January 24, 2022

Ranking the Best DO (Osteopathic) Schools in the U.S.

Badyah Senussi, Vanshika Goyal, and Atalia Cohen

Chances are you’ve heard plenty about the best MD (allopathic) medical schools in the country, but DO (osteopathic) medical schools have not been given as much attention. It’s vital to have an understanding of the best DO schools in order to make well-informed decisions when applying and ultimately choosing the perfect school for you. That’s why we have compiled the highest valued DO schools (from our perspective) in order to give you deeper insights into your future education.

The criteria we’ll be focused on are affordability, average GPA, average MCAT, Step 1 Pass rates, and residency match rates. Within each criteria, we have listed the top 10-25 DO schools specifically for that section. For a more detailed list with statistics and additional schools, follow this link to an extensive Google spreadsheet. At the end of the article, there are instructions for how to sort the spreadsheet according to the criteria that are most important to you. 

Affordability: (friendly to expensive)

The average medical school debt is $207,003. That number can be overwhelming, but finding a school that fits your budget can help ease some anxiety.

Average GPA: (lowest to highest)

Undergraduate years can be unpredictable. Changing career goals, changing majors, life circumstances, and much more. Some things are simply out of your control and that’s okay. Schools accept a variation of GPAs.

Average MCAT: (lowest to highest)

The MCAT is a monster, a 7.5 hour exam that makes you want to pull your hair out. It takes months to prepare, and the feeling of not knowing enough information before the test can take its toll on you. Luckily schools have a wide variety of MCAT averages to help relieve some stress.

Average Step 1 Pass Rates:

At the end of your second year of medical school, as an osteopathic student you will either have to take the USMLE or the COMLEX. These are both similar exams designed to test you on the material you have learned so far. No matter which one you choose to take, it will only be Step 1 of your testing, as at the end of your four years you will have to take the Step 2 exam based on clinical education. Here, we have a list of the DO schools which best prepare you for the Step 1 Exam based on their average Step 1 Pass Rates.

Average Residency Match Rates:

Once you finish your education, the next big step is matching into a residency program. This can be a daunting prospective, so next we have a list of the best DO schools for residency matching.

Don’t forget to check out the spreadsheet to compare each criteria to more schools! 

Here is how to sort it by a specific criteria:

  1. Press Command + A in order to select all the text
  2. Click Data → Sort Range → Advanced range sorting options
  3. Check the box “Date has header row”
  4. Choose what criteria you want to sort by from the drop down menu under the box
  5. Click on the Z→A circle in order to sort from highest to lowest rankings
  6. Click the green sort button

Good luck on your application journey! 

About the Authors:


Badyah Senussi is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, with a B.S. in Biomedical Science. During her time at university, she was a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Facilitator, where she ran a classroom of students, helped them complete worksheets (specifically in physiology), and held office hours. Her ambition is to become a physician with a focus on mental health. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and writing jokes in hopes of doing stand-up comedy someday.


Vanshika Goyal is a graduate from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. Her aspiration is to become a physician with a focus on patient-centered care and individualized treatment. She is currently an IGNITE fellow with Teach for America and a very active member of her community. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and painting.


Atalia Cohen is a non-traditional pre-med student who graduated with her Bachelor's of Science from Humboldt State University in General Biology and Zoology. She has spent countless hours in the veterinary field, but has changed her career route to become a Pain Specialist after her own personal experience of the field. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her three dogs and is in the process of applying to medical school.

Learn to be Savvy! Get creative pre-med strategies delivered right to your inbox.
FREE Medical School Application Timeline when you subscribe.

We follow the email Golden Rule: we will never send you anything without your permission.