Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine


The University of Osteopathic Medicine was established in 1898. It is the second largest osteopathic school in the United States. The institution has undergone changes several times in name and location to accommodate expanding enrollment and programs of study. In 1972 the college relocated to its present 22-acre site in Des Moines, Iowa and in the 1980s the university enlarged by opening up a College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and a College of Health Sciences, which train physicians’ assistants, physical therapists, and health care administrators.

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The school conducts a four year program of study. For the major part of the first year, students take core courses in the basic sciences. This is followed by the study of basic sciences and clinical medicine using an integrated organ system approach. The third and fourth year are devoted to preceptorships, clinical clerkships, and hospital clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, and psychiatry. History and physical diagnosis are introduced in the first year. The principles, practices, and theory of osteopathic manipulative medicine are taught during the entire curriculum and are interwoven with the didactic, laboratory, and clerkship experiences.

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals

The university operates two clinics and is affiliated with selected rural and urban clinics throughout Iowa.


Students can obtain accommodations in private homes and nearby apartment complexes.


Bachelor’s degree and the MCAT are required. The basic premedical science courses plus 6 hours of English composition, speech, or literature are required. Recommended courses include cell biology, microbiology, immunology and physiology and anatomy. A supplementary application is sent to all applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements, after completion of which they become eligible for an interview consideration. An entering class size of 221 students is anticipated, and only selected individuals are invited for an interview. A final decision is made on the basis of the AACOMAS and supplemental applications, the 3 letters of recommendation, and the interview.

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