Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Bridge Program

The objective of the Bridge Program is to promote entry into the osteopathic medical profession of high-potential students who come from disadvantaged or medically underrepresented backgrounds or are pursuing medicine as a second career.  Students admitted to this program will complete a five-year curriculum enroute to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.  The first year of the curriculum, known as the Bridge Year, incorporates summer academic preparation and focused coursework in the biomedical sciences.  Fall semester courses follow the traditional medical school curriculum at a reduced courseload; second semester courses provide a focused plan of study unique to the Bridge curriculum, further providing foundational training in the medical sciences.  After successful completion of the first year, students continue in the traditional curriculum, taking a reduced courseload during the fall semester.  Students resume a full course schedule in the spring semester, following the traditional curriculum for the remainder of their degree plan.

Academic Requirements During the Bridge Year

During the Bridge year, students must make an 80% or better on all biomedical sciences coursework during the fall semester, or otherwise be required to repeat this coursework during the second year  of medical school.  Any course failure (below 70%) during the Bridge year will result in dismissal from the program.  Students will receive both an academic course grade and a non-cognitive grade for all courses.  As members of the OSU-CHS community, students will be expected to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct; any behavioral incidents or unsatisfactory non-cognitive grades will be pursued through the Student Conduct and/or Academic Standards process.  Upon completion of the Bridge year, course failures and academic requirements will be governed by the Academic Standards Handbook.  

Admissions Criteria

In recommending candidates for admission, the College considers all factors, including:

  • Pre-professional academic achievement
  • Evaluations from pre-professional committees or faculty and osteopathic physicians
  • Results of MCAT
  • Personal motivation for a career in osteopathic medicine
  • Life experience/past career experience
  • Data obtained during the on-campus interview

Application

Applicants to the Bridge Program will follow application procedures and meet technical standards as stated in the OSU-CHS catalog for all students gaining entry into the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Students applying to the Bridge Program must demonstrate one or more of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Environmentally Disadvantaged

    If a student who comes from an environment that has inhibited them from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enroll in and/or graduate from a health professions or nursing school is considered as being Environmentally Disadvantaged.

    The following is a list of common characteristics that describe students who are Environmentally Disadvantaged. The examples are provided as guidance only, and are not intended to be all-inclusive:

    • Person from high school with low average SAT/ACT scores or below the average State test results.
    • Person from a school district where 50 percent or less of graduates go to college.
    • Person who has a diagnosed physical or mental impairment that substantially limits participation in educational experiences.
    • Person for who English is not his or her primary language and for whom language is still a barrier to academic performance.
    • Person who is first generation to attend college.
    • Person from a high school where at least 30 percent of enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches.
    • For more information: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/dab.pdf
  2. Economically Disadvantaged

    The following are characteristics that describe students who are considered Economically Disadvantaged:

    • Students who come from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds established by the U.S. Census Bureau, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index.
    • The Secretary defines a ‘‘low income family’’ for various health professions and nursing programs included in Titles III, VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act as having an annual income that does not exceed 200 percent of the Department’s  poverty guidelines.
    • A family is a group of two or more individuals related by birth, marriage, or adoption who live together or an individual who is not living with any relatives.
    • For more information: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/dab.pdf
  3. Underrepresented Minority in Medicine
  4. Pursuit of medicine as a second career and interest in primary care and serving in rural/underserved Oklahoma

Residency Requirements

Preference is given to applicants from Oklahoma.  Non-U.S. citizens who do not have a permanent resident visa ("green card") at the time of application cannot be considered for admission.  To qualify for Oklahoma residency, a student must be a lawful resident of the U.S. and meet one of the following two requirements:

Non-independent Students--A non-independent student must have at least one parent, stepparent, or court-appointed guardian who is an Oklahoma resident.  Additionally, this individual must have claimed the student as a dependent on his/her federal income tax return for the previous year.

Independent Students--An independent student must have lived in Oklahoma in some capacity other than as a full-time student at a post-secondary institution, for a period of at least twelve continuous months prior to matriculation.

Entrance requirements

At the time of entry, the applicant must have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally-accredited college or university and must have satisfactory completion of the following courses, including laboratory, with no grade below "C" (2.0 on a 4.0 scale):

  • English: 6 semester hours
  • Biology: 8 semester hours
  • Physics: 8 semester hours
  • General Chemistry: 8 semester hours
  • Organic Chemistry: 8 semester hours
  • At least one upper division (3000-4000 level) sciences course

While a minimum of one course is required, completion of three to five upper division courses is strongly preferred.  Examples include but are not limited to:  Biochemistry, Human or Comparative Anatomy*, Microbiology or Molecular Biology, Histology*, Embryology, Immunology, Physiology, Genetics.

*Preferred course

OSU-CHS institutional research indicates that students with 4 or more upper division science courses, including lab, are better prepared for the medical school curriculum. Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated preparation for academic success in medical school.

Minimum GPA and MCAT

At the time of application, the applicant must have at minimum:

  • Overall GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale);
  • Minimum of 483 on the new MCAT*;
    and
  • Pre-professional science GPA of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

*Effective with the 2016-2017 admissions cycle, only the new MCAT will be accepted.  MCAT must be taken within the last three years prior to application.

Tuition and Fees

During the Bridge Program year, tuition will be waived; fees will be paid by the student.

Bridge students are eligible to apply for Federal Student Aid.  The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships can provide students with financial aid information and counseling.

Curriculum

Detailed information about the Bridge Program curriculum can be found in the OSU-CHS catalog.

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