Pre-Osteopathic Medicine Area of Emphasis (3 or 4 years)

Overview of Osteopathic Medicine as a Career

Osteopathic schools are less competitive, although the number of applicants has increased dramatically in recent years. Some students still do not know what an osteopath does, as they are not widespread in this area of the country. The distinction is that osteopaths give special attention to spinal manipulation (similar to chiropractic procedures) in their practice for some patients. The distinction between the two types of doctors is dwindling each year. With the proper resident training, an osteopath can become a brain surgeon, a heart surgeon, a pediatrician, gynecologist, or any other kind of doctor that one might think of.

Osteopathic and allopathic residents frequently work side by side in local hospitals. The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine located at Lewisburg, WV is the only osteopathic medical school in the state. A GPA of 2.8 and MCAT cumulative scores of 18-21 are competitive.

See the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Prerequisite Courses

The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • General Physics I and II and labs (PHY 201, 202, 203 and 204)
  • Mathematics to meet prerequisite requirements for the science courses listed above (MTH 122, Trigonometry; MTH 127/130, College Algebra; MTH 140, Applied Calculus, or MTH 229, Calculus I). COS requires Calculus (MTH 140 or 229) to meet graduation requirements.

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Social and Behavioral Science. General Psychology (PSY 201) and Introductory Sociology (SOC 200) are recommended.
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Recommended Coursework

  • Histology (BSC 300)
  • Vertebrate Embryology (BSC 301)
  • Principles of Microbiology and Lab (BSC 302 and BSC 304) or General Bacteriology (BSC 250) Note: BSC 250 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BSC 310) or Human Anatomy (BSC 227) Note: BSC 227 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Principles of Cell Biology (BSC 322)
  • Animal Physiology (BSC 422) or Human Physiology (BSC 228) Note: BSC 228 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Introductory Biochemistry (BSC 365 for Biology majors or CHM 365 for Chemistry majors)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 408)
  • Physiological Psychology (PSY 440)

Professional Exam

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), is taken preferably in the fall of your junior year of undergraduate school. However, in some cases the student, after discussions with the Pre-Professional advisor, may choose to take the MCAT during the spring semester of his/her sophomore year.

The MCAT is a five and one-half hour self-paced computerized exam. Optional breaks are including during the exam. The exam is divided into four parts: verbal reasoning (40 questions lasting 60 minutes), biological sciences (52 questions lasting 70 minutes), physical sciences (52 questions lasting approximately 70 minutes), and writing sample (approximately 2 questions lasting 60 minutes).

The approximate cost is $210.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

There is no penalty for guessing; which means that if you are unsure of your answer, you should guess rather than leave the question unanswered. Unanswered items are incorrect, but there are no additional score reductions for answers that you guess incorrectly. The scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 15 for each of the three multiple-choice sections of the test. Writing Sample essays are rated by a group of trained readers. Your raw score on the Writing Sample is the sum of four individual raw scores ranging from 1 to 6.  Your total raw score is converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest).

For the most current information on cost, review the MCAT web site.

MCAT 2015

In 2015, the MCAT's changes. The writing sample will be eliminated and replaced with a reading/critical thinking exam. The MCAT will include more social/behavioral science specifically Psychology, Sociology with some Philosophy and Ethics. The science portion will not change.

Click here for more information on the upcoming MCAT 2015.

MCAT 2015

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372