The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine has been voted the #1 school for sending graduates to rural, underserved regions by US News and World Report for several years. It is one of the most popular medical schools in the US, not only for its commitment to addressing the needs of underserved patients, but also because it has one of the highest medical school acceptance rates among all DO school rankings. However, it is not one of the easiest medical schools to get into. This article will detail all the admission and eligibility requirements of the WCUCOM, what you need to do to make your application stand out, and how you should prepare to submit your DO school application.

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Article Contents
10 min read

Mission Statement Admission Statistics Eligibility Selection Factors Interview Format Acceptance and Waitlist Information Application Timeline Tuition and Debt Sample Questions and Answers Residency Match Rates Available Programs Campus and Location Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Fields Notable Faculty Contact Info FAQs

Mission Statement

“The mission of the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM) is to prepare men and women to become osteopathic physicians through an emphasis on primary care, lifelong learning, research, scholarly activities, service, including osteopathic clinical service, and graduate medical education. Using a community-based training model, the COM will educate and train graduates who are committed to serving the health care needs of all individuals, with special attention to the medically underserved and diverse populations of the state, region, nation and across the globe.”

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Admission Statistics

Overall Acceptance Rate: 33%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 4%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 29%

The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine is not one of the medical schools that don’t require MCAT. It requires all applicants to submit:

WCUCOM does not have any explicit medical school GPA requirements, but it does show a preference for students with a Science GPA of 3.4 or higher, or an overall GPA score of 3.4/3.5, along with an MCAT score of 500 or more, which is much higher than other comparable DO schools that don’t even require MCAT scores.

But despite the high MCAT score medical school requirement, the school makes other accommodations to prospective students, including non-traditional medical school applicants or students wondering how to get into med school with a low GPA. The WCUCOM is one of the few medical schools (allopathic or osteopathic) that do not require the completion of a full bachelor’s degree. Instead, it has a 75-credit minimum, which prospective students must earn from an accredited college or university.

The school also encourages all applicants to take advanced courses in biological sciences, molecular biology, chemistry, and physics to prepare for their application. It has no preference in terms of major if applicants have successfully completed an undergraduate degree. According to AACOMAS data, 72% matriculants had a science degree, while almost 30% of applicants had a non-science degree, so it is a friendly school for anyone thinking about how to get into med school without a science background.


Given its location in rural Mississippi and its stated mission to address the needs of underserved medical communities, the WCUCOM shows a preference for students from Mississippi, neighboring states like Tennessee and Alabama, and other Gulf states in the Southern US. It also shows preference for students from any rural or medically underserved area in the country.

Even with its preference for in-state students, the school matriculated more out-of-state applicants than in-state ones in a recent year, so it is not impossible for out-of-state students to get accepted. The WCUCOM does accept international students who must pass the standard English language proficiency tests, prove permanent residency in the US, and show they possess the financial resources to cover medical school and living costs. International students must also have completed at least one year in an American college or university.

Selection Factors

Preferred Science GPA: 3.4

Preferred Overall GPA: 3.4/3.5

Preferred MCAT Score: 500 or higher

Since the MCAT score requirement is so high, you should find ways to improve your score if you have struggled with how to study for the MCAT. You can find MCAT prep books that can give you actionable tips to focus on your problem areas, like giving yourself a lot of time to prepare and creating a study schedule. If you are thinking about when to start studying for MCAT, most experts recommended preparing for the MCAT 4-5 months before the test date. You should also check the official Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website, which oversees the administration of the test. 

Coursework and Undergrad

As we mentioned, the WCUCOM is one of the few medical schools in the US that does not require applicants to have a 90-credit bachelor’s degree. The school requires applicants to have only 75 credits toward a 90-credit degree, which should consist of the following courses:

  • English Composition
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biological Sciences

The school recommends that students round out their academic experience by taking advanced courses in behavioral sciences, like social studies, psychology, and philosophy. It also recommends that students take life science courses like microbiology, genetics, and physiology.

Personal Statements / Application Essays

You may need to read AACOMAS personal statement examples to fulfill the personal statement requirement of the osteopathic medical school application process. However, the school does not make clear whether it requires applicants to submit a personal statement or not. 

Recommendation Letters

The school asks all applicants to submit two or three recommendation letters based on what you can provide. You can either submit:

  • One letter from a DO or MD physician (preferably one registered as a DO with the American Osteopathic Association)
  • One letter from a pre-professional academic committee (a panel of science faculty members, although not all universities have them)


  • One letter from a DO or MD physician
  • Two letters each from two of your science-based instructors 

Interview Format

There is a personal interview requirement that all successful applicants must submit to if their applications are complete and meet all the other entrance criteria.

The WCUCOM does not make any mention of the interview format or what kind of medical school interview questions are asked, but they may be variations on typical questions, like “why do you want to become a doctor?” or the “tell me about yourself” medical school interview question. The school only states that all successful applicants are invited for an interview after the school receives their AACOMAS application.

The school does mention that the interview process, “allows the Admissions Committee to evaluate the applicant on important personal qualities for a potential osteopathic physician that cannot be measured by standardized tests.”

Is a DO program right for you?

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

The school makes no mention of what to do if your application is rejected. It does make mention of deferments if students are neither fully accepted or rejected. You can contact the school or Office of Admission directly to enquire about whether the school has a waitlist or what to do if your application is rejected.

Application Timeline

The WCUCOM employs a two-step application system, meaning it requires that applicants first submit an application via the AACOMAS online application portal and second, submit a supplementary online application. In the first step, applicants submit things like MCAT scores, and GPA average. Students who successfully meet the entrance requirements are then asked to submit a supplementary application. Only after submitting the second supplementary application is when the school decides whether to invite applicants to interviews. The school recommends that AACOMAS applications be submitted in December of the application year to be considered favorably.

Deadline to submit an AACOMAS application: March 13th

Deadline to submit WCUCOM supplementary application: April 15th

Tuition and Debt

Annual Resident Tuition: USD $46,000

Annual Non-Resident Tuition: USD $46,000

Annual Resident and Non-Resident Fees: USD $0

Annual Health Insurance Fee: USD $2,657

Extra Non-Academic Costs (room, board, and living costs): USD $38,843

Average Debt Level of Graduates: USD $239,781

Funding Opportunities

The school offers financial assistance to qualifying students via federal aid programs. All students who have been extended an offer to attend the WCUSOM can apply for federal assistance via the Free Application for Federal Aid. When students apply for federal aid, a needs analysis will be performed based on the information and supporting documentation the applicant submitted.

One criterion all students who apply for financial aid must adhere to is to maintain good academic standing throughout the semester. The school does not detail how students must do this (maintain a high GPA, for example), but it also mentions that students may lose their eligibility for financial aid because of “serious breaches of discipline.” Students must also apply for financial aid every year; it is not renewed automatically.

The COM also offers scholarships to prospective current students based on several different eligibility requirements. Some of the scholarships are aimed at first year students, often from a minority group, and require some specific eligibility requirement, like maintaining a high grade point average in Anatomy to qualify for the J. Randolph and Brenda Ross Award for Excellence in Anatomy.

The Asbury Foundation Award is another GPA-based scholarship awarded to students in their second year, who had the highest GPA in their first year. This award is aimed at students who have demonstrated a desire to remain in Mississippi to practice medicine. To be sure, there are many other scholarships that the school offers, but none of them cover the full costs of medical school.

Residency Match Rates

The WCUCOM has residency match rates posted on its website. The statistics for the most recent years show the school has a near perfect match rate for its graduates, hovering between 97 and 99%, which is well above the national average for MD and DO residency placements of 91%.

The exact numbers and which specializations graduates entered is not available, but the school encourages students to prepare for residency mock interviews via a special interview preparation service. This service uses an online portal to prepare students for their residency interviews, but it does not use expert-level advice from former academics like BeMo consultants, who can help you prepare for your residency application if you want to know what residency program directors look for.

Available Programs

The WCUCOM has a straightforward, four-year DO academic program for all of its matriculated osteopathic students – the school does not currently offer any combined degree programs, although it does offer a one-year OMM Scholars program for students who want to develop medicine and science-related skills to work in medicine-related roles like medical researcher or lab assistant. It also offers a one-year, non-thesis Master of Biomedical Science program.

Master of Biomedical Science

The Master of Biomedical Science is intended to help students improve their science skills and deepen their understanding of anatomy and human biology so that they can better perform in medicine-related professions as doctors, pharmacists, or dentists. There are four distinct tracks for students interested in various fields:

  • Premedical or predental track
  • Pre-physical therapy track
  • Pre-pharmacy
  • Pre-health professional

Students who enroll in the Master of Biomedical Science must meet certain entrance requirements, as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree with physics (8 credits), chemistry (8 organic and 8 inorganic chemistry credits), and biology (12 credits)
  • MCAT, DCAT, or GRE score
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Completion of a Graduate Admissions Form
  • Personal statement

DO Program

The first two years of the DO degree at WCUCOM cover foundational courses in anatomy, cellular biology, medical physiology, and medical biochemistry. During OM1 and OM2, students also develop pre-clinical skills, like how to interact with patients and how to perform physical examinations. During their first and second year, students are also further introduced to the core competencies of osteopathic medicine.

The school divides the DO program into four modules: OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4.

Campus and Location

The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine makes no secret of its mission to work with medically underserved areas, which is something demonstrated by its physical location in a rural part of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. There are a total of eight buildings that make up the entire College of Osteopathic Medicine, ranging from the most recent – the new Health Sciences Building with its 2,000+ seat lecture hall – to the Turner Medical Arts building, which houses an Innovative Learning Center featuring study areas, faculty offices, and examination rooms. The Asbury Administrative Center is where students will have to go to submit documents or perform any other administrative tasks.

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals

  • Acadian Care - Mandeville, LA
  • Alliance Health Center - Meridian, MS
  • Anderson Regional Medical Center - Meridian, MS
  • Baptist Memorial Hospital/Golden Triangle - Columbus, MS
  • Bibb Medical Center - Centerville, AL
  • Bolivar Medical Center - Cleveland, MS
  • Cedar Lake Surgery Center - Biloxi, MS
  • Christus Lake Area Hospital - Lake Charles, LA
  • Coastal Family Health Center - Biloxi, MS
  • Covington County Hospital - Collins, MS
  • Creekmore Clinic - New Albany, MS
  • Delta Health Center - Mound Bayou, MS

Research Fields

Given its location and mission, WCUCOM is leading efforts to make health care delivery more equitable and effective in Mississippi and the surrounding regions. Many of the school’s research interests also revolve around how to provide medical services during a disaster (man-made or natural) since the school and its community experience higher than usual calamities such as hurricanes and other tropical storms.

Many faculty members are engaged in such research, most notably Carol Morreale, PharmD, MPH, MS, BCGP, who is both a member of CAST (Child Advocacy Studies Training) and helps advocate for a greater focus on childhood diseases in osteopathic medical training, while also consulting for the Lamar and Forrest County Emergency Management Coalitions on how best to respond to mass casualty events.

Notable Faculty

Italo Subbarao, DO, MBA – The Dean of WCUCOM, Mr. Subbarao is also a leader in disaster response and has given technical advice and medical support for disaster relief efforts from Hurricane Katria to earthquakes in Haiti and Pakistan. Dr. Subbarao is also the author of over 60 published books and regularly consults with the US Department of Health, and Human Services, the CDC and is currently researching how to reach disaster victims in remote areas with drones equipped with medical equipment.

Danielle Fastring, PhD, MS, MPH – Dr. Fastring is a medical researcher and WCUCOM alumnus who is currently engaged in research to address disparities in health care in Southern Gulf states in the US. She is currently studying how immigrant communities respond to public health initiatives (outreach, vaccination clinics) and if current initiatives to address health issues like Hepatitis B and cardiovascular disease are effective in reaching remote communities in coastal Mississippi.

Contact Info

William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM)

710 William Carey Parkway

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Main phone: (601) 318-6235

Admissions Office

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (601) 318-6235


1. Do I need an undergraduate degree to be accepted to WCUCOM?

No, you do not need a full (90-credit) bachelor’s degree to be accepted to WCUCOM. You need at least 75 credits in an array of science-based courses like physics, chemistry, and biology from an accredited college or university. You must also have basic computer literacy and technical skills, but there is no test or exam to prove your competency.

2. Does the WCUCOM accept transfer students?

Yes, the WCUCOM accepts transfer students from any American, Canadian, or international university.

3. Do I need to take the MCAT to get into WCUCOM?

Yes, you need to take the MCAT to get into WCUCOM. The school has a very high minimum MCAT score (500 or higher); it accepts retakes, but the oldest MCAT score you can submit is five years. If you need to find the best MCAT prep course to help raise your scores, you should, since submitting an MCAT score is mandatory.

4. Do I need to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes, you need to apply for financial aid every semester, and it is up to you to submit your application, along with all the necessary supporting documentation.

5. Will I be matched to a residency training program after graduation?

The WCUCOM has a 99% match rate for all its DO graduates, but there are no data about what specializations and where in the country its students were accepted. As the stated mission of the school is to increase the number of primary care physicians in medically underserved areas, many of its graduates either stay in Mississippi or find residency programs out-of-state.

6. What is the minimum GPA average to get into WCUCOM?

The school does not have an explicit GPA cut-off, but preference is given to students with an overall GPA average of 3.4 or 3.5.

7. Can international students apply to WCUCOM?

Yes, international students are encouraged to apply to WCUCOM. There were 63 international matriculants in the WCUCOM in recent years, so international students do not have a hard time getting accepted. They must meet English language and financial support requirements. International students must also have their foreign grades and transcripts credentialed by a third-party credentialing service.

8. Do I have to complete required coursework before applying?

Yes, you need to submit your GPA with your AACOMAS application, which means you must have completed the required course credits in science-based courses like biology, physics, and chemistry (listed above). The school only requires a pass or fail grade and does not require students to submit a numerical score.

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