Pre-Chiropractic Program – Palmer College of Chiropractic

At Palmer College of Chiropractic, the first and largest chiropractic college in the nation, students get excellent teaching, comprehensive learning and real-world preparation. The Palmer College curriculum blends theory with hands-on clinical skills to enable students to develop a successful professional practice.

Your pathway to Palmer College begins at PennWest California with our “3+3” dual degree program: In PennWest California’s pre-professional biology program, you’ll earn a bachelor of science degree in biology in three years, while transitioning into the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program for just over two years of study at Palmer College.

Earning both the B.S. and D.C. degrees gives students maximum flexibility as they begin their careers.

Your Chiropractic Degree Program

The mission of the D.C. Program at Palmer is to advance chiropractic care by promoting learning, delivering health care, engaging our communities and advancing knowledge through research.

The D.C. curriculum at Palmer College of Chiropractic blends theory with hands-on clinical skills designed to prepare you for success in your professional practice. You will take courses in the basic sciences, clinical sciences, chiropractic technique, chiropractic philosophy and business management.

After learning the basics, you also will care for patients in the Palmer College Clinic System under the supervision of a licensed doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractic students care for patients in Palmer College outpatient and community outreach clinics.

Palmer focuses the chiropractic curriculum on the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to prepare students for licensure and success in clinical practice. As a D.C. student at Palmer, you will take courses in the following areas: 

  • Chiropractic History and Philosophy.
  • Taking a Patient’s History.
  • Physical Examination.
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Examination.
  • Psychosocial Assessment.
  • Diagnostic Studies.
  • Diagnosis/Clinical Impression.
  • Case Management.
  • Adjusting the Patient.
  • Emergency Care.
  • Case Follow-up and Review.
  • Record Keeping.
  • Doctor-Patient Relationship.
  • Professional Issues.
  • Public Health and Wellness.
  • Ethics and Integrity.
  • Non-adjustive Therapeutic Procedures.
  • Nutrition.
  • Patient Education.
  • Business Management.
  • Information Literacy.

About Palmer College

Palmer College of Chiropractic was founded in 1897 by Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer, who developed the science, art and philosophy of chiropractic and performed the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa.

Palmer has three campuses: Davenport, IowaSan Jose, Calif.; and Port Orange, Fla. 

Palmer College of Chiropractic’s main campus in Davenport, Iowa, features state-of-the-art educational facilities such as the Palmer Academic Health Center, opened in 2007. Palmer College of Chiropractic West, in San Jose, Calif., is a smaller campus where students are exposed to many different chiropractic philosophies and approaches, so they can choose the one that best fits their individual outlook. At Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, in Port Orange, Fla., students participate in an innovative curriculum delivery that meshes small-group active learning sessions, laboratory and clinical experiences with lectures designed to synthesize learning objectives.

Students attending the Palmer campuses are a diverse group from many different backgrounds, including about 10% who come to Palmer from outside the United States. The average age is 26 years old at matriculation, but Palmer students range in age from early 20s to 60s. Many have a scientific background, but others come to Palmer from careers ranging from teaching to agriculture and business.

The Palmer faculty is a group of experienced, highly educated and credentialed men and women dedicated to providing the best possible chiropractic education to their students. The faculty includes highly published scholars and researchers who have presented their work at prestigious national and international conferences and written textbooks in use at chiropractic colleges. They serve as teachers and mentors who guide students through the chiropractic education process and prepare them for their chosen profession. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15-to-1 or lower, depending on the particular Palmer campus.

Get started on your path to Palmer College of Chiropractic with PennWest California’s dual degree program. Apply now!

A chiropractor uses a skelton to show spinal movement.

Chiropractic Dual Degree

Comprehensive. Cost-effective.

PennWest California’s “3+3” dual degree program enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology while transitioning into the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program at one of the nation’s top three chiropractic colleges.

Learn more


A femail chiropractor meets with a patient.

Benefits of a Dual Degree

Go Further.

The pre-professional program at PennWest California is an efficient and cost-effective first step toward specialized study and a top career as a chiropractic healthcare professional.

Learn more.


A former Chiropractor student of PennWest California looks at a spinal x-ray.

Chiropractic Career Options

Exciting Opportunities.

Explore many career opportunities, from solo practitioners and members of a group practice to sports team or corporate chiropractors, and chiropractic educators or researchers.

Learn More


A chiropractor discusses treatment with patient.

Top 10 Reasons to Become a Chiropractor

Many Opportunities

Get a closer look at the top reasons to become a chiropractor – and why you’ll get the best start in this dynamic field at PennWest California. 

Learn more