job outlook for the occupation is bright; and is also faster than the average of all other occupations. An aging Baby Boomer population contributes a lot to the higher demand for the Chiropractor profession, as older patients are more likely to exhibit musculoskeletal and joint problems.

How Much Education is Needed to Become a Chiropractor?

To become a Chiropractor is not an easy task, nor is it a feat that can be done without proper and specific training. The kind of education that goes with becoming a Chiropractor is worth the fulfillment, Chiropractors work on most people. Not only do chiropractors work on spines and back areas, but they can also work on neck, knees, joints and all muscular-skeletal pain.

What Education is Required?

High School

For becoming a Chiropractor you will require either a high school diploma or equivalent (GED). After that you will have to study for an undergraduate/bachelor’s degree, and then after receiving your associate/ bachelor’s degree, you will be required to study for the Doctor of Chiropractic degree by enrolling into an accredited chiropractic school .


Mostly you will have to attend a college/university, which can be in person or online, you will have to be eighteen years of age and should have received your high school diploma or equivalent. Also the application forms and papers that are required and are relevant, should be filled out and sent in on time.

Most of the Universities all over the country have the same requirements regarding enrollment that are quite strict. An Associate’s Degree will typically have to be obtained either via in person or from an internet based school and/or should be at least twenty one to twenty two years of age. If the foreign nationals decide they would like to come to the United States for college studies, then there are some other requirements .      

Chiropractic School

The requirements vary from school to school and from state to state, when it comes to Chiropractic schooling . Some schools may require a bachelor’s degree in a specified relevant field obtained prior to enrollment or that you have time as a chiropractor’s assistant. It is important for you to look into the schools and their requirements before sending the application, or required paperwork or and any fees to these schools, because if you are rejected for the lack of the above requirements, then these are non-refundable.

Chiropractic school typically lasts approximately four years, which does not include the time taken by you to get your general education, which is anywhere around from two-four years prior, the total study time might be up to eight years, or it could take a little bit longer at times, all depending on the general education study time.

Doing an incredible amount of research before applying for Chiropractic school and asking the right questions,is very important. Always make sure to ask about study requirements, fees, possible financial aid options and anything else you feel is important and necessary to ask about. And the most important thing, because of licensing requirements you will have to attend an accredited Chiropractic school, because without graduating from an accredited school most states will not grant you a license to practice.


After you have completed school, in order to acquire a license, in most states you will have to take and pass the exam given by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

This exam is divided into 4 parts, but still isn’t a guarantee of a license. If you want an answer for all your questions that you have then you should call the licensing division in your state and they will answer all your questions, and like always with any licensing requirements and any schooling you might do, you will have to continue your education continuously throughout your career.

Educational Pathways To Follow To Apply To A Doctor Of Chiropractic Program


A total of 90 semester (135 quarter) hours of undergraduate coursework with an earned cumulative grade point average of 3.0 GPA is required. It is strongly recommended that non-degree seeking students complete at least 24 semester (36 quarter) hours of life and physical sciences, with half of the science credits having corresponding labs.


A degree in a pre-health discipline such as pre-med, exercise science, kinesiology, nursing, or a similar program; or a life science degree such as biology or chemistry, along with an earned cumulative grade point which is an average of 3.0 or better, typically meeting the primary academic criteria for applying to a Doctor of Chiropractic program.

Three Degrees That Lead to Becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic

You are not alone, if you are struggling to find a career direction, there are many others who have experienced the very same thing. Planning ahead and finding the right road to help you stay on the track is the best way to eliminate that uncertainty. And if becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic is your goal then below are some degree paths available that can help and lead you to becoming one.

Three Degrees That Ensure A Solid Foundation

Though there are many undergraduate degrees, but in particular there are three  degrees that offer a solid foundation for students who are pre-chiropractic:

  • Human biology
  • Kinesiology
  • Exercise science.

All of the above subject areas are very popular, each focusing on the various functions and capabilities of the human body, the coursework in each also complements the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, as there is a substantial amount of coursework in the sciences.

The academic load for the Chiropractic students is the same as that of other medical professionals, the curriculum is fully loaded with science courses which includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell physiology, and others

An ideal undergraduate degree would be something that has similar academic features as above.

The three degrees mentioned above certainly qualify. Come now let us take a closer look to see which one is right for you.

1. Human Biology

A bachelor’s biology degree coursework can vary somewhat, but it usually includes:

  • Cell And Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Human Anatomy, and others.

These offer the basic science of the human body for all those seeking a career in a healthcare field. You can amass the knowledge from these core classes that will help you achieve success, this makes it a popular undergraduate degree amongst those who are seeking to become a Chiropractor.

2. Kinesiology

Kinesiology being the study of body mechanics and movement, also provides a solid introductory degree for Chiropractic, it usually includes coursework in biomechanics, anatomy, nutrition, and sports physiology, among others.

A background in the mechanics of the body can be proved beneficial when it comes to Chiropractic, which is why those who study Kinesiology are eventually drawn towards a higher degree.

3. Exercise Science

Those who are seeking to become a Doctor of Chiropractic, Exercise Science is another degree commonly found among them. Those students who are pursuing their degree in exercise science study: anatomy, exercise, nutrition, physiology, medical terminology, and strength training. This degree is mainly earned by individuals who are pursuing a career in fitness or personal training, but it can also work well as a lead-in to chiropractic.


In conclusion, an aspiring chiropractor’s educational path starts with undergraduate studies, which is followed by completing 4 to 5 years of an accredited Chiropractic school. Licensure to practice in the U.S. is a compulsory requirement, while becoming board certified and obtaining certification in a specialty is a completely optional career choice which increases a chiropractor’s job prospects and earning potential. To uphold his/her credentials, a Chiropractor is expected to complete continuing education programs to maintain licensure, which varies depending on a doctor’s state of practice, and may include taking classes or attending workshops.

Almost all Chiropractic colleges will require a bachelor’s degree in science, and only a few will require ninety semester hours with an emphasis in the biological sciences.  All states basically require:

  • A Doctor of Chiropractic degree
  • Passing grades in the National Board of Chiropractic examination
  • Passing the State Board examinations

You absolutely cannot practice Chiropractic without a Doctor of Chiropractic degree in the United States.