Student Spotlight

Chauncey R. Syposs IV, OMS III

Class of 2019

  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY
  • Undergraduate Studies: Undergrad: Biology and Philosophy (Canisius College); Graduate: Human Anatomy and Cellular Biology (University of Buffalo School of Medicine)
  • Clubs and Activities: Multicultural Club, acting Treasurer and Secretary, Students for Choice

Why did you choose RVU? RVU had a great reputation for its board scores and the structure of its curriculum. Being less than an hour...
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Faculty Spotlight

Rachel M.A. Linger, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

  • Hometown: Dunkirk, MD
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelors of Science in Biology with high honors in Zoology (University of Maryland)
  • Graduate Studies: Doctoral degree in Pharmacology (University of Colorado); Post-Doctoral Fellowship investigating novel biologic targets for new therapies in lung cancer and leukemia

What class do you teach? Pharmacology in both the COM and MSBS programs; pharmacology is taught as separate courses...
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College of Osteopathic Medicine

The RVUCOM Office of Admissions works closely with the Dean and the Admissions Committee to coordinate all aspects of the new student recruitment process including the recruitment, application, interview and matriculation process. The department is responsible for the marketing of the College to health advisors and students to support the matriculation of students who will advance the mission and vision of the College and University. We are here to assist you. Whether you are currently in college, just graduating, out in the workforce and contemplating a career change, or just thinking about the possibility of becoming an osteopathic physician, feel free to contact us. We will gladly provide campus tours, conduct transcript evaluations, and answer any questions you might have regarding the admission process. We can help walk you through the process if you are ready to apply and help you develop your game plan if you are in the early stages of your premed curriculum.

Tours are offered periodically by the Office of Admissions. Transcript evaluations are scheduled at 15-minute intervals before and after the tour on select dates. If you are interested in a transcript evaluation, please RSVP early, as spots tend to fill quickly. To RSVP, please email admissions@rvu.edu.

Upcoming Tour and Transcript Days (Colorado Campus):

  • September 7, 2:00 pm
  • October 19, 2:00 pm

Upcoming Tour and Transcript Days (Southern Utah Campus):

Tours of the Medical Office Building and transcript reviews are currently scheduled on an individual basis. Please email admissionsUT@rvu.edu to schedule an appointment.

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for both the Utah and Colorado campuses, which have been established by the Board of Trustees:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university must be completed prior to matriculation.
  • The following prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to matriculation:
    • General Biology (12 semester hours including lab)
    • General Chemistry (8 semester hours including lab)
    • Organic Chemistry (8 semester hours including lab)
    • Biochemistry (3 semester hours)
    • Physics (8 semester hours including lab)
    • English or Literature (6 semester hours)
    • Behavioral or Social Sciences (6 semester hours)

*No grade below a “C” will be considered to fulfill requirements. Note: Additional upper division coursework such as Human Anatomy, Physiology, Genetics, and Cellular Biology is highly recommended.

  • A minimum science and cumulative GPA of 3.0.
    • Note: The chances for admission for a candidate with minimal grades are limited. Admission would require outstanding achievement on the part of the candidate during their career or unique individual circumstances. Preference will be given to candidates with a science and cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. On average, candidates admitted to colleges of osteopathic medicine each of the past three years have GPAs greater than 3.4.
  • All candidates are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) within three (3) years of matriculation.  MCAT scores must reflect a cumulative score of 500 or higher. RVUCOM does not combine the highest scores in each section from multiple exams.
    • Note: On average candidates admitted to colleges of osteopathic medicine have MCAT scores of 502 on the new MCAT. The mean MCAT score for the Class of 2020 was 28.69, old MCAT; 504.42, new MCAT. The mean GPAs for the Class of 2020 were 3.62 (science); and 3.66 (overall).
  • Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges attended where a degree was earned prior to matriculation. In the event of coursework completed at foreign institutions, the applicant must submit official detailed course by course evaluations completed by an approved agency. A list of these agencies is available in the University Handbook & Catalog.

Each medical school’s curriculum is unique and based upon that school’s longitudinal timetable. The medical school curriculum at RVUCOM is a four- year longitudinal course of study in which the course work builds upon previously learned precepts.  Therefore, requests for transfer are discouraged and will rarely be considered unless there are highly compelling circumstances. Circumstances may warrant that a student enrolled in a college of medicine seeks to transfer to another institution. Credits may be transferred from medical schools and colleges accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).  RVUCOM will not consider transfer requests from students enrolled at a foreign medical school or LCME accredited program.

  • Transfers from one college of osteopathic medicine to another shall require that at a minimum the last two years of instruction be completed within RVUCOM.
  • Transfer shall be accepted and transfer credits shall be given only if the student is in good standing and eligible for readmission to the previously attended college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Credit is only given for completed courses with grades of 70 percent (C) or greater.

RVUCOM transcripts will reflect the cumulative credit hours transferred in from the previous medical school.  Information regarding grades or class rank from the previous school will not be reflected on the RVU transcript. Students who transfer into RVUCOM will not receive a class rank. Anyone wishing to transfer to RVUCOM must:

  • Provide a written statement outlining reasons for request for transfer. All information is to be sent to the Executive Director of Enrollment Management and External Relations. Decisions regarding transfer are made by the Dean and will be based on factors including academic record, circumstances leading to the transfer request, available space, and admission standards.
  • Provide a letter from the Dean of the transferring institution verifying that the student is in good standing and be eligible to continue.
  • Submit a copy of their AACOMAS application.
  • Meet all admission requirements to Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, which include submitting official transcripts of all college work where a degree was earned, transcripts from the medical school attended including the final transcript showing the successful completion of the first two years, MCAT scores; national board scores, and letters of evaluation.
  • Take USMLE Step 1 and pass COMLEX-USA Level 1 prior to starting rotations.
  • Pass a background check and drug screen.
  • Submit required medical forms.

Requests for transfer to the Utah location will not be considered at this time.

The following information describes the application process for those seeking admission into the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM):

Step 1 – Complete the AACOMAS Application

RVUCOM participates in a centralized application service, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). Through AACOMAS, candidates can file one electronic application. AACOMAS then verifies and distributes the information to each of the colleges designated by the candidate.

AACOMAS 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 250 Bethesda, MD 20814 (617) 612-2889 (M-F; 9am to 5pm EST) aacomasinfo@liaisoncas.com www.aacom.org

Step 2 – Invitation to Complete the RVUCOM Supplemental Application

Candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be invited to submit a supplemental application via email.

  • RVUCOM’s Minimum Academic Requirements: Minimal requirements for consideration for admission have been established by the Board of Trustees as a science and cumulative GPA of 3.0. It should be noted that the chances for admission for a candidate with minimal grades are limited. Admission would require outstanding achievement on the part of the candidate during his or her career or unique individual circumstances. On average, candidates admitted to colleges of osteopathic medicine during the last three years had GPAs of greater than 3.6.
  • MCAT Information: All candidates must submit their most recent scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) through AACOMAS. Scores older than three years of the anticipated year of matriculation will not be considered.  For MCAT scores from January 2015 or earlier, individual sections must be a 6 or higher for consideration. For MCAT scores from January 31, 2015 or later, a composite score of 500 or higher is required to receive a supplemental application. Click here for additional MCAT information.

Candidates who initially do not meet the minimum academic requirements are welcome to resubmit updated information through AACOMAS. Candidates will be invited to proceed through the process upon verification that the minimum requirements have been met. Candidates meeting these minimum requirements will receive an email containing login information for the supplemental application. The supplemental application is returned electronically along with the non-refundable $50 processing fee. Candidates awarded an AACOMAS fee waiver will be granted a fee waiver for RVUCOM’s supplemental application. For submission instructions on the fee waiver, visit: http://www.aacom.org/become-a-doctor/applying/aacomas/fee-waiver The deadline for the 2018 AACOMAS application is March 15. The deadline for the 2018 supplemental application is April 15. A candidate’s file is considered complete upon the receipt of the supplemental application, processing fee, a letter of evaluation from the candidate’s pre-professional committee or advisor (two letters from science instructors who have taught the candidate graded coursework in the natural or biomedical sciences may be substituted), and a letter of recommendation from a US-trained physician. The Office of Admissions reviews all completed files and notifies candidates of their interview status via the Admissions Portal. The Office of Admissions typically provides candidates with several interview day options.

Matriculation Process:

After receiving the initial offer of provisional admission to the COM, candidates must fulfill the conditions set forth in the matriculation agreement including:

  • Payment of three non-refundable deposits totaling $2,000. RVUCOM follows the guidelines set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) relative to deposit due dates. Deposits will be applied to tuition.
  • Completion of all prerequisite coursework and a minimum of an earned Bachelor’s degree.
  • Successful passage of a drug screen and background check. This screening must meet the COM standards, be conducted by an agency approved by the COM, and occur prior to the date specified in the matriculation agreement. An applicant who has a deficiency or abnormality discovered on either screening will be referred to a sub-committee of the Student Performance Committee for further investigation. The sub-committee will make a recommendation to the Dean as to whether the offer of admission should be maintained or withdrawn. The Dean will make the final determination regarding the applicant’s status.
  • Completion of required medical documentation sent to the Office of the Registrar prior to the date specified in the matriculation agreement.
  • Submission of a waiver demonstrating proof of medical insurance coverage or enrollment in the plan provided by the University.
  • Submission of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, with proof of an earned Bachelor’s degree. If the degree is not posted prior to matriculation, the candidate must provide a letter from the Registrar’s office verifying that the degree requirements have been met and stating when the official transcript with the posted degree will be available. In the event of coursework completed at foreign institutions, the applicant must submit official detailed course by course evaluations completed by an approved agency. A list of these agencies is available in the RVU Handbook & Catalog.
  • Any other requirements set forth in the matriculation agreement.

Each year, RVUCOM will enroll approximately 150 new students in Colorado and 125 in Southern Utah. The level of competition for these seats will be determined by the number of applications received during the admissions cycle and the academic competitiveness of the applicant pool.

Collaborative Admission Programs:

Colorado State University: RVUCOM will hold up to six (6) seats annually for graduates of Colorado State University’s Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program.  To be considered for admission, candidates must:

  • Meet the minimum admissions requirements set forth by RVUCOM;
  • Have completed the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (1 year) degree requirements at the time of RVUCOM matriculation;
  • Have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.4 in the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (1 year);
  • Complete an AACOMAS application prior to March 15th (note: candidates will NOT have to submit a supplemental application); and
  • Provide a letter of reference from a physician.

CSU-BMS will provide RVUCOM with a list of the recommended candidates and RVUCOM will make the final decision. CSU-BMS will recommend candidates based on a holistic review of the applicant. Any CSU-BMS candidate who is not selected to participate in the program is eligible to apply to RVUCOM via the traditional process.

Utah Rural Health Scholars Early Acceptance Program:

Students attending Southern Utah University or Dixie State University who are in the Utah Rural Health Scholars Program, are eligible to apply for RVUCOM’s Early Acceptance Program.  This program will grant a provisional acceptance to highly qualified candidates who meet the minimum program requirements of a 3.4 science and cumulative GPA and complete specific course work.  Candidates who successfully complete the program will be admitted to RVUCOM without having to take the MCAT.

EAP Application Process:

  1. Students will be eligible to apply after the completion of 60 semester hours of course work (typically the end of their sophomore year).
  2. Students must have completed a minimum of 8 semester hours of Biology (General Biology 1 & 2 with Lab), General Chemistry 1 & 2, English Composition plus one writing intensive course.
  3. Students must have achieved a minimum science and overall GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.  Science GPA calculations will follow the AACOMAS guidelines and will not include grades for math courses.
  4. Students must shadow an Osteopathic Physician and provide a letter of recommendation as part of their application.
  5. Students will complete an application and will be interviewed by the premed advisor, committee or individual designated by the partnering college/university.
  6. The designated SUU official (most likely the pre-med advisor) will forward student applications, letter of recommendation based on the interview, official transcripts, evidence of shadowing and letter of recommendation from a physician, and resume outlining service activities to the Executive Director of Enrollment Management and Marketing and External Relations. The Executive Director will assemble all materials for presentation to the RVUCOM Admissions Committee who will determine which candidates to invite to campus for an interview.  The Admissions Committee will review applications and interview results and provide recommendations to the Dean who will make the final determination of provisional acceptance.

The 2017-2018 tuition for the College of Osteopathic Medicine is $53,380.00. Additional program fees may apply and may be announced by the administration at any time. The following annual fees will also apply to all COM students:

OMS-I

Student Services: $200 Student Health Insurance: $4,137

OMS-II

Student Services: $200 Pathophysiological Overview Course Fee: $1,178 Student Health Insurance: $4,137

OMS-III

Student Services: $80 Pathophysiological Overview Course Fee: $490 Student Health Insurance: $4,137

OMS-IV

Student Services: $80 Student Health Insurance: $4,137 The University reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time without advanced notice. Students will be billed for tuition and fees for each semester approximately 30 days prior to the beginning of each term. Tuition and fees must be paid in full by the first day of class. Late tuition payments or failure to make arrangements to pay tuition will result in the student being removed from class and/or clinical rotations. All students are required to obtain health insurance prior to matriculation and maintain their individual health insurance throughout their time of enrollment at the University. Students are automatically enrolled in the RVU Student Health Insurance plan and will be billed for the annual premium with their fall tuition. Students may waive RVU insurance if they can document equivalent coverage. Refer to the section on Student Health Insurance for more information.

Tuition Payment Information:

Tuition and fees are due and payable in full by the first day of the fall and spring semesters unless the student has sufficient financial aid awarded to cover the balance due. RVU does not offer a tuition payment plan. Tuition payments may be made by check, credit card, or ACH transaction. Matriculated students will have access to a payment portal for credit card or ACH payments. Any checks submitted must indicate the student’s name and student number, and should be made out to “Rocky Vista University.”

Tuition Refund Information:

A student who withdraws (either voluntarily or involuntarily) before the first day of class of a semester for which they have already paid their tuition and fees will receive a 100% refund for that semester, with the exception of any non-refundable deposits which will be retained by the University. Students who matriculate into the University, begin classes or rotations, and subsequently withdraw (either voluntarily or involuntarily) within the first seven calendar days of a semester shall receive a refund equal to the amount of their tuition for that semester less $4,000. Fees may be refunded with the exception of charges already incurred as of the date of withdrawal. Students who withdraw (either voluntarily or involuntarily) from the University after the first seven days of class or rotations but before the thirtieth calendar day of the semester shall receive a refund of 50% of the amount of tuition paid for that semester. No fees will be refunded. Important Note: All dismissals are deemed involuntary withdrawals from the University. Students who are on a voluntary or administrative leave of absence will not be eligible for refunds. Any exceptions to this refund policy must be made by the Dean of the College.

Health and Technical Standards

All candidates must meet health and technical standards to be admitted to, participate in and graduate from the medical education programs of RVUCOM. Because the DO degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into diverse postgraduate training programs, RVUCOM graduates must have the knowledge and skills required to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and must be prepared to provide a wide spectrum of patient care. A candidate for the DO degree must have abilities and skills in the areas described below and meet the standards described as an obligation to patients and society.

Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law; however, the candidate/student must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. Please refer to the section on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The use of a trained intermediary necessarily requires that a candidate’s judgment be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation, and is not a permissible accommodation. Enrolled students who are unable to meet these standards may be asked to appear before the Student Performance Committee and may be subject to dismissal.

Immunizations:

Students must satisfy all requirements for immunizations at the time of admission and throughout their medical school career. Failure to do so will prevent matriculation or, in the case of an enrolled student, lead to dismissal.

Observation: Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and clinical sciences. This includes but is not limited to the ability to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensations.

Communication:

Candidates should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication (in English) includes not only speech but also reading and writing. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively in verbal and written form with all members of the health care team.

Sensory/Motor:

Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, blood glucose testing, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (endoscopy, paracentesis, etc.), and read EKGs and X-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care, osteopathic manipulation and emergency treatments to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, opening of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds and performance of simple obstetric maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. Candidates must be able to lift a minimum of 40 pounds and stand for a minimum of one hour.

Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities:

Candidates must possess conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities, including measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationship of structures. Candidates must be able to sit in a classroom and participate in a full eight-hour day. The practice of medicine requires periods of distinct concentration in surgery, trauma, emergency room care, and other patient settings. Candidates must be capable of extended periods of intense concentration and attention.

Behavior and Social Attributes:

Candidates must have the emotional health required for full use of the intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP) and Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM) Laboratory Policies

All OPP and PCM courses include didactic presentations, demonstrations, practical laboratory experiences and clinical opportunities. During these activities, students establish their knowledge and ability to recognize and utilize the relationships between structures and function that are integral to osteopathic medicine.

The student must develop the knowledge and skills necessary to integrate the principles and coordinate the proper osteopathic and clinical techniques to prevent and treat pathology and dysfunction. Concurrently, the students will learn other medical approaches to the treatment of disease and dysfunction in the systems courses. Each course provides education on the principles, philosophy and history of osteopathic medicine, examination and evaluation of the patient, and the proper selection and application of osteopathic treatments and techniques. The OPP and PCM courses require the active participation of all students in the laboratory setting where the student, through the active and tactile examination of others along with reciprocal examination, will learn and demonstrate the ability to evaluate and proficiently treat their future patients.

The training of an osteopathic physician requires the ability to perform tactile examinations and osteopathic manipulative techniques on members of the same and opposite sex. The training of an osteopathic physician also requires that a student experience and understand tactile diagnostic exercise and manipulative treatment. Students are required to participate both as patients and as trainees in the OPP laboratory and PCM laboratory, and examine and be examined by members of the same and opposite sex.

A graduate from RVUCOM has the ability to apply for licensure as a physician in all fifty states. Their license is not restricted to any one particular sex, and candidates for graduation must demonstrate the ability to practice medicine on both males and females.

Additional Waivers

All students must sign the following waivers at the point of interview:

Code of Student Conduct & Academic Responsibility and Code of Behavioral Conduct: this states that students have read the University’s Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility policy and the COM’s Code of Behavioral Conduct policy. Both policies can be found in this catalog.

Statements for Students of RVUCOM Regarding Physical Exposure in Classroom Activities: this states that students understand that curriculum often times dictates physical examination and osteopathic diagnosis and treatment by fellow students or faculty. Additionally, this states that these examinations require physical exposure of and access to regions of the body. This policy excludes such areas as the genitals of male and female students, as well as the breasts of female students.

Health and Technical Standards: the description of this policy can be found in this section of the catalog.

Healthcare Employment During School (Practice of Medicine)

Employment of any kind during medical school is highly discouraged. The demands of medical school are so high as to preclude most employment opportunities. Student doctors should contact the Office of Student Financial Services for help with budgeting or emergency loans rather than seeking outside employment.

Medical students are prohibited from engaging in any activities (from the time of matriculation to the University until graduation or other termination of student status) that might be construed as the practice of medicine without the proper supervision and direction of designated members of the faculty, whether such activities are engaged in for compensation, done as a volunteer, or otherwise. Any student who is a healthcare worker and wishes to be employed in the health-related field must contact the Office of Student Affairs and forward a request to the Dean. All decisions of approval or disapproval will come from the Dean.

Students who are not in compliance with the requirements above maybe requested to appear before the Honor Code Committee and are subject to dismissal from the University.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
All medical students involved in clinical courses at Rocky Vista University must complete a training course over the privacy laws which apply to the Health Professions to meet requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Annual refresher training is required as well.

Biosafety, Universal Precautions, and Bloodborne Pathogens

All medical students must complete a basic training course in biosafety, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Because patient contact is a required part of the RVUCOM curriculum: shadowing physicians in the 1st & 2nd years, clinical rotations in the 3rd & 4th years, various labs, and other hands-on learning, all RVUCOM students must complete OSHA training annually. The avenue chosen for completion of this training is the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online program.

Instructions for registering and logging onto the CITI website, and specific instructions on which courses are required, are provided annually by the Compliance Office.


Stats of Previous Admissions Cycle (PDF)

Non-Discrimination Statement

Sexual Misconduct and Non-Discrimination Policy (PDF)

Sexual Misconduct and Non-Discrimination Reporting, Investigating, and Hearing Procedures (PDF)


To contact the Office of Admissions at the Colorado Campus, please email admissions@rvu.edu.

To contact the Office of Admissions at the Southern Utah Campus, please email admissionsUT@rvu.edu.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Click here for more information about RVUCOM’s graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website.