The D.O. Program Application Process
To apply to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, you must begin by completing the application found at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Services (AACOMAS) site. The application deadline for the entering class of 2024 is Feb. 1, 2024.
The medical school application process consists of two parts, the primary and the secondary applications. The primary application, also known as the AACOMAS application, consists of four core sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials. The AACOMAS application cannot be considered complete without a personal statement, official transcript(s), or official MCAT scores.
Primary Application Information
Once you have submitted your primary application, you will need to arrange to have official transcripts from all institutions attended sent directly to AACOMAS. DO NOT send this information to OU-HCOM. Even if you only took one course from an institution, or if you have earned college credit via College Credit Plus, you will need to record it on the application and arrange to have a transcript sent to AACOMAS. Learn how to send your official transcripts here.
Official MCAT Scores
Official MCAT scores must be sent directly to AACOMAS. DO NOT send this information to OU-HCOM. Please note that MCAT scores more than three years old at the time of enrollment are considered invalid. For example, if you are applying for the entering class of 2024, valid MCAT scores would include anything from January 1, 2021, to January 1, 2024. Please note that a January 2024 MCAT score will only be considered if another score from a valid test date range is already on file. Learn how to send your official MCAT scores here.
AACOMAS Application Processing
It generally takes AACOMAS two to four weeks to process your application once they have received your official transcript(s) and MCAT score(s). Missing information will delay the processing of your application. You can check the status of your AACOMAS application online any time after submission. The Office of Admissions will be using the email address that you provide on the AACOMAS application for all correspondence. Please remember to set your email permissions to accept correspondence from ohio.edu addresses. Ensure that your email address appears on the primary application correctly and that you continue monitoring your account for important messages from Heritage College.
The Heritage College will receive your primary application electronically from AACOMAS and determine if you are eligible to receive a secondary application. All Ohio residents will receive a secondary application. All other applicants will receive a secondary application if they have a 490 MCAT and a 2.75 science GPA. However, to be considered a competitive applicant, candidates should have metrics closer to a 3.60 science GPA and a 504 MCAT.
If eligible, you will receive an email with information on how to set up your Heritage College application portal via the email address listed on the primary application. If you are notified that stronger security is required when attempting to log in to your secondary application portal, please make sure you are running a modern operating system with an updated browser (e.g., Chrome version 38 or higher, Firefox 27 or higher, Safari 7 or higher, Microsoft Edge).
To be considered for a place in the entering class of 2024, all secondary application materials must be received by March 15, 2024.
Once all secondary application materials have been received by the Office of Admissions, your file will be considered complete and will be eligible for further committee review.
Secondary Application Information
Letters of Recommendation
We require, at minimum, either a letter of recommendation from a premedical/health professions advising committee OR two letters from natural science faculty.
A committee letter is preferred, but if your institution does not have a committee, you must submit two letters of recommendation from natural science faculty who taught you in class for a grade. Examples of natural science courses include biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, genetics, etc. Social sciences DO NOT count toward this requirement (i.e. sociology, psychology, etc.).
OU-HCOM recognizes that non-traditional applicants who have been out of the classroom for many years may experience difficulties in securing letters of recommendation from natural science faculty. If you feel you are unable to obtain these faculty letters, we encourage you to reach out to the Office of Admissions at email@example.com to discuss the potential of submitting other letters in exchange.
Although not a requirement, an additional letter from a D.O. or other health care professional who can speak to your suitability for osteopathic medicine is strongly encouraged.
You can arrange to send your letters of recommendation to OU-HCOM via the following routes:
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail at OU-HCOM Admissions, Heritage Hall, 191 W. Union St., Athens, OH 45701
- AACOMAS application site
Secondary Essay Prompts
All OU-HCOM applicants will be required to submit at least two essays:
1. Required Essay - There are philosophical and tangible differences between osteopathic and allopathic medicine. Describe what being an osteopathic physician means to you, and what qualities make a good osteopathic physician. What have you done to gain knowledge and experience of osteopathic medicine?
2. Selected Essay (choose one) -
I. Describe the community in which you were nurtured or spent the majority of your early development. What core values did you receive and howwill these translate into the contributions you hope to make to your community as a medical student and later as a physician?
II. There are multiple paths that lead to medical school and many obstacles along the way. Please describe the unique path that has led you to medicine as well as any obstacle or adversity that you had to overcome in achieving this goal. How will this experience affect your career as a physician?
III. What has been your most meaningful life experience (I.e., family situation, clinical or shadowing experience, volunteer experience, etc.) that influenced your decision to pursue medicine?
Campus Ranking Process
The secondary application allows applicants to designate preferences for our Athens, Cleveland, and Dublin campuses. Applicants must rank at least one OU-HCOM campus, but can rank two, or all three.
Note that the Cleveland and Dublin campuses have specific missions which require that applicants have a tie to the Northeast Ohio area (Cleveland campus) or Central Ohio area (Dublin campus). Examples of a legitimate tie to the area include living in that area, attending a college/university in that area, or having immediate family members living in that area. If you do not have a legitimate tie to Northeast or Central Ohio you may wish to rank the Athens campus #1, as you will have a higher likelihood of being accepted to the Athens campus.
A separate essay is required for those ranking the Cleveland and/or Dublin campuses to highlight the applicant’s tie(s) to Northeast Ohio and/or Central Ohio.