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Requirements for Admissions

School of Medicine Admissions


Applying to Medical School
The University of Colorado School of Medicine requires all students interested in attending the School of Medicine to apply through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) based in Washington, DC.  The AMCAS on-line application is open to applicants on June 2.  Normally there is a three- to four-week delay before the school receives the application from AMCAS due to transcript verification.  Students are encouraged to apply EARLY

Colorado as a Public Medical School
The Admissions Committee seeks to enroll excellent students from a broad range of backgrounds.  Students who have lived outside the state, either in an academic or work-related capacity, can check the Registar's Office website to see details on state residency requirements.

Degree and Coursework Requirements
The University of Colorado School of Medicine requires that students have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation.

The following course work is required for admission:

  • 8 semester hours - human biology (with lab),
  • 8 semester hours - general chemistry (with lab),
  • 8 semester hours - organic chemistry (with lab),
  • 8 semester hours - general physics (with lab)
  • 6 semester hours - English literature/composition
  • 6 semester hours - College level mathematics (algebra and above).

Students are encouraged to consider additional coursework in biochemistry, computer sciences, genetics, humanities, and social sciences.

Students do not have to complete all requirements at the time of application, but must do so by matriculation. Students should pay special attention to the 6 hour English requirement and the 6 hour college level Mathematics requirement, as these requirements are often the ones that are most problematic to fulfill.

AP and CLEP courses, as well as on-line courses, are viewed with a degree of comparability to college courses, as long as the US accredited degree granting institution includes these credits on their transcript as fulfilling certain institutional requirements. Students who have AP or CLEP credit in the basic sciences are encouraged to take upper level courses in these areas. Courses taken abroad are treated comparably to traditional courses, as long as these credits are included on the transcript of a U.S. accredited degree-granting institution.

MCAT
Students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), with the oldest exam accepted no more than three years prior to matriculation. The September test date in the year prior to matriculation is the last test that will be taken into consideration if you are applying for the following year. For example if you would like to matriculate in the Fall of 2019 the last MCAT score we will accept is from September 2018. If the applicant takes the MCAT multiple times, the Admissions Committee will use the best one time composite score from that sitting. Applicants applying for August 2019 matriculation must have MCAT results from January 2016 - September 2018.

The CASPer Test - Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics
As apart of the supplemental (secondary) application, all applicants to the University of Colorado School of Medicine are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.
CASPer results need to be sent to CU SOM by the noted distribution date located on the CASPer website. Learn more about CASPer. CASPer.pdf

 

College Major – Is there a Preferred Major?
All majors are valued. Students are expected to engage in a rigorous academic program that enables them to understand the basic principles of science central to medicine.  Independent of the choice of major, applicants are expected to have acquired effective learning habits, refined their critical thinking skills and engaged in the habit of life long learning.

Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are required to obtain letters to support their candidacy for admission. We require three to five letters; letters can come from a faculty member, clinical experience, research experience, or a current job as the letter transmits cogent information about the applicant’s work. Obtaining a letter from the employer who you are working with during the application year is highly recommended. Evidence of a successful engagement in a post-college experience is considered a valuable addition to other letters that also may be part of your file. Some colleges offer a pre-medical advising system and the committee writes letters for their students. A committee letter is sufficient to meet the medical school letter of recommendation requirements. All letters must be transmitted electronically through AMCAS’ application process. Please visit the AMCAS website for further information on how to apply and submit letters of recommendation, Letters of Rec FAQ.

We strongly recommend that letters not be from family friends or others who know the student only peripherally.
 
General Overview - Admissions Committee
The composition of the Admissions Committee is a 150 member group of active and retired clinicians, medical students, MD/PhD faculty, basic science faculty, and lay members of the community.

Secondary Application and the Completion of the Applicant’s File

​​​Upon receipt and verification of the AMCAS application, the Office of Admissions will email eligible applicants the link to our Secondary Application that is to be completed online and submitted by Dec. 15th of the application year.

 

The secondary application consists of:

  • Secondary application processing fee – Fee is Non-refundable
  • Required Colorado Specific Essay
  • Optional Colorado Springs Branch Campus essay of interest
  • Optional Rural Track essay for consideration 
  • Optional Urban Track essay for consideration
  • CASPer test results

Completed secondary applications are forwarded to the admissions committee who perform a holistic review of applications and invite select applicants for an interview. Interview invitations are on a rolling basis – July through February.

 

Application Fee Payments and/or Fee Waivers

Students invited to complete the secondary application must submit an application processing fee of $100 with the secondary application. The application fee waiver will be granted ONLY to applicants who received approval from the AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP). The secondary application fee is non-refundable.