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Chiropractors are independent health care professionals who treat many conditions as they relate to the spine, emphasizing the dependency of health on the correct functioning of the central nerve system.

Chiropractors adjust or manipulate misaligned vertebrae (the bones of your spinal column) to restore correct functioning of your central nerve system. They may also work with other parts of your body affected by the misaligned vertebrae. Chiropractors may do this by using their hands and various mechanical and electrical instruments. "D.C." stands for "Doctor of Chiropractic," the degree New York licensed chiropractors must earn.

Licensing Requirements

Any use of the title "Chiropractor" within New York State requires licensure. To be licensed as a chiropractor in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age; and
  • meet education, examination and, for endorsements, experience requirements.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 132, section 6554 of New York's Education Law and Part 73 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

Education Requirements

To meet the education requirements for licensure as a chiropractor, you must have completed the following:

Preprofessional Study

A minimum of 60 semester hour credits* of college-level education, including courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology or zoology, and physics. (Note: if you graduated from chiropractic college before January 1, 1968, you do not have to meet the "preprofessional education" requirement.)

Professional Education

  1. Graduates of Accredited Chiropractic Programs.
    1. If you graduated from a Doctor of Chiropractic program (DCP) accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE) at the time of your graduation, you have satisfied the professional education requirement.
  2. -OR-

  3. Graduates of Unaccredited Chiropractic Programs.

    If you received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from an unaccredited program, you may meet the professional study requirement by completing the following:

    1. Contact the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for a Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP) registered by the New York State Education Department and/or accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).
    2. Submit to that CAO your entire transcript from the unaccredited chiropractic program you completed and any other information requested to determine your level of knowledge and clinical proficiency. Such information should include any postdegree course work, such as that completed for a specialization credential like the Diplomate of the American Board for Chiropractic Orthopedics.
    3. Following his/her review of your preparation, the CAO will determine what additional coursework you may need to achieve the level of knowledge and clinical proficiency expected of current graduates of the accredited DCP.
    4. The CAO must attest to your completion of the equivalent of one additional academic year acceptable to the New York State Board for Chiropractic at the accredited DCP, including the specified studies.

After completing the required combination of course work and other measures for a total of at least 24 post-DCP semester credit hours, request the CAO to submit the following directly to:

Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Chiropractic Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234

Course work or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse

In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for licensure as a chiropractor must complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law.

Examination Requirements

To meet the examination requirement for licensure, applicants must successfully complete the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) Parts I, II, III and IV.

NBCE Part I is a written examination that tests knowledge of basic sciences.

NBCE Part II is a written examination that tests knowledge of clinical sciences. (The NBCE "Physiotherapy" exam subject is not required for New York State licensure.)

NBCE Parts III and IV test clinical competencies. Part III is a written examination that measures clinical knowledge in various areas of a typical chiropractic practice. Using trained simulated patients, Part IV is an oral/practical examination that measures hands-on skills.

For information about the examinations, including applications, fees, deadlines, reasonable testing accommodations and locations, contact:

National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE)
901 54th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
Phone: 970-356-9100
Fax: 970-356-6134

To meet the New York State examination requirement, applicants must request NBCE to submit official transcripts directly to the Office of the Professions verifying that all subjects on Parts I, II, III and IV were passed.

Fees: (as of November 2, 2016)

The licensure fee is $294.

Licenses Issued and Active

In 2014, there were 141 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2015, there were 165 licenses issued for this occupation.

Licensing Authority

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Chiropractic Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 250

Standard Occupational Classification

29-1011 - Chiropractors
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 11/10/16.

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