Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine DO

subpage_titleblockDoctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and Georgia Campus - PCOM are two of 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine. Our four-year curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) prepares well-rounded physicians who serve their patients and communities with insight, competence and compassion. Applicants are encouraged to become familiar with the rich history, philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine.
Prior to matriculation each applicant must meet the following admissions requirements:
1. A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applications from students with at least three years of exceptional undergraduate work will be considered.
2. Eight semester hours each, including two semester hours of laboratory: general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology and physics.
3. Six semester hours of English composition and literature.
4. Official exam scores from the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).  Prospective students are urged to take the test as early as possible and no later than August of the year prior to matriculation.   The MCAT must be taken within three years of the desired date of matriculation.  The Faculty Committee on Admissions recommends applicants to the program have at least an 8 or higher in each section of the MCAT.
Admission to PCOM is comprehensive as well as competitive. We seek well-rounded, achievement-oriented persons whose character, maturity and sense of dedication point to a successful and productive life as an osteopathic physician. We are an institution that has historically sought diversity in our student population. We actively recruit under-represented minority students and non-traditional students who often offer exceptional potential for becoming outstanding physicians.
Grades and MCAT scores are important to us as they are some of the best predictors of success in medical school; however, we also look very carefully at extracurricular activities, community involvement, motivation to study medicine and letters of evaluation.
AACOMAS: Centralized Application Service
We participate in AACOMAS, the centralized application service for the colleges of osteopathic medicine and adhere to the Applicant Protocol and Admissions Guidelines as adopted by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and published in the College Information Book.
Beginning in May, prospective osteopathic medical students may submit their application through a secure Web server: AACOMAS-On-Line, at

Applying to Both Campuses
Applicants who wish to apply to both PCOM and Georgia Campus - PCOM must submit two separate AACOMAS applications as well as two separate supplemental applications.  Otherwise, one set of all applicant credentials (letters of recommendation, etc.) are to be sent to and processed at the Philadelphia Campus.  Although the requirements and the processes are the same, each application is evaluated for that particular campus by the individual Faculty Committee on Admissions for each campus.

Supplemental Applications
We will acknowledge receipt of each AACOMAS application electronically to the email address provided on your AACOMAS application; this message will include the appropriate PCOM supplemental application.  There is no pre-screening process as all applicants receive a supplemental.  The deadline to submit the supplemental is March 1, 2014.  However, early submission is strongly recommended as interviewees are selected and decisions are rendered on a rolling basis.  

Your application will be processed and assessed by the Faculty Committee on Admissions only after the receipt of:
• Completed supplemental application for admission
• Non-refundable $50 application fee
• Official MCAT scores
• Fulfillment of the Letter of Recommendation requirement which is as follows:
- A letter of recommendation from your pre-health or academic advisor/committee (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or graduate programs).

NOTE: This is the preferred letter of recommendation by the DO Faculty Committee on Admissions.


- Three faculty letters of recommendation: Two of those three letters must be from SCIENCE professors (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or graduate programs)

*Please note that this is the only letter REQUIREMENT, however, we will accept additional letters from other sources.

* Recommendation letters must be on letterhead and preferably signed by the recommenders.

* Recommendation letters may be received through Interfolio, Virtual Evals or US Postal Service.  Additionally, your recommenders can send the letters directly via email to

Materials that you are required to send to PCOM directly, such as the application fee, can be mailed to:

PCOM Office of Admissions
4170 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1694

Qualified applicants selected by the Faculty Committee on Admissions are invited for a personal on-campus interview.  Interviews begin in mid-September and will be conducted through March 2014. If you are selected for an interview, we will send you an email with a proposed date for your interview.

Applicants to the Philadelphia Campus will receive an email from
Applicants to the Georgia Campus will receive their invitation from

Please add these addresses to your directory so they will not be captured in any email filters.

Again, we will use the email address provided on your AACOMAS application. Please check your account on a regular basis.  It is your responsibility to notify us, in writing, if your email address changes.

PCOM requires all students to adhere to PCOM’s Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation.

Admission Decisions and Enrollment Confirmations
Interviewed candidates are usually notified within one month from the date of their interview.
Accepted applicants are asked to send a $250 non-refundable tuition prepayment according to the following schedule:
- those accepted prior to November 15 will have until December 14
- those accepted between November 15 and January 14 will have 30 days
- those accepted between January 15 and May 14 will have 14 days
- those accepted on or after May 15 may be asked for an immediate deposit.

All accepted candidates are required to remit a $1500 non-refundable deposit by April 15th. The candidate is also asked to review and acknowledge PCOM's Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation, linked above.
To ensure that students accepted to PCOM will be permitted to perform clerkships during their third and fourth clinical years, and thus ensure them the opportunity to successfully complete their DO degree requirements, as well as to ensure the safety of the PCOM community, PCOM requires all first year students to complete a criminal background check prior to matriculation using the PCOM vendor of choice.  This process must be completed by the student prior to the start of their first year classes by the posted deadline or the candidate will not be permitted to begin their course work.

International Applicants

An international applicant is an applicant who is not a United States citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) and requires a student visa (F-1) to study in the United States.
Once an international applicant is accepted and confirmed in a program, he/she must submit an affidavit of Financial Responsibility and all original bank and financial documentation to the PCOM Registrar. The international applicant must document that he/she has sufficient funds to cover tuition, room and board (in U.S. dollars) for the entire length of his/her program.

If the applicant has been admitted to either the D.O. or PA Studies program, he/she is required to deposit the necessary funds into a U.S. bank account. If using a sponsor, funding must be in a U.S. bank account under the applicant’s name. These funds must be sufficient to cover costs of the entire program before an I-20 is issued. The U.S. bank account funds must be physically located inside the United States.
Upon receipt of all required information in the PCOM Registrar’s Office, it will be presented to the PCOM Office of Finance (CFO) for verification and is subject to the approval of that office prior to the issuance of the I-20 by the Registrar.

It is the sole responsibility of the confirmed applicant to determine if the degree received from PCOM and any licenses obtained in the United States will enable the applicant to practice a particular profession in his or her home country (or in any other country in which he/she desires to practice).  PCOM does not guarantee that any particular country (other than the United States) will allow the practice of the profession for which a PCOM degree is received and United States licensing is obtained.

English Proficiency 
Proficiency in written and oral English appropriate to graduate and professional study is expected of all PCOM students.  Any applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate objective competency in English within the past two years by satisfactory performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  The minimum required score for the IBT (Internet Based Testing) is 79 and a minimum score of 26 is required for the speaking component.  General writing assistance is available for theses and dissertations, however, as an institution offering only graduate and professional programs, PCOM does not offer remedial ESL coursework.
Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Your score is considered too old, and will not be accepted, if it is more than 2 years old from the start of your admission term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. Language of instruction at the college or university level, and how recent it has been, are the determining factors in meeting this requirement.
Applicants are exempt if:
English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate level; or
they have earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment; or
they have completed at least two full-time semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction, not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.
Transfer Students

PCOM does not routinely accept transfer students; however, a transfer application may be considered under extenuating circumstances and depending on places available in the class. Consideration will be given only to a student who is in good standing at an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine or who is eligible for re-admission to the previously attended college of osteopathic medicine.

The initial request for transfer must originate from the dean of the college or university from which the student wishes to transfer and must be directed to the dean of the PCOM campus to which he or she is applying. Application materials must be submitted and a formal interview with the Faculty Committee on Admissions will be required.

If accepted, a transfer student will be given credit for courses successfully passed at the previous college that meet PCOM’s curriculum requirements. A minimum of two years must be completed at PCOM for a student to be eligible to receive the DO degree. 

Intra campus transfer requests between Philadelphia and Georgia must be discussed with the Dean at the campus of enrollment.

For all other students entering the DO program, PCOM does not grant advanced standing or credit for prior learning or for courses completed at other institutions.  
Affiliated Programs
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has affiliated programs and offers the following joint degree programs:

Philadelphia Campus:
DO/MBA  St. Joseph's University
DO/MA  St. Joseph's University (Healthcare Ethics)
DO/MS/PhD University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (Health Policy)
DO//PhD University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (Cellular & Molecular Biology)
DO/MPH Temple University
DO/MS  Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Forensic Medicine)
DO/MS  Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Organizational Development and Leadership)
DO/MSc  Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Clinical Master of Science)

Georgia Campus:
DO/MBA  Brenau University
DO/MS  Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Forensic Medicine)
DO/MS  Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Organizational Development and Leadership)