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Admission Requirements

While each prospective student is considered on an individual basis, we have prerequisites that all students must meet. 

We’d like the opportunity to discuss your qualifications to help you make an informed decision about attending Palmer. Contact an admissions representative or apply today

Admission standards for the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) Program – all campuses

There are several ways to qualify for admission to the D.C. program. 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.

Palmer College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Its D.C. program is professionally accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).

  • 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
  • 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:
    • 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)
    • Physical Sciences: physics, biomechanics, statistics
    • Humanities: literature, history, philosophy, art, theater, music, religion, physical education
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences: psychology, sociology, political science, business, economics, geography, anthropology, computer science
    • 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 GPA 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.


Palmer values a diverse, broadly educated student body, and that’s why we consider applicants from all undergraduate majors. Some of these majors include:

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.

Still need science prerequisites? Our main campus in Davenport, Iowa offers science prerequisite options. Contact your admissions representative for more details.


If you’re currently an undergraduate student and hope to join the Palmer family, we suggest course work 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

This download contains a quick one-page overview of recommended courses for future students.

Students lacking 24 semester science credits have an option to take prerequisites on the main campus in Davenport, Iowa. Contact your Admissions representative.

Save time and money. Check out our B.S. completion degree or our D.C. Degree Pathways 3+1 agreements and see how you can save one year of time and tuition dollars.


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 accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (contact information).


At Palmer, you can complete your bachelor’s degree while working toward your Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in General Science completion degree complements the D.C. degree. Your B.S. degree coursework will help to build a solid foundation for your future as a chiropractor.

Admissions Requirements:

  • Must have an equivalent of 45 college-level semester credits with cumulative grade point average of 2.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Must have applied to the Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP)

Degree Completion Requirements:

120 credit hours which includes:

  • 90 credit hours of undergraduate courses from an institution or institutions accredited at the college level by an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
    • 60 credit hours freshman/sophomore level
    • 30 credit hours junior/senior level
    • No grade below a “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) will be accepted
  • 30 credit hours of basic science courses taken in the Palmer D.C. program are applied towards the bachelor’s degree

Up to 15 credit hours may be granted from coursework in vocational/technical programs (transferable as freshman/sophomore level courses).

Up to 20 credit hours of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit may be granted (transferable as freshman/sophomore level courses).

Credit hours at-a-glance

These are the minimum hours you must take by category:

  • Natural and Physical Sciences - 24 credit hours. Such as: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy and nutrition.
  • Humanities - 6 credit hours. Such as: literature, history, philosophy, art, theater, music, religion and physical education.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences - 9 credit hours. Includes psychology, sociology, political science, business, economics, geography, anthropology and computer science.
  • Communication and Languages - 9 credit hours. Includes classical languages, foreign languages, English, communication and speech communication.
  • Mathematics - 3 credit hours. Includes algebra, physics, statistics, math for statistics, applied math and calculus.

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

To learn more please contact the Undergraduate Studies Department by email or call 563-884-5867.

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Recommended Courses Checklist

This checklist features the top recommended classes that you should consider when enrolling in an undergraduate program.

Download Courses Checklist >
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Admissions Checklist

Make sure you're fully prepared for admission into Palmer's Doctor of Chiropractic program by following these steps.

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