You’ve made the decision to apply to osteopathic medical school —Congratulations!
You already know that admission to medical school is competitive, but just what are the admissions committees and interviewers looking for in a prospective student? Read on to find out.
Previous Academic Education
All students who apply to medical school have a bachelor’s degree. There are a few exceptions for students in special programs that have prior arrangements with medical schools. Some applicants have earned a master’s degree or doctorate before applying to osteopathic medical school.
Premedical coursework varies at each college but generally requires at least:
- One year of biology
- One year of physics
- One year of English composition
- Two years of chemistry
Review the individual college pages in the Choose DO Explorer for specific coursework requirements at each college. For specific, detailed information on post-baccalaureate and other pre-medical programs visit our Post-baccalaureate Premedical Programs page.
Mean Grade Point Averages (GPA) for Entering Students
Overall GPA: 3.53
Overall GPA: 3.57
Overall GPA: 3.54
Overall GPA: 3.59
Mean Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Scores for Entering Students
Psychological, Social, & Bio: 126.5
Bio. & Biochemical: 126.2
Chemical & Physical: 125.8
Critical Analysis & Reasoning: 125.4
TOTAL MCAT: 503.1
Psychological, Social, & Bio: 126.78
Bio. & Biochemical: 126.26
Chemical & Physical: 125.9
Critical Analysis & Reasoning: 125.32
TOTAL MCAT: 504.25
Psychological, Social, & Bio: 126.92
Bio. & Biochemical: 126.29
Chemical & Physical: 125.89
Critical Analysis & Reasoning: 125.20
TOTAL MCAT: 504.31
Psychological, Social, & Bio: 127.14
Bio. & Biochemical: 126.47
Chemical & Physical: 125.97
Critical Analysis & Reasoning: 125.31
TOTAL MCAT: 504.89
Personal qualities are just as important. Osteopathic medical schools are looking for students who:
- Are well-rounded
- Demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Have a record of community service
- Have a record of leadership
- Have some clinical experience
- Have participated in a variety of extracurricular activities
- Come from diverse backgrounds
- Are motivated to pursue a career in osteopathic medicine
- Possess knowledge of osteopathic medicine
- Have shadowed an osteopathic physician
Criminal Background Checks
Some states require criminal background checks for all medical students. Additionally, affiliated hospitals and clinical institutions of many medical schools have policies requiring criminal background checks for medical students completing clinical rotations at their facilities. Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs mandates that all medical students involved in patient care at its hospitals undergo criminal background checks.
The movement toward criminal background checks across the health professions is based in large part on strengthening the public’s trust in the medical profession. Criminal background checks also enhance the safety and well-being of patients, aid in the applicants’ and enrolled medical students’ ability to eventually become licensed as physicians and minimize the liability of medical schools and their affiliated clinical facilities.
All osteopathic medical schools require criminal background checks for all matriculating students and prior to the start of clinical rotations, or at some other specified time. It is your responsibility to become aware and informed of what will be required of you during the application process. Many colleges and clinical rotation sites require drug testing, either as a condition of matriculation or at some other specified time.
When an individual applies through AACOMAS, the applicant will be asked to disclose information regarding prior criminal offenses. Failure to accurately and truthfully disclose such offenses on the AACOMAS application may result in an offer of admission
being rescinded or, if the omission is discovered after enrollment in medical school, in dismissal.
Letters of Recommendation
All medical schools require letters of evaluation/recommendation. Letters may be submitted electronically through the AACOMAS application or directly to the schools using alternative services indicated by each school in the college information section of this book. Alternative services may include, but are not limited to:
- U.S. Mail
Many programs have strict guidelines for submitting letters and requirements vary from school to school. Be sure to check with each osteopathic medical college before submitting letters of recommendation. For more information about submitting letters directly through AACOMAS, please refer to the AACOMAS Help Center.
In-State vs. Out-of-State
Many public osteopathic medical schools are mandated by state regulation to admit a certain percentage of in-state residents to each entering class. Contact the colleges you are considering for more information.
Ready to be part of the future of healthcare?
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm ET