Founded in 1898, Des Moines University is the only private medical school in Iowa. The institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. Graduate-level, professional degree programs are offered in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, health care administration, public health, anatomy and biomedical sciences.


To improve lives in our global community by educating diverse groups of highly competent and compassionate health professionals.


Des Moines University will be:

  • The leader in innovative health education that promotes lifelong learning
  • A cultivator of distinctive faculty and student researchers who discover and disseminate new knowledge
  • A provider of high-quality patient care and educational experiences dedicated to improving health and wellness
  • A policy consultant and resource for those engaged in healthy community transformation


  • Accountability: Taking responsibility for our actions and outcomes.
  • Collaboration: Establishing cooperative relationships and innovative practices to enhance health education and care.
  • Honesty: Demonstrating the highest standard of truthful and ethical behavior.
  • Inclusiveness: Embracing a culture of diversity that accepts and respects the unique characteristics of each individual.
  • Wellness: Committing to the well-being of the mind, body and spirit.

Mission, Vision and Values

University Profile

The history of Des Moines University reflects a continuing commitment to teach, to learn and to serve.

University History

Students in the osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physician assistant and physical therapy programs receive part of their training on campus through the Des Moines University Clinic, which offers primary care and medical specialties and serves as a regional referral center. The clinic’s multi-specialty, interdisciplinary approach allows physicians to refer patients to a single location for diagnostic and therapeutic care of medical ailments not ordinarily handled in a primary care or outpatient setting. The 1,500-seat Olsen Education Center is adjacent to the clinic.

The University’s commitment to wellness extends beyond educational programs to the delivery of health care. Students and faculty provide free health services and screenings to the community through charity events, sporting events and corporate wellness programs to help underserved children and families.

Des Moines University has educated nearly 17,400 health care professionals and will continue to prepare physicians and allied health personnel for careers in the ever-changing field of medicine while developing innovative programs to serve students and society.


The DMU Board of Trustees, the legal governing authority, which includes physicians and lay members, has the responsibility for the overall control and policy-making of the University. The Board sets policy for the University in areas of finances, business administration, faculty and academic programs. The Board performs other duties as necessary in the oversight of the University and the formulation of its policies.

Board of Trustees

The University has been a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities since January 1971.