Pre-chiropractic program allows students to earn a degree faster

Heidi Kronaizl News Editor

Correction: An earlier version of this story has been edited for inaccuracies. Students going to chiropractic school at one of the three participating universities would have to meet varying grade point average requirements, ranging from 3.0 to 3.5. In addition, there are no online classes in the SDSU program and no additional undergraduate coursework required to participate. The Collegian apologizes for the errors and regrets any confusion over the matter.

The pre-chiropractic program at SDSU, in conjunction with three medical schools, is giving students the opportunity to earn their degree in a shorter amount of time.

Typically, pre-chiropractic students spend four years to earn their bachelor’s degree, before proceeding onto chiropractor school. Now, students can enter chiropractic school during their fourth year of their undergrad before they have earned their bachelor’s and complete their final courses with SDSU. Students that would be eligible would have to complete 90 credits, while earning the remaining 30 of the 120 total credits while in chiropractic school. Although the program does make the time enrolled in school one year shorter, it combines the fourth year of the undergraduate degree and first year of chiropractic school, making the process more rigorous.

“I think it allows students to have flexibility … we wanted to give students diversity in terms of programs,” said pre-professional health adviser Greg Heiberger.

The program was recently introduced to pre-chiropractic students, but it has begun to be implemented starting this fall semester.

“We already have two students that have started this fall,” Heiberger said.

The three schools that are accepting the pre-chiropractic students are Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minn., University of Western States in Portland, Ore., and the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Ill.

“We picked the top three schools in the country and went from there,” Heiberger said. “Our students won’t be at a disadvantage going after three years. Time and money are big components.”

Although the schools will let the students in early, there are stipulations that come with it. Each school requires 90 credits and a high grade point average, ranging from 3.0 to 3.5.

“Getting into med school is hard enough already, but when you combine it and squish it into six years, it makes it that much more difficult,” said sophomore pre-chiropractic student Allison Dargatz. 

Dargatz and her fellow pre-chiropractic students are currently deciding on whether or not to take the rigorous path. Juniors who complete the course requirements this year can apply for the new opportunity.

“It’s just something so we can have an option to start our careers faster,” Dargatz said.

Currently, only the pre-chiropractic students have the option of beginning medical school early, but other pre-professional programs are seeking approval from the Board of Regents to begin providing the same opportunities. The decision will be made as soon as October.