The 10 Best DO Schools In The U.S. (2020 Guide)

Campus of one of the best DO schools in the U.S.

The best DO schools offer a fantastic learning environment to help you become a licensed physician. Even better, the application process is typically a lot less stressful!

If you’re someone who has heard negative things about DO programs over the years, it’s time to rethink your opinion. These schools regularly churn out highly-competent graduates who go on to have very successful careers.

To make it easier for you to do your research, we created this list of the best DO schools in the United States. Give it a read and start preparing your applications!

Why You Should Consider DO Schools

While most future physicians gravitate towards a traditional MD school for their education, the best DO schools have a lot to offer as well. Obtaining your Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine provides an alternative path to becoming a licensed physician.

The end-goal remains the same, but DO medical schools take a different approach to get there. It also has the benefit of requiring a lower MCAT score and a lower GPA than most MD programs.

Osteopathic medicine focuses on the entire body to treat ailments. It’s about taking a “whole-person approach” to healing. Rather than focusing on specific health conditions or symptoms, osteopathic physicians work on helping patients achieve good overall health.

When you earn a DO, you’re still learning all of the core skills that you need to become a physician. You’ll also have the same opportunities to specialize in the future. The primary difference is that DO programs center on providing long-term care.

The best DO schools are a great choice if your goal is to provide primary care. Many DO graduates work in rural areas and provide holistic healthcare to patients for several years to come.

1. Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • GPA: 3.7
  • MCAT: 507
  • Tuition: $47,079 In-state, $66,990 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Public

Located in East Lansing, Michigan, the College of Osteopathic Medicine is the most respected DO school in the country. With a long history of world-class training and top-notch facilities, there’s a lot to like if you’re a student.

This DO school works with over thirty hospitals and two health systems throughout the state in order to provide students with a variety of opportunities to learn and help the community.

A large number of graduates have had success finding residency positions, with many matching into programs in the state. In 2019 there was a 99% match rate!

2. Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Stratford, NJ
  • GPA: 3.59
  • MCAT: 505
  • Tuition: $41,339 In-state, $66,324 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Public

Located in Stratford, New Jersey, the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine offers a number of unique degree programs. In addition to the standard DO, several combined degree programs are available for students wanting to expand their education.

You can earn your MBA to prepare you for the business side of running a practice. Alternatively, you can focus on research to earn your PhD with Rowan’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. There’s even a joint DO/JD program thanks to the partnership with Rutgers School of Law.

The core DO program is flexible enough to work for all kinds of students. Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine has two different pre-clerkship curriculum tracks. These tracks are formulated a bit differently to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn the material effectively.

Whichever track you choose, your education will be small and intimate. The DO program has small class sizes and makes use of simulators, real-life patient encounters, community-involved projects to prepare you for your career ahead.

3. Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Vallejo, CA
  • GPA: 3.3
  • MCAT: 502
  • Tuition: $58,000 In-state, $58,000 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Private

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of the best DO schools in the US, and was first established in 2007. As a student at this school, you’ll learn about the fundamentals of osteopathic medicine while developing your patient communication skills.

The first two years in the DO program focus heavily on professionalism, ethics, and communication. Throughout the program, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in simulations. The school also exposes students to both real and simulated patients.

The goal is to develop those all-important clinical skills early on. It’s a chance to gain experience in a community setting while learning how to treat patients effectively.

During the final years of your education, you’ll participate in clinal rotations. Touro University California College of Medicine partners with several healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey. You’ll have the chance to shadow working professionals in a wide range of environments.

4. University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • GPA: 3.71
  • MCAT: 507
  • Tuition: $13,078 In-state, $28,766 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Public

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (also known as TCOM for short) is one of the best DO schools out there. We like it because the program wastes no time in providing you with clinical experience.

From the very first semester, students are thrust into a clinical environment. You’ll have the chance to work and learn in a working primary care clinic.

There, you’ll see firsthand how community healthcare works. Not only that, but you can interact with patients and start developing those important communication skills.

Clinical rotations continue this wave of experience. During the final years of your program, you’ll work in several different environments. This includes Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and more.

As a student at TCOM, you can also participate in research opportunities. Research plays a big part in your education. TCOM has several sponsored programs as well as research projects covering a wide range of topics.

5. Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Davie, FL
  • GPA: 3.6
  • MCAT: 505
  • Tuition: $55,671 In-state, $62,390 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Private

This school was first established in 1979 and continues to help osteopathic physicians. The main campus is located in Davie, Florida. However, a second campus in Clearwater, Florida is also available to students looking for a different community experience.

Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, also known as NSU-KPCOM, focuses on providing students with an education that focuses on community. A vast majority of NSU-KPCOM graduates end up working in primary care physicians. Most also work in underserved areas, providing critical access to healthcare.

NSU-KPCOM helps to prepare students for this responsibility early on. As a student, you’ll learn about the fundamentals in and out of the classroom. The school has several community-based partnerships around the world, giving you the chance to gain clinical experience in a wide range of settings.

6. Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Harrogate, TN
  • GPA: 3.43
  • MCAT: 501
  • Tuition: $51,140 In-state, $51,140 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Private

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a fantastic DO program that’s designed to prepare physicians for work in primary care. While the program covers other areas of medicine, the school emphasizes primary care to better prepare students for their careers ahead.

This DO school is a full-time program that takes four years to complete. During the first two years of your education, your time will be spent on pre-clinical sciences. Much of the curriculum centers around biological, behavioral, and social sciences.

These first two years will help you build your knowledge of medicine while also giving you more insight into community healthcare. DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine stresses problem-solving and expertise in diagnosis.

The last two years of your education are spent in clinical rotations. Here, you’ll get the hands-on experience you need to truly succeed in the world of medicine.

7. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Tulsa, OK
  • GPA: 3.6
  • MCAT: 500
  • Tuition: $25,796 In-state, $53,298 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Public

Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine has a lot to offer students. Like all of the best DO medical schools, OSU College of Medicine focuses on providing whole-body care to help patients achieve better overall health.

To prepare you for your career ahead, this school provides a more intimate educational environment. The class sizes are small, which gives you the chance to develop stronger relationships with your peers and the faculty helping you learn. You can get one-on-one attention, ensuring that you have a full grasp of the curriculum at every turn.

That’s not all, OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine also uses state-of-the-art technology to give you experience early on. You don’t have to wait for your clinical clerkships to gain some experience.

The Medical Simulation Center and Mobile Telemedicine Clinic expose you to the core concepts you’ll be learning in an exciting way.

8. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Erie, PA
  • GPA: 3.5
  • MCAT: 503
  • Tuition: $36,000 In-state, $36,000 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Private

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, also known as LECOM, is one of the most flexible DO schools in the United States. It also happens to be one of the largest medical colleges in the United States. This provides you with greater flexibility in how you want to proceed with your education.

LECOM has campuses in both Florida and Pennsylvania. Both campuses are state-of-the-art, ensuring that you have access to all of the technology you need to succeed.

It’s not just campus locations that you get to choose! LECOM has a couple of different programs and several curriculum tracks to follow. If you’re looking to complete your education swiftly and efficiently, LECOM offers accelerated programs. The school condenses the material into three years rather than four.

As for the curriculum tracks, LECOM offers three options based on your style of learning. These options include a lecture-based track, a problem-based track, and an independent study path.

9. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Blacksburg, VA
  • GPA: 3.5
  • MCAT: 500
  • Tuition: $46,900 In-state, $46,900 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Private

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of the best DO schools that offers a lot of variety throughout its several campuses in the South. VCOM is all about providing you with solid community-focused education. Like other DO schools, many graduates go on to serve rural communities as primary care physicians. VCOM prepares you for that by emphasizing the community aspect of healthcare.

There are four. campuses in total. You can study in Blacksburg, Virginia, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Auburn, Alabama. VCOM is also building a newer campus in Louisiana.

VCOM provides plenty of opportunities to gain experience throughout your education. Beyond the classroom, you can participate in community outreach projects. VCOM is dedicated to helping patients in underserved areas. The school regularly works with clinics in the United States and beyond.

There are also many research programs to partake in. VCOM has a broad range of research opportunities to push the boundaries of community healthcare.

10. Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Athens, OH
  • GPA: 3.6
  • MCAT: 504
  • Tuition: $37,936 In-state, $53,044 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Public

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has several campuses throughout the state of Ohio. As a student, you can complete your studies in Athens, Cleveland, or Dublin. No matter where you choose to complete your education, you can take advantage of the school’s unique approach to medicine.

As one of the best DO medical schools, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine focuses on the entire body to treat conditions and help patients achieve good health. The school aims to teach students how to work with a diverse patient population.

Throughout your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to work with patients from all backgrounds and walks of life. This experience can prove to be beneficial as you navigate your clinical rotations.

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has relationships with several clinics and healthcare institutions around the country. This ensures that you can work with communities from all walks of life.

11. University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Biddeford, ME
  • GPA: 3.6
  • MCAT: 504
  • Tuition: $58,430 In-state, $58,430 Out-of-state 
  • Public/Private: Private

Located in Maine, the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine has a long and prestigious history. It’s the only medical school in the state. As a DO school, it focuses on improving patient and physician communication.

As a student here, you’ll spend your time learning more about community healthcare and family medicine. In addition to the basic sciences, you will learn more about communicating with patients. The school emphasizes structured and standardized patient encounters.

This education can better prepare you to work with a diverse set of patients in a clinical setting.            

Conclusion

As you can tell, the best DO schools are nothing to laugh at. With thorough programs and high-quality facilities, each of the schools on our list will do a great job of making you a physician.

If you’re thinking about a less traditional path into medicine, we highly recommend giving these a shot.

If the application process seems a little daunting (or your scores aren’t competitive), don’t worry! Simply reach out to us via our contact page and introduce yourself.

We’ve helped hundreds of students get accepted into their medical school of choice over the years, and can do the same for you.

You May Also Like