Graduation Requirements for the Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine

An osteopathic degree is a professional degree and that leads to a license which requires physical conferral. Due to the nature of this, as outlined below, attendance at graduation is required. A student who has fulfilled all the academic requirements may be granted the DO degree provided the student:  

  • Satisfactorily completed the curriculum and clerkships at an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine, the last two years of which have been at RVU-MCOM;  
  • Completed all academic requirements in no more than six years from the date of matriculation;   
  • Complied with all the curricular, legal, and financial requirements of the University;   
  • Passed all required National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners Licensing Examinations;   
  • Reached at least 21 years of age;   
  • Demonstrated the ethical, personal, and professional qualities deemed necessary by the faculty for the practice of osteopathic medicine;   
  • Demonstrated suitability for the practice of medicine as evidenced by conducting professional behavior, displaying responsibility for patient care, and exhibiting integrity in the conduct of clinical and academic activities;   
  • Demonstrated compliance with the conduct standards;   
  • Completed loan exit counseling, if applicable;   
  • Attended the compulsory portions of senior week, including graduation rehearsal and the graduation ceremony, at which time the degree is conferred and he or she takes the osteopathic oath. Exceptions to the graduation attendance policy must be made in writing to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. If an exception is granted the student must arrange another time to meet with the Dean of the COM in person, to have their degree conferred and to take the osteopathic oath; and  
  • Completed the AACOM Survey of Graduating Seniors.  

To complete the fourth year of training, students must pass all clerkships, pass COMLEX Level 2 CE, and successfully pass all assigned coursework by May 1st of the senior year. (See RVU-MCOM Clinical Education Manual for a list of all coursework.) Failure to do so may result in delayed graduation, or repeating the fourth year.    

Students must complete all the requirements for graduation, including the passing of required examinations within six (6) years of their initial matriculation into the COM, or they may be dismissed from the COM.   

Degrees are not awarded solely upon the completion of any prescribed number of courses, or upon passing a prescribed number of examinations, but, in addition, when the faculty believes the student has attained sufficient maturity of thought and proficiency. Matriculation and enrollment does not guarantee the issuance of a degree without satisfactorily meeting the aforementioned curriculum and degree requirements. The process is as follows:  1) The list of graduates is sent to the faculty senate for conferral at their meeting; 2) the faculty senate sends the approved list of graduates to the Dean; 3) the Dean delivers a resolution to the Board of Trustees; 4) the Board of Trustees will vote and officially confer degrees.  

RVU-MCOM Graduation includes the administration of the Osteopathic Oath, and as such is a required attendance event. Students seeking release from any Graduation related activities, including graduation week events and the ceremony, must obtain an excused absence from the Associate/Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.  

All students participating in the College of Osteopathic Medicine commencement ceremony must conform to the regalia requirements for their degree as set forth in this policy. Candidates for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine must wear the official Rocky Vista University College of Medicine regalia. Additionally, the tam should not be decorated or altered in any way.    

Students will be allowed to wear university issued and approved honor cords and stoles. Stoles are issued to students for specific honors they have earned through their time at Rocky Vista University.    

The Office of Student Affairs has the authority to prevent a student from participating in the graduation ceremony if the student’s attire violates the spirit of this policy.  A student found in direct violation of this policy may have their degree withheld.    

Any exceptions to this policy (such as use of traditional ceremonial clothing or heritage regalia) must be approved, in writing, by the Associate/Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.