School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
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Preparing for Admission : Advisor & Student Resources : Visit SOMA : Requirements : Accreditation : Hometown Scholars


Preparing for Admission

A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona’s ideal candidate for admission understands and identifies with the tenets and philosophy of osteopathic medicine and is able to demonstrate a strong and compassionate commitment to medically underserved populations in the form of volunteerism and/or work experience.  An ideal candidate is well-aligned with SOMA’s mission to create empathetic physicians aspiring to provide healthcare to medically underserved communities.

Candidates for admission to SOMA are strongly encouraged to spend time shadowing an osteopathic physician and obtain a letter of support from that physician.  Candidates are also strongly encouraged to provide a letter of support from a supervisor of activities involving outreach to medically underserved populations. 

The ideal candidate for admission to SOMA has the ability to manage a rigorous academic schedule and can demonstrate proficiency in biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology.

To be considered for admission to SOMA applicants typically complete four years of undergraduate work culminating in a bachelor's degree. Osteopathic medical schools require one year each of biological sciences, physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and six semester hours of English.

Applicants are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The MCAT examines knowledge and skill in areas such as biology, math, reading, and problem-solving. A pre-medical advisor can assist applicants in scheduling and preparing for this examination.

Most applicants major in the sciences, such as biology or chemistry, in their undergraduate studies. However, applicants may major in any area as long as they meet the minimum course and grade requirements and demonstrate their potential for successfully completing an osteopathic medical curriculum.

Prospective SOMA students will be evaluated in three major areas: academic accomplishment, personal characteristics of a healer, and propensity to serve the underserved. Prospective students must exhibit a genuine concern for people. Osteopathic medicine is a people-oriented profession that demands dedicated and empathetic individuals. Osteopathic colleges require a personal interview during the application procedure. The applicant is strongly encouraged to have clinical exposure in a healthcare environment.

Students will be located at the Arizona Campus during their first year. They then spend years 2 - 4 at one of ten Community Campuses across the country.

ATSU is partnering with the following Community Campuses:

  • Lutheran Family Health Centers, based in Brooklyn, NY, and serving urban, émigré, ethnic, HIV, older adult and homeless populations in Brooklyn.
  • Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, based in Beaufort, SC (north of Hilton Head), and serving rural, suburban and ethnic populations in the low-country region of South Carolina.
  • HealthSource of Southern Ohio, based in Milford, OH (east of Cincinnati), and serving rural, farming, ethnic, religious and Appalachian communities across southern Ohio.
  • North Country Community Health Center, based in Flagstaff, AZ, and serving isolated and ethnic populations in rural northern and eastern Arizona.
  • Adelante Healthcare, based in the Phoenix Arizona area, serving communities in central Arizona and the Southwest.
  • El Rio Health Center, based in Tucson, AZ, and serving urban, suburban, ethnic, HIV, and homeless constituents in and around Tucson.
  • Family HealthCare Network, based in Porterville, CA (south of Fresno) and serving suburban and farm-worker populations in the valley at the base of Yosemite national park.
  • NWRPCA Campus - (Northwest Regional Primary Care Association), a regional model with the classroom based in Portland, Oregon, serving rural and urban community health centers throughout Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. .
  • HealthPoint (formerly Community Health Centers of King County), serving urban, suburban, émigré and ethnic populations in the county east and south of Seattle, WA.
  • NearNorth Health Service Corporation based in Chicago, IL provides health care, social services and nutrition education to the medically indigent and uninsured resident of the inner-city Chicago area.
  • Unity Health Care, based in Washinton DC and serving urban, émigré, ethnic, HIV, older adult and homeless populations in the District of Columbia.
  • Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center is based in Wai'anae, HI on the island of Oahu.  It is a patient centered medical home providing primary care, social work services, traditional Hawaiian healing, behavioral health, dental care and preventative health care services to a medically underserved minority population.