General Information

Requirements for Diplomate Examination

A certificate of completion is required from a CCE-approved chiropractic college/university noting that the candidate has completed a course of education as presented by the institution. The minimum requirement is 300 hours to sit the Diplomate examination offered by the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists.

To secure the position to sit the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists Diplomate examination process, send a letter of intent to the Academy Executive Director at least 90 days before the date you wish to take the examination. You will receive a packet of information detailing the requirements, and forms to assist you in obtaining the required documentation to sit the examination. This information includes the application form, request for transcripts, and license information. Once you receive this packet, you will have the opportunity to choose the date and location of the online Part I examination. You must send a letter of intent to the Executive Director at [email protected] or for more information; you can call the Academy office at (612) 454–1472.

The Academy Part I examination is an online process. The packet received will outline the necessary steps to take the online examination. The Academy website will post the days and months that are available for the candidate to choose. The examination fee is $600 USD. The Academy has made provisions for a candidate to take “a practice test” if all the educational requirements are complete. The cost is $50 USD fee. The candidate takes the regular board examination and if successful, may pay the additional $550 USD and receive notice successfully completing Part I. If not successful, having the experience and practice of taking an online test were obtained. To retake the practice test is a full $600 USD fee. Retake examinations are $150 USD.

Successful completion of Part I qualifies the candidate for Part II Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The “practical” section of the examination follows the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) format utilizing an examiner and a standardized patient in each room. The patient is trained to simulate the history and clinical signs/symptoms about a disease process or biomechanical dysfunction of the spine and extremities seen in the chiropractic orthopedist’s office. Four (4) stations comprise this section, and each station will take 30 minutes. The simulated patient is also an examiner. Further questioning by both examiners will occur after your initial impressions and recommendations. This examination is scheduled on a yearly basis at Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) late September or early October. The website will give the exact date each year. The examination fee is $900 USD, and retakes are $500 USD.

Themes of the Examination:

The Diplomate examination content and questions closely follow the job analysis for the chiropractic orthopedist. The job analysis is performed every five years by the Academy to be assured of the current methods and practices of the chiropractic orthopedist. The next analysis is due in 2020.

A copy of the current job analysis is found here.


Reference material list for developing the orthopedic Diplomate examination may is available in the PDF titled The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists Board Exam Reference Books. The Academy does not expect nor does it feel it necessary that every book listed is in your library. It is recommended that you have at least one good reference book that covers the material in the job analysis. Education is continually changing as far as methods for obtaining study material. There is not one textbook or article that can be used that covers all of the Part I or Part II testing material. The job analysis is a guideline for study.

The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists Board Exam Reference Books