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Pre-Chiropractic Coursework

Chiropractors care for patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal adjustments, manipulation, and other techniques to manage patients' health concerns, such as back and neck pain.

SMSU provides the required pre-professional courses for students who intend to enroll in a Chiropractic program. You may not need complete a bachelor's degree to start a chiropractic program. The minimum academic requirement for admission to a chiropractic program is the completion of 90 semester hours of coursework at an accredited college and includes the following prerequisites. However, applicants with a BS or BA are given preference, and the vast majority of admitted students have a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate students do not have to major in one of the sciences. However, much of the pre-professional coursework is science focused and so most students major in one of the science areas. We encourage students to pursue a major that they find interesting so they will be successful.

3+3 programs: Save time and tuition. SMSU has agreements with multiple chiropractic programs that allow students to start their undergraduate work at SMSU and then transfer to the chiropractic program after earning 90 credits and satisfactory completion of prerequisite coursework. Courses taken within in the first year of the chiropractic program with transfer back to SMSU so that the student will earn their bachelor’s degree after the first year of chiropractic school. Note: 3+3 students must follow the biology curriculum.


Acceptance to chiropractic school is highly competitive. High GPA, an impressive personal statement, and good recommendations are critical. Good applicants also have research experience, have clinical experience through job shadowing or internships, and participate in university/community service.

Science Department Office

SM 178
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

Course Guidelines

Due to variation in each school’s curriculum, the following is merely a guideline of typical requirements. To determine the exact requirements for each program, the student should work with their academic advisor to review each school to which he/she is applying.

Typical Course Requirements
SMSU Course Number Pre-Requisite courses for Program Semester Credit Hours
Biol 200 Introduction to cellular biology with lab 4
At least two of the following courses:
Biol 201

Introduction to Biodiversity and Evolution

Biol 303 Microbiology with Lab 5
Biol 305/306 Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab 8
Biol 321 Genetics with Lab 4
Chem 231/232 General Chemistry I and II with lab 10
Chem 351/352 Organic Chemistry I and II with lab 10
Phys 141/142 College Physics I and II 8
Psyc 101 General Psychology (some may recommend additional psych courses) 3
At least 3 credit hours from the following:
Exsc 100 Anatomical Kinesiology with lab 4
Exsc 300 Biomechanics of Motion 3
Exsc 350 Exercise Physiology with lab 4
Psych 200 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 3
Math 200 Statistics 3
Eng 151 Academic Writing 4
Eng 251 Writing in the Professions 3
Spch 110 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
Minimum of 15 credits from the following areas within the liberal arts: Sociology, history, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, art/music history, political science, religion, geography, economics 15

Courses which are often recommended but not specifically required include the following

Often Recommended Courses
SMSU Course Number Pre-Requisite courses for Program Semester Credit Hours
Biol 104 Medical Terminology 1
Biol 305/306 Anatomy and Physiology I and II with lab 8
Biol 303 Microbiology with lab 5
Biol 321 Genetics with lab 4
Biol 333 Histology 3
Biol 461 Immunology 3
Soci 101 Introduction to Sociology 3
Psych XXX One additional Psych course in addition to General Psych 3

Chiropractic programs to which SMSU students often apply

Logan University—MO

SMSU has a 3+3 program with Logan so that qualified students can complete their degree in one less year!

Northwestern Health Sciences University—MN

Palmer College of Chiropractic—IA

National University of Health Science—IL


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

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  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

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Last Modified: 5/1/24 9:58 AM | Website Feedback