DC questions answered here:
Doctor of Chiropractic Admission and Cost
What is the average GPA for students being accepted into your program?
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) requires a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. The average GPA for our most recent entering class was 3.38.
Besides GPA, what else do you consider important for admission?
Other criteria for acceptance include positive recommendations, strong essays, and community involvement, all showing a good fit between our program and a student's goals.
I would like to visit the campus. How do I schedule a tour?
Campus visits are scheduled throughout the week and appointments are necessary. Typically a campus visit includes meeting with our executive director of admissions or a faculty member, touring the campus, visiting a class (depending on availability), and meeting with an admissions advisor. It is also possible to schedule advising with an admissions advisor to discuss prerequisites and entrance into UWS. To schedule a tour or advising, please email [email protected] with contact information as well as your dates of availability.
Is there on-campus housing? Where do most UWS students live?
There is no on-campus housing, but UWS is located in a pleasant residential area with houses and apartments nearby. Many students are able to live within walking or bike riding distance from the campus.
After I'm accepted, can I change my start date without having to reapply?
If you decide to delay your entry date after being accepted, we can usually accommodate you. If you do change the date, we will ask you to submit an additional tuition deposit to hold your spot.
Can I be accepted to UWS without having completed all the prerequisites?
Acceptance for enrollment on a contingency basis may be offered to students that have met all other requirements and are currently enrolled to complete the final prerequisites. Each completed application is reviewed to determine if there is a sufficient basis to grant conditional acceptance. In general, if a student has completed all but one category of the prerequisites (organic chemistry, for example), the university will usually offer contingency acceptance.
Can incomplete prerequisites be completed during the first quarter at UWS?
CCE requires that the prerequisite courses be completed before a student enrolls in the DC program.
Can I test out of any of the prerequisites?
UWS will accept credits earned from tests, like the CLEP exams, for the humanities and social science prerequisites. These credits must be listed on a transcript from an institution that is regionally accredited.
How do I know which science courses to take as prerequisites?
In order to prepare for admission into the UWS chiropractic program, you should take the science courses at your institution that are specifically designed for pre-professional students, those intending to continue in medical, dental, optometry, veterinary or chiropractic colleges. Most schools identify courses as pre-professional but if your school doesn't, the admissions staff would be happy to look at course descriptions to determine which ones are most appropriate.
Do I need to request transcripts from schools where I only took one or two courses or if it's listed as transfer credit somewhere else?
Yes. We require that ALL official transcripts be sent to University of Western States as part of the application process. We cannot use courses listed as transfer on another institution's transcripts. You must disclose all institutions attended on the application, even if only one or two courses were completed.
Are any additional tests, like the MCAT, required for admission?
No. There are currently no tests required for admission into the UWS chiropractic program.
Is there an interview process?
A personal interview is required of all applicants.
When should I begin the application process?
We suggest that students begin the process about a year in advance. Typically, if a student hasn't completed enough of the prerequisites for the committee to make a decision, we send a letter asking the student to provide us with an official, updated transcript at the end of the next term. Program start dates: Fall - October and Winter - January.
Can I earn a bachelor's degree at UWS?
You can earn a BS in human biology while you are enrolled in the chiropractic program at UWS. The required course work for the BS includes the prerequisite courses used for admission, the basic science courses taken in the first two years of the chiropractic program, and eight additional quarter credits of courses that prepare you to complete a baccalaureate project. It is also possible to transfer basic science courses taken in the chiropractic program to your undergraduate institution to count toward a BS. Ask an admissions staff member for details.
Does UWS require a bachelor’s degree for admission?
While the majority of students enter the UWS doctor of chiropractic degree program with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the minimal requirement for admission is 90 semester hours (three academic years of study toward a baccalaureate degree). Some students elect to apply for admission after three years of college to minimize their loan debt and to accelerate their time into practice. Students completing the UWS chiropractic doctoral program will earn both a Bachelor of Science in human biology and a doctor of chiropractic degree, which currently meets or exceeds the chiropractic licensure requirements for jurisdictions in North America and around the world. UWS also has several three-plus-one articulation agreements with colleges and universities in North America for students that have completed three years at their institution and then decide to enroll at UWS. After the first year in the doctor of chiropractic program, UWS academic credits can be transferred back to the original institution and the student will be awarded a baccalaureate degree from the originating college or university. Ask if your college or university has such an agreement with UWS.
Can I work and go to school at the same time?
Most of our students don't work because the chiropractic program is full time, about 35 hours a week, which doesn't allow for much extra time for a job. The majority of our students take advantage of the federal school loan program, which generally provides them with enough money to cover tuition, fees and living expenses.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
We require two letters of recommendation, which can be from a professor, an employer or someone else with knowledge of your work habits and character. It is best to avoid asking close, personal friends unless they have knowledge of your academic or professional experiences and abilities. We also ask that the recommenders not be members of your family.
What is the tuition for the chiropractic program at UWS?
Estimated cost for the Doctor of Chiropractic program can be found on this page.
Is financial aid available?
Federal aid for the doctor of chiropractic program consists of a variety of student loan programs. All DC students are automatically considered for all types of student loans. Students are awarded the maximum amount of each type of aid, based on their eligibility as calculated by the U.S. Department of Education. Visit https://www.uws.edu/admissions/tuition-and-financial-aid/chiropractic/ for more information.
Do I need to submit transcripts as part of my application to University of Western States?
Official transcripts from each and every institution must be sent to the admissions office as part of your application. University of Western States accepts transcripts in two different methods: Mailed directly from a prior institution to: University of Western States Office of Admissions 8000 NE Tillamook Street Portland, OR 97213 Emailed: Emailed in a password protected format (such as Parchment) to [email protected] It is your responsibility to ensure that the transcript is downloaded by the recipient within 30 days. A printed copy of an electronic PDF transcript is not official. If you are currently enrolled in courses but will not complete the degree until a future term, do not send an updated transcript until the degree is awarded. At that time, send an updated transcript and the degree confirmation.
After I'm accepted, can I change my start date without having to reapply?
UWS accepts students enrolling with a specific entering class and entry date. Written requests to change enrollment to a different entry term will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Can I talk to a student in the program?
Get your questions answered by your peers. Contact [email protected] for answers to anything from student life to studying tips, and everything in between.
Doctor of Chiropractic Program Features
What makes the UWS chiropractic program unique?
Evidence-informed practice. ”UWS is committed to the art and science of chiropractic and has threaded these competencies throughout the curriculum, research, and patient care. Our students develop the necessary abilities to translate an evidence-informed practice model into communicative competency with patient/public and professionals (other health care professionals). A focus on whole-person care, with a commitment to prepare students to serve as primary care chiropractic physicians. Integrative and patient focused approach to health care. We offer individualized approach to patient care so to not limit treatment to a single modality or approach. Philosophically, we are committed to providing patient care that meets the individual's needs, goals, and preferences. (within our broad scope of practice). Our motto is "For The Good Of The Patient." Diverse and very experienced faculty demonstrated by their accomplishments and the excellent learning outcomes of students. Check out our board scores! Geographically desirable (Ranked a top 10 city to live in) with a wide scope of practice (Oregon law) and curriculum/clinical experience that supports broad scope, primary care.
Why is the program so structured (why can't I choose my own classes)?
Similar to all health care degree programs, UWS' curriculum is structured to establish knowledge bases that build on each other and integrate concepts and skills across the basic sciences, clinical and chiropractic sciences, and (ultimately are applied in) patient care. This approach to learning leads to integrated or synthesized knowledge and skills exampled by diagnostic acumen, superior adjustive skills and clinical confidence---with students prepared for their role as primary care physicians. The program progressively develops student's skills and competencies so as to build the core abilities of a successful graduate and practitioner. What you learn each quarter is successively built upon and expanded throughout the curriculum---leading to the value and practice of life long learning and continued professional development.
What opportunities are available if I want to specialize?
The chiropractic profession recognizes a number of certificate and other specialty board certifications. UWS provides the educational component leading to several specialty designations such as: sports medicine (CCSP and DACBSP); chiropractic radiology (DACBR); orthopedics (DABCO), internal disorders (DABCI), wellness coaching, nutritional counseling and several other specialties. In addition, UWS offers recognized and accredited Master of Science degree programs in human nutrition and functional medicine, sport and performance psychology, and clinical mental health counseling, and a residency degree program in diagnostic imaging. New programs are being developed and are offered on an ongoing basis. Numerous postgraduate and continuing education courses are also available to students while they are enrolled in the doctor of chiropractic degree program.
Doctor of Chiropractic Curriculum
Are there electives?
Yes, there are both electives and workshops, though they are not required as part of the program. These educational courses provide additional exposure and/or training in content areas that are beyond the core curriculum. Electives are based both on student interest and faculty availability.
What kind of business preparation does the program provide?
The four class sequence or core curricula in patient/practice management is designed to develop awareness, skills, and attitudes that support the necessary business aspect of practice readiness/competence. The basic concepts of starting and running your own business will be presented. Students learn the common practice models or options available. Considerations for creating a business plan, running an office, and communicating with patients/public and other professionals, are discussed. The impact/effects of state licensing laws, regulations, tax and commerce laws are discussed relative to practice and business plans. The series culminates in a student project that includes formulating the business plan and detailing the steps necessary to implement this plan. The career services provides opportunities, information and resources and enhances student readiness to enter the job market and prepare for business of practice. UWS also provides a list of available practice opportunities on the website in the Industry Resources section. These practice opportunities are submitted by DCs in the field.
I heard that UWS teaches you how to deliver babies and how to perform minor surgery. Is this true?
The chiropractic practice act in the State of Oregon includes obstetrics (midwifery) and minor surgery. UWS teaches a lecture course in obstetrics that does not include a lab requirement to either deliver a baby or attend a live birth. UWS also offers a 2-hour didactic course in minor surgery and a corresponding 1-hour elective lab. Minor surgical procedures (laceration repair, removal of lipoma, removal of sebaceous cysts, etc.) can be performed in the UWS outpatient clinic, and students can observe and/or participate on a voluntary basis. Successful completion of these courses would not qualify one to perform obstetrical or minor surgical procedures. More detailed answers regarding the chiropractic practice of obstetrics and minor surgery in Oregon can be obtained from the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners (https://www.oregon.gov/OBCE/index.shtml).
When do students get to start adjusting?
Biomechanics and palpation lectures and labs begin in the first quarter, so students begin right away with hands-on instruction. The first adjusting course, which includes a lecture and lab portion, is offered in the third quarter.
Doctor of Chiropractic Philosophy and Techniques
What is UWS' approach to chiropractic philosophy?
At UWS, we believe in a form of chiropractic health care that incorporates evidence-informed, conservative approaches including manual medicine, diet and nutritional counseling, lifestyle management and mind-body practices. University of Western States views health as the optimal functioning of all body systems and structures. The unique composition of each patient requires an individualized approach to health care that seeks to create balance structurally and nutritionally, while adhering to a biopsychosocial model that values all aspects of human life. While chiropractic health care places a strong focus on the body’s structural integrity and articular function, true health requires a whole-person approach that also considers diet, lifestyle, stress management, emotional wellbeing and social stability. Therefore, a doctor of chiropractic sees each person as a multifaceted being that requires an integrated approach to healing and wellness.
What chiropractic adjusting styles and therapeutic modalities will I learn at UWS?
The chiropractic profession embraces dozens of adjustive techniques and management approaches. UWS offers inclusive instruction in formal lecture, laboratory, and clinical settings with exposure to critical discussions on a variety of chiropractic adjustive procedures, therapeutic modalities, and management systems. The curriculum prepares students to be competent chiropractic physicians through step-by-step guidance in joint biomechanics, soft tissue and spinal assessments, psychomotor adjustive skills, and knowledge of when, where, and how to adjust, and when and how to apply adjunct physiotherapeutic modalities. The core curriculum includes an education in many specific approaches, a few of which include:
- high-velocity, low amplitude spinal and extremity manipulations
- low-force spinal adjustive techniques
- myofascial release and ischemic compression therapies
- spinal flexion/distraction protocols
- segmental drop table and speeder-board adjusting
- instrument assisted adjusting methods
- introductory McKenzie Method®
- soft tissue manipulation and instrument-assisted mobilization
- muscle stretching
- strengthening procedures
- physical rehabilitation protocols, as well as, specifics on the most common physiotherapeutic modalities.
Students have access to elective courses and workshops where they may learn to employ other techniques, protocols, therapeutic procedures, and diagnostic systems. Club activities augment chiropractic adjustive techniques, soft tissue management approaches and physical rehabilitation protocols.
Doctor of Chiropractic Clinical Experience
When do students start their internship and how long are they in the clinic system?
Students enter the clinical internship course series in 7th quarter and begin treating patients in 8th quarter resulting in 15 months of direct patient care.
What are all of the clinic opportunities and what is the timeline for these different experiences?
Interns begin patient care in the Campus Health Center, remaining there throughout 8th and 9th quarters. During in 10th quarter, interns become eligible for assignment to the Health Centers of UWS in East Portland, downtown Portland, or Gresham. In addition, students may be assigned to one of our community partner clinics throughout the Portland metropolitan area. Late in 11th quarter, interns who have met clinic and educational criteria may enter into a preceptor office (a private practice opportunity approved by the university) to complete their clinical education. Interns also have the opportunity for assignment to a highly selective rotation at one of the Veterans Administration (VA) health centers, working directly with a VA doctor of chiropractic throughout 12th quarter.
Are there clinic abroad opportunities?
Opportunities abroad are uncommon. International clinical opportunities may be available during 12th quarter depending on the law of the local jurisdiction and the availability of a preceptor doctor to whom the intern can be assigned.
What are the total hours spent in the clinic system?
Interns are assigned a total of 1,123 hours in the clinical internship.
How many patients do students see on average?
On average, interns see 300 patients. Depending on the nature of the preceptor assignment, this number can exceed 500.
How often do students not meet the clinic requirements and what happens when this occurs?
Clinical internship faculty and administration remain sensitive to each individual intern’s progression through the internship course series. If an intern begins to struggle with either qualitative or quantitative requirements, an intern specific enhancement plan is created to ensure the student remains on track to meet qualitative standards, quantitative requirements, and has the solid footing to become a successful doctor of chiropractic. While it cannot be guaranteed that every intern will complete requirements on time, this strategy has shown great success as it has been several years since an intern has required extra time to complete the internship.
If I choose to do the concurrent sports medicine program, are there other clinical opportunities available to me?
Yes, the sports medicine program engages its students in clinical care of athletes in the training rooms of local high schools, a local college, and a wide of range local sporting events.