Chiropractic Licensure and Education
There are currently 17 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
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 bachelor's 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:
1) adjustive techniques/spinal analysis
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 please visit:
Council on Chiropractic
Federation of Chiropractic
Licensing Boards (FCLB)
of Chiropractic Examiners
and Legal Scope of Practice