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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


BA/BS-MD Degree Program

How it works

The BA/BS-MD degree program is a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver's (CU Denver) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Colorado School of Medicine located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The purpose of the program is to admit outstanding students from ​broadly diverse backgrounds who are committed to serving the health care needs of Colorado as primary care physicians. Provided that program participants meet specific academic, non-academic​, and professional requirements, being accepted into the BA/BS-MD program enables students to earn a reserved seat in a top-ranked medical school and will allow them the freedom to explore other interests during their undergraduate college years at CU Denver.


Program Process & Details

  • The BA/BS-MD combined degree program will take a minimum of eight years to complete; four years of undergraduate studies and four years to complete an M.D. Students will not be able to graduate early from their undergraduate program.
  • Students must attend the CU Denver Downtown campus and complete a Bachelor's degree of their choice. A list of all undergraduate programs is available at:
  • Students will be guided in applying for scholarships to help cover their educational costs.
  • Students will be required to complete a sequence of required premedical coursework while pursuing their Bachelor's degree.
  • Students will be required to live on the downtown Denver Campus at Campus Village Apartments at Auraria their freshman year, and will live with students who are also in the BA/BS-MD Program and have similar academic interests in the Health Sciences. Students have the option of living off campus their sophomore, junior, and senior year.
  • Students will be required to participate in, and attend monthly co-curricular seminars on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and participate in full time summer programs each summer of their undergraduate education. This includes participation in a three day Summer Bridge program that occurs in June prior to the start of the students’ academic career at CU Denver as well as a full week academic bootcamp starting the week before classes begin in August. Participation in both of these summer programs is required. The goal of the seminars and the summer programs is to enrich a student's education and enhance their knowledge about Colorado's public health issues, and to gain further knowledge about cutting edge research and biomedical ethics.
  • Upon successful completion of a Bachelor's degree, all academic, non-academic, and professional program requirements, the MCAT, and all CU School of Medicine admission requirements, including a successful SOM Interview, students will enter the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM) to complete their M.D. degree.

Program Criteria

All BA/BS-MD students are expected to aggressively apply for all scholarships for which they are qualified; the Financial Aid Office and the Scholarship Resource Office on the downtown campus will work closely with successful applicants to the program.

Summer Programs and Living On Campus
An important component of the BA/BS-MD Program are summer programs designed to help students successfully make the transition to college as well as enrich their educational experiences and prepare them for medical school. Student participation in each of these summer programs is mandatory. With the exception of the Summer Bridge Program, Academic Bootcamp, and MCAT preparation and Medical School Application processes, students will be paid for the time spent in the summer programs.

  • The summer before matriculating to the University of Colorado Denver, students will be expected to participate in a mandatory Summer Bridge Program and an Academic Bootcamp.
      • Summer Bridge will take place over a three day period of time in early summer after acceptance into the BA/BS-MD Program. Overnight housing for students and scheduled meals are provided.
            • The goal of the Summer Bridge Program is to help students with the transition to college by developing key skills that will set up a lifelong pattern of success.
            • Examples of the areas for skill development included in the program are:
                • Identifying and Understanding Your Learning Style
                • Time Management Skills
                • Note Taking Skills
                • Enhancing Your Communication Skills
                • Understanding and Valuing Diversity
                • Mental and Physical Wellness
            • Students will also participate in subject assessments; Biology, Math, and Chemistry. The assessments will test the student’s readiness for honors courses and their performance on each assessment will help identify any knowledge gaps they may have.
    • BA/BS-MD Academic Bootcamp starts one week before the start of the academic year; Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
        • Students will be participating in intense academic and non-academic activities on the Downtown Denver Campus and at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
    • The summer between a student's freshman and sophomore year, students will spend eight weeks participating in a research laboratory.
    • The summer between a student's sophomore and junior year, students will spend eight weeks in a summer practicum focusing on patient centered clinical experiences and community service-learning activities in the State of Colorado. Students will work in groups to identify a community health issue and develop a project around this topic. The goal is to learn about issues around access to care, the cost of research, how research is done, health disparities, and some of the barriers to the delivery of quality patient-centered health care to people in the community. Students are expected to explore the social and political aspects of health care delivery and to participate in prevention and awareness activities. In addition, students will participate in a clinical setting with up to three physicians over a six week period.
    • The summer between a student's junior and senior years, students will participate in intensive Medical School Application processes. This includes, MCAT exam prep, the MCAT exam itself, the AMCAS application, and transition activities related to the School of Medicine.


Course Work - Course list and schedule pre-requisites

In order to remain in good academic standing in the Program, students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours during their first two academic years and must maintain an overall college grade point average of 3.5. In addition, students in the program cannot receive a grade lower than a B (3.0) in any of the required medical school pre-requisite courses. Finally, the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is changing in 2015. The scoring for the new exam is still being developed. An expected score for matriculation to the School of Medicine will be announced at a later date. While the MCAT requirement is inflexible, should any of the grade expectations fail to be met by a student, the student will be placed on probation/remediation for one semester, during which time the deficiency must be remedied. If the deficiency is not remedied, the student may be dismissed from the program. The decision for dismissal must be affirmed by a majority of the BA/BS-MD Promotions Committee. The student can appeal a dismissal decision to the Steering Committee, whose judgment on the matter is final.

Students are expected to show evidence of appropriate professional behavior and development during their progression toward their baccalaureate degree and are expected to participate fully in all activities associated with the program. Failure to meet these obligations is grounds for dismissal from the program, a decision which must be affirmed by a majority of the BA/BS-MD Promotions Committee. The student can appeal a dismissal decision to the Steering Committee, whose judgment on the matter is final.

It should be noted that dismissal from the program does not preclude a student from applying to the University of Colorado School of Medicine as a regular applicant.

Students can major in any undergraduate discipline at the University of Colorado Denver that leads to a B.A. or B.S. degree. However, all students must complete the medical school pre-requisites in accordance with the courselist, while pursuing their undergraduate degrees.

All students will be required to enroll in Honors General Biology I and II as well as Honors General Chemistry I and II unless they have completed these courses through a recognized IB program and received a score of 5 or better on the IB exam for each subject. Students who completed AP Biology and Chemistry courses will be asked to repeat those courses at the University. Students who have taken courses at local community colleges or are transferring large number of credits to the University need to understand that this will not reduce the amount of time they will be required to spend in this program. Early graduation is not on option through this program.

At the end of every academic year, the BA/BS-MD Promotions Committee will review the progress of each student. If concerns are raised about academic performance or professional development of the student, they will be shared with the student and the student will be counseled and given an opportunity to address deficiencies. If problems are not adequately addressed by the student, the Promotions Committee can recommend dismissal from the program. Any recommendation for dismissal must be approved by the Steering Committee.

Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree, all program requirements as described above, and a successful School of Medicine Interview, students will be deemed to have met the academic, non-academic, and professional qualifications for admission to the University of Colorado School of Medicine and will be allowed to matriculate to complete their MD degree. While completion of the BA/BS-MD program will academically qualify the student for admission to the University of Colorado School of Medicine, final admission as a student to the University of Colorado School of Medicine is conditioned on meeting all non-academic qualifications of School of Medicine applicants, including but not limited to the completion of a background check.​​