Is this career right for you?

  • Are you interested in alternatives to Western medicine?
  • Do you like the sciences?
  • Are you motivated to market yourself?
  • Are you prepared to handle bureaucracy and navigate through state-by-state licensing requirements?

Prerequisite courses

Chiropractic schools do not have a preference on what major you choose. These programs seek applicants who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and have done well in their coursework. The best major for you to choose is the one that you will find most interesting and challenging.

On your path toward Chiropractic school, you will engage in many facets of development. Chiropractic schools are seeking well-rounded, compassionate, creative, bright, service-minded individuals. You must develop and demonstrate personal attributes that will enable you to be an effective healthcare provider.

Your academic preparation is still extremely important. The courses listed below meet the requirements for most Chiropractic schools, however, there is variability among school policies. Several programs require or recommend coursework in Social Sciences, Humanities, Psychology, and English. The Association of Chiropractic Colleges provides a list of school’s prerequisites and admissions requirements.

You are responsible for verifying the prerequisites for each of the schools that interest you. 

Many Chiropractic schools require only 90 hours of undergraduate coursework; they do not require an undergraduate degree. However, in our experience, most CU Boulder students finish their bachelor’s degree before going to Chiropractic school.

Chiropractic schools have differing policies for AP and IB credits and it is important to verify each school’s policy for which you would like to apply. The Association of Chiropractic Colleges provides a list of school’s prerequisites and admissions requirements. It is important to take associated labs with science-based courses.


There are two options at CU Boulder available to fulfill the general biology requirements.

Option 1:

  • General Biology 1 and Lab (EBIO 1210 and EBIO 1230), 4 credits
  • General Biology 2 and Lab (EBIO 1220 and EBIO 1240), 4 credits

Option 2:

  • Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (MCDB 1150), 3 credits
  • Principles of Genetics (MCDB 2150), 3 credits
  • 2 credits of first-year biology labs - choose one:
    • From Dirt to DNA: Phage Genomics Lab (MCDB 1161), 2 credits
    • Drug Discovery Through Hands-on Screens (MCDB 1171), 2 credits
    • Biological Probiotic/Drug Discovery Through Hands-on Screens (MCDB 1181/IPHY 1181), 2 credits
    • Drug Discovery Through Hands-on Screens 2 (MCDB 2171), 2 credits

Additionally, the following courses are also required:

  • Human Anatomy and Human Anatomy Lab (IPHY 3410 and IPHY 3415), 5 credits
  • Human Physiology and Physiology Lab (IPHY 3430 and IPHY 3435), 6 credits


Generally two courses with associated labs in general (inorganic) chemistry, one course in organic chemistry, and one in biochemistry are required.

  • Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 1021), 4 credits (Recommended, but optional to provide foundational knowledge)
  • General Chemistry 1 and Lab (CHEM 1113 and CHEM 1114), 5 credits
  • General Chemistry 2 and Lab (CHEM 1133 and CHEM 1134), 5 credits
  • Organic Chemistry 1 and Lab (CHEM 3311 and CHEM 3321), 5 credits
  • Biochemistry (BCHM 4611), 3 credits

Note: Biochemistry majors should follow major guidelines for chemistry and biochemistry courses.


Generally two courses in physics are required. Not all schools require labs. At CU Boulder, you have the option of taking an algebra-based sequence or a calculus-based sequence. The algebra-based sequence is usually most recommended, unless your major requires the calculus-based sequence.

Option 1 (Algebra-based)

  • General Physics 1 (PHYS 2010), 5 credits, lab included
  • General Physics 2 (PHYS 2020), 5 credits, lab included

Option 2 (Calculus-based)

  • General Physics 1 (PHYS 1110), 4 credits
  • General Physics 2 (PHYS 1120), 4 credits
  • Experimental Physics 1 (PHYS 1140), 1 credit

Math and Statistics

One semester of statistics is typically needed. Choose one of the following:

  • Psychological Science 1: Statistics (PSYC 2111), 4 credits
  • Introduction to Statistics (IPHY 2800), 4 credits -  no longer offered
  • Introduction to Data Science & Biostatistics (IPHY 3280), 4 credits 
  • Introduction to Statistics (MATH 2510), 3 credits 

Some schools specifically will expect one or more of the following:

  • College Algebra (MATH 1011), 3 credits
  • Precalculus Mathematics (MATH 1150), 4 credits 
  • Calculus 1 (MATH 1300), 5 credits

Writing/English Composition

Most schools will look for one to two semesters of writing or English Literature/Composition courses. This requirement can be fulfilled via any WRTG course.


Most schools expect one semester of Psychology. We recommend:

  • General Psychology (PSYC 1001), 3 credits

Additional Classes

Most programs require or recommend additional coursework in at least one or two of the following courses:

  • Exercise physiology, kinesiology, or biomechanics
  • Ethics
  • Public health

Additionally, most progams exepct a student’s undergraduate preparation to also include a well-rounded general education program in the humanities and social sciences.

Other Desired Traits and Experiences

In addition to focusing on strong academic preparation, Pre-Chiropractic students should also engage in activities that develop and demonstrate the personal attributes that are valued in healthcare professionals.

Updated June 2022