ABOUT THE COLLEGE
When osteopathic schools were forming throughout the country in the 1890s, two students at the Northern Institute of Osteopathy in Minneapolis--the Reverend Mason W. Pressly and Oscar John Snyder--targeted Philadelphia as a future home for an osteopathic medical college.
While the “City of Brotherly Love” had a rich history of medicine, it had but one “osteopathist” by the time Pressly and Snyder graduated in 1898 and 1899, respectively. The two doctors of osteopathy (DOs) followed through with their vision, incorporating Philadelphia College and Infirmary of Osteopathy (PCIO) on January 24, 1899. They rented two rooms in the Stephen Girard Building at 21 S. 12th Street—the first of many homes for the College—and opened their doors to students and patients.
In September 1899 the first PCIO degree was awarded to a transfer student; the first PCIO “class,” comprised of one woman and one MD, graduated in February 1900. It was not long before the early graduates formed an alumni association.
The word of osteopathy spread quickly in Philadelphia. As the number of students and faculty grew, the College moved to larger quarters, establishing its first “campus” at 33rd and Arch Streets, a suburban neighborhood in West Philadelphia. In a mansion surrounded by grassy lawns, a tradition of student life started with the organization of athletics, professional societies, fraternities and sororities.
By 1906 the College opened the Osteopathic Dispensary at 1617 Fairmount Avenue, forerunner of the Osteopathic Hospital of Philadelphia. The College moved to 1715 N. Broad Street (1908-1912), then to 832 Pine Street in the city’s Society Hill section, where a hospital would come to fruition at 410 S. Ninth Street.
The College prospered and moved through a number of sites in its first century, including Spring Garden, 48th and Spruce, and finally, City Avenue. During this growth period, the osteopathic medical curriculum intensified, osteopathic research was initiated, and clinic and hospital services grew rapidly as the medical school’s student body and faculty expanded dramatically.
Osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest-growing healthcare professions in the United States. Approximately one in four medical students attends a college of osteopathic medicine. More than 151,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students are an integral part of America’s health care delivery system. Today, all treatment modalities are available to osteopathic physicians, who may prescribe drugs, perform surgery and specialize in any area of medicine. DOs, whose primary care training prepares them to be highly skilled diagnosticians, are represented throughout the United States and in all branches of military service.
The addition of non-DO academic programs to the curriculum starting in the early 1990s began a new era of diversification for the College. In 1993, the College launched a graduate program in biomedical sciences and signaled the development of a graduate school. A range of clinically-focused, collaborative master's and doctoral-level programs and degrees are presently offered at the College today. In 2018, the organization of the graduate school expanded to two schools: the School of Professional and Applied Psychology and the School of Health Sciences. The programs of study under the School of Professional and Applied Psychology include counseling psychology, mental health counseling, school psychology, clinical psychology, educational specialist and organizational development. The programs of study under the School of Health Sciences are forensic medicine, biomedical science, physical therapy and physician assistant.
In 2005, the College opened a branch campus in Suwanee, Georgia, with a focus on helping to fill the need for more healthcare professionals in the South. Renamed PCOM Georgia in 2019, the location offers professional doctoral and master's degree programs.
In 2017, PCOM received initial approval from the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) to establish an additional location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia welcomed its inaugural class of DO students in August 2019. In 2020, PCOM South Georgia expanded its academic offerings to include a biomedical sciences program.
PCOM is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-662-5606. The Commission on Higher Education is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. In 2005, the Commission approved the extension of the scope of institutional accreditation to PCOM’s Georgia branch campus and an additional location PCOM South Georgia.
The College is also approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which granted recognition in 2004 to PCOM Georgia as an approved PCOM branch campus and an additional location PCOM South Georgia. PCOM Georgia is authorized by the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission of Georgia as a branch campus of PCOM and PCOM South Georgia as an additional location, under the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990.
The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine programs at PCOM are accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation of the American Osteopathic Association.
PCOM’s physician assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
The doctoral program in clinical psychology is accredited by the Committee for Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA), 202-336-5979; www.apa.org/ed/accreditation. The clinical psychology internship program in PCOM’s Center for Brief Therapy is also APA accredited.
The doctoral, educational specialist and MS programs in school psychology are approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The certification program in school psychology is approved by the Department of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Certification in Behavior Analysis available to students in the MS in School Psychology program is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). PCOM’s PsyD in school psychology is also approved by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) for its listing of programs meeting designation criteria.
PCOM’s School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60503, 312-664-3575; fax 312-664-4652; website www.acpe-accredit.org.
Effective May 2nd, 2018 the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee, Georgia has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 770-682-2306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation
Documents of accreditation are on file in the President’s Office, with copies in the Office of the Provost, and may be seen upon request.
State Departments of Education Complaint Information
PCOM is authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission. These state education agencies have a formal process for complaints regarding noncompliance with state regulations. In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act the following contact information is provided for both agencies:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
12th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
State of Georgia
Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2082 East Exchange Place
Suite 220 Tucker, GA 30084-5305
PCOM is a member of the American Council on Education, the American Association for Higher Education, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Academic Health Centers, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, the Physician Assistant Educational Association, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
4170 City Avenue • Philadelphia, PA 19131
Office of Admissions
800-999-6998 • 215-871-6700 • FAX 215-871-6719
PCOM South Georgia
2050 Tallokas Road • Moultrie, GA 31768
Office of Admissions
866-282-4544 • 229-668-3110 • FAX 229-668-3119