Founded in 1898, Des Moines University is comprised of three colleges offering eight 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.


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


Des Moines University will:

  • Emerge as a national leader in healthcare education with vision and focus on training the health care leaders and workforce of the future
  • Be a cultivator of distinctive faculty and student researchers who discover and disseminate new knowledge
  • Provide high-quality patient care and educational experiences dedicated to improving health and wellness
  • Be a leader in community service and will convene key stakeholders, coalitions and partners on policy issues to support the well-being of our community


  • 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.