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Podiatry FAQs

What is podiatric medicine? 

Podiatric physicians or surgeons diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.

What are Podiatric programs looking for?

Podiatric programs are looking for candidates who have a strong academic background and intellectual potential as evidenced by strong grades; qualities of leadership, character, and who are motivated to play a vital role as front-line health care providers. 

What are the course requirements?

Podiatric schools require similar basic prerequisite courses as medical schools. Swarthmore students take: Bio 1 and 2; Chem 10, 22, 32 and 38, Physics 3 and 4; Stat 11 and one year of English.  Visit to learn more.

How can I obtain clinical experience? 

Applicants  are expected to have shadowing experience with a podiatrist at the point of application. To find a DPM to shadow please visit Step Into Podiatry, and Find a DPM Mentor near you.

 What  standardized tests are required? 

All podiatric schools require the MCAT. If you have not yet taken the MCAT, you should note that the last accepted MCAT test date prior to a Fall start date varies from school to school. The majority of schools accept a June MCAT. The MCAT is offered only at designated test centers. As there are limited seats at each test site, you should register for your preferred date as soon as registration becomes available. 

The MCAT registration form includes an opportunity to release your scores to your health professions advisor, Gigi Simeone. Please authorize this release. 

What kind of grades will I need to be accepted to podiatry school ?

Currently, applicants with a 3.4 average and a MCAT score of 495 can be reasonably confident that they will get into podiatry school. 

How do I apply to podiatry school? 

The centralized application portal for podiatry schools is operated by AACPMAS (The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine). AACPMAS verifies the application and calculates the applicant’s GPA and sends all the materials to the schools the applicant has designated. 

When entering information on the applications, how do I handle my course units? 

You must convert your course units to semester hours. Please use the following conversion table. 

  • .5 unit equals 2 semester hours
  • 1 course unit equals 4 semester hours
  • 2 course units equals 8 semester hours

Letters of recommendation

Podiatry schools prefer to receive a Health Sciences committee letter, which is written by Gigi. The Committee letter includes photocopies of the confidential faculty and non-faculty letters that you will solicit and have sent directly to Gigi by your recommenders.

Most schools will either recommend or require a letter of recommendation from a DPM or a medical professional. It is to your advantage to learn more about the field of podiatry by either volunteering or shadowing a podiatrist in your area. Your other letters of recommendation should come from professors in whose courses you’ve done very well. You should get at least 2 letters from science professors in different disciplines, a non-science letter and a coach or supervisor in a job or volunteer experience. All letters must be accompanied by a confidentiality waiver form, which you can obtain from the Health Sciences website.

If you plan to apply to podiatry school, please let Gigi know by the first Wednesday of the spring semester. You will then receive materials that will get the ball rolling, including an Information Form for you to complete. Once the Health Sciences office receives your Information Form, Gigi will meet with you, either virtually or in person, to discuss your candidacy.