Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions by prospective TCOM students:

Getting Started

How many students does TCOM admit each year?
For 2016, we plan to have approximately 230 first-year students. Since we’re a state-supported medical school, we’re required to hold at least 90% of our seats in each incoming class for Texas residents. The remaining 10% are open to non-residents.

What’s TCOM’s minimum GPA for admission? What about MCAT scores?
We don’t use a minimum cutoff score in these two categories. Grade point averages and MCAT scores are only two of the factors we use in evaluating our applicants. However, we do expect applicants to have better than a B average in their prerequisite course work. The most recent entering class statistics are available here.

What is TCOM’s application deadline?
Applications for admission are processed through the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service(TMDSAS), which has a deadline of September 30 for the next year’s Fall term. A secondary application for TCOM is due October 17.

When will I be notified about a decision on my application?
Notification is typically sent by mail in accordance to a schedule agreed upon by the seven state-supported medical schools through the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service. Below is a schedule of when admissions acceptance begin for Texas residents and non-residents.

Texas Residents

Pre-Match Admissions Applicants are admitted on a rolling basis from November 15th to December 31st.
Match Admissions Applicants who interviewed, but did not receive an offer of admission through Pre-Match Admissions may be considered for the February 1 Medical School Admissions Match.
Rolling Admissions Applicants who were not admitted on or before February 1, may be placed on the Wait List and considered for admission as seats in the class become available.


Rolling Admissions Non-residents are notified on a rolling basis on or after October 15th.

D.O./Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program

Rolling Admissions D.O./Ph.D. applicants are notified on a rolling basis on or after October 15th.

Does TCOM have an Early Decision Program?

Yes, we offer early admission to applicants who have outstanding credentials. You must apply only to TCOM. You must submit your completed application by August 1. Decisions will be sent by mid-September. Information for Early Decision is available here.

Does TCOM have a rural medicine program?
Yes, we are the only medical school in the nation with a four-year curriculum specific to rural medicine. Students in this program complete a parallel curriculum with all other medical students focused on medical and public health issues specific to caring for rural populations. In addition, students will complete a number of preceptorships and rotations in sites around the state.

What if this a second career for me? Can I still go into medicine?
Absolutely. We have always accepted qualified non-traditional students. We think their attitudes and life experiences enhance and strengthen the medical school experience for everyone. You aren’t required to have a degree in any premedical field, but you must have completed the appropriate course prerequisite requirements for admission.

Why should I choose TCOM?
Choosing a medical school is a very personal decision. There are a number of reasons why students choose to enter TCOM for their medical training:

  • Many choose TCOM because they find a perfect match between the osteopathic philosophy and their own philosophy of health care and wellness.
  • Others like TCOM’s emphasis on primary care medicine. A number of students who come from rural areas choose TCOM because of our dedication to bringing health care to underserved populations.
  • Our innovative curriculum which prepares students for the challenges for medical practice both now and in the future.
  • Other deciding factors for TCOM students include our state-of-the-art facilities, our approachable faculty, our caring environment, and our location in an ideal city.

The D.O. Difference

How does an osteopathic (D.O.) school differ from an allopathic (M.D.) school?
The key distinction is in a philosophical approach to medicine that “takes care of people, not just symptoms.” Osteopathic medical students are trained to not only to treat illness, but examine a number of different aspects of a patient’s life, including lifestyle and environment. In addition, America’s osteopathic medical schools instruct students on the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment.

I thought osteopathic medicine only dealt with bones. Is that true?
No. Because “osteo” means bone (as in osteoarthritis, the degenerative joint disease), there is some initial confusion for people outside medicine. The founding premise of osteopathic medicine over 100 years ago emphasized that proper bone structure can help the body function properly and heal faster. Of course, today’s osteopathic medicine is far more comprehensive and now includes all forms of modern surgical and pharmaceutical treatments.

My Future as a D.O.

After graduation, what residency opportunities will I have?
Whether your goals lie in primary care or a specialty, you’ll have more choices than your M.D. school counterparts. Only graduates of osteopathic medical schools can participate in all three U.S. residency programs: the American Osteopathic Association Internship Program, the National Residency Match Program through the American Medical Association, and the U.S. Military Residency Program.  A list of where our recent graduates placed in residency programs is listed online.

What’s the career outlook for D.O.s?
Excellent! The number of osteopathic physicians in the United States has grown about 60 percent in the past decade, which is the fastest rate of growth of any health profession.

How many D.O.s are in the United States?
According to the American Osteopathic Association, there are about 75,000 osteopathic physicians in the United States. There are more than 3,000 active osteopathic physicians in Texas.


How is TCOM’s curriculum formatted?
TCOM uses a modified integrated systems approach. The body is divided into systems. Each system’s anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and other basic sciences are taught together to help students develop a more integrated understanding of its function. At the same time, students work individually and in groups on clinical topics relating to the system. Osteopathic clinical courses are also taught throughout the first two years. The last two years are devoted primarily to clinical rotations.

Research has proven that the integrated approach increases students’ ability to understand, remember and apply their medical knowledge and skills. It also better prepares students for their licensing board exams.

This page was last modified on July 22, 2016