Is Western University a Good Medical School? (Major Pros & Cons)

Founded in 1977, the Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) is a private, non-profit medical and health sciences school. The school focuses on preparing successful healthcare professionals through an education centered on humanistic values.

Despite offering 21 academic programs, throughout its nine colleges, in dental medicine, health science, medical sciences, nursing, and physical therapy, is Western University a good medical school?

Is Western University a good Medical School?

Yes, Western University is a good medical school. It has a graduation rate of 86.5% and ranks high as number 3 among most graduates practicing in primary care fields, in the US News and World Report ranking.

Both Pomona (California) and Portland (Oregon) campuses have state-of-the-art facilities which include a medical center, eye care institute, pharmacy, travel health center, and even a pet health center. Students have access to expert faculty and great resources.

Western University Medical School Admission Requirements

Western University has nine different schools that offer a great education in a wide variety of medical and healthcare fields. Of its 21 different programs, here are a few of the most popular ones:

  1. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
  2. Doctor of Optometry
  3. Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program takes four years to complete. Students are required to enroll full-time and complete both academic and clinical programs. The curriculum is particularly centered on the students and aims to provide educational knowledge as well as teach them the best practices in the field.

Admission requirements for this program include science and an overall GPA of 3.0 or a minimum of one year post-baccalaureate or Master’s degree with an overall GPA of 3.4. Students also need to complete at least 90 credit hours leading to a Bachelor’s degree.

An MCAT score of 500 or higher is recommended. Applying students also need to use the CASPer online evaluation tool and send their results to the Office of Admissions.

Doctor of Optometry

This program is offered by the College of Optometry and it focuses on optometric rehabilitation and neuro-optometry. It takes four years to complete and students must be enrolled full-time. They have access to direct patient care from the beginning of the first year and throughout full-time clinical rotations.

Application requirements for this program include two letters of recommendation, standardized test scores (OAT, GRE, and DAT, MCAT, or PCAT scores), and the completion of prerequisite courses. 90 semester or 135 quarter credit hours of undergraduate work are also required.

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

The four-year podiatric medicine program focuses on providing the best practical experience from the beginning. The first two years involve learning the foundations of medicine through group activities, hands-on workshops, and standardized patients. The third and fourth years are reserved for clinical rotations. 

Students applying to this program need at least 90 semester hours or 135 quarter credit hours, one academic year in English, biology, physics, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry, and the completion of prerequisite coursework. They also must submit their MCAT or DAT scores and two letters of recommendation.

Western University Acceptance Rate

The overall Wester University acceptance rate is 20%, which means that this is a highly selective school. Even more selective is the College of Osteopathic Medicine. The class of 2024 received 11.582 applications of which only 336 students enrolled. This means that the College of Osteopathic Medicine has an acceptance rate of 2.9%.

Western University Match Data

Western University has a great track record of matching its students to great residency programs. Considering the College of Osteopathic Medicine, most students who participate in a match program are placed in a residency program.

The overall placement rate is approximately 95%. Students also place in competitive specialties including dermatology, emergency medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and neurology.

Western University Tuition

Western University tuition varies depending on the program in which students enroll. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program for a first-year student costs approximately $88.339 per year. This includes basic tuition and fees, budget items, estimated personal costs, and loan fees.

The Doctor of Optometry and the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine programs cost $40,890 and $67,770 respectively for first-year students. 

Does Western University Accept AP Credits?

Yes, Western University accepts AP credits, depending on the program. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, for instance, accepts both College Level Equivalency (CLEP) and AP credits. According to the website, the only requirement regarding these credits is that they’re listed on the transcript and are class-specific.

Does Western University Offer Scholarships?

Yes, Western University offers scholarships to any eligible student. There are scholarships for students in financial need, minorities, and many others. Here are a few of the scholarships available at WesternU:

  1. Sherry R. Arnstein Underrepresented Minority Scholarship. This scholarship awards $5,000 to any underrepresented minority students attending WesternU or any other AACOM member college.
  2. Don Levin Trust Scholarship. Dedicated to a rising 1st-year student with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approval. Students receive a $10,000 award if they demonstrate their commitment to working with underserved populations.
  3. Progress IQ Scholarship. This scholarship awards $1,000 to students who use Progress IQ. They must be willing to provide an example of how it has helped them throughout their studies, submit a headshot, and have their picture used for promotional purposes.

Western University Accreditation

Western University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. Each college is also accredited by different accrediting institutions.

For instance, the College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, and the College of Podiatric Medicine is accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).

Is Western University Good for Health Sciences?

Yes, Western University is good for students who want to pursue successful medical careers. They have access to nationally recognized programs and hands-on training from the start and are supported by expert professionals throughout their studies.

This school has a consistent record of high first-time pass rates for COMLEX board exams, humanistic training, and a diverse student body with several clubs and volunteering opportunities.

Pros of Studying at Western University

  • Great preparation for exam boards
  • Hands-on learning
  • Wide variety of academic resources
  • Helpful and kind faculty
  • Great sense of community

Cons of Studying at Western University

  • Competitive programs
  • Rigorous classwork
  • Expensive tuition

Students and Graduate Reviews of Western University

Positive reviews from Grad Reports and Rate My Professors mention how kind and helpful the faculty is, how many resources the students can use throughout their studies, and how well the programs actually prepare them for future careers in their fields.

Negative comments focus more on the fact that tuition is truly expensive, classwork can be very rigorous, and the competitiveness of the programs. 

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