Quarter 1 Chiropractic Program

University of Western States Doctor of Chiropractic program message from Dr. Galligan for Fall 2020 incoming class.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts later in the year, UWS elected to transition the first quarter of the DC program to online delivery for fall 2020. By transitioning the first quarter to online, UWS is able to: 

• Facilitate a high-quality and interactive learning environment for incoming students that will not be disrupted by COVID-19 related restrictions. 
• Reduce uncertainty for incoming students regarding the instructional format of the first quarter.
• Allow incoming students the flexibility to complete introductory instruction from their current home without having to relocate to Portland in fall 2020.

UWS is dedicated to ensuring incoming students start the DC program with the information and support they need to be successful in their first term. To that end, UWS is actively: 
(A)    re-envisioning and re-designing courses to optimize online instruction and learning. 
(B)    creating opportunities for first quarter students to virtually connect with one another.  
(C)    transitioning support services such as counseling, tutoring and academic coaching to a virtual environment.

Take a tour of the new campus with DC student ambassadors, Teya and Caitlin!

View the fall 2020 Q&A webinar from July 16 here.


  • Welcome to the class, description of online course layout and Q&A by Dr. Kathleen Galligan, dean of the college of chiropractic 
  • Intro to services, accommodations and Q&A from student services
  • Student overview of their experience with online classes
  • Fall 2020 faculty introductions 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is UWS prepared to offer chiropractic content online?
UWS has been offering online graduate education in numerous health care fields for more than 10 years, so the adjustment to delivering chiropractic content in a virtual environment will be fully supported. The DC curriculum was modified in consultation with professionally trained instructional designers from the UWS Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) who have extensive experience working with faculty to make sure students have a great experience. All DC courses currently have an online interface within the university’s learning management system allowing instructors to easily transition course content, lectures and class discussions to a virtual environment.

Will this impact how long it takes to complete the chiropractic program?
No. The DC program is still designed to be completed in 12 quarters (three calendar years).

What will the online learning experience look like?
The DC curriculum will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous lectures, laboratories and interactive forums, depending on the course and its content. This dual-mode approach ensures flexibility for students while also providing the opportunity to engage with faculty and student peers.

Faculty will be available virtually during regular office hours, and technology is available to help facilitate virtual study groups and hangouts for students.

Will the curriculum be different?
The overall credit structure of the chiropractic program remains the same, but the sequence of when some of the content will be delivered will be reordered. Some coursework that has traditionally been taught in Quarter 1 will not work in a remote environment. That coursework will be pushed to a later quarter when it can be done in-person, while other content traditionally taught in Quarter 2 or 3 will be taught sooner.

Will there be any hands-on work / labs in the first quarter?
The chiropractic profession is inherently a hands-on endeavor, so the first quarter of the program will include introductory, hands-on skills and techniques that can be taught virtually, then practiced remotely in your home. In reordering the curriculum to accommodate online learning, the chiropractic program elected to move an introductory adjusting course (Psychomotor Skills) into the first quarter to help new students connect to the hands-on portion of the program right away. This reordering will prepare students for future terms in which they will be practicing hand-on adjustments and skills.

What about the anatomy curriculum / labs?
Anatomy labs will be remote and include video instruction of cadaver dissection. The overall content that will be taught is not changing, but the order of instruction has been modified to maximize hands-on learning in later quarters. Reordering the content in this way allows students to build a holistic foundation of knowledge in anatomy so they can focus on spinal and extremity specimens in later terms.

How will I connect with faculty?
In addition to some courses being taught in a live, synchronous lecture environment, faculty will also hold regular and flexible remote office hours to ensure students can ask questions and receive guidance.

What if I need additional help/tutoring?
Academic tutoring, individual counseling, and all other student support services are already being delivered in an online environment for current UWS students. The online model for these services has been so popular with current students that they are likely to remain as a virtual option indefinitely.

Do I need to travel to Portland for any reason during Quarter 1?
No. New students will not be required to be on campus for any reason, though there will be optional events available for students who choose to partake in them during week 3.

Can I use the UWS campus if I want?
Yes! The UWS campus is open, and students who are willing and able to travel to Portland are welcome. Social distancing and other safety protocols are in place and as a UWS student you will have full use of the facility including the library, study areas, clinic and more.

Additionally, the DC program will offer OPTIONAL in-person experiences in week 3 of the fall term for students who are willing and able to be physically present on campus. Some examples of optional experiences include spending time in the anatomy lab, attending workshops on adjusting and psychomotor skills, and interacting with other DC students.

When are in-person courses expected to begin?
UWS is guided by the Oregon Health Authority, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), and a number of other governing agencies that are all providing recommendations and requirements for both public health safety and course delivery methods. If necessary, UWS is prepared to also offer Quarter 2 (winter quarter) in an online environment, but the university will continue to monitor all expert guidance and provide students an update as soon as a decision is made.

Will tuition remain the same?
Yes. Although the chiropractic program has been temporarily transitioned to an online format, students will continue to receive the same number of instructional credits.

The tuition for the chiropractic program is calculated for the entire program and then divided evenly across 12 quarters to maintain a consistent cost and keep tuition lower than if it were a pay-per-credit program. In the event that due to the online delivery format, necessary assessment methods will not allow enrolled students to complete classroom or clinical requirements, the program will make arrangements for students to complete these requirements in a subsequent term without additional cost to the student beyond the total program tuition.

Where can I find out more?
Visit the COVID-19 resource page, check out our social media channels including your Facebook cohort group and you can also contact the admissions department.

Additional information for International Students

When should Canadian/international students submit I-20 application forms for their student visa?
Although there is no requirement to enter the U.S. or be on-campus during the first quarter, UWS still asks all Canadian/international students to submit their completed I-20 forms by the end of August. This will allow students to be entered into the U.S. government international student database and streamline the paperwork process once in-person classes resume.

When will I receive I-20 documents for my student visa? https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students

*Because the fall term will be entirely online, international students will not be able to enter the US under their student visa status until 30 days before the return to on-campus classes; currently UWS anticipates that the return to on-campus classes for new students to be January 4, 2021.

UWS will send out an informational email about the I-20 forms at the time of acceptance and a follow-up email with the I-20 forms about 2 weeks later. Once we receive your completed I-20 forms (preferably by August 15) and you have met all conditions of your acceptance, we will issue the I-20 and mail it to your home address.

Canadian students: Upon receipt of the issued I-20 sent to your home address, you can pay the I-901 SEVIS fee ($350 USD), print the receipt and enter the US within 30 days of the start of on-campus classes with your furniture and belongings, passport, I-20 documents and your SEVIS fee payment receipt. 

Canadian students do not need a consulate interview and will instead receive their visa status at the border as an I-94 card or stamp in their passport from the border agent. 

Other International students: Upon receipt of the issued I-20 sent to your home address, you can pay the I-901 SEVIS fee ($350 USD), print the receipt and schedule a visa interview with the embassy/consulate. When you receive a visa, you can enter the US within 30 days of on-campus classes with your furniture and belongings, passport, I-20 documents, visa and your SEVIS fee payment receipt.

Canadian and International students: At the border/customs: make sure the border agent adds a I-94 card or stamp to your passport that says: F-1 and D/S. F-1 is your visa status and D/S means duration of stay.

If my country has been affected by COVID-19, will I still be allowed to attend UWS?

UWS continues to welcome students from around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation and will adhere to any decisions made by the U.S. government.

If I’m not able to attend UWS this fall, can I defer my admission?

Students who no longer wish to begin their chiropractic training in fall 2020 may defer their admission for up to one year to either the winter 2021 or fall 2021 start date. If you do not attend another university during that time your admissions and any financial aid should remain the same.