With increasing demand on human bodies young and old, this holistic approach to healing the body and helping patients cope with pain has become indispensable as a part of many Americans’ comprehensive treatment plans. From helping children and teenagers deal with sports-related injuries to allowing older adults to continue living independently for longer periods, chiropractic care assists people in leading better, more fulfilling lives.
Prerequisites for Chiropractic Education
The typical length of a study program to become a qualified chiropractic care provider is three to four years, beyond the undergraduate hours. At Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) the list of basic chiropractic school requirements for their Los Angeles College of Chiropractic is as follows:
- All potential students must have completed a minimum of ninety semester units or one hundred and thirty-five quarter units at an institution or institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or an equivalent foreign agency. These units or credit hours comprise what is typically referred to as a bachelor’s degree, though an actual bachelor’s degree in the formal sense is not required, so long as the minimum unit qualification is otherwise met. Twenty-four of these completed units must be in the Life & Physical Sciences.
- Prospective students must have earned a minimum, cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the prerequisite ninety semester units of course work may be considered for admission to the standard curriculum track.
- Prospective students whose overall GPA is 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for the whole of the prerequisite ninety semester units of course work may be considered for admission to the alternative admission track plan, or AATP.
Programs like the AATP allow students from “various backgrounds” to qualify for and work toward a degree through the field of chiropractic study, giving students with lower overall grade point averages but who are otherwise competent and eager the chance to pursue qualification. This is one of many ways that chiropractic school requirements are more flexible than those of other fields of study within the medical and healthcare community.
Other Requirements and Expectations
There are other factors to consider in deciding whether a degree in chiropractic is right for a prospective student, outside of the basic requirements. According to Doctorly, the average, base cost of obtaining certification in this field is $120,000. This does not include other, necessary expenses that should be factored into budgeting for a complete education. Potential students will also need to consider the following:
- Relocation costs, if the desired school is not within commuting distance.
- The type of funding used to pay for tuition, as students who are awarded scholarships or grants typically feel that they receive a better ROI – return on their investment, as detailed by erstrategies.org – than those who pay for courses and materials with loans other sources.
- Cost of materials, living expenses and other incidental costs incurred during study.
Educational institutions offering chiropractic care as a program of study are typically private and tuition-driven, leaving less opportunity for students to secure debt-free assistance in paying for their courses. However, most students who choose to move forward in this field of study do so to pursue their passion for healing and helping others, and would say that – in a quote from Dr. Shawn Allen of The Joint Chiropractic – “the expense of schooling is the price that is necessary” to achieve those goals.