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Getting to Class: The academic schedule at NYCC

by on September 21, 2012

Wednesday, September 5th was my first day of class at New York Chiropractic College. My alarm sounded at 7 AM, I showered and shoveled down some breakfast, and by 8:00 I was sitting among my 122 First Trimester classmates for an introductory class called Reflections on Chiropractic. This was to be the beginning of a very busy class schedule, with 32 hours spent in lectures and labs each week.

Like other health care professionals, my classes here begin with a rigorous background in basic sciences before they shift over to clinical sciences later in my education. For a little taste, here are the classes that my fellow first-trimester students and I will attend this fall:

  • Cell and Tissue Biology (with histology lab)  –  5 credits, 6 hours per week
  • Gross Anatomy 1 (with cadaver lab)  –  5 credits, 7 hr/wk
  • Neuroscience 1 (with cadaver lab)  –  5 credits, 6 hr/wk
  • Principles of Biochemistry  –  3 credits, 3 hr/wk
  • Chiropractic Philosophy & History  –  2 credits, 2 hr/wk
  • Technique 1: Introduction to Palpation  –  1 credit, 2 hr/wk
  • Technique 2: Psychomotor Skills  –  1 credit, 2 hr/wk
  • Reflections on Chiropractic  –  1 credit, 4 hr/wk

This schedule will continue until break in December. At NYCC the academic calendar is broken into three trimesters each year, and the program lasts for a total of ten trimesters, or 3.3 years. Short holidays of just a couple weeks break up each trimester. This is an accelerated schedule, covering what the Association of Chiropractic Colleges considers to be 4 years of material.

Outside of class, so far I have found that studying takes up most of the rest of my time. One instructor noted that in college a healthy dose of studying is often considered 3 hours out of class for every 1 hour in class. That would mean 128 hours in class or studying, which would not even leave time for the eight hours of sleep per night recommended in Neurology. So of course, the situation is not quite that extreme, but during the week I can be almost guaranteed to be studying, eating, running or writing at all times.

“Don’t study more, study smart,” one professor noted, and my classmates and I have spent much of the first weeks learning to do just that.

Learn More:

New York Chiropractic College. Curriculum Summary. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2012

New York Chiropractic College. Academic Calendar. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2012


One reader noted via the NYCC Facebook page that the curriculum as he understood is 10 semesters or 5 academic years. Rumor has it that the NYCC curriculum was a full 5 calendar years in the past, but the curriculum guidelines that the Association of Chiropractic Colleges adheres to now state 4 years as the standard. This information came from the ACC page on curriculum, which you can view here: Thanks to Bill for speaking up!

> Next: 2nd Trimester- An Ode to Exams


From → All Posts, NYCC, Schedule

  1. Steph permalink

    I think one of the first things we learned in medical school was how to triage. At our orientation they told us that the minute classes start, you will be behind and you will never catch up. After finishing first year, I’ll tell you that’s DEFINITELY true, and maybe the hardest thing you will have to do is to learn to be happy with just passing. But finally, for the first time in maybe 16 years of education, you are learning things you will actually need to know for ‘real life’, so all the time spent studying is worth it.

    • So. True. Actually, I’m writing this week’s post about that. Glad to hear that D.O.s have the same pain!

  2. Denice Albert permalink

    I am so jealous! Your classes look interesting 🙂

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Making an Entrance: Answers for new student questions | Hands In Training
  2. Advice to New Chiropractic Students | Hands In Training

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