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D.O. Supplemental Application

Thank you for your interest in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University. To complete your application you must submit the supplemental application and the required letters of recommendation.  The final deadline for submission is March 1, 2016, 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 guidelines:

To complete your file to be reviewed by the admission committee, you must plan to have 3 letters of recommendation submitted.  It is in your best interest to submit the types of letters requested by DMU, however, your file will be considered complete once any combination of the below letters, totaling 3, are received by the admissions office. 

DMU prefers letters are submitted electronically as part of your AACOMAS application, though letters will also be accepted via the following methods:

All applicants must submit a medical exposure letter:

  • The medical exposure letter must be written by a physician (D.O. or M.D.) who can articulate your clinical experience. This letter should describe your exposure to patients, ability to perform in a clinical setting, interpersonal skills and experience with healthcare situations. Medical experience is required of all applicants and may be obtained through shadowing, volunteer, or paid work experience.

All applicants are also required to submit academic letters:

  • Committee Letter – letter written/compiled by an established college/university pre-health professions committee and will count as 2 of the required letters of recommendation.


  • 2 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, the following letters will not count toward completion of your admission file:

  • letters from relatives, spouses or family friends
  • coaches or personal trainers
  • chiropractors, veterinarians or dentists
  • your family physician or pediatrician (unless you have shadowed or worked with them directly)

Suggestions for letter writers:

Medical exposure letter writer: please describe a few of the following:

  • Applicant interaction with patients
  • Applicant performance in medical setting
  • Applicant response to stress
  • Awareness of patient, diagnosis or health care issues
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Demonstration of exceptional initiative
  • Commitment to service
  • Type of clinical observation
  • Other relevant information or insight regarding applicant

Academic letter writer: please describe the candidate in the following ways:

  • Academic performance
  • Leadership or teaching experience
  • Potential as a physician
  • Ability to use deductive reasoning
  • Demonstration of exceptional initiative in class
  • Commitment to service
  • Professionalism and collegiality
  • Response to deadlines and/or stressful academic situations
  • Other relevant information or insight regarding the applicant

Prerequisite coursework:

You may apply while working toward completion of the prerequisite coursework, though all coursework must be completed by the time you matriculate at DMU. The following subject areas are identified as prerequisites for admission. To determine if your coursework will meet DMU-COM requirements, please refer to the AACOMAS instructions for an extensive list of subjects and examples of courses which satisfy the subject requirement. For example, typically any course which is taught through the biology department will satisfy the biology requirements.

  • Biology – any 8 semester hours of biology coursework, preferably with lab
  • General chemistry – any 8 semester hours of general chemistry coursework, preferably with lab
  • English (composition, speech, or literature) – any 6 semester hours of coursework from these subject areas
  • Organic chemistry – any 4 semester hours of organic chemistry coursework, preferably with lab
  • Biochemistry – a 3 semester hour biochemistry course
  • Physics – any 8 semester hours of physics coursework, preferably with labs (applicant may also substitute 3 semester hours of statistics)

The admission office will confirm your File Complete application status via email when ALL supporting materials have been received and processed. It is your responsibility to ensure receipt of application documents to complete your file, and to be aware of your current status. Please be patient, as our staff commits extensive time and energy to evaluating every application document received, therefore there may be a delay in processing materials. You may contact us directly via email to check on the status of your application.

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 and Fridays only. 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 2014-15 we received over 5,000 applications and interviewed 650 candidates for an ultimate goal of 221 incoming DO students in fall 2015.

The final deadline for submission of the supplemental application online form, $60 non-refundable fee and 3 letters of recommendation is March 1, 2016. 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 prior to the March 1 deadline. 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

Apply today!

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