The UT Martin Pre-Chiropractic Plan is designed to prepare students for application to professional school.  The courses listed in the plan meet the minimum requirements for admission to chiropractic school as outlined by the Council on Chiropractic Education.  By following the Pre-Chiropractic Plan recommendations, students will be eligible for admission into most Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) programs; however, students are strongly encouraged to review the requirements for their school(s) of choice. 


Please note: the Pre-Chiropractic Plan is not a major and does not fulfill the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at UT Martin.  The courses listed below are recommendations and are not required for degree completion unless also listed under the student’s chosen major. 


Frequently Asked Questions


What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients with health problems of the musculoskeletal system believed to be caused by interference with the function of the nervous system. Chiropractors rely on the body's inherent recuperative abilities by adjusting the spinal column and other areas of the body; they also provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments, such as exercise, rest, water, light, heat, and nutritional therapy. 

Chiropractors conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations; order laboratory tests; and analyze a patient’s posture and spine using a specialized technique.  Additionally, chiropractors diagnose health problems by reviewing patient's health and medical histories; questioning, observing and examining patients; and interpreting x-rays.  They may recommend changes in lifestyle that affect health and they may refer patients to or consult with other health practitioners. 


Is there a demand for chiropractors?
Employment for chiropractors is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018 due to consumer demand for alternative health care. Growth will also be spurred by an expanding elderly population with mechanical and structural problems.


What degree to do I need to become a chiropractor?
Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)


Do I have to have a license or a particular credential?
Chiropractors are required to be licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 


How many chiropractic programs are there in Tennessee?
There are only 16 colleges of chiropractic in the United States and there are none in the state of Tennessee. 


How long is the typical D.C. program?
Most D.C. programs are 3-4 years in length.


Are there any required admissions tests for chiropractic programs?
No, there are no required admission tests.


Will I be a pre-chiropractic major?
No.  The Pre-Chiropractic Plan is not a major and does not fulfill the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at UT Martin.  The courses listed in the plan are recommendations and are not required for degree completion unless also listed under the student’s chosen major. 


What should I major in?
While most Doctor of Chiropractic programs do not require applicants to earn a baccalaureate degree before matriculation into the professional program, students who have earned a baccalaureate degree are often viewed as more competitive than those who have not.  The best major is the one in which you are most interested and the most likely to succeed.  The Biology – Cellular and Molecular Concentration includes many of the courses listed in the Pre-Chiropractic Plan; however, students may choose to major in any subject area they wish as long as they also complete the courses required by their chosen D.C. program(s).  Additionally, since many chiropractors own their own businesses, students may wish to consider taking business classes as electives and/or combining a science major with a business major or minor.


What are the minimum requirements for a D.C. program?
According to the Council on Chiropractic Education, students must earn a minimum of 90 undergraduate semester hours to be eligible for admission to a D.C. program.  Within those 90 hours, students are required to take 48 hours of prerequisite courses: 

  • 3 hours of Psychology
  • 3 hours of General/Inorganic Chemistry with lab
  • 3 hours of Chemistry electives
  • 3 hours of Physics with lab
  • 3 hours of Physics electives
    • Must be a second Physics with lab, Biomechanics, Kinesiology, Statistics or Exercise Physiology
  • 6 hours of Organic and/or Biochemistry with lab
  • 6 hours of English Communication and/or English Language Skills
  • 6 hours of Biological Sciences with lab
  • 15 hours of Social Sciences or Humanities electives
    • Recommended Humanities/Social Science Electives include: Political Sciences, Economics, Anthropology, Geography, Social Work, History, Government, Creative Arts, Music, Theatre, Language, Philosophy, Culture, Literature, Religion, Sociology, and Foreign Language


What classes at UT Martin should I take as a pre-chiropractic student?
While not an exhaustive list, the following courses are strongly recommended for students considering applying to chiropractic school.  Students should always check with their advisor and/or school(s) of choice before deciding which classes to take.


Recommend courses:

  • Biochemistry 411 Cell & Comparative Biochemistry I
  • Biochemistry 412 Cell & Comparative Biochemistry II
  • Biochemistry 419 Cell & Comparative Biochemistry lab
  • Biology 130 Foundations of Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity
  • Biology 140 Foundations of Biology: Cell and Molecular
  • Chemistry 121 General Chemistry I
  • Chemistry 122 General Chemistry II
  • Chemistry 341 Organic Chemistry I
  • Chemistry 342 Organic Chemistry II
  • English 111 English Composition II
  • English 112 English Composition II
  • Microbiology 310 General Molecular Microbiology
  • Microbiology 311 Public Health Microbiology
  • Physics 211 College Physics I
  • Physics 212 College Physics II
  • Human Performance 440 Evaluation in Human Performance OR Math 210 Elementary Statistics and Probability OR Psychology 315 Experimental Psychology I
  • Psychology 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • Psychology 315 Experimental Psychology
  • Zoology 251 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Zoology 352 Human Anatomy and Physiology II


What else should I know about chiropractic education?
As mentioned above, most D.C. programs require a minimum of 90 hours of pre-professional coursework.  Not all D.C. programs require a baccalaureate degree; however students who have earned a degree may be viewed as more competitive than those who have not.

Most D.C. programs require direct observation of the field prior to admission.  Direct observation hours can be gained through volunteering and shadowing a licensed chiropractor.

Grades are extremely important; most D.C. programs require a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 and applicants must demonstrate that all required course work will be completed with a grade of C or better prior to admission. 


Where can I find out more about the field of chiropractic and chiropractic education?

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