Admission Qualifications - Academic and Technical Standards
All students must meet both our academic standards and our technical standards in order to matriculate, progress through, and graduate from the College of Chiropractic.
Academic standards refer to acceptable demonstrations of competency in various disciplines, before matriculation and after, as judged by faculty members, examinations, and other measurements of performance. For detailed information about academic standards, refer to the Student Handbook.
Technical standards refer to the essential aptitudes and abilities that allow chiropractic students to perform in a modern healthcare environment in a variety of ways. For specific information about areas of competency, refer to the Technical Standards Guide.
A student must possess the following abilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, for completion of the Doctor of Chiropractic degree program:
- Ability to use both upper extremities in the performance of common chiropractic procedures and techniques, including but not limited to: positioning patients, palpating, feeling with hands, pushing, pulling, thrusting with hands and wrists, grasping, and lifting up to 10 pounds.
- Ability to perform in all laboratory and clinical settings without posing a threat to herself/himself, to the safety and well-being of fellow students, or to patients.
- Ability to determine depth and intensity of manual pressure and force, as applied in the performance of common chiropractic and adjunctive procedures and techniques.
- Ability to see and hear, with or without reasonable accommodation, sufficient that the student can identify histologic, cytologic, microbiologic and pathologic structures through a microscope, receive and record patient histories, provide instructions to patients, provide routine patient safety services, perform stethoscopic and other auscultatory examinations, and read and interpret all forms of diagnostic imaging.
- Ability and willingness to receive chiropractic and adjunctive treatment. Much of the technical instruction in the programs requires reciprocal application of chiropractic and adjunctive techniques. In reciprocal laboratory experiences, receiving techniques is necessary in order to learn proper procedures, and to receive and provide learning feedback. Reciprocal application of technique is also useful for developing sensitivity to client needs. Northwestern may temporarily excuse a student from receiving chiropractic treatment provided that there is a specific medical contraindication, as determined in writing by a licensed health care professional.
All students, with or without reasonable accommodation, must carry out laboratory assignments, including microscopic work and X-ray interpretation. Qualified persons with disabilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, must be able to pass oral, written, and practical examinations and meet all of the clinical requirements of the university.
It is in the best interests of both the student and Northwestern to assess the degree of limitation caused by disability. However, Northwestern will make the final determination of whether or not an individual meets all qualifications for study at Northwestern. Northwestern’s accommodations process is found under Disability Services for Prospective Students. Questions regarding qualifications or accommodations should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs.
Misdemeanor and felony convictions
Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor of a violent or sexual nature or any felony will be prohibited from professional healthcare practice in many jurisdictions. Northwestern Health Sciences University will deny admission to applicants with such convictions. The University therefore reserves the right to conduct a criminal background check on all applicants or on any enrolled student, at any time, in the program.