A podiatrist works to diagnose and treat foot ailments such as tumors, ulcers, fractures, skin or nail diseases, and congenital or acquired deformity such as weak feet and foot imbalance. They design orthotics, plaster casts and strappings to correct abnormalities, as well as design flexible casting for immobilization of foot and ankle fractures, sprains or other injuries. Podiatrists also:
- Correct walking patterns and balance, and promote the overall ability to move about more efficiently and comfortably
- Provide individual consultations to patients concerning continued treatment of disorders and preventive foot care
- Refer patients to other physicians when symptoms observed in the feet indicate disorders, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or kidney disease
After successful completion of podiatry school, students earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. Before entry to podiatry school, students must complete a minimum of three years (90 credits) of undergraduate study. However, according to the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) admissions information, over 97 percent of successful matriculants have earned a bachelor's degree. Podiatric medicine requires four years of medical education at an accredited college of podiatric medicine, followed by a three-year podiatric medicine and surgery residency.
Podiatric schools require similar prerequisite courses as allopathic (MD) medical schools. As always, you should check with individual schools to confirm specific prerequisites and inquire about additional, recommended coursework.
AACPM Minimum Credit Hour Requirements
- Biology 1 & 2 (BISC 1111, BISC 1112)
- Chemistry 1 & 2 (CHEM 1111, CHEM 1112)
- Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 (CHEM 2151/2153, CHEM 2152/2154)
- Physics 1 & 2 (PHYS 1011 and PHYS 1012 or PHYS 1021 and PHYS 1022 or PHYS 1025 and PHYS 1026)
- English (UW1020 and WID requirements)
California School of Podiatric Medicine requires 8 semester hours of English/Communication studies.
The AACPM reports matriculant statistics here.
You must take the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) for admissions to colleges of podiatric medicine. Keep in mind that scores older than three years will not be accepted.
In 2022, the AACPM reported (PDF) that matriculants earned an average of a 493.9 on the MCAT (123.2 CPBS; 123.2 CARS; 123.4 BBFL; 124.1 PSBB).
GPA and Extracurricular Experience
In 2022, according to an AACPM GPA report (PDF), the overall GPA of matriculants to podiatry programs was 3.4, with an average science GPA of 3.2.
In addition to a solid GPA and MCAT score, competitive applicants have strong letters of recommendation, significant exposure to the field of podiatry, as well as leadership and community service experience. A good way to get a good start on your application is by signing up to shadow a podiatrist.
The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS) allows podiatric medical applicants to use a single web-based application and one set of transcripts to apply to multiple schools and colleges of podiatric medicine. All nine schools and colleges of podiatric medicine currently participate in this national service. To learn more or to begin an application, sign up on the AACPMAS website.
DPM programs use a rolling admission model and nearly all seats are filled prior to the deadline. AACPMAS begins accepting new applications for admission the first Wednesday in August for fall admission the following year.
- Priority consideration: March 1 for the upcoming fall admission
- Final deadline: June 30 of each year for fall admission of the same year
For more information on the process and timeline for applying to podiatry schools, see Chapter 2 of the Podiatric Medical College Information Book (PDF).