May 29, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Chiropractic Program

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The Doctor of Chiropractic Program

Life University’s College of Chiropractic offers a multilevel approach to chiropractic education. Basic and clinical sciences are taught concurrently with a variety of chiropractic techniques. Students are permitted to provide chiropractic care to patients during their third academic year; however, they must have first learned how to analyze and report on the total health picture of the patient. The College of Chiropractic curriculum is structured to help chiropractic students develop, through a logical and sequential course of study, the skill and knowledge necessary to become a primary healthcare clinician skilled in chiropractic patient education and management. This endeavor is accomplished through a comprehensive practical and didactic clinical experience. The importance of maintaining patient spinal structural integrity and a wellness-based lifestyle are stressed throughout the curriculum.

During the first two quarters, students are given an overview of chiropractic history, philosophy and science, while simultaneously studying the basic sciences to gain an understanding of the relationship between structure and function in the human organism. Students also begin their in-depth study of chiropractic analysis during their second and third quarters. In the fourth quarter, a student begins to merge basic science with hands-on chiropractic experience, taking courses in upper cervical specific technique and physical examination. In the fifth quarter, they begin to learn the Full Spine Technique and orthopedic evaluations. During the eighth quarter, students enter the Student Clinic. By the tenth quarter, they will have completed sufficient course and clinical work, which will qualify them to render chiropractic care in an outpatient setting.

Special State Licensure Requirements

For information concerning the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners board score requirements and/or undergraduate degree requirements, contact the chiropractic examining board of the respective state in which licensure is desired. This information can also be found on the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards website at The University’s Office of Enrollment Services, Student Administrative Services and the Dean’s Office may also be used as additional resources for information.If you have any questions regarding the requirements for a particular State Board including Physio-Therapeutics, you will need to contact that State’s licensing board office for more information. For a directory of state licensing requirements visit the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Board.

First Year Experience Course Series

Effective Fall Quarter, 2009, all new students entering the College of Chiropractic must complete the First Year Experience Course consisting of one (1) FYEX course; 1101. Student who have matriculated to the University and entered the Undergraduate Program either may be exempted or may substitute FYE 101  (in place of 1101). See your PASS advisor for more detail. Completion the FYEX course is a graduation requirement.

FYEX 1101

This course will cover topics of importance to new Doctor of Chiropractic students at Life University. Students will be exposed to items such as balancing a professional program, communication and relational skills, University policy and procedure, financial management, the Eight Core Proficiencies and the concept of wellness in their own lives. This course will be facilitated online.

College of Chiropractic Exemptions for the FYEX Program:

  • Bachelor’s degree with an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and the degree is not more than 3 years old
  • Master’s degree or higher and the degree is not more than 5 years old

Graduation Ceremony Participation Requirements

Doctor of Chiropractic students may participate in the graduation ceremonies if they have already completed or are scheduled to complete their requirements in the quarter in which they are graduating. Ceremonies will be held four times per year: March, June, September and December.

Graduation Requirements:

The Life University degree of Doctor of Chiropractic is presented to students who have fulfilled each of the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of at least the equivalent of four and two-thirds academic years (14 quarters) of prescribed study, and must have earned not less than the final 25% of the total credits required from the Doctor of Chiropractic Program conferring the degree
  2. Satisfactory completion of all required courses and clinic requirements with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  3. Recommendations for graduation by the faculty
  4. Registrar Office requirements:
    1. File a petition to graduate
    2. Completion of a formal academic record review no earlier than one quarter before intended graduation
  5. Student Administrative records reviews:
    1. Financial Aid Office – Exit interviews with a Counselor
    2. Student Accounting – “Perkins” Exit interview and rectify accounting balances.
  6. Freedom from all indebtedness (including library) and other obligations to the University


Course of Study

Courses are identified by offering quarters, subject/department designation, four (4) digit course number, course title, lecture, lab and credit hours.

The four (4) digit course number is designed as follows; the first digit represents the academic class level freshman = 1 through senior = 4 and electives = 5. The second digit represents the academic level equivalency from 500-800 used by most post baccalaureate programs and higher. The third and fourth digits represent the course identifier including level and sequence. See course descriptions below for additional information.

The numbers in parentheses listed following the course description, i.e. Credit Hours:  (2-1-2.5), are explained below:

  • The first digit is the number of lecture quarter credit hours for the course.
  • The second digit is the number of laboratory quarter credit hours for the course.
  • The third digit is the number of credit hours for the course.

A Credit Hour is based on the amount of time spent per week in scheduled activities. Each contact hour of classroom work per week for eleven (11) weeks, or its equivalent, is equal to one-quarter credit hour. Two contact hours of laboratory work per week for eleven (11) weeks, or its equivalent, is equal to one-quarter credit hour. A minimum of two contact hours of clinical work per week for eleven (11) weeks, or its equivalent, is equal to one-quarter credit hour. Additional clinical work is expected in professional programs to meet either patient or clinic needs and as directed by clinician of record. Online courses, hybrid, accelerated, and other non-traditional modes of delivery will demonstrate equivalent time and effort.

The following represents the current professional course of the study for the Doctor of Chiropractic Program.



m Required for NBCE PT Exam (1 of 3 classes)


Alternative Fourteenth Quarter

Total: 342 Credit Hours/4956 Contact Hours

All required courses that make up the curriculum must be taken to earn the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

The college of chiropractic has performed a structural resequencing of its prerequisites that supports the acceleration of a student’s progression to completion of the Doctor of Chiropractic Program. This structural resequencing of the prerequisites will go into effect for each student in the Doctor of Chiropractic program starting Winter Quarter 2019. 


Students, in order to graduate, must satisfactorily complete a minimum of:

  1. 18 credits of electives, or
  2. 12 credits of electives and either an Immersion or an International Clinic, or
  3. 10 credits of elective if completing a designated “Track.” (See Research Track 

All Students may select from any of the following elective course offerings when they complete enough coursework to achieve 10th quarter clinic status (Pre-registration for 9th quarter students going into 10th).

For those students dually enrolled in the Master’s Program, they may select from the following 56XX elective course listed below prior to beginning in their 10th quarter of study.

PUBH 5541  or may be taken after completing CLIN 3608 , and PUBH 5545  may be taken after completion of both PUBH 5541  and PUBH 5543 .

Electives offered directly by Chiropractic College


+Clinical Therapeutic Practicums are coordinated by the Department of Functional Kinesiology in the Center for Health Optimum Performance (C-HOP).

mCan be use toward Maryland’s PT requirement of 270 hours

Course Load – Doctor of Chiropractic Degree

  1. The minimum number of credit hours a DC student must register for in order to be considered full-time is 12 credits.
  2. The Doctor of Chiropractic Program expects students to complete an average of 18 credits per quarter.
  3. All DC students are expected to be registered as full-time students unless they are under special contract and/or by academic restriction policy.
    • Half-time or less = 11 credits or less (by contract or academic restriction policy only)
    • Minimum Full-time Load = 12 credits
    • Expected average completion Full-time Load = 18 credits
    • Maximum Full-time Load = 24-27 credits - based on class status
    • Maximum Overload = 31 credits

Students in good academic standing may register for a maximum of 31 hours, provided they have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and no unresolved failed courses or the student is in their last quarter of expected attendance.

All required courses must be completed at Life University unless students have been given advanced standing credit for courses of substantially equivalent credit, time, quality and content which have been completed at an accredited college or university, or which meet a specific set of criteria with regard to elective requirements.

Students awarded the D.C. degree must have earned not less than the final 25% of the total credits required for the degree from the Doctor of Chiropractic program conferring the degree.

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