Pre-Chiropractic Medicine (BS)

Chiropractor going over a section of the spine on a skeleton

Prepare for a fulfilling career in holistic health.

Why Study Pre-Chiropractic Medicine?

Perhaps best known for spinal “adjustments,” chiropractors promote healing and healthy lifestyles in many ways. With deep expertise in the neuromuscular system, these holistic healthcare practitioners can specialize in areas such as pediatrics to sports medicine.

Millions of people turn to chiropractic care for its reputation as a natural, non-invasive way to manage chronic pain or treat temporary injuries and ailments. Increasingly, people are also choosing chiropractors as primary care providers.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Chiropractor?

Between six and eight years, typically. The most common route to become a chiropractor is to complete a four-year bachelor of science degree (usually in biology), then apply to an accredited doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) program. Including coursework and clinical experience, D.C. programs typically last three to four years. Combined degrees, such as USF’s 3+3 Doctor of Chiropractic program, offer a quicker path.

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Career Outlook & Success

~35 million

people seek chiropractic care each year (Grandview Research)


median annual salary for chiropractors in Indiana, which is higher than the national average of $70,340 (BLS, 2019)


USF offers a 3+3 dual acceptance program with Logan University

Why USF for Your Pre-Chiropractic Degree?

The University of Saint Francis is well-known in the region for its excellence in health sciences education. A hallmark of the USF academic experience is a focus on Franciscan values: Employers time and again express how professional, well-rounded and truly compassionate they find our alumni.

Among our pre-health professional offerings is a pre-chiropractic degree in biology, which prepares students for entry into doctor of chiropractic or other rigorous graduate and professional programs.

Dual-Degree Option: Save Time & Money with USF’s 3+3 Doctoral Program

In addition to a traditional four-year pre-chiropractic degree, USF offers a 3+3 program with Logan University (Chesterfield, Missouri). As noted, a dual-acceptance program can change the answer to “how long does it take to become a chiropractor?” from the typical seven years to just six.

How it Works: 3 Years at USF, 3 Years at Logan University

Most accredited doctor of chiropractic programs require three years (or 90 credits) of undergraduate studies, so this dual-degree program allows you to:

  • begin your D.C. coursework at Logan University during what would essentially be your senior year in college
  • earn a bachelor and doctor of chiropractor at least one year sooner
  • significantly lower your time in school and the cost of education

About Our Partner: Logan at a Glance

Logan University, nationally recognized for its doctoral and healthcare leadership programs, teaches 15 chiropractic techniques, more than other chiropractic college.

Get more details about how to apply for dual acceptance.

Hands-On Learning: Internship & Innovative Facilities

Chiropractors make a career using their hands, so it’s a given that your pre-chiropractic degree experience will involve plenty of hands-on learning in the classroom and beyond:

  • Interactive lab classes
  • Scenario-based learning
  • Internships
  • Job shadowing
  • Capstone/research projects

Pre-health professional majors at USF get unparalleled hands-on learning, including the unique opportunity to learn about muscles, bones and movement with human cadavers as an undergraduate. (At larger schools, this experience is typically reserved for graduate students.)

Aside from our Human Cadaver Lab, our science facilities include a range of labs equipped with cutting-edge tools and instrumentation, including an anatomage table for virtual dissections.

Campus & Community Involvement

With dozens of student groups, peer ministries and service organizations, USF students will find many ways to get involved on campus and in the community. Groups that might interest pre-chiropractic students include:

  • Kinesiology and Nutrition Club
  • Pre-Professional Healthcare Honor Society

After the Pre-Chiropractic Degree: Career Opportunities

Licensed chiropractors work in many healthcare settings, including:

  • Solo Practices
  • Group Practices
  • Sports Teams
  • Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation Centers
  • Fitness Centers
  • Wellness Centers

What Else Can You Do with a Pre-Chiropractic Degree

Your bachelor’s degree in biology and specialized coursework in human anatomy and physiology may also prepare you to work as a chiropractic assistant or lead to careers paths such as exercise science, massage therapy and personal training.

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

The natural path after earning a pre-chiropractic degree at USF is to pursue a D.C.; however, this bachelor’s degree can serve as a foundation for naturopathic and osteopathic medicine or master’s programs in health and exercise science. Our students have been accepted at institutions such as:

  • Logan University (Doctor of Chiropractic)
  • Midwestern University (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, orthopedic surgery)
  • National University of Health Science (Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine, primary care)
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic (Doctor of Chiropractic)

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Your first step to becoming a USF Cougar is applying for admission. Our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

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Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

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