SHSU COM - Admissions FAQ

   Frequently Asked Questions about Admissions

  • How do I apply?

    Review our steps to apply page.

  • When should I apply to medical school?

    It is recommended that you apply a year before you plan to matriculate. Although it is a requirement to have a bachelor's degree before enrollment this is not a requirement to apply.

    Before you apply, know TMDSAS’s deadlines and important dates, as well as SHSU-COM’s supplemental application deadline.

  • What Letters of Evaluation do I need?

    The Admissions Committee prefers a Health Professions Committee Packet (HPCP). If you do not have an advising office, we will accept a minimum of three letters of evaluation from faculty. Letters of evaluation from work supervisors, medically related preceptors, and research mentors are acceptable and can be used in lieu of faculty letters if you have been out of school more than one year.

  • Is an interview required?

    Yes, applicants are invited for personal interviews based upon a holistic review process that assesses experiences, attributes, backgrounds, and academic and MCAT performance. Interview sessions are scheduled between July and December (occasionally to January).

  • What is an interview like?/What should I expect when I come to an interview?

    EY23 interview sessions are conducted between July and December (occasionally into January) in an in-person format. Once invited, it is the applicant’s responsibility to schedule their interview day according to the direction given in the invitation. Each applicant will participate in a written assessment and 2 scenario based interviews. The interview gives the Admissions Committee another measure to evaluate traits that may foster the development of a competent, empathetic, compassionate, and responsible physician.

  • What if I don’t get accepted the first time I apply?

    Check out our application tips page.

  • How much does it cost to go to medical school?

    Average Debt:

    Select "Osteopathic Medical" from the Average Cost of Attendance menu.

  • What is the TMDSAS Match process for in-state candidates vs out-of-state?

    Review the TMDSAS website for information on the match process. SHSU-COM follows this process.

  • What is “rolling admissions”?

    Rolling admissions is a process where offers of admission are sent to the next eligible applicant on our waitlist as a seat in the upcoming cohort becomes available.

  • What is the admissions process at SHSU-COM?
    • Applications are placed into the queue to be screened once complete. An application is complete when the following items have been received:
      - Supplemental application
      - $75 non-refundable application fee
      - MCAT score report
      - 3 letters of recommendation or 1 health professions committee packet
      - Altus Assessments (Casper, Snapshot, Duet)
    • SHSU-COM follows a holistic review process. This means we do not have a minimum MCAT or GPA requirement and we consider all parts of the application equally when making the decision to invite candidates for an interview. If you are invited to interview, you will receive an email with directions on how to schedule an interview date.  Interviews are scheduled on a continuous basis between July and December (occasionally into January). After completion of your interview, your application file will be brought before the Admissions Committee for a final review and offer decision. Application files are not re-reviewed after a decision has been made by the committee.
    • SHSU-COM participates in the TMDSAS Match. We may send pre-match offers, as outlined by TMDSAS. Remaining offers will be released through TMDSAS Match.  If you do not receive an offer through the TMDSAS Match, don’t worry! Following the match, the standard rolling admissions process will continue until the first day of orientation.
  • What is SHSU-COM's screening process like?

    Our process of screening applications for an interview invitation is holistic, meaning we take every part of the application into equal consideration. We do not have minimum requirements for MCAT scores or GPAs for your application to be screened because this approach emphasizes the importance of balancing traditional metrics with experiences and attributes. We consider the varied ways each applicant may contribute to a diverse educational environment within the context of the college’s mission and goals for classroom learning, clinical practice, and medical research and innovation. For the admissions committee and screeners to make an informed decision, we thoroughly analyze the traditional metrics, academic background, meaningful accomplishments/experiences, and life circumstances of each applicant. However, it is beneficial to remember that not all completed applications under review will result in receiving an invitation to interview.

    In keeping with holistic review principles and practices, applicants are screened for an interview invitation based on cognitive and non-cognitive factors as well as other compelling factors, such as, but not limited to, the following:

    • dedication to service
    • involvement in community (healthcare and non-health care related)
    • interest in and understanding of osteopathic principles and tenants
    • understanding of the needs in rural and medically underserved communities
    • cultural awareness
    • bilingual or multilingual proficiency
    • diverse experiences
    • leadership capabilities
    • a strong academic foundation
    • MCAT and Altus Assessments performances
    • supportive letters of evaluation/HPE
    • capacity for improvement
    • quality and grammar of personal statement
    • motivation for medicine as a career
    • areas of interest in medicine
    • circumstances indicative of some hardship or adversity
    • first generation to attend or graduate from a college or university
    • need to work while attending high school and/or college
    • community and/or region of applicant's hometown
    • applicant's residency status (in-state/out-of-state, citizenship, visa type, etc.)
    • availability of physicians in the applicant's region of residence (underserved or health professions shortage area)
    • alignment to Sam Houston State University and the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s mission statement
  • What core clinical rotations do students complete?

    Students are required to complete the following clinical rotations as part of the curriculum:

    • Year 3 :
      • General Surgery – 4 weeks
      • Pediatrics – 4 weeks
      • Women’s Health 1 – 4 weeks
      • Inpatient/Adult Medicine – 8 weeks
      • Psychiatry – 4 weeks
      • Family Medicine – 4 weeks
      • Emergency Medicine – 4 weeks
      • Rural & Underserved – 4 weeks
      • Elective – 4 weeks
      • Surgery Selective – 4 weeks
      • Medicine Selective – 4 weeks
    • Year 4 (40 weeks):
      • Women’s Health 2 – 4 weeks
      • Surgery Selective – 4 weeks
      • Medicine Selective – 4 weeks
      • Elective - 7 elective rotations for 4 weeks each
    • In addition, students will have longitudinal OMM courses spanning the entirety of 3rd and 4th
  • What is the difference between selectives and electives in 3rd and 4th years?

    The difference is who is required to supply the learning opportunity.

    Selectives mean that there are a “select” number of rotations that a student can choose from. All selectives are directly aligned with the SHSU-COM curriculum.

    Electives are courses that students “elect” to take and those courses don’t have to necessarily align with the curriculum.

    In Year 3 there are no electives; there are only selectives. For instance, our selectives tend to be a few common sub-specialties with high levels of student interest, like dermatology. Electives could be anything taken anywhere. A lot of fourth year students will find a physician willing to take on a student to learn in a sub-specialty that’s typically harder to gain access to (ex: Cardio EP). Those physicians are not affiliated with the SHSU-COM program directly, but students are allowed to create their own curriculum with the help and approval of faculty/staff at SHSU-COM so that they can get hands-on training with that sub-specialist. Not all electives are necessarily clinical in nature. We’ll have in-house offerings that are online like MedEd, Medical Spanish, etc. Electives are an area where students will be able to explore their own individual interests more fully.

  • Where are SHSU-COM's clinical sites?

    You can always reference an up-to-date list of our clinical partners on our website.

  • How to make application updates

    After submitting a TMDSAS application, certain sections of the application will be locked and cannot be updated while other sections must be updated as applicable. See TMDSAS' Approved Changes after Submitting in the Application Guide.

    SHSU-COM will not accept changes or documents not transmitted from TMDSAS. Updates from TMDSAS will be added to your file and visible to the admissions committee, but it is at their discretion whether it will be considered in their decision process or not. Submitting additional updates/letters will not give you an advantage over the required documents.

  • Can I use the Hazlewood Exemption at the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM)?

    No. The Hazlewood Act Waiver is not approved for the College of Osteopathic Medicine because the program is not formula funded.

    Tex. Ed. Code §54.2002 Sec. 54.2002. EXEMPTIONS AND WAIVERS FOR STATE-FUNDED COURSES ONLY. Notwithstanding any other law, a mandatory or discretionary exemption or waiver from the payment of tuition or other fees under this subchapter or another provision of this code applies only to courses for which an institution of higher education receives formula funding.

    40 TAC §461.30(b) An institution is not required to provide the Hazlewood Act Exemption for tuition and fees related to courses for which the institution does not receive state formula funding, unless the governing board of the institution specifically chooses to provide the exemption for such courses.