What do you need to be a strong candidate for osteopathic medical school?

3 key factors that osteopathic medical schools are looking for:

  1. Strong academic performance: high GPA's in prerequisites and upper division science coursework can show medical schools that you are prepared for their curriculum.
  2. Evidence of experience and personal development: experience in the medical field can help you determine whether medicine is the right fit for you. Your experiences (both related and unrelated to health) can also show medical schools that you have the qualities that they are looking for in a future physician.
  3. Strong entrance exam scores: like your GPA, your entrance exam score can suggest that you are ready for the rigor of medical school.

More information on each factor can be found within their respective sections below.


Most importantly, remember that requirements vary from school to school! You must research to create a list of all the prerequisites you will need to apply to the schools you are interested in attending.

  • Choose DO Explorer: A complete list of the prerequisite required by osteopathic medical schools. This is a resource from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).
  • Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Program Information: We compiled some information on the DO programs in the US. Please note that we still recommend you to do your own research alongside this guide.

More than 25% of the programs in this field require the following UHM courses for admission:

BIOC 141 or higher (BIOL/MBBE/PEPS 402 or BIOC 441 strongly recommended) Biochemistry* 3 or 4 cr.
BIOL 171/171L and 172/172L Introduction to Biology I and II 8 cr.
CHEM 161/161L and 162/162L General Chemistry I and II** 8 cr.
CHEM 272/272L and 273/273L Organic Chemistry I and II 10 cr.
PHYS 151/151L and 152/152L
(or PHYS 170/170L and 272/272L)
College Physics I and II
(or General Physics I and II)
8 or 9 cr.
ENG 100 and higher Composition I and higher 6 cr.
E.G. ANTH/PSY/SOC*** Behavioral Sciences (2 courses) 6 cr.

Additional requirements may include courses such as advanced biology, anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, mathematics, microbiology, physiology, and additional behavioral sciences and humanities. It is also recommended that non-science majors take additional upper-division or advanced science electives beyond the prerequisites listed above.

For a list of other general recommended pre-health courses, clickhere.

*BIOL/MBBE/PEPS 402 or BIOC 441 is recommended for preparation for the MCAT. Please note that the prerequisites for BIOL/MBBE/PEPS 402 are BIOL 275 (and lab) and CHEM 273. 

**If you are planning on taking a chemistry course for the first time, please make sure to fulfill the placement exam requirement prior to registration.

***Each Osteopathic school has different behavioral science requirements. Students should double check with the schools they are interested in to see specifically which behavioral science courses they should take.

Students should double check with the schools they are interested in if taking CHEM 171/171L as it might not be accepted by medical schools in place of CHEM 161/161L and CHEM 162/162L.

For the MCAT, the following courses are also recommended:

BIOL 275/L
(BIOL 275/L is strongly recommend to prepare for the MCAT
and is a prerequisite for BIOL/MBBE/PEPS 402, but not a pre-requisite for BIOC 441)
Cell and Molecular Biology 5 cr.
MATH 140 or higher Precalculus or higher* 3 cr.
PSY 100 Survey of Psychology 3 cr.
PSY 212 Survey of Research Methods** 4 cr.
BIOL/BOT 220***, ECON 321, NREM 310, or PSY/SOCS 225 Statistics 3 cr.
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 3 cr.

*If you are planning on taking a math course for the first time, please make sure to fulfill the placement exam requirement prior to registration.

**Research Methods concepts necessary for the MCAT may already be covered in your pre-medical science and behavioral science prerequisites.

***Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology or Marine Biology beginning in Fall 2021 and on are required to take BIOL 220 as a major requirement.

Please note that if you are retaking courses because medical schools may not accept Advanced Placement (AP), online, or community college credit, your financial aid and/or scholarship status may be affected.

UH Mānoa Applicant Undergraduate GPA Statistics

Category UH Mānoa Applicants UH Mānoa Accepted
Cumulative Undergraduate BCPM* 3.54 3.65
Cumulative Undergraduate 3.65 3.71
Cumulative Undergraduate BCPM* 3.34 3.45
Cumulative Undergraduate 3.48 3.55
Cumulative Undergraduate BCPM* 3.00 3.39
Cumulative Undergraduate 3.44 3.48

*BCPM stands for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math and the GPA is calculated using the courses in those subject areas.

  • Additional Applicant Information

To calculate the AACOMAS GPA, please see the AACOMAS GPA Calculation website and PAC's AACOMAS GPA Calculation spreadsheet for more help. This guide is for reference. Please do not enter any estimates calculated from this guide into your application. Enter course information as it appears on transcripts only.

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