There are currently 16 chiropractic colleges in the United States, ten of
which were established prior to 1945. Over 14,000 young men and women attend these
chiropractic colleges each year.
Since 1974, standards for chiropractic education have been established and monitored by
the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), a nonprofit organization located in
Scottsdale, Arizona. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the specialized
accrediting agency for chiropractic education, the CCE sets the standards for the
curriculum, faculty and staff, facilities, patient care and research.
Admissions requirements of chiropractic colleges are influenced by CCE standards and
chiropractic licensing board requirements. A minimum of two years of undergraduate
education is required, with successful completion of courses in biology, general
chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, psychology, English/communication and the
humanities. Each required science course must also include a laboratory unit.
Sixty credits or more must be completed prior to admission to a chiropractic college. Two
colleges currently require 75 units, and one college requires 90 units. Currently, six
state licensing boards require a bacheloršs degree in addition to the doctor of
chiropractic degree for licensure, and that number is continually on the rise.
A chiropractic program consists of four academic years of professional education averaging
a total of 4,822 hours of course work. Several areas of study are emphasized during the
course of chiropractic education:
2) principles/practices of chiropractic
3) physiologic therapeutics
The practice of
chiropractic is licensed and regulated in all 50 states in the U.S. and in over 30
countries worldwide. State licensing boards regulate, among other factors, the education,
experience and moral character of candidates for licensure, and protect the public health,
safety and welfare.
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) was established in 1963 and functions
quite similarly to the National Board of Medical Examiners. The NBCE maintains consistency
and fairness among the state licensing boards. The NBCE also administers the national
board examination necessary to practice as a chiropractor. This exam is divided into
several specific sections:
Part I covers the
basic sciences and may be taken after the first year of chiropractic college education
Part II covers clinical sciences and is administered when students are in their senior
year of chiropractic college
Part III is a written clinical competency examination that requires a student to have
passed parts I and II and be within eight months of graduation (or already graduated).
For more information
Council on Chiropractic Education (e-mail)
Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB)
National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
Licensure and Legal Scope of
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