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As a potential student at Palmer, you will have an array of questions about the chiropractic curriculum, financial aid, tuition and more. We want to make your Palmer experience informative as you consider prerequisites, costs and job placement opportunities for a Doctor of Chiropractic degree-holder.
Why should I choose Palmer for my education?
The short answer? Because Palmer is the trusted leader in chiropractic education. That’s our tagline, but it’s also true. Chiropractic was founded right down the street from Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Davenport Campus, and Palmer is the original chiropractic college in the world. We also pride ourselves on having excellent faculty to guide you on your educational journey. The question really is, why wouldn’t you choose Palmer?
How long is the Doctor of Chiropractic program?
Most students attend classes throughout the year and complete their studies in three and one-third years. (If studies were completed during a typical academic calendar year, it would take five academic years to complete the program.) On Palmer’s Davenport Campus in Iowa, the program is 10 trimesters long. The programs at Palmer’s West Campus in San Jose, Calif., and Florida Campus in Port Orange, Fla., are 13 quarters in length.
How much is tuition?
Tuition costs average $33,000 per year.
Is there a fee to apply?
Yes, there is a $100 non-refundable application fee.
When do classes start?
Our Davenport Campus enrolls students in March, July and November. Our West and Florida campuses enroll students in January, April, July and October.
Where can I meet with an Admissions Representative?
Palmer Admissions Representatives meet with students at each of the Palmer campuses and at off-site events throughout the year. View our complete Representative Travel Calendar for details—and find out when Palmer is coming to your area!
Do I need an undergraduate degree? And, if I do, what should I major in?
Although it is not an official prerequisite for admission, Palmer College of Chiropractic recommends students complete a bachelor’s degree prior to entering the Doctor of Chiropractic program because individual state licensing boards require a degree in order to practice. Applicants with a bachelor's degree will be awarded priority seating at our Florida Campus, as a bachelor's degree is required in order to graduate from the Doctor of Chiropractic program on that campus.
As far as your major, a specific major isn’t required. A majority of our students choose pre-health, biology, chemistry or pre-med as their majors, but Palmer students have also come from backgrounds as varied as business, English and even history.
Where should I go to prepare for Palmer? Can I take undergraduate courses at Palmer?
You can attend any number of colleges in preparation to attend Palmer College. Whether you have just discovered Palmer or you are on a set course for Palmer and chiropractic, we encourage you to contact an admissions representative to discuss your plans. Based upon your individual situation, your representative will be able to counsel you one-on-one and provide the best information. Contact information is located on the left side of this page.
In addition, Palmer has joint admissions programs and articulation agreements with a number of schools. Contact your Admissions representative for more details.
On Palmer’s Davenport Campus, the Department of Undergraduate Studies offers a Bachelor of Science in General Science degree program to aid D.C. applicants in preparing for the Doctor of Chiropractic Program. Some states also require the completion of a B.S. degree before a Doctor of Chiropractic can be licensed. All classes are upper level, three credit hours each, follow Palmer’s trimester schedule, and start in mid-afternoon to mesh with D.C. class schedules.
Palmer has three campuses—which one is right for me?
No matter where you go—even beyond our campuses—Palmer means excellence. Each Palmer campus features the three phases of our curriculum: basic sciences (anatomy, embryology, pathology, physiology, etc.), clinical sciences (radiology, technique, diagnosis), and finally the outpatient clinics, business management and professional development curriculum.
All three Palmer campuses offer immediate hands-on activity within the curriculum, whether it be taking a patient history and observing in the clinic setting, studying anatomy through cadaver dissection or learning palpation techniques.
The curriculum delivery at both Palmer’s Davenport and West campuses is through lecture and lab-based courses. Both campuses have sectioned labs for a more hands-on approach and contact with the instructor. Palmer’s Florida Campus has curriculum mastery courses set up in “tracks,” which focus on specific areas of instruction and are linked by common subject matter.
The Palmer campus in Davenport, Iowa, is known as The Fountainhead, because it is the founding college location of the profession. It is comprised of 14 major buildings, occupying seven city-blocks and is the largest of the three Palmer campuses. These buildings contain classrooms, a fitness center, the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (the largest in the world), the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library, the student center, and the Academic Health Center. There is a strong family feel on this campus, and the campus tends to draw students with families as well as those drawn to the profession by chiropractic philosophy.
Palmer’s West Campus occupies one building on the western side of multi-cultural San Jose, Calif. It has been retrofitted specifically for convenient access to all classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, library, fitness center, and the outpatient clinic. The West Campus, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is known for its excellent Sports Council student organization and has a great focus on chiropractic research.
Palmer’s Florida Campus is located in the heart of Port Orange. The campus consists of two newly constructed buildings designed to specifically serve chiropractic students with the most up-to-date technology available. Rather than lecture hall-focused, the Florida Campus offers an integrated learning system. Many students who attend this campus are drawn to sports chiropractic, nutrition and pediatrics.
While each Palmer campus has its own personality due in part to its location, you are going to get a top-notch chiropractic education at whichever Palmer College campus you choose.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. The primary source of aid available for chiropractic students is in the form of student loan programs, but Palmer also offers grants and employment opportunities through the U.S. Department of Education, state-specific grants and scholarships. Don’t only look at the price tag, but the investment in YOU and YOUR future! Palmer continues to have one of the lowest federal student loan default rates among all colleges and universities in the nation, not just chiropractic institutions—which means Palmer alumni are experiencing success that affords them the ability to pay back their student loans.
I am a U.S. veteran. What does Palmer provide for vets?
Palmer is a full participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, offering one year of full tuition to eligible veterans. Our Veterans Handbook provides complete information.
What is the average class size?
Our Davenport classes range in size from between 100 and 200 students, depending on the time of year the class begins. Classes at Palmer's West Campus range between 20 and 50 students. And, at our Florida Campus classes range between 30 and 80 students.
What is the curriculum like?
The curriculum includes extensive coursework in the basic sciences, chiropractic technique, chiropractic philosophy and business management. During the last year of classes, students work in a public Palmer Clinic under the supervision of a doctor and actively care for patients.
How difficult is the D.C. program?
The program is an intense, graduate level, first professional program. However, academic counseling is available, and students can opt to take a reduced schedule. Palmer is very sensitive to the academic needs of students and works with any student who requests assistance.
Is Palmer accredited?
Yes, it is. Palmer College’s Davenport, West and Florida Campuses are all accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). All campuses are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Both the CCE and NCA are accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
How much money do chiropractors make right out of school?
Incomes of recent graduates vary tremendously as a result of the varied choices available to them. One certainty is that graduates of the Palmer Colleges pay back their loans. Palmer College has one of the lowest student loan default rates in the U.S. among all colleges and universities, not just chiropractic schools. Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos071.htm for more information on chiropractors’ salaries.
Will I need a baccalaureate degree in addition to my D.C. degree to practice?
Some states require doctors of chiropractic to prove that they hold a bachelor’s degree for licensure. Be sure to check with the licensing body or bodies in the state or states where you plan to practice to ensure that you understand their requirements. http://www.fclb.org/
Does Palmer offer job placement assistance?
Palmer cares about its graduating students' and recent graduates' futures. That's why our Office of Professional Opportunities and the Palmer Center for Business Development exist.
The Office of Professional Opportunities assists graduating students and recent graduates in establishing their practices and in finding associateships, partnerships or externships. The office also serves established chiropractors in advertising the sale of their practices and in helping to find associates or externs, and maintains used equipment listings. In addition, municipalities in need of a chiropractor often contact the office directly.
The Palmer Center for Business Development, too, helps prepare students for successful careers as clinic associates and as proprietors of their own private practices.
Palmer is committed to helping students and graduates achieve their professional goals.
Once I complete the program, can I practice anywhere I want?
Every state and many countries have licensing boards that require applicants to pass individual state board exams. In the U.S. there are four sections of National Board exams. Many states require a passing score on these exams to obtain a license to practice. In addition, some states, including Florida, require a background check prior to licensure. (Palmer College also requires a background check as part of its admission process. Complete information about this process can be found in our catalog.)
We strongly encourage you to visit the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards' Website, www.fclb.org, which provides specific information about licensure requirements based upon the area in which one wishes to practice. Understanding these requirements before you begin on your path to a chiropractic career is a very good idea.
I’m interested in becoming a chiropractor, and I’m interested in attending Palmer. What's my next step?
We recommend three things:
- E-mail us and we can put you in touch with a Palmer graduate in your area. Visit the doctor and find out what being a chiropractor is really like.
- Come and visit our campuses. Each campus has a fantastic campus visit program, which has been called one of the best in the nation by a major enrollment management service.
- Visit with one of our Admissions Representatives when they visit your area. Check out our Monthly Recruitment Event Calendar
- Call us. We have Admissions Representatives who can answer your specific questions.
- Davenport Campus (800) 722-3648
- West Campus (866) 303-7939
- Florida Campus (866) 585-9677