Rocky Vista University, proposed medical school

BILLINGS - Rocky Vista University (RVU) announced via press release Monday that it received approval from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) to move to the next phase of development for the new branch campus in Billings.

RVU expects to admit its first class of 80 students in the summer of 2023, with the first round of clinical clerkship rotations beginning in July 2025.

Upon completion, MCOM will be housed in a 135,000 square foot, technologically advanced facility on a 12-acre campus on in the West End area of Billings.

Provost of Rocky Vista University David Forstein said, “We are thrilled that the COCA has approved RVU’s application to develop the MCOM, marking the next, exciting step forward in the Billings development project. We are grateful for and encouraged by the strong support we have received from the community... We look forward to continuing to work with the local medical and business community to utilize our expertise to bring superior outcomes for students and benefits to Billings and the greater Mountain West region.”

The Billings branch will become the third RVU campus in the Mountain West region, in addition to locations in Colorado and Utah.

This project is completely privately funded. The projected direct and indirect economic impact of this new medical school during the two-year start-up period (2021-23) is expected to total $78.6 million, provide 350 jobs and add more than $1.2 million in taxes to communities in the region, as stated in the release.

“We are excited about this advancement in the development of Montana’s new medical school in Billings. Our goal is to bring innovative and high-quality medical education to the region with an inclusive mindset. We look forward to the opportunity to work collaboratively with the community and all the healthcare providers and facilities in the region to further the common mission of improving the lives and health of people,” David J. Park, founding dean of MCOM, said.

RVU has a record of establishing or assisting healthcare facilities in developing post-graduate residency programs, having helped create 18 new residency programs yielding 327 residency positions to-date. RVU will use this experience to develop more post-graduate residency positions in Montana.

RVU Vice President of Enrollment Management and External Relations Julie Rosenthal says the University remains committed to actively engaging with the Billings and greater Montana community and appreciates the continued support from local healthcare systems, state and local leaders and the business community.

For more information about Rocky Vista University you can visit

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