With an estimated 53,400 new jobs over the next few years, chiropractic is one of the fastest-growing medical fields. And it’s one of the most high-paying. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chiropractors earn an average of $70,720 a year. With these statistics, it’s no wonder that so many students want to study chiropractic medicine.
But where is the best place to start? Unlike other medical subfields, students have many options when choosing a chiropractic school. Making things more complicated, the large majority of the schools are private and unaffiliated with larger and better-known colleges, which means that most future chiropractors can’t rely on alumni connections or name recognition when making their choice.
Today, we’ve identified the ten best chiropractic schools in the U.S. and ranked them for you here. Each of these schools will give students an excellent education, but they all have their differing approaches. Some value hands-on experience and put students into clinics to start working with patients as soon as possible. Others take a more academic approach, requiring a bachelor’s degree and publishing scholarly journals.
Whichever approach works best for you, we’ve got it covered on this list. Take a seat and look over the options. Just don’t bend your neck in the process, or you’ll find yourself in a chiropractor’s office before you’re in chiropractic school!
10. New York Chiropractic College (Seneca Falls, NY)
Thanks to affiliations with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and Veterans Hospitals across the nation, New York Chiropractic College has some of the most successful alumni in the field. Olympic weightlifter turned doctor of chiropractic medicine Karyn Marshall and Ballet Arizona resident chiropractor Paul Frame both entered the field after studying at NYCC.
Despite these successes, NYCC continues to expand and grow. Just last year, the school entered a partnership with the city’s Bridge to Life Center, helping addicts on their way to recovery. Students can also gain experience while working in one of three clinics in cities throughout the state.
Those looking to pursue research agendas can participate in one of many programs NYCC conducts related to chronic lower back pain. The school also hosts the first chiropractic biomechanical research laboratory in the nation.
9. D’youville College School of Health Professions (Buffalo, NY)
As part of the private college D’youville College, the School of Health Professions is the nation’s first chiropractic program in a liberal arts setting. As part of the top-ranked private school in Western New York, DC’s School of Health Professions trains its practitioners to be not only excellent chiropractors but well-rounded people.
The school is aided in that mission by a recent $100,000 grant from the NIH for humanities-based healthcare. To this end, students studying chiropractic medicine not only learn about the technical elements of their field but also treatments for the whole person.
This approach has not lessened the effect of their technical training. Over the past four years, 88% of the school’s graduates passed all parts of the NBCE Exams within six months of articulation.
8. Cleveland University – Kansas City (Overland Park, KS)
Dating back to 1922, Cleveland University – Kansas City can trace its origins to the first families of chiropractic, Drs. C.S. and Ruth Cleveland. Under the leadership of their grandson Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, the school continues that tradition by innovating in the field.
CUKC’s most important innovation may be its emphasis on hands-on experience early in the program. Students begin working with patients in the first trimester and quickly move on to serving in the university Chiropractic Health Center, the Veterans Administration Hospital, or the Kansas City CARE Clinic. Thousands of patients visit these clinics each year, giving students plenty of experience in developing their craft.
Another innovation comes in the form of CUKC’s Masters of Health Education and Promotion program. Students can complete this degree completely online, allowing them to continue their education while still meeting their work and family obligations.
7. National University of Health Sciences (Lombard, IL)
One of the most academically rigorous schools on this list, the National University of Health Sciences publishes three scientific journals in the field of chiropractic medicine: the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, the Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, and the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. The office research publication of the American Chiropractic Association, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, is the only indexed biomedical journal in the field.
NUHS extends that academic rigor to its student body, requiring a bachelor’s degree to complete its chiropractic program. This requirement leads to a higher success rate on required board and licensure tests. In addition to these bonafides, NUHS offers partnerships with the Cook County Hospital System, in which students get hands-on training working with a wide variety of patients and needs.
As these details show, NUHS leads the field in training academically gifted and technically prepared chiropractors.