Chiropractor Education and Training

Reviewed by Stephen M. Perle, DC, MS

Chiropractors complete 3 to 4 years of undergraduate education, a 4-year chiropractic college program, and must be licensed by the state in which they practice. The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), an agency recognized by the United States Office of Education, is responsible for accreditation of programs and institutions that offer the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree.
  During the first 2 years of the chiropractic program, students focus on the basic sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and pathology. The final 2 years concentrates on manipulation techniques and courses in diagnosis, neurology, orthopaedics, physiological therapeutics, rehabilitation, nutrition, geriatrics, and pediatrics. During the last year of school, chiropractic students treat patients under the direction of licensed chiropractors.

Chiropractic colleges offer continuing education programs in many fields to allow chiropractors to specialize in an area of interest. Some chiropractors specialize in neurology, orthopaedics, sports medicine, rehabilitation, occupational and industrial health, nutrition, diagnostic imaging, internal disorders, pediatrics, and forensic sciences.

Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states and all provinces in Canada, in most European countries, and Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, licensing requirements include a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from an accredited program, successful completion of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiner's examinations, and completion of yearly continuing education courses (CMEs).

To find your state's chiropractic licensing board, visit the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Board’s website at

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