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New Student Frequently Asked Questions 

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The safety and well-being of our community and visitors at each location (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) are our top priorities. The following admissions-related information is applicable to all locations and will be reviewed and updated as needed. For additional new and matriculating student information, please view the Office of Student Affairs COVID-19 FAQs.

General Admissions Questions

Will the admissions process be affected by COVID-19?

The Office of Admissions is open and processing applications as usual. Candidates can expect no delay in processing any application materials.

What if I can’t send an official transcript with my final grades and degree conferral until after classes start?

As a confirmed student, you may begin your coursework if the final official transcript has not been received but we would ask you to please send an official transcript to the PCOM Office of Admissions via email to as soon as it does become available. Should you fail to submit final transcripts within a reasonable time frame, a hold could be placed on your student record.

DO Program Admissions Questions: 2020-2021 cycle

When should I take the MCAT for the DO program?

Applicants are encouraged to continue preparing for the exam and take the MCAT when they are able and confident. The latest exam date accepted is January 2021 for August 2021 admission. However, as PCOM uses a rolling admissions process, it is highly recommended that candidates complete the exam early in our rolling admissions process. Interviews are generally conducted from September through March. For information and updates on the MCAT exam schedule, please visit the AAMC COVID resource page.

Will the DO program waive the MCAT requirement?

No. MCAT scores will be required to complete an application to the DO programs at any of the PCOM locations.

What is the oldest MCAT score report PCOM will accept?

For the 2020-2021 application cycle, PCOM will accept official MCAT exam scores from an exam taken within four years of the desired date of matriculation. For 2021 enrollment, exams taken before August 2017 will not be accepted to complete an applicant record.

Will PCOM review my application prior to having MCAT scores on file?

The Faculty Committees on Admission for each campus are able to view records pending MCAT scores and may select candidates for an interview. DO candidates will be required to submit an official MCAT score report from the AAMC to either AACOMAS or the Office of Admissions in order for an application to become complete. However, until MCAT scores are received, an admissions decision will not be rendered. Please be sure to have your official test score report forwarded to the PCOM Office of Admissions as soon as they become available to avoid delays in application completion.

Will patient contact hours and/or shadowing hours change or be updated since we are unable to visit hospitals, nursing homes, etc.?

Admission standards for all DO programs at PCOM do not require minimum patient contact hours. However, patient contact and health care exposure prior to enrollment in preparation for a career as an osteopathic physician is an expectation. The Admissions Committee will evaluate all candidates holistically on the totality of their application taking into consideration any circumstances prohibiting deep experience in this area.

What can I do if I can’t find a DO to shadow?

There are other ways to learn more about the osteopathic tradition including reading books on the topic, reviewing videos online, attending recruitment events at osteopathic medical schools, attending AACOM-hosted webinars and, of course, working/volunteering in clinical environments wherein you are witness to DOs providing patient care. All of these help candidates gain insight into why a career as an osteopathic physician fits with their own mission and values. The Office of Admissions hosts many online and on-campus events throughout the year.

PA Studies Admissions Questions: 2020-2021 cycle

Will patient contact hours and/or shadowing hours change or be updated since we are unable to visit hospitals, nursing homes, etc.?

No, 200 hours of patient care hours will continue to be required to be considered for an interview for the program.