Doctor of Chiropractic Program

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Admission Standards for the Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP)

As the trusted leader in chiropractic education, Palmer College of Chiropractic is committed to the success of its students and graduates. All prospective students are considered on an individual basis. There are several ways to qualify for admission to the DCP as multiple factors are taken into consideration during the application review process. Those factors include credits earned, transfer credits, classes taken, grade-point average (GPA), and degree(s) earned.

Candidates who've achieved the following qualify for admission to the DCP, pending official transcript review:

  • Minimum of 90 credit hours
  • 3.0 GPA or greater on a 4.0 scale*
  • 24 semester hours in life and physical sciences, half with labs
  • Official transcript and favorable background check review
  • Well-rounded general education program in the humanities and social sciences

A well-rounded general education includes required coursework in life and physical sciences; humanities; social and behavioral sciences; and communications and languages. Coursework in each of these domains may include:

  1. Life and Physical Sciences:
    1. Life Sciences:
      Biology (human anatomy, physiology, embryology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, cellular biology, exercise physiology, kinesiology),
      Chemistry (general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology/pharmacology, and nuclear medicine)
    2. Physical Sciences: physics, biomechanics, statistics, mathematic
  2. Humanities: literature, history, philosophy, art, theater, music, religion, physical education
  3. Social and Behavioral Sciences: psychology, sociology, political science, business, economics, geography, anthropology, computer science
  4. Communication and Languages: oral communication, written communication, digital communication, foreign languages

*Applicants with less than 24 semester credits in life and physical sciences and/or a cumulative G.P.A. less than 2.75 for degreed students and 3.0 for non-degreed students may be considered under an alternative admissions track plan (AATP). This point of entry requires a more extensive review of the applicant's enrollment factors by both academic and admissions personnel. Decisions for admission are made on a case by case basis.

We'd like the opportunity to discuss your qualifications to help you make an informed decision. Contact an admissions representative today or complete your admissions application.

Palmer College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Its Doctor of Chiropractic programs are professionally accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).

Already have an undergraduate degree?

We consider applicants from all undergraduate majors. Palmer values a diverse, broadly educated student body and many of our students with non-health science degrees have excelled in our program.

  • Health disciplines: pre-medicine and pre-dentistry, as well as exercise physiology, athletic training, kinesiology, physical therapy, biology, nursing, health science and chemistry.
  • Other disciplines: psychology, marketing, anthropology, management, communications, mathematics, sociology, business, criminal justice, history, liberal studies, engineering, education and religion.

Working on your undergraduate degree now?

We suggest study that includes:

  • 24 semester credits of science, with half of those credits with corresponding labs

We suggest labs in:

  • Biology: human anatomy and physiology, embryology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, cellular biology, exercise physiology and kinesiology
  • Chemistry: general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology/pharmacology, nutrition and nuclear medicine
  • Physical sciences: physics, biomechanics and statistics

Save time and money . Check out our educational agreement programs and see how you can save one year of time and tuition dollars.

Who determines admissions guidelines?

The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) sets the above admissions guidelines. The CCE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for the accreditation of programs and institutions offering the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Palmer also is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (contact information).

Applicants with less than 24 semester science credits and/or cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 for degree holding students and 3.0 for non-degree students may be considered for admissions. This point of entry requires applicant's files to be reviewed by a committee comprised of academic deans and admission directors from all three campuses. Decisions for admission are individually based and on a case by case basis.

Davenport, Iowa, Campus Only

Master of Science in Clinical Research

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Continue your education as part of a clinical research team in large clinical trials. Conduct patient-oriented research in our extensive, state-of-the-art research facility.

Part of your role will be to develop high-quality research proposals. To succeed, you'll need a strong academic background with the ability to search, read, synthesize and interpret scientific literature. We're looking for students with appropriate credentials and a strong background in health care, such as a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

You'll need:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  2. A professional doctoral degree from an accredited, health-profession institution
  3. A minimum overall grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale

Contact Us to Discuss Your Goals

Email us at or call (800) 682-1625 OR (563) 884-5198 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (CST).

Bachelor of Science in General Science

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Complete your bachelor's degree while working toward your D.C. degree. We've made it convenient to do both.

This degree is designed to be awarded at the same time you receive your Doctor of Chiropractic degree. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in General Science degree is awarded independently from the D.C. degree.

The minimum program requirements are 120 total credit hours:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of courses must be completed at Palmer College of Chiropractic.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours must be junior/senior (300/400) level courses.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours must be (100/200) freshman/sophomore level courses.
  • Credit must be a "C" or higher. No grade below a 2.00 on a 4.00 scale will be accepted toward the B.S. degree.

Get a head start with these credits:

  • Earn up to 15 hours credit for vocational/technical programs.(Credits may be granted towards freshman/sophomore level courses.)
  • Earn up to 20 credit hours through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). (Credits may be granted towards freshman/sophomore level courses.)
  • Earn up to 35 credit hours from a previous undergraduate degree.

Credit hours at-a-glance

These are the minimum hours you must take by category:

  • Natural and Physical Sciences - 24 credit hours. Includes biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology, astronomy and nutrition.
  • Humanities - 6-9 credit hours. Includes literature, history, philosophy, art, theater, music, religion and physical education.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences - 9-12 credit hours. Includes psychology, sociology, political science, business, economics, geography, anthropology and computer science.
  • Communication and Languages - 9-12 credit hours. Includes classical languages, foreign languages, English, communication and speech communication.

Other types of courses will be reviewed and considered for credit by the Undergraduate Program Oversight Committee.

Contact us

Undergraduate Studies, Annette VenHorst at or (563) 884-5867.

Associate of Applied Science in Chiropractic Technology

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You'll need:

  • A high-school diploma with cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • At least one year at the high school-level of English composition, math, and general science with at least a grade of “C”
  • Or a GED certificate with passing overall score

Have college experience?

We'll review your college transcripts for opportunities to transfer credits to our program. You may also be able to test out of certain classes. In addition, your college coursework may help you meet requirements not met at the high-school level.

College grades may be substituted as follows:

  • One semester of college-level courses for English composition, math, general science or biology can be substituted for one year of high-school level courses in these subjects.
  • A minimum of 12 college credits (100 level or above) taken in one semester for the overall GPA requirement.

Biology coursework needed

  • In the last five years you need to have taken a biology course and received a “C” or better grade. This applies to your high school or college credits.
  • If not, you'll take Fundamentals of Human Biology as part of your first trimester at Palmer. This is a one-credit, pass-or-fail course.

Prepare to become a Certified Chiropractic Radiologic Technologist

Use this degree to expand your career. With your degree, you may become certified to take and develop X-rays in a chiropractic office in many states. An exam is offered by the American Chiropractic Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ACRRT) on the Davenport, Iowa, Campus each trimester. Call us at one of the numbers below to learn more.

Jump start your career

Apply now or call us today and learn how you can move your career forward. Financial aid is available. Call Lisa Gisel at (563) 884-5743 or (800) 722-2586, ext. 5743.

Contact Us

Main campus

Davenport campus
1000 Brady St.
Davenport, IA 52803-5214
(800) 722-3648

Branch campuses

Florida campus
4777 City Center Parkway
Port Orange, FL 32129-4153
(866) 585-9677

West campus
90 East Tasman Dr.
San Jose, CA 95134-1617
(866) 303-7939

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