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Des Moines University

Region: Iowa Country: USA

About DMU:
Founded in 1898, Des Moines University comprises three colleges offering nine graduate degrees. A health sciences university since adding the colleges of health sciences and podiatric medicine and surgery in 1981, the programs share a collective strength - a collaborative campus community where students and faculty come together in the pursuit of knowledge.

Des Moines University offers degree programs in medicine and the health sciences. We share a singular mission to develop distinctive health professionals committed to health promotion, the discovery of knowledge and service to the community.

Facts about DMU

  • Total enrollment of over 1800 - DMU is the largest medical school in Iowa with approximately 841 students in the osteopathic college. It's large enough to offer every educational amenity but small enough to focus on excellence.
  • DMU is the second oldest osteopathic school in the country.
  • DMU is one of the top 20 largest medical schools (for D.O.s or M.D.s) in the nation, out of 155 schools.
  • The very first medical class in 1898 included both sexes and today 54% of the student body are women.
  • 66% of students are recruited from other states.
  • Students received more than $3 million in scholarships in the '11-'12 academic year.
  • We have 10,514 living alumni and 2,050 working in 94 Iowa counties.

A message from the president
Welcome to Des Moines University, a Health Sciences University in the capital city of Iowa. We are proud of our role in serving the people of Iowa and excited about our mission of real-world impact in health sciences education, research and public service. Whereas many of our students and alumni practice in the state of Iowa, many embrace opportunities to provide care literally around the globe. We believe we are doing a world of good with a commitment to health and excellence!

Des Moines University is a special place! This institution has existed for more than 100 years with a singular mission to develop distinctive health care professionals who are committed to patient-centered health promotion, the application of evidenced based practice, the discovery of knowledge, and the provision of competent and compassionate health care. We offer nine graduate degree programs in three colleges with a total enrollment of approximately 1900 full and part-time students.

We welcome the responsibilities we face in caring for the needs of the people of this state, this region, our nation and the world. We meet these challenges by emphasizing training in primary care and encouraging graduates to practice in the state's rural and underserved areas. We also provide competent and compassionate care through a multi-specialty clinic which offers family medicine, podiatric medicine and surgery, ophthalmology, physical therapy, osteopathic manual medicine, and international travel health services.

Our students are highly motivated, intelligent and compassionate. They volunteer to work with community organizations and are fully imbued with the school's commitment to public service. Our faculty have developed a curriculum designed to stimulate and support students in the acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills, while instilling compassionate attitudes and values so that they may best serve their patients.

In all that we do, we place the highest priority on respect for the dignity and diversity of the members of the entire campus community - patients, students, faculty, employees and volunteers. We are committed to supporting professional, intellectual and emotional growth so that all may have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and achieve their goals. We also embrace the values of honesty, accountability, collaboration, and inclusiveness as the basic tenets of integrity. We are committed to fostering a climate that doesn't just tolerate differences but treasures them because we become better citizens of this world and better health care providers when we embrace the rich opportunities afforded to us when we learn from our differences.

Yes, Des Moines University .A Health Sciences University with a commitment to health and excellence. Come join us on this journey and become a part of our tradition of doing a world of good! We welcome you and challenge you to embrace the call to service!

The history of Des Moines University reflects a continuing commitment to teach, to learn and to serve. Founded in 1898 by Dr. Summerfield Saunders Still and his wife, Dr. Ella Still, the Dr. S.S. Still College of Osteopathy was located at 1422 West Locust Street, in downtown Des Moines. The College Infirmary, located across the street, provided an opportunity for students to work directly with patients during the course of their medical training. Students' coursework included classes such as descriptive anatomy, theory of osteopathy and dissection.

From its founding through the early 1920s, the College admitted large numbers of female students, sometimes comprising over one-third of the class, who attended classes and trained alongside their male classmates as equals. Over the decades, female enrollment waned, but experienced resurgence during the 1970s. Today, female students make up over 55% of the student body.
Microscope laboratory - 1905

In 1905, the school changed its name to the Still College of Osteopathy and continued to grow and prosper during the first part of the 20th Century. In 1909, the College purchased the Iowa Sanitarium building and opened the Des Moines General Hospital. The Hospital was sold in 1916 but remained closely tied to the School until closing its doors in 2000. Outside of class, student life flourished, as professional fraternal organizations, sports teams and a College band kept students busy in their spare time. By 1927, the College had outgrown its building and moved to 722 Sixth Avenue, just a few blocks north of the city center.

The College was renamed the Des Moines Still College of Osteopathy and Surgery in 1945 to reflect an expanding curriculum. One year later, the College opened the Still College Osteopathic Hospital and College Clinic, which provided enhanced clinical training opportunities for students and increased health care options for the community. In 1967, the Hospital became the Harrison Rehabilitation and Treatment Hospital, the first center in the state of Iowa to treat the disease of alcoholism. The clinic closed in 1972, when the College moved to Grand Avenue.

The name changed again, in 1958, to the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. Beginning in 1963, the College opened a number of off-campus clinics in Des Moines and the surrounding area. In 1971, the Dietz Diagnostic Center, located on Des Moines' south side, began operation as a major outpatient facility.
Student Education Center

Student Education Center
In 1972, the college moved to its present 22-acre site on Grand Avenue. Originally the campus of St. Joseph's Academy, a former Catholic girls' school, the Grand Avenue location continues to provide faculty and students with the resources they need to succeed. During the ensuing years, enrollment in the college more than doubled and new buildings added to and replaced those used by the Academy.

In 1980 The University established two new colleges, the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and the College of Biological Sciences (later renamed the College of Health Sciences)., These colleges, with the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, became the University of Osteopathic Medicine and the Health Sciences (UOMHS) in 1981.

The college of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery was the first podiatry school to be affiliated with an academic health science center and is one of nine podiatric medical schools in the nation.

In the College of Health Sciences, the charter class of the physician assistant program received the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree and the physician assistant certificate in 1983. The first graduates of the health care administration program received the master of science (M.S.) degree in 1986, and the first graduating class in the physical therapy program received the master of science in physical therapy (M.S.P.T.) degree in 1990.

In 1986, the ten-story, Clinic building opened, which offered primary care, medical specialties and ambulatory surgery. Adjacent to the Clinic is the 1,500-seat Olsen Medical Education Center. Renamed Des Moines University in 1999, DMU has completed some major changes to campus over the last decade. The former Science and Education Building, which was remodeled in 2002, was renamed Richard M. Ryan Hall in 2005, after the University's 13th president. The Student Education Center (SEC) opened in 2005, replacing the former St. Joseph's Academy building, and in 2006 the Munroe Building was remodeled to house two more classrooms.

These changes reflect the needs of students and faculty, as the incoming class sizes have been increased for the osteopathic, podiatric, physician assistant and physical therapy programs. Along with enrollment numbers, entering GPAs have increased as well. As a state-of-the-art campus, today's student uses technology in order to achieve a top-notch education. The Iowa Simulation Center for Patient Safety and Clinical Skills, which opened in 2007, allows students to develop and improve their diagnostic and clinical skills and patient care abilities using cutting edge technology.

With over 11,000 living alumni, Des Moines University has a vibrant history that continues to inspire. And as the second oldest osteopathic medical college in the United States, Des Moines University continues to prepare physicians and allied health care personnel for careers in the ever-changing field of medicine, while developing innovative programs to serve students and society.

Code of conduct for educational loans

  • Iowa code section 261E.2 and title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 601.21, require the development, administration, and enforcement of a code of conduct governing educational loan activities. Our officers, employees, trustees and agents, including the alumni association, booster club, and other organizations associated with Des Moines University, agree to the provisions of this code of conduct and will refrain from:
  • Refusing to certify or delaying the certification of an education loan based on a borrower's choice of lender.
  • Assigning a first-time borrower to a particular private education loan lender through the student's financial aid award or another means.
  • Packaging a private education loan in a student's financial aid award, except when the student is ineligible for other financial aid, has exhausted his or her federal student aid eligibility, has not filed a free application for federal student aid, or refuses to apply for a federal student loan.
  • Accepting impermissible gifts, goods, or services from a lender, lender servicer, or guarantor. The institution may accept default prevention, financial literacy, or student aid-related educational services or materials, or other items of a nominal value.
  • Accepting philanthropic contributions from a lender, lender servicer, or guarantor that are related to the educational loans provided by the entity that is making the contribution.
  • Serving on or otherwise participating as a member of an advisory council for a lender, lender affiliate, or lender servicer.
  • Accepting from a lender or its affiliate any fee, payment, or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide education loan-related services to or on behalf of the lender.
  • Accepting fees or other benefits in exchange for endorsing a lender or the lender's loan products.
  • Requesting or accepting an offer of funds for private education loans from a lender, in exchange for our promise to provide the lender with placement on a preferred lender list, or a certain number of volume of private education loans.

This institution is committed to providing the information and resources necessary to help every student achieve educational success. To accomplish this goal the financial aid staff will consider each student's individual needs.

Des Moines University Degree Programs :


  • Master Degree
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)
  • Master of Health Care Administration (M.H.A.)
  • Master of Science in Anatomy (M.S.)
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (M.S.)
  • Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.)
  • Post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (PPDPT)
  • M.H.A/M.P.H.

Public Health

  • Master Degree
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Video Presentation

Discover Des Moines University

With 9 programs in 3 colleges, Des Moines University is well-rounded in medical and health science graduate programs

Contact Details

Address: 3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312



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