Best Chiropractic Schools

Updated on January 3, 2024

Chiropractic medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders through non-invasive care and without the use of medicine or surgery. Chiropractors receive specialized training to manually adjust or manipulate the spine and other body structures. They also provide advice on maintaining overall health through proper exercise, nutrition, and other therapies. For those interested in becoming a chiropractor, here are 10 of the top chiropractic schools and programs.

Palmer College of Chiropractic (Davenport, Iowa)

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Tuition: $11,546 per term

Avg Salary: $78,000

Website: palmer.edu

Palmer College of Chiropractic is the founding college of the chiropractic profession. Palmer has three campus locations in Davenport, Iowa; San Jose, California; and Port Orange, Florida. Palmer utilizes a student-centered approach that prepares graduates to integrate evidence-based clinical practices in delivering skilled patient care.

Life University (Marietta, Georgia)

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Tuition: $9,432 per term

Avg Salary: $75,000

Website: life.edu

Life University focuses on vitalism and the innate recuperative abilities of the human body. Their doctor of chiropractic program promotes competency in philosophy, science, and art to maximize patient health and wellbeing. Life also has graduate degrees in sport health science and clinical nutrition.

Logan University (Chesterfield, Missouri)

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Tuition: $11,700 per term

Avg Salary: $70,000

Website: logan.edu

Logan University provides students with clinical education and applied experience. Their doctor of chiropractic program can be completed in 3.5 years or less. Logan also offers master’s degrees in sports science & rehabilitation and nutrition & human performance, among others.

National University of Health Sciences (Lombard, Illinois)

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Tuition: $12,246 per term

Avg Salary: $72,000

Website: nuhs.edu

National University of Health Sciences aims to prepare primary care physicians through evidence-informed education. Their doctor of chiropractic medicine program integrates chiropractic principles with other health specialties. The curriculum provides clinical experience across diverse patient populations.

New York Chiropractic College (Seneca Falls, New York)

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Tuition: $10,875 per term

Avg Salary: $69,000

Website: nycc.edu

New York Chiropractic College follows a clinical model centered on competency-based curriculum delivered in an interactive learning environment. Graduates apply an integrative approach focused on interprofessional teamwork and whole person healthcare. NYCC also has graduate degrees in applied clinical nutrition and acupuncture & oriental medicine.

Northwestern Health Sciences University (Bloomington, Minnesota)

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Tuition: $9,828 per term

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: nwhealth.edu

Northwestern Health Sciences University offers diverse models of natural healthcare. The doctor of chiropractic program spans 10 trimesters over 3.5 years. A unique aspect is the human dissection anatomy track that allows hands-on exploration of cadaver anatomy labs.

Southern California University of Health Sciences (Whittier, California)

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Tuition: $9,576 per term

Avg Salary: $72,000

Website: scuhs.edu

Southern California University of Health Sciences provides rigorous professional education for healthcare careers. Their College of Chiropractic emphasizes clinical competence, research, and evidence-based practice. SCU also has programs in acupuncture & Oriental medicine and applied clinical nutrition.

Parker University (Dallas, Texas)

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Tuition: $10,575 per term

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: parker.edu

Parker University teaches a patient-centered and hands-on approach. Students gain clinical experience through community healthcare outreach programs. Parker also offers advanced certifications in neurology, orthopedics, radiology, pediatrics, and other specialties.

Cleveland University-Kansas City (Overland Park, Kansas)

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Tuition: $9,722 per term

Avg Salary: $65,000

Website: cleveland.edu

Cleveland University-Kansas City emphasizes the structure and function of the human body in relation to health and disease. The focus is on overall wellness of patients through non-invasive manual techniques and patient education. Cleveland also has a master’s program in human nutrition & functional medicine.

University of Western States (Portland, Oregon)

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Tuition: $10,311 per term

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: uws.edu

University of Western States teaches an evidence-informed model focused on integrative healthcare. The doctorate of chiropractic degree can be completed in 3-1/2 years through a trimester format. UWS also offers other programs in exercise & sport science, nutrition, and massage therapy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What degrees do chiropractors need?

Chiropractors are required to have a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and be licensed to practice. Most D.C. programs take 4 years to complete and require at least 3 years of undergraduate college coursework as a prerequisite.

What colleges have the best chiropractic programs?

Some of the best chiropractic colleges include Palmer College of Chiropractic, Life University, Logan University, National University of Health Sciences, and New York Chiropractic College. Each chiropractic college has strengths in particular areas.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and physical therapist?

Chiropractors focus on disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and provide manual adjustment or manipulation of the spine and joints. Physical therapists develop treatment plans using exercises, physical modalities, and other methods to improve patient movement and manage pain. Both can provide non-surgical treatment options.

How much does a chiropractor make per year?

The average salary for a chiropractor falls within a range of $60,000 to $90,000 annually depending on experience, specialization, and location. Those working in private/group practice may earn more compared to salaried hospital positions.

What are common chiropractic treatments?

Chiropractors use spinal adjustments/manipulation, mobilization techniques, therapeutic modalities like heat/ice therapy, rehabilitation through therapeutic exercises, lifestyle counseling, and other non-invasive care methods. Treatments aim to restore musculoskeletal function and reduce pain.

What conditions do chiropractors treat?

Chiropractors treat disorders related to the muscles, nerves, ligaments, bones/joints, including neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, extremity joint conditions, strains/sprains, and restricted mobility, among others. They offer alternative care options for patients wanting to avoid surgery or medication.

Do chiropractors prescribe medication?

Chiropractors do not prescribe medication. They use hands-on, drug-free approaches focused on improving structural alignment and function. Chiropractors may provide complementary care alongside medical doctors who oversee pharmaceutical needs.

Is chiropractic care safe? What are the risks?

Chiropractic care is considered a generally safe, non-invasive treatment method. However, there are minor risks in some cases, like temporary worsening of symptoms or increased pain/discomfort after an adjustment. More serious risks, such as disk herniation or fracture, occur very rarely.

Is chiropractic care covered by insurance?

Many health insurance plans provide at least partial coverage for chiropractic services depending on individual plan details. Coverage may include a set number of visits annually, certain percentages paid by insurance after deductible, or lower co-pays for in-network chiropractors.

What academic path should I take to become a chiropractor?

Typical academic requirements before entering a 4-year chiropractic degree program include at least 90 undergraduate semester hours with a focus on science courses such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, etc. Maintaining a competitive GPA and taking the MCAT or GRE exams will also strengthen your candidacy at chiropractic colleges.

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