National and State Boards

The requirements, test dates, and test locations for national board exams are provided on the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ website: The national board examinations are usually administered biannually, in September and March. According to the NBCE website, the tests are given at various locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Korea, France, England, and New Zealand. You can find the most recent, specific information about upcoming national exam dates on this website.

The NBCE website also lists all of the deadlines for applying to take the exams in each testing cycle, as well as any other necessary information you will need to provide. You can also find out how long it will take to receive your scores, what constitutes a passing grade, and how much it will cost for you to take the examination. You should become familiar with these guidelines, and be prepared to meet any application deadlines for your intended test date. Some states do not currently require that you take Part IV of the national exams as a condition of licensure. Part IV is a more “hands on,” applied test of your diagnostic skills. In addition, some states place restrictions on the number of times you are permitted to take the exams, so it is important to know your state’s potential limits on retesting prior to testing for the first time.

In addition to the national board exams, some states also require that you pass individual state board examinations, known as “jurisprudence exams.” These tests focus on the chiropractic laws and regulations governing the particular state. Future chiropractors usually take these exams after graduating from chiropractic school and taking the national board exams. The NBCE website also lists links to the state chiropractic boards. You can navigate this site to find out whether your state requires jurisprudence exams, as well as when and where they are administered.

In some states, jurisprudence exams aren’t required for licensure, but are recommended for a more complete knowledge of practicing in the state. The actual administration of these tests also varies from state to state: In some locations, the jurisprudence exams are given on an as-requested basis, and are mailed to the applicant rather than taken in person. Whether or not your state requires that you pass jurisprudence examinations, it is to your advantage to become familiar with the laws and professional guidelines of the state in which you intend to practice.