The benefits of a health science degree coming into a DC education are many when considering the best chiropractic school prerequisites
Before you can provide services as a chiropractor, you must earn your doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree. Prior to being admitted to this type of program, you must have also completed at least 90 credit hours in an undergraduate course. Some chiropractic schools require students to have a bachelor’s degree.
Chiropractic school prerequisites: coming in prepared
Cleveland University shares that bachelor’s-level programs beneficial to future DCs include those that focus on human biology, kinesiology and exercise science. One additional four-year option to consider is a bachelor’s degree in health science.
In broad terms, health science refers to the study of health and wellness. Secondarily, it includes applying information learned from this research to enhance quality of life for both humans and animals. Though every health science program is slightly different, many include courses designed to educate students in areas such as:
- the history of health care
- anatomy and physiology
- medical terminology
- medical math
As a health science major, you will find that many schools require you to complete both in-classroom and laboratory work. This comprehensive program offers pre-chiropractic students a couple of distinct benefits.
Advanced knowledge of health
The first part of health science involves studying what health truly means. This requires breaking the body, its systems, tissues and organs down to the cellular level to learn what each one does. It includes gaining a better understanding
of how various parts of the body interact with each other to either advance or regress health.
The study of health exists on a macro level as well. Students are taught not only about what makes an individual healthy or sick, but also how an entire demographic or even society can lean one way or the other.
You begin to understand how illness and disease progresses through the human body and how it can transfer from one person to the next. This is important in cases of communicable disease, contagious viruses, and even societal factors that can impact health, such as exposure to workplace toxins and pollutants in the air.
Education with application
The second part of health science is all about application. It’s about taking what you’ve learned about health and wellness and applying it in real-world situations. This is when you are able to use the data presented to improve patient health.
In a health science program, this application is typically practiced in a laboratory setting. This application becomes helpful once you begin chiropractic college and, subsequently, enter into practice. You begin to create a process whereby education leads to application which ultimately leads to healing.
Finding the right health science program for you
Before enrolling in a health science program, it can be beneficial to decide where you will be earning your doctor of chiropractic degree. Each school has different enrollment requirements. Identifying these beforehand ensures that you will select a health science program that meets those needs.
It may also be advantageous to reach out to the chiropractic college to learn whether it has any partnerships with schools that offer a health science program. This can make it easier to transfer credits from one to the other because they already have an existing relationship.
When choosing a health science program, also consider other factors such as:
Application deadline and class start date. This will dictate whether you are able to apply to the program now or if you have to wait. This may influence your decision based on when you want to begin your studies, giving you enough time to complete your degree before moving on to chiropractic school.
Program length. Is the course a four-year program or does it offer the option to complete it at a faster pace? Some bachelor’s degrees can be accelerated for students who are willing to go to school year-round or take heavier course loads.
Program cost. A survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report found that the average 2019-20 tuition at an in-state public school is $10,116. Go to a private college and this jumps to $36,801 for the year. What does the school that you want to attend charge for tuition? How does this fit into your budget?
Student ‘perks.’ Research the health science schools you’re interested in to learn what other types of programs they offer that may assist you as you work toward a career in chiropractic. Maybe it provides access to tutors if you’re struggling in a certain class, or it has groups and organizations you’d be interested in joining. Sometimes these perks make it easier to separate one school from the next.
Earning your health science degree before attending chiropractic college can provide a solid foundation for advanced studies in this area. Choosing the right program for you is part of this process.
Christina Debusk is a freelance writer who specializes in content related to natural health and wellness, personal development and small-business marketing. She can be contacted through ChristinaMDeBusk.com.