In reviewing the matriculation data for the 2016-17 cycle from AACOMAS, there are several trends that can inform your application strategy and increase your chances of acceptance. Last cycle, 185,602 applications were submitted by 20,720 applicants, and 6,778 were accepted. In other words, 32.7% of applicants matriculated at DO school. Let’s take a look at what this data means for you as you apply:
1. GPA Averages
Looking at the GPA averages will help you decide whether you should apply this cycle or complete postbaccalaureate coursework first to become a more competitive applicant. The average cumulative and science GPA’s are listed in the table below for applicants and matriculants:
Average Cumulative and Science GPA’s for Osteopathic DO— AACOMAS
|Average Cumulative GPA||Average Sci GPA|
While these numbers can be discouraging, it’s important for you to keep in mind that the medical schools do not share the full range of scores that they accept—only self reported averages. If your MCAT score is higher than average, you can safely apply with a somewhat lower than average GPA—as long as you have exceptional activities and essays. The lower your numbers, the more important it is that these other areas of the application be strong. Since these numbers are lower for osteopathic medical schools than for allopathic programs, you may have a better chance at acceptance by applying to DO schools.
2. MCAT Averages
The same strategy applies here. If you have a higher than average GPA, your MCAT score can be somewhat lower than average. In the table below, the average MCAT scores for applicants and matriculants are listed.
Average MCAT scores for Osteopathic MD—AACOMAS
The MCAT and GPA averages above are for all schools. When you are deciding where to apply, you should compare your stats with the averages for your specific target schools and adjust accordingly.
3. Ethnicities Accepted
If you are a person of color, I think it’s a good idea to review the data on ethnicities for matriculants. Choosing to apply to the schools that have the highest number of acceptances of students from your particular ethnicity is a good strategy for success. Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine accepted the highest number of “underrepresented minority” students at 25.9%.
Using data from these three areas can help you create an application strategy that will work best for you! For more assistance, contact me or my colleagues for a consultation to receive the personalized feedback and guidance you need to become part of the 39.6% of applicants who matriculate!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• Navigate the Med Maze, a free guide
• Medical School Application Strategy: MD vs. DO Programs
• Becoming a D.O., a podcast episode