FAQs ADMISSIONSFAQs PREREQUISITEFAQs OTHER

Question 1: How many applications do you receive, interviews do you grant, and applicants do you accept in an average year?
The competitive candidate profile page lists last year's statistics and describes the student qualities that are important to the admissions committee.

Question 2: Is there a separate application process for the Lebanon campus?
Yes. You can apply to one or both campuses through the application service, AACOMAS. If you apply to both campuses, you will be required to submit two secondary applications and two processing fees. Only one set of letters is required and will be posted to both applications.

Question 3: Does it matter that I'm older than your average applicant?
Definitely not. We find that students of all ages make unique contributions to the class. We encourage all qualified applicants regardless of age.

Question 4: Can I transfer into COMP from another medical school?

Yes, we consider transfer requests on a case by case basis. Please refer to the Transfer Requirements page for more information on application deadlines.

Question 5: Can international students apply?
We cannot accept applications for the Lebanon campus from international students. However, we can accept applications from international students for the Pomona campus only, please refer to the international student website for details.

Question 6: How is my GPA calculated in the application process?
AACOMAS calculates an average science, non-science, and overall GPA for undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate coursework, and an average of all coursework taken. AACOMAS does not include professional coursework in their calculations.

Question 7: Do I submit my letters of recommendation at the same time that I submit my secondary application?
You may submit your letters of recommendation after you receive confirmation that we have received your primary application. We prefer that the letters be sent electronically via VirtualEvals or Interfolio. Letters sent by mail should be sent to the Enrollment Data Services Office/DO Program by the recommender or by the health professions advising office staff on your campus at WesternU, 309 E. Second Street, Pomona, CA 91766. We do not accept letters of recommendation via email.

Question 8: Can I submit more than the required number of recommendation letters?
Yes. However, it is advisable to limit the additional letters to 5.

Question 9: Can I submit my secondary application after the 10-day deadline?
Yes. However, it is highly recommended that you submit your application as early as possible. Submitting your application later may result in delayed processing.  The committee will not review your file until all required documents have been received. Since we interview and offer acceptances on a rolling basis beginning in September, it is definitely to your advantage to submit your application and all supporting documents to us within the 10-day time frame.

Question 10: How does the admissions committee decide which applicants are offered seats?
The admissions committee reviews all completed applications and selects the most qualified candidates for interview taking into consideration such criteria as GPA, MCAT scores, clinical experience, leadership roles, knowledge of osteopathic medicine, and community service.  Visit the competitive candidate profile page for details.

Question 11: How and when will I know if I've been invited for an interview?
You will receive a telephone call or email message from the admissions office if you have been selected for an interview. Applicants who are invited to interview will be scheduled for an interview three to four weeks in advance. Out-of-state applicants are given four to six weeks advance notice. Interviews are conducted from September through March. Keep your admissions counselor advised of current telephone number and email address.

Question 12: When are acceptance letters and final notification letters mailed?
Acceptance letters are mailed 10 to 15 business days following your interview. Alternates who are selected for the class will be contacted after the class is filled in April. All applicants will be notified of their final status in August.

Question 13: I am a re-applicant, how can I better my application, or my chances of gaining admission?
Take a critical review of the information that you provided our admissions office and see if there are any obvious voids. For example, maybe you did not shadow a DO, or you have little clinical experience. Perhaps you had low grades that lowered your overall and/or science GPA, or maybe you weren't involved in community service, or merely forgot to include it on your application. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your application simply by looking at it from an admissions perspective. Above all else, it is important to realize that we receive applications from thousands of highly qualified applicants each year and are only able to accept less than 10 percent of that pool.

Question 14: How can I request a secondary application?
When the admissions office receives your primary application from AACOMAS and determines that you have met the minimum requirements, you will immediately be directed to a secure webpage to file your secondary application. You will have 10 days to electronically file your secondary application. Secondary applications filed after 10 days may result in a delay in processing your application.

Question 1: Is a bachelor's degree required to apply?
A bachelor's degree is required for matriculation, however you may apply while it is in progress. Our competitive candidate profile page will provide you with last year’s class statistics as well as a profile of what the admissions committee considers to be a competitive candidate.

Question 2: Do you require any standardized tests?
Yes. You are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). It is strongly recommended that you take the MCAT in August or September of the year prior to planned entry. If you submit your application before taking the MCAT, you can indicate on your AACOMAS application the day you plan on taking the test. You will need to release your scores to AACOMAS as soon as they are made available. Your application may not be considered if you take the test in January or later in the year of planned entry.

Question 3: How old can my MCAT scores be?
We will not accept test scores taken more than three years from the opening of the application process.  For example, we will accept MCAT test scores taken between January 2011 and January 2015 for the fall 2015 class.  However scores from the January 2015 test will delay review of your application which may result in not being considered for the class.

Question 4: Do you require a minimum MCAT score to apply?
No, but we recommend that you plan to exceed the average scores, GPA's etc. Visit the competitive candidate profile page for details.

Question 5: I already have a medical degree from another country. Am I still required to take the MCAT?
Yes. The MCAT is required even if you have earned a foreign medical degree.

Question 6: What is the average GPA and average MCAT score?
The competitive candidate profile page will provide you with last year’s class statistics as well as a profile of what the admissions committee considers to be a competitive candidate.

Question 7: What are the prerequisite courses for the DO program?
The view requirements page will provide you with all the information you need to know about prerequisite coursework and admission requirements.

Question 8: Can I have prerequisite courses in progress at the time of application? How many?
Yes. While we do not have a set number of courses you must have completed at the time of application, we recommend that you have at least 3/4 of the prerequisites completed by the time of application. Doing so will provide the admissions committee with a clearer picture of your academic preparation for the program. Should you be accepted, all prerequisites MUST be completed prior to matriculation. The view requirements page will provide you with additional detail regarding requirements.

Question 9: Do you accept College Level Equivalency Program or Advanced Placement credits?
Yes. We accept College Level Equivalency Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) credit as long as the course credits are specified on the transcript and are class specific.The coursework must appear on your transcript, we do not accept other forms of verification. The view requirements page will provide you with additional detail regarding requirements.

Question 10: How does AACOMAS convert semester hours to credit hours for GPA calculations?
They use the following conversion table:

Quarter
Hours

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Semester
Hours

0.7
1.3
2.0
2.7
3.3
4.0
4.7
5.3
6.0
6.7

If your grades are posted as letters rather than numerals, AACOMAS uses the follow conversion table:

 

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0.7 0.0

 

Question 1: What is the difference between a DO and an MD degree?
There are two pathways to becoming a physician; the osteopathic (DO) route, and the allopathic (MD) route. Both DOs and MDs evaluate and treat patients, prescribe medication, make referrals, open their own practice, and specialize in any field, etc. However, there are two primary differences between the training that a DO receives and the training an MD receives.

The first difference is in philosophy. Osteopathic medicine practices a whole-person approach to medicine. Osteopathic physicians consider more factors than just the disease, and often are able to treat patients by helping them make changes in lifestyle rather than just prescribing medication.  It is a century-old tradition of caring for people, not just treating symptoms.

The second difference is that osteopathic physicians receive additional training in what is called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). DOs may also use their hands to diagnose and treat injury and illness and encourage the body's natural tendency toward good health. Combined with other medical procedures, OMM enables physicians to not ONLY treat their patients with medication, surgery, etc., but also with manipulation when appropriate. This form of treatment can often result in immediate relief and/or increased speed of healing. Interested in learning more? Two students of Osteopathic Medicine wrote A Brief Guide to Osteopathic Medicine that provides an easily understood summary of the history, philosophy, different techniques involved in OMM, and the many opportunities available for osteopathic medical students and graduates.

 

  DOs MDs
Years of Medical School 4 4
Required Board Exam COMLEX USMLE
Prescribe Medication? YES YES
Make Referrals? YES YES
Open Own Practice? YES YES
Specialize in Any Field? YES YES
OMM Training? YES NO

 

Question 2: Can osteopathic physicians practice in other countries? Where?
Yes, many countries recognize physicians with a DO degree. For example, Germany announced its recognition of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree in 1999. Contact the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) for further information.

Question 3: How can I learn more about WesternU’s Osteopathic Medicine program? Campus tours are available at both the Pomona Campus and Lebanon Campus.  You can tour the facilities, chat with faculty and students, and learn more about WesternU's DO curriculum and admission requirements as well as learning about upcoming campus events.

Question 4: How can I contact an osteopathic physician to interview or shadow?
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Web site provides access to state-specific Web sites, most of which have listings of osteopathic physicians you can contact in your area.

Question 5: How can I learn more about the financial aid available to me?
For more information regarding tuition, scholarships, and loans please visit the financing my education page.

Question 6: Is tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state residents?
Yes. We are a private institution, therefore the tuition assessed is the same for in-state, out-of-state and international students. Visit the financing my education page for more information.