The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of the nation's oldest medical schools. Founded in 1899 by two local doctors, it was one of the first schools that emphasized the PICO method of medical intervention. PICO requires that doctors examine patients, identify the problem, determine the best course of treatment and weigh all potential outcomes before choosing a treatment plan.
PCOM was also one of the first medical schools that admitted female students. Though the college initially only offered medical training programs designed for doctors, it later added graduate programs in other health care topics, including pharmacy and psychology. In addition to the Philadelphia campus, PCOM also operates a second campus in Atlanta, Georgia.
Many of the programs that it offers have some type of residency component. This allows students to test their skills and see what life is like for medical professionals. Those enrolled in its psychology program, for example, will typically work in an inpatient or outpatient treatment center to help patients. The college has partnerships in place with a number of local hospitals and centers and will assist students in finding placement at one of those facilities. Its 17-acre campus is home to more than 2,400 students and more than 150 faculty members. Doctors teaching on campus often have their own practices and take time away from their busy schedules to work with students.
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Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Accreditation Details
The institution accreditation that the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Also known as the MSCHE, this organization ensures that the college meets the standards for educating future doctors and medical professionals. The organization does a regularly scheduled audit on the college every decade to look for any issues that might impact its student body. PCOM passed each of those audits in the past.
The college also has specialized accreditation from certain organizations affiliated with the programs that it offers. The American Osteopathic Association granted the college accreditation for its osteopathic medicine program, and the American Psychological Association granted accreditation to the PMOC graduate psychology program. It also has specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Application Requirements
PCOM is a highly selective school and spends a lot of time every year going over applications. Its admissions board looks for students who will demonstrate a high level of success in their chosen program and for students who possess the necessary skills required of those programs. Those entering the graduate program in counseling and psychology must submit a transcript that shows they took higher level courses in research, statistics and abnormal psychology. They will also need to fill out the application and write a summary statement that acts as a personal objective and shows why they want to enroll. Other requirements include a score from the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test, three letters of recommendation, a $75 application fee and a sample of college level writing.
The college has other requirements in place for those hoping to enter the psychology doctoral program. They will also need to submit a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, official college transcript and application. They can submit a teacher evaluation in lieu of a writing sample. Those entering the doctoral program must also have a transcript that shows the student has a minimum grade point average of 3.3 and that the student took courses statistics, developmental psychology, personality theories and abnormal psychology. Doctoral students must also have a master's degree in a related field and be capable of passing a criminal background check.
Tuition and Fees
The tuition rates charged by the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine vary from program to program. Those enrolling in its graduate psychology program will pay $840 per credit hour and a comprehensive fee each semester of around $900. PMOC estimates that full-time students will pay around $34,000 a year, but the college will also increase its rates each year, which may lead to students paying even more. The doctoral clinical psychology program charges a tuition rate of around $1,100 per credit hour. Students will also need to factor in the cost of transportation, school supplies, textbooks and other expenses when looking at how much they will pay every year.
PCOM offers several different programs that award scholarships every year to qualifying students. Merit scholarships go to those who have high grades and may cover the total cost of tuition. Need scholarships are available to students who receive acceptance but cannot afford the cost of attending the college. There are also scholarships available to active duty military personnel, veterans and students already enrolled in the college. PCOM requires that all students complete and submit the FAFSA by the end of December before classes start. The information listed on those forms will help the college decide which students qualify for scholarships. Students who complete the FAFSA may also receive loans, grants or admission to the work-study program.
Counseling and Psychology Degrees
The Department of Psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine operates and oversees all its psychology programs and courses. Students can earn a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology, Organizational Development and Leadership, Aging and Long-Term Care Administration or Public Health Management and Administration. There is also a school psychology program available at the graduate level. Enrolled students must take a minimum of 30 credit hours of work, but many of the programs require even more work. Those enrolled in the mental health counseling program must take 60 credit hours of work. This includes a practicum that teaches students about some of the internships available to them and several internships they do during the second and last year of the program.
PCOM also offers a doctoral program in clinical psychology and one in school psychology. School psychology students can spend up to seven years working on their degrees. They spend the first and second year taking courses on group therapy, assessments, interventions and statistics. The third year consists of dissertation work and one or more internships. The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine requires that students spend their remaining years working on their dissertations before presenting their work.