Program Layout

The modified-attendance format of the program requires students to attend classes 5 days a month. The rest of the month is independent home study. This allows students to maintain employment and other personal responsibilities while taking on the program.

Semesters & Start Dates

The program runs on a 12 month schedule, rotating with Winter and Summer semesters. One semester is dedicated to class work, the other for practical training. Students can begin the program in September or in March. If students choose the Fall Start, their classes will run in the winter semester, and they will complete practical training in the summer semester. If students choose a Spring Start, they will have classes in the summer and practical training in the winter. Classroom semester module dates are fixed, practical training dates are flexible. Students often choose their start date, based on which time of year is better suited personally for each component.

The Inductions course can be started anytime and can be completed in as little as 2 months for added flexibility.


Full Time vs Part Time

The CAO has a full time curriculum in a MODIFIED attendance format. This means CAO students get all the benefits of a complete and comprehensive osteopathic education (no shortcuts!) with all the flexibility to manage work and home-life.

The CAO program alternates between classroom and clinical semesters year round. In the 6 month Classroom semester students must be at the college one week each month (5 consecutive days).

In the 6 month Clinical semester students must be at the college.

  • About 4 days a month, in the clinical semester of years 1 and 2
  • About 9 days a month, in the clinical semester of years 3 and 4

Years vs Hours 

Don’t be fooled by the number of years in a program, look at HOURS in both theoretical training and clinical training. Some programs last 4 or 5 years but still only total a couple thousand hours. The Type 1 standard must include is a MINIMUM of 4200 total hours of education.


Classroom Semester

During the classroom semester, students come to the college for class one week per month – Monday to Friday, 8:45 am to 3:45 pm daily – for a total of 6 times over the semester. Dates for classroom modules are set far in advance and attendance at all modules is mandatory. Between classroom modules students have a significant amount of self-study/homework. To keep up with the course load during this semester, we recommend allotting 4+ hours of study for every single day that you are away from the college.

Semester Subjects:

• Anatomy
• Physiology
• Osteopathic Theory
• Osteopathic Manual Manipulation


Practical Semester

During the practical semester, students are responsible for accumulating their practical hours. 1000 total practical hours required to graduate.

Semester Training:

• Working in the CAO Student Clinic
• Mentoring Partnerships
• Shadowing Preceptors
• Table Tutoring in OMM classes
• Lecture Auditing


Understanding Clinical Training 

Deciphering a school’s clinical training is about understanding KEY WORDS.  The W.H.O. document states “1000 Hours of Supervised Clinical Practice & Training”.  Supervision is the key word, clinical training that is not supervised is not applicable.  PLUS, the supervised clinical practice & training should be done in a dedicated clinical environment, supervised by professional osteopathic manual practitioners.

In the UK, this is defined further. Where upper year students must take the lead on 50 patients in the school’s student clinic. At the CAO, our Year 3 students see 100 patients in Student Clinic rotations, AND our Year 4 students see another 100 patients!  This is on top of the comprehensive clinical training in Year 1 and 2 that prepares students for these demands. The only way to ensure safe & effective clinical competency is extensive supervised clinical training!

Look for nothing less in your osteopathic education!  Come to an Open Visit Day to learn more about our comprehensive curriculum that gets results!


Testing & Evaluation

The CAO tests its students all the way through the program so they get constant feedback on their progression. Our anatomy & physiology tests include questions from the USMLE question bank (United States Medical Licensing Exam). The CAO exposes its students to the highest standards in international testing levels, so ensure total competency in all facets of osteopathy.

Come regulation, we want all graduates to be ready!


OOA Clinical Competency Exam

The Ontario Osteopathic Association evaluates osteopathic education programs that wish to become OOA approved.  It also evaluates individual applicants. The OOA certification exam process, confirms the learning outcomes of graduates of approved education providers, ensuring they are authentic!