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Frequently Asked Questions

Which admission test is required for entrance into the College of Osteopathic Medicine?

All applicants must supply results of the MCAT, taken within 3 years of the date of desired matriculation year.  Test scores should be released directly to AACOMAS, not to Des Moines University.

When should I take the MCAT?

Applicants seeking admission to DMU-COM for fall 2016 entrance should plan to take the MCAT at least by the end of 2015.  Results from the January 2016 MCAT will be considered only if this a retake exam.  You will be asked on your Supplemental Application to indicate your plans for future MCAT exams, and if applicable, your file will be held for review until the planned scores are received.  Please note, due to our process of rolling admission, applicants completing their file with later MCAT scores may not be as competitive as those completed earlier in the cycle.  Our interview schedule tends to fill quickly, therefore we cannot guarantee the availability of interview space for applicants completing their files into February.

When is the MCAT offered?

MCAT exam dates

The MCAT will begin offering a newly formatted exam in spring 2015, called MCAT2015.  DMU will continue to accept results from the previous MCAT until their expiration date (3 years), as well as begin accepting results from the MCAT2015 for those applying in the 2015-2016 application cycle. We do not plan to report score ranges or averages for the first year.

How do I begin the application process?

Visit our How to Apply page. Applications are initially processed through the AACOMAS, available online at: www.aacom.org.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Transcripts from all institutions attended must be submitted as official to AACOMAS.  Please do not send transcripts directly to DMU.

Where should I send my letters of recommendation?

See the How to Apply page for details on letter requirements.  We prefer to receive letters directly through the AACOMAS application system, though letters will also be accepted via the following sources:

Letters may also be mailed to:

COM Admission
3200 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50312
515.271.7190

How do I contact AACOMAS?

When should I apply?

We have a “rolling” admission policy. We begin accepting applications through AACOMAS in May. We schedule interviews beginning in late August and continue until the class is full. We encourage students to apply early – ideally, during the summer one year before you anticipate entering medical school. The deadline for the AACOMAS application is February 1 and the deadline for the supplemental application is March 1. It will take AACOMAS approximately 4-6 weeks to verify your application before it will be sent to DMU for

Admission process timeline for the entering class of 2016

  • May 5, 2015 — Application service opens through AACOMAS
  • July 2015 — Supplemental application invitations will begin to be delivered via email
  • August 2015 — February 2016: DMU-COM invites competitive applicants to interview on campus. Interviews are held weekly on Thursdays and Fridays, and decisions are typically issued within 3 weeks of the interview. Acceptance offers must be confirmed and secured with a non-refundable tuition seat deposit of $1,000.00 within the established AACOMAS timeline.
  • The AACOMAS application deadline is February 1, 2016, however, we will fill our  interview schedule at least 1-2 months in advance and encourage applicants to submit materials early in the cycle to receive the best consideration. Please keep in mind that the later you submit an application, the more likely it is that the class is already full, or the screening has become much more competitive.
  • Orientation and classes for the class of 2020 begins the first week of August 2016.

How will I know if my file is complete?

Once DMU has received all required application materials (primary application, supplemental application and letters of recommendation) we will send you an email confirming that your file is complete. If you believe you have sent in all required materials but have not received a confirmation email, please contact us doadmit@dmu.edu to verify the status of your application file.

Will DMU contact me if I am missing application materials?

Due to the volume of applications, we are unable to contact those whose files remain incomplete.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all materials are received to complete their file.  Please contact doadmit@dmu.edu to inquire about the status of your file.

What letters of recommendation are required?

For information on letters of recommendation, please see the how to apply section of our website.

What is the academic profile of current D.O. students?

View our class profile for  details about our students.

What are the minimum academic standards to apply?

The minimum GPA for admission consideration is 2.8, both cumulative and in science.  Our average GPA of recently admitted students is 3.68 both cumulative and science, while our average MCAT is 28.

What are the board pass rates for D.O. students at DMU?

For the past seven years, the COMLEX Level I pass rate for first-time takers averages more than 4% above the national pass rate.  For the last five years, the COMLEX Level II-CE pass rate for first-time takers averages nearly 5% above the national pass rate.

What kind of scholarships does DMU offer?

We have a small number of merit based scholarships to incoming students. Full and half tuition scholarships are available.  Candidates will be reviewed within the admission and interview process, and will be notified if they are awarded a scholarship.  There is no additional application required for consideration for the incoming merit-based awards.

Please see our financial aid page for information on loans and scholarships available through the University.

What is the difference between a D.O. and an M.D.?

How long does it take to complete the D.O. program at Des Moines University? What happens when I graduate?

Students complete four years of basic medical education. The four years of study are divided equally into a pre-clinical and a clinical phase, resulting in a “two plus two” curriculum that combines lecture and laboratory studies with clinical experiences in teaching hospitals, University and private clinics, and community service agencies. After medical school, D.O. graduates will complete a residency in the field of specialty of choice,  including family medicine, surgery or psychiatry.  Residencies typically range from two to six years of additional training.

How do students at colleges of osteopathic medicine get residencies? What are the match rates for DMU?

Students graduating from colleges of osteopathic medicine currently have the opportunity to apply to residency programs through the AOA – American Osteopathic Association, as well as the ACGME – Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at DMU are highly recruited into a wide variety of graduate medical programs throughout the country. Nearly 90 percent of each graduating class receive their first or second choice of a residency program.

To see where our graduates are training, please see the residency matches section of our website.

How much does it cost to attend the College of Osteopathic Medicine?

Information about tuition, fees and payment schedules, educational costs and living expenses are available on our financial aid page.

If I have questions, can I talk with current students?

You are welcome to talk with current students. Contact the admissions office at doadmit@dmu.edu, and we’ll put you in touch with students who will be glad to answer your questions.

How can I schedule a campus visit?

We strongly encourage prospective students to join us for one of our Discover DMU events, held once each semester.  These open houses are one of the best ways to learn about DMU and determine if this program is a good fit.

We have some availability to conduct individual campus visits for applicants with very specific questions or situations which cannot be addressed otherwise. You may submit an online request form to request an individual visit.

Does DMU accept transfer students?

All students requesting a transfer from another medical school, whether allopathic or osteopathic, must apply through the Dean. In general, transfers are not allowed after the clinical years have begun (3rd and 4th years). A letter of support from the Dean of the institution currently being attended, along with all transcripts, must be included with the request.

Transfer requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Because of the unique system-based pre-clinical curriculum, it is difficult for the College to accept transfer students from other medical schools that have more traditional programs. Therefore, students are discouraged from transferring unless they are prepared to complete the entire 4-year program at DMU.

Learn more about our transfer student requirements.