The Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM) is the most recent addition to Midwestern University's many different colleges dedicated to the medical arts. The university is divided into two campuses, the Downers Grove campus, which houses one of the oldest medical schools in Illinois. The other, which we’ll be spotlighting here is the Glendale campus and is one of newest medical schools in Arizona. Located outside of Phoenix, the Glendale Campus hosts the osteopathic doctor program, along with many dual-degree programs, and other medical science specialities like veterinary and podiatry schools. This article will detail all the important admission and academic information and give you tips on how to improve your DO school application.

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Article Contents
18 min read

Mission Statement Admission Statistics Eligibility Selection Factors AACOMAS Experiences and Achievements Section Interview Format Acceptance and Waitlist Information Application Timeline Tuition and Debt Funding Opportunities Residency Match Rates Review of Available Programs Academic Curriculum of the DO Program Campus and Faculty Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Fields Notable Faculty Contact Information FAQs

Mission Statement

“Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine educates students to become qualified osteopathic physicians who provide quality patient care, exhibit professionalism, and serve their communities.”

Education is at the forefront of the university’s mission and it's demonstrated in the number of different medical science degrees and specialties the school offers. Not only does Midwestern offer a four year osteopathic degree, but you can also study to become a dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, nurse, optometrist or pharmacist, at both the Glendale or Downers Park campus.

Want to learn how you can apply to med school and get in with a low GPA? Watch this video:

Admission Statistics

Overall Acceptance Rate: 25%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 8% 

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 17%

Average MCAT of Incoming Students: 507

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.53

Preference for Masters or PhD: No


AZCOM is not tied to one particular region or state like other schools whose missions are state- or region-specific. It has two campuses in two different states, so AZCOM has no geographic preference for applicants. The school is more attentive to academic qualifications instead, as it has explicit medical school GPA requirements, so, if you are wondering how to get into medical school with a low GPA, then you should consider a school other than AZCOM. Applicants’ MCAT scores must also be submitted with every application, but there is no specific MCAT threshold students must meet to be admitted.

AZCOM is an out-of-state friendly medical school, but its “friendliness” also extends to international students. International students are encouraged to apply as long as they meet certain medical school requirements. They must have completed at least 30 credits at an American or Canadian university or college, with half of those credits being completed in science subjects.

Students who have completed required course work outside the US or Canada, must use one of the three accrediting agencies recognized by the university (Educational Credential Evaluators; World Education Services; Josef Silny International Education Consultants) to have their foreign credits certified and applied to their transcript and GPA score.

Selection Factors


Minimum Cumulative and Science GPA to be considered: 3.0 or higher

Minimum Cumulative and Science GPA to Receive a Secondary Application: 2.75 or higher

The school does not have an MCAT cut-off but you should refer to the average MCAT of the incoming class for an idea of what you should aim for. The school does not accept MCAT scores older than three years old. If you have scores older than three years, you must retake the MCAT, as your old scores will not be accepted.

Coursework and Undergrad

Up to 40% of the school’s incoming students had a graduate degree, but the school does not say it is a requirement to apply. What the school does require is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in North America. International students need to complete 30 credits at an American or Canadian school to be considered or have their foreign course work certified by an accreditation agency.

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

The medical school prerequisites for AZCOM are similar to other schools and skew heavily toward science-based subjects. Another strict requirement for all prerequisite coursework is that you must achieve a grade of C or higher (a C- grade in any subject is unacceptable). But there are also English language and writing credits applicants must have, which is something that many schools ask for.

  • Biology w/lab work – 8 full credits or 12 quarter credits      
  • General Chemistry w/lab work – 8 full credits or 12 quarter credits
  • Organic Chemistry w/lab work – 8 full credits or 12 quarter credits
  • Physics – 8 full credits or 12 quarter credits
  • English Composition – 6 full credits or 9 quarter credits

The school also recommends all applicants have familiarity with the following courses to ensure their success in medical school if they are accepted. The recommended courses should be in anything related to:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biology

AACOMAS Experiences and Achievements Section

AZCOM prioritizes an applicant's academic record most, as it has very few, hard, non-academic requirements (like how many shadowing hours for medical school applicants gain) outside of the usual essential qualities that all medical students must have (service-oriented, intellectually curious, community-minded, ethical, professional).

All applications to the school must be sent via the AACOMAS application service. On their application, students are required to fill out the Experiences and Achievements section detailing how they’ve prepared for a career in medicine through paid or volunteer medical work and community service. They must also complete other aspects of the AACOMAS application, like submitting a personal statement, letters of recommendation, MCAT, GPA, and transcripts. 

The Experiences section is where you can list both your academic and non-academic achievements. You have space in this section to list as many health care or non-health care related experiences (like paid or volunteer work, and extracurriculars for medical school), while the Achievements section is where you list any awards or other academic achievements (publishing an article, receiving a scholarship) that you have won.

Personal Statement

While applicants to allopathic (MD) schools write about their meaningful experiences in the appropriate section of the AMCAS application, applicants to osteopathic schools write about meaningful experiences in their personal statement, which is one requirement of submitting an AACOMAS application, regardless of the school.

A personal statement is where you express your motivation for becoming a doctor. You can write about your background (hometown, family), education or any inciting incident that helped you decide on a career in medicine. The personal statement is only one venue for you to answer “why do you want to become a doctor?”, as you may also be asked this question during your interview, if you are invited to an interview.

Applicants can read over AACOMAS personal statement examples to get an idea of what they need to include, but the standard length of any AACOMAS personal statement is 5300 characters. AACOMAS also recommends students write their medical school personal statement directly into the section reserved for personal statements, rather than copying/pasting the text from another writing program. Statements written in a word processor will lose formatting elements and appear differently in the box when copy/pasted.

Secondary Essays

Medical school secondary essays are written after you have submitted your primary application and if the school has invited you to complete a secondary application. Secondary essays are often built around specific prompts that are different depending on the school. Each school uses a different set of medical school secondary essay prompts, but they generally revolve around questions like “why this school?” or “why should we choose you?”, the latter of which is one of the prompts used by AZCOM.

  1. Why do you believe AZCOM would provide you with the type of osteopathic medical education you are seeking? (1500 characters)
  2. Why should AZCOM accept you into this year's class? (1500 characters)

Sample Secondary Essay for Question #1

As an Arizona native, I am committed to serving underserved communities in my state. AZCOM's mission to train compassionate, competent, and socially accountable osteopathic physicians resonates deeply with my values. I have volunteered with organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul, where I provided medical assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness, trying to refill their prescriptions for their medication for various physical and mental illnesses.

I also worked with the underserved population in the Navajo Nation, where I witnessed firsthand the impact of healthcare disparities, such as little to no access to primary care doctors to the point where people mistook me for a doctor and began asking for health care advice. I told them that I was just a volunteer, and that they should ask a doctor, but they always responded that there was never a doctor available for them.

With AZCOM's focus on community service and leadership, I believe I would be able to receive the education I am seeking while making a difference in my community. The opportunity to learn from the experienced faculty and work alongside other motivated students would enable me to become a competent osteopathic physician dedicated to serving Arizona's underserved communities.

The mission statement of AZCOM resonates with my passion for serving underserved communities in Arizona. I believe that AZCOM's emphasis on primary care and community service aligns with my own values and aspirations to make a positive impact in the lives of underserved communities in Arizona.

Recommendation Letters

Almost all medical schools require applicants submit letters of recommendation as part of the application process. AZCOM makes a few exceptions in that they only require applicants to submit two medical school letters of recommendation, which must be written by:

  • A premedical advisory committee or science professor


  • A DO or MD physician (DO physician preferred)

Interview Format

AZCOM does not use the MMI format to conduct medical school interviews. Instead, it uses a panel to interview groups of applicants who undergo the interview at the same time. But that format has changed into virtual, panel interviews because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants, if granted an interview, must schedule their own interview time, so you need to know how to schedule medical school interviews.

The two-person panel can consist of current students, faculty members, administrators in the admissions office or physicians. The panel questions students on their reasons for becoming a doctor, and rates their responses according to a standardized grading system. The results are then passed on to the admissions committee after the interview, along with all other application materials.

Sample Medical School Interview Questions w/Sample Answer

1) “How would I describe my current study habits?”

My study habits are built around effective time management and self-discipline. I use a variety of techniques to retain information, such as active reading, creating visual aids, and teaching the material to others. For example, in my biology class, I created flashcards with diagrams and mnemonics to help me remember the different parts of the cell. In addition, I would hold study sessions with classmates where we would review the material and quiz each other. I also make sure to break up my study sessions into manageable chunks to avoid burnout, and I use tools like Pomodoro timers to stay focused. Overall, my study habits prioritize understanding and retention over memorization.

2) “What's your most selfish reason for pursuing medicine?”

3) “Why do you want to be a doctor?”

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

After their interview, students typically wait up to three or four weeks for a response from the school. A response can be anything such as an acceptance letter, letter of regret, or a letter explaining that they are on hold or listed as an alternate, which, according to many previous applicants, is something the school does frequently.

According to previous applicants (although not verified), the school interviews applicants with higher MCAT scores first, and then interviews those from the waitlist or with lower scores. If you are placed on the waitlist, you should not be discouraged. You do not need to know how to get off a medical school waitlist since the school does admit students from the waitlist, although the exact figures vary every year.

Former applicants also recommend students placed on the waitlist exercise patience. The school itself does not provide any specific instructions on what to do if placed on a waitlist. However, if you are ultimately rejected, you can reapply in the next application cycle. But the school recommends you get medical school application help before you submit your application again.

Application Timeline

Primary Application Deadline: January 1st 

Secondary Application Deadline: March 1st

AZCOM has a rolling admissions policy when it comes to sending out both interview invitations and acceptances, rejections or waitlist notifications. Applicants who apply early are more likely to hear back for interviews sooner than those who apply closer to the deadline. Students need to have a cumulative or science GPA of 2.75 to even be considered for a secondary application. If you are sent a secondary application, you must include supporting documentation such as a resume, secondary essays, and a $50 processing fee.

Tuition and Debt

In-State and Out-of-State Tuition Fees: $77,171 (fees included)

Average Cost-of-Living Expenses for First Year Students: $37,084

Average Student Debt of Graduating Students: $343,759

Funding Opportunities

The school offers several medical school scholarships (external and internal) for students of all its health care related colleges. It even has campus-based scholarships so you should find out more about them before you indicate which campus you prefer on your secondary application. All students can apply for federal aid by submitting a completed FAFSA application. Scholarships are also offered to medical school students in any year of study, and have various eligibility requirements. The ones listed here are all for osteopathic students, regardless of campus.

1. MW Diversity Scholarship 

This institutional scholarship is awarded to DO students in their first, second or third year who submit a completed application. The scholarship is not automatically renewed every year and successful applicants must reapply.

Eligibility Requirements: Minimum 2.0 GPA

Award: Two $5000 prizes for students at each campus

Application Requirements:

  1. 300–500-word essay demonstrating a commitment to diversity and how you would address health care disparities with future patients
  2. 2.0 GPA
  3. Preference to first-generation applicants
  4. Financial need

2. MWU Spirit of Service Scholarship

This institutional scholarship is funded by a charitable gala and golf tournament aimed to help students at all of MWU’s medical science schools who have demonstrated leadership through community service. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need and submit a 500-word essay outlining how they have served others and how they plan to do so in the future. Successful applicants will have a competitive GPA and also submit a letter of reference.

3. MWU Partners Scholarship

This external scholarship has several private sponsors including Wells Fargo and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona who each donate a different sum. It was created to benefit osteopathic students in any year of study (excluding first year students), at any of MWU’s two campuses. Osteopathic students who want to apply must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students from other schools within MWU have different GPA requirements. You must also submit a letter of reference and a 500-word essay describing your work in community service.

4. Shirley Ann Brysacz Memorial Scholarship

Osteopathic medical students with families who want to enter family medicine in Arizona are the prime recipients of this institutional scholarship. Named in honor of the late wife of Dr. Stanley Brysacz, a former President of the AZCOM Alumni Association, this scholarship recognizes the importance of a spouse’s support during medical school and seeks to award a single $2500 scholarship to a qualified applicant.

The scholarship has several eligibility and application requirements such as:

  • Married students with children who are in their first, second, or third year
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • One letter of recommendation
  • One 500-word essay describing how your spouse has supported you during medical school
  • Demonstrate financial need

Sample Essay

It was the way she said the word “beverages” - bayveraches - in her adorable Texas drawl tinged with her parent's Czech ancestry that made me fall in love with her. We met because we were both premed students at Loyola University and we were both part of the same Inorganic Chemistry study group.

Karina and I were friendly, but there was no love-at-first-sight moment. I was focused solely on medical school and I didn’t mind being single. But the more time we spent together studying and socializing, the more I realized how much I liked seeing and being around her. I asked her out and we went on a few dates, the most memorable of which was when we went to see a Chicago Cubs game. That was what we bonded over, baseball, not the Cubs, since she was and still is a die-heard Texas Rangers fan.

It was that one little word that melted my heart. That little, innocuous word was a perfect distillation of everything that I love about her – her kindness, her humor, her innocence, her genuine love of life. A few months later, I asked her to marry me. She said “yes”. But, instead of planning a wedding, we talked more about how our relationship would affect our careers and vice-versa. 

You prepare so much to go to medical school, but you don’t factor in personal milestones, and we both wrestled with our new priorities: each other. We knew that the Couples Match program with ERAS existed and we both agreed to rank order list the same schools so we could both complete our residencies in the same city, but what about medical school?

That’s when Karina told me that she would go with me to AZCOM, even though she had originally planned to go back to Texas and complete her degree at the University of North Texas. Leaving Illinois was always in the cards for Karina, but she sacrificed her plans for me, and it has always meant the world to me that she did that.

We both applied to the DO program but only I was accepted. Karina was disappointed but she told me a few days later that she would go with me to Arizona anyway. She decided that she would take a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences instead and increase her GPA to have a better chance the next cycle.

It was a few weeks after I matriculated that Karina told me she was pregnant. Our son, Nolan, was born last year. I’m not going to sugar coat being a parent, because it is hard work, especially as a medical student. But knowing what kind of person Karina is, gives me the strength and support to keep going because I know she’ll always be there for me, and for our son.

5. The Chanen Student Scholarship

This scholarship was created to support qualified Arizona residents who want to enter AZCOM and are members of any American-Indian group based in Arizona. The award for successful applicants is a single $2000 award that is not renewed automatically every year, so students need to reapply.

The application requirements include:

  • Permanent Arizona resident
  • Member of an Arizona based Indigenous group
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Demonstrate financial need

Residency Match Rates

AZCOM boasted a 97.4% placement rate for graduates from its most recent graduating class. Many of those students went into either a family medicine residency (44 students) or an internal medicine residency (45 students). The next most popular residencies were emergency medicine and pediatrics both at 18 students. The school’s graduates also recorded higher than average COMLEX Level 1 and COMLEX Leve 2 CE pass rates, as 95% and 94% of graduates passed the test on their first attempt, respectively. They passed the COMLEX Level 3 test at the same rate as the national average, as 97% of AZCOM graduates passed the test.

Osteopathic medical degrees from AZCOM are recognized in Canada, but students who want to perform their residency or practice in Canada must have permanent residency and pass the MCCQE licensing exam. They must also meet the individual medical licensing regulations of the province they wish to practice in.

Review of Available Programs

1. Four Year DO Program

AZCOM offers a four year program split between an introduction to medical sciences and patient interaction in the first two years, and clinical rotations in the last two years, where students apply their training while adhering to the osteopathic principles of patient care. Students are expected to complete 58.5 credit hours in their first year of their four year degree (the credit requirements increase every year), and take courses such as Anatomical Sciences, Biochemistry and Interprofessional Healthcare.

2. Master of Arts Biomedical Sciences

This graduate degree program serves as an excellent springboard to medical school for anyone with a BA or BS, a cumulative GPA of 2.75 and is interested in going to medical school. This one year, 45 credit load program takes students through the basics of medical sciences with courses such as Biochemistry, Human Anatomy, Genetics and Physiology.

Students must also complete a capstone research project to fulfill the program’s degree requirements, which means you may have to hire capstone writing services to help you draft your proposal and research goals. There are also several elective courses students must take also within the field of biomedical sciences or in any of the school's other disciplines like public health or health care administration.

3. Master of Public Health

This degree offering can be taken alone or jointly with a four year DO program or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree so students can graduate medical school with a foundation in public health knowledge. Students take courses steeped in the Global One Health philosophy, which seeks to integrate human, animal, and environmental health through its diverse course offerings.

Taken alone as a Master of Public Health, students must complete a 56-credit load to qualify for a degree. Taken jointly with either a DO or DVM degree, students complete their public health course requirements in their final year through a combination of online coursework, practicum experience and a capstone project. 

4. Master of Precision Medicine

Students who want training in precision medicine can take this degree alone or jointly with any other health care professional program at AZCOM. This two year Masters degree is offered fully online and requires students to take courses such as Introduction to Genetics and Genomics, Genomics of Rare and Complex Diseases, and Introduction to Bioinformatics, Statistics, and Data Interpretation.

In the second year, courses include Pharmacogenomics, Microbial Genetics, Infectious Diseases, and Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of Precision Medicine. Students must complete 46 credits in the Masters of Precision Medicine degree and can apply 18 credits from any of their other programs to complete the required credit load.

Academic Curriculum of the DO Program

The school prides itself on its ever-evolving, ever-improving academic curriculum for DO students, which covers the basics of biomedical sciences in the first two years, while also ingraining a patient-centered approach into students. Rather than focus on a disease-centered approach, students learn how to understand their patients through various lenses like social and environmental factors.

Students also participate in hands-on, preclinical workshops to teach them how to prepare for clinical rotations. Once they have completed the required course work of the first two years such as Introduction to Human Behavior, Osteopathic Clinical Medicine, Humanity in Medicine, and met the 58 credit requirements of each year, students enter their clinical training years where they must complete a total of 84 weeks of rotations combining both didactic courses and direct patient experiences.

If they have not already, it is during this time when students learn how to choose a medical specialty, as they complete 6 credits each in specialties like family medicine, cardiology, internal medicine and psychiatry. The credit load of the third year is 71, and in their final year, students complete elective rotations, emergency medicine and surgery rotations, sub-specialties in internal medicine and surgery, and more training in osteopathic medical principles.

Campus and Faculty

The AZCOM campus is located 15 miles outside of downtown Phoenix, so the school has a decidedly suburban feel and environment. Apart from the relative closeness to the cultural and recreational attractions of Phoenix, the Glendale campus offers students many different educational, clinical and recreational facilities to enhance their learning experience.

There are over thirteen different buildings within the Glendale campus including Mesquite Hall, which houses the Clinical Skills & Simulation Center where students practice their clinical skills on various models and in various settings like the center’s mock OR, ER and scrub room. The largest of the buildings, the 130,000 square foot Glendale Hall contains faculty offices, classrooms and the dental simulation lab.

The main administrative complex, the Four Barrel Student Center, comprises several buildings, which is where the university’s admissions, financial aid, communications, student services and human resources departments are located. There are also several recreational and wellness facilities located throughout the campus.

There are also four medical facilities on campus that provide a wide range of health care services to both students and residents of the surrounding area. The Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic is where patients can receive care in family and internal medicine, while also receiving treatment for foot, ankle and leg problems with osteopathic manipulative medicine.

There is also a veterinary clinic on site that treats animals of all sizes and types, with the clinic comprising a Companion Animal Clinic for domestic pets, and the Equine and Bovine Center for treating farm animals. As Midwestern University also has a dental and optometry school, it offers high-quality dental and eye care at Midwestern University Dental and Eye Institutes.

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals

  • Kingman Regional Medical Center
  • Canyon Vista Medical Center
  • Mountain Vista Medical Center
  • Verde Valley Medical Center
  • Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic

Research Fields

The breadth of research fields the school’s students and faculty engage in includes areas such as infectious diseases, women's health, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, interprofessional collaboration, antivenoms, and diabetes. There are several on-campus research facilities dedicated to even more specialized interests and are multi-disciplinary, since students from all of the university’s schools use them and work together with students in other field to do research.

  • The Cellular and Molecular Core Research Facility
  • Pharmacometrics Center of Excellence
  • Costin Institute for Medical Educators

Notable Faculty

1. Charles Finch, Jr., DO - Chair, Integrated Medicine

Research Interests: Ultrasound, Grief and Bereavement, Emergency Medical Service/Fire Science

2. Gary C. Gailius, DO - Program Director, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

3. Wade Grow, PhD, Chair of Anatomy

Research Interests: Neuromuscular synapse development

4. Garilyn Jentarra, PhD, Program Director, Precision Medicine

Research Interests: Alzheimer's Disease, Rett Syndrome

5. Kathryn J. Leyva, PhD, Chair, Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests: Factors influencing EMT progression of cSCC, cell migration, archaeal antimicrobial peptides

Contact Information

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM)


19555 N. 59th Avenue

Glendale, AZ 85308

Main phone: (888) 247-9277

Admissions Office


[email protected]

Phone: (888) 247-9277

Fax: (623) 572-3229


1. What is the mission of the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University?

AZCOM puts education at the center of its mission, as it hosts various medical science programs and schools on its two campuses. There are many different options available to anyone interested in a health care career outside of being an osteopathic doctor and you can explore a career in dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or podiatry all within the same university system. 

2. Do I need to take the MCAT and submit my scores?

AZCOM does require all applicants to submit their most recent MCAT scores, but it does not have a minimum MCAT score to be considered. With that said, the average MCAT score of the most recent incoming class was 507, so having a competitive MCAT score matters, although all aspects of your application are considered. 

3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The school has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 for primary applications, and students must have a minimum cumulative and science GPA of 2.75 to be considered for a secondary application. 

4. What kind of degree do I need to get into AZCOM?

The only degree requirement for admission to AZCOM is to have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and not have received a grade less than C- in all your premedical school coursework. 

5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?

Yes, all applicants must complete at least 8 semester hours (with lab work) in physics, biology, and chemistry. They must also have completed 6 semester hours in English Composition. Recommended courses include anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. 

6. How can I apply to AZCOM?

Applicants interested in AZCOM must submit all their application materials via the AACOMAS application portal, and then submit a supplemental application, if you meet the specific GPA requirements set forth by the school. After submitting your primary and secondary application, the school will notify you if you have been selected for an interview, or not. 

7. How much does one year at AZCOM cost?

The total cost of a student’s first year of medical school, including tuition, fees, living expenses is estimated to be $114,255 for all students, regardless of their residency status. This estimate rises with every subsequent year, as additional costs like licensing exam fees and other expenses associated with third- and fourth-year students are added, so students in their final year can expect to pay up to $127,672. 

8. Is it hard to get into AZCOM?

AZCOM does have a minimum GPA requirement to receive a secondary application, but its admission requirements are not that different from other osteopathic schools. The school does not have preference for students from specific regions or states, so it is one of the easiest medical school to get into for non-residents, since it has two campuses in two different states. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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Disclaimer: Please note although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.

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