American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Receive Recognition

May 26, 2011

(CHICAGO)—The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) took the following action at its April 30 – May 1, 2011 meeting:

Pre-accreditation status was granted to: Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indianapolis.

Continuing provisional accreditation was granted to:  Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Yakima, Wash; Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colo.; and, William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Hattiesburg, Miss.

Initial award of Accreditation was granted to: A.T. Still University, School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (Mesa); Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.; and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York.

Continuing Accreditation was granted to: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Lake Erie, Pa., its additional location at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., and branch campus LECOM-Bradenton in Fla.; and University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine.

The COCA is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the accreditor of colleges of osteopathic medicine. Accreditation from the COCA signifies that a college has met or exceeded the Commission’s standards for educational quality.

Pre-accreditation status is the initial recognition status awarded by the COCA. Pre-accreditation is reviewed annually, with an on-site visit when indicated. Initial pre-accreditation is awarded following receipt of a feasibility study and an on-site visit to determine that prerequisites have been met and that the developing college of osteopathic medicine may be expected to attain the next level of accreditation status— provisional accreditation—within the five-year term of pre-accreditation. Colleges holding pre-accreditation may not recruit, accept applications from or admit prospective students. Pre-accreditation status also does not establish eligibility to participate in federally funded student financial aid programs.

The COCA grants provisional accreditation to new colleges of osteopathic medicine through the time of graduation of the first class. The COCA reviews schools with provisional accreditation annually to assess the academic progress of first, second and third-year classes up to their time of graduation. Initial provisional accreditation is awarded when a college is able to demonstrate that it will be able to initiate instruction by a specified date. Continuing provisional accreditation is awarded based upon demonstrating that a college is meeting the standards for accreditation for each class of instruction being offered.

Initial accreditation is granted if the accreditation standards are clearly being exceeded or met at the time of graduation of the college of osteopathic medicine’s first class. Accreditation status is the highest level of accreditation awarded, and confers all rights and privileges of accreditation.  Accreditation status is reviewed within a seven-year survey cycle of self-study and comprehensive on-site evaluation. Continuing accreditation is granted to those colleges that exceed or meet the accreditation standards. Once accreditation status is attained, the college will retain that status until such time as it may be withdrawn by the COCA.

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 70,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs); promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at


Media Contact:  

Nicole Grady
(800) 621-1773, ext. 8038 (Toll free)
(312) 202-8038 (Office)


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