The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists
The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists
The Academy of
Chiropractic Orthopedists

Exam Overview


Requirements for Diplomate Examination

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

To secure a position in the Academy Diplomate examination, send a Letter of Intent to the Academy office (at least 90 days before the exam date), stating the date and location of the examination you wish to take. You will then be sent a packet of information detailing the requirements, and forms to assist you in obtaining the required documentation (application form, transcripts, license information).

Upon receipt of your application and your check for one-half of the examination fee ($350 USD) your place in the exam will be secured. Final payment and all required documentation must be received at the Academy office no less than 45 days before the exam date.

For more information, call the Academy office at 612-454-1472.


The Diplomate exam will consist of three (3) sections:

  • A multiple choice question (MCQ) section will consist of 50 questions generated by and validated by multiple Delphi groups. This section will take one (1) hour.
  • An imaging section that will consist of ten (10) cases presented to the candidate in either view box or computer format. This section will take one (1) hour and includes CT, MRI and plain view radiology images. These questions have been through a radiology Diplomate Delphi process.
  • The “practical” section of the exam 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 relative to 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 15 minutes.

Themes of the examination:

  • History intake
  • Patient assessment:
    • Physical 
    • Orthopedic
    • Neurologic 
    • Laboratory
    • Imaging
  • Diagnosis/chiropractic analysis
  • Patient care/management
  • Recommendations
  • Medico/legal issues:
    • Professional liability
    • Record documentation
    • Consultation
    • HIPAA
    • Compliance
    • Expert testimony


The following methods of study and preparation for the certification examination are suggested, but are not limited to:

  1. Review Classes offered by a CCE accredited chiropractic college/university
  2. Self study from prior class notes with corresponding research and review (Class notes should serve as a guide for study, but it is strongly suggested that you read current articles or texts for additional study.)
  3. Attend classes at a CCE accredited chiropractic college/university offering post-graduate orthopedic classes.
  4. Review texts and information on the website book list (see "References" PDF).
  5. Study groups
  6. Internet


Reference material list for developing the orthopedic diplomate examination may be reviewed on the PDF titled The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists Board Exam Reference Books.

Click below for the reference list PDF


Cox Chiropractic
Cox Chiropractic