Thank you for your interest in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University.

Please read this information completely before contacting the admissions office directly with questions. To complete your file at DMU, you must submit the supplemental application and the required letters of recommendation.  The final deadline for submission is March 1, 2017, however, DMU operates on rolling admission and applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible for best consideration. Please read the following instructions and follow the link to the supplemental application at the bottom of this page.

Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

DMU accepts letters via AACOMAS, Interfolio, VirtualEvals or Letters may also be mailed directly to:

DMU COM Admissions
3200 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312.

To complete your file, you must plan to have at least three (3) letters of recommendation (LOR) submitted.  It is in your best interest to submit the types of letters requested by DMU, however, your LOR requirement will be considered complete once any combination of the below letters, totaling three, are received by the admissions office. We will not delay review for additional letters.

Medical Exposure Letter

Applicants are encouraged to submit a medical exposure letter. Medical experience is required of all applicants and may be obtained through shadowing, volunteer, or paid work experience. The medical exposure letter should be written by a physician (D.O. or M.D.) who can articulate your medical exposure.

Academic Letters

Applicants are also encouraged to submit academic letters, which can include committee, academic or advisor letters which speak to your academic preparation.

Committee Letter – (will count as two LOR) compiled by an established college pre-health professions committee. Medical exposure letters contained within the committee letter will be counted also as the medical exposure letter.


Two academic or advisor letters – letters written by science professors or academic advisors detailing your academic ability, performance in the sciences and overall preparation for medical school.

Letter writers should be as objective as possible, therefore, letters from the following will not count toward completion of your admission file: relatives, spouses, family friends, your family physician or pediatrician (unless you have shadowed or worked with them directly).

Suggestions for Letter Writers

Medical exposure letters should describe a few of the following about an applicant:

  • Interaction with patients
  • Awareness diagnosis of health care issues
  • Overall composure and performance in medical setting
  • Interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, initiative
  • Commitment to service
  • Suitability for medical school and a career in medicine
  • Other relevant insight

Academic letters should describe the candidate in the following areas:

  • Academic performance
  • Professionalism, integrity, commitment to service
  • Response to deadlines and/or stressful academic situations
  • Leadership or teaching experience
  • Suitability for medical school and a career in medicine
  • Ability to use deductive reasoning
  • Demonstration of exceptional initiative in class
  • Other relevant information or insight regarding the applicant

Prerequisite Coursework

Please see the Admission Requirements page for details regarding prerequisite coursework. To determine if your coursework will meet DMU-COM requirements, please refer to the AACOMAS application for more information. Based on the volume of applicants, it is difficult to answer individual questions from applicants regarding their prerequisites so we encourage you to utilize the resources provided.

Supplemental Application

Please submit the supplemental application and fee online. Once submitted, your supplemental application will be processed by DMU within 5-7 business days.

Completed File

Once DMU has processed your supplemental application, fee and three LOR, your file will be considered complete and you will receive an email. We appreciate your patience as our staff commits extensive time and energy to evaluating every application document received. It may take up to a week or more for materials to be processed once received by DMU.

All completed applications will be reviewed by admissions staff, and initial file decisions will be delivered within 60 days of the file completion notification. We appreciate your patience during this time frame as we evaluate completed files.  Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the cycle; there is no single notification date. Initial file decisions will be delivered within 60 days of file completion and may include:

  1. An invitation to interview on campus
  2. File placed in HOLD status (not invited to interview at this time, but still under consideration)
  3. No invitation to interview is offered; application file is withdrawn from consideration.

Invitations to interview will be extended by email to only the most competitive applicants. You must be invited for an interview in order to receive final admissions consideration.  All interviews are held on campus in Des Moines, Iowa. We typically begin interviewing in late August and continue through February. We interview on Thursdays, Fridays and occasionally on Mondays. DMU uses a rolling admission policy, therefore it is to your advantage to apply early. Candidates who are not invited will be notified of the status of their application.

In 2015-16 we received over 5,100 applications and interviewed 650 candidates for an ultimate goal of 221 incoming D.O. students.

The final deadline for submission of the supplemental application online form, $60 non-refundable fee and three LOR is March 1, 2017. However, for best consideration, we encourage you to complete your file, including all letters of recommendation, as early as possible, or at least within 30 days of receiving the supplemental application. We typically fill our class and conclude our interview cycle in March each year.  Please contact us with questions regarding the application process; identify yourself as an applicant to the D.O. program. The best method to reach us is by email at

Start your Application Today!

Note: Candidates may only apply to one Des Moines University clinical program at a time.