Applying to Medical School
The University of Colorado School of Medicine requires all students interested in attending medical school in Colorado 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 1. 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. As part of a public institution, the committee does give preference to residents of the state of Colorado during the review process. Students who have lived outside the state, either in an academic or work-related capacity, can check the Registrar’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 or have completed 120 semester hours across a four-year curriculum at an accredited college prior to matriculation. Normally, 99% of students have a baccalaureate degree. If the student enters without a baccalaureate degree, one will be awarded to the student at the time of graduation from medical school.
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), and
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.
On interview days, students will receive information in their packets detailing all of the requirements, and the extent to which these have been met. 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, as this requirement is often the one that is most problematic to fulfill, and some students have had to scramble to find a course that fulfills the English requirement before matriculation.
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 comparable to traditional courses, as long as these credits are included on the transcript of the US accredited degree-granting institution.
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 2013 the last MCAT score we will accept is from September 2012. If the student takes the MCAT multiple times, the Admissions Committee will use the best one time composite score from that sitting. Applicants applying for August 2013 matriculation must have MCAT results from January 2010 - September 2012.
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 very important. 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. If a committee letter is obtained, that 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, www.aamc.org/students/amcas/faq/amcasletters.htm.
We strongly recommend that letters not be from family friends or others who know the student only peripherally. These are excellent keepsakes, but don’t serve the purpose for the Admissions Committees’ needs.
General Overview - Admissions Committee
The composition of the Admissions Committee is a 200 member group of active and retired clinicians, medical students, MD/PhD faculty, basic science faculty, and lay members of the community. These are the only individuals who interview candidates for the School of Medicine. This volunteer group commits to interview days, and invitations to applicants center on the number of interviewers available that day.
Secondary Application and the Completion of the Applicant’s File
Secondary applications are requested from all applicants. The secondary application is an on-line process, whereby the link is forwarded to the students whose applications have been verified by AMCAS. The application contains one Colorado essay which is required, along with two optional choices of completing essays for consideration of becoming a member of the Rural Track or the Urban Track. (Details of these programs are listed under Tracks).
This essay is required of all applicants for the 2011-2012 application year (2,500 characters maximum):
- People take different (and sometimes difficult) paths on their journey to becoming a doctor. Tell us (a) about hardships you have overcome or challenges that you have faced in arriving at this point in your life, or (b) to the extent that these circumstances don’t apply to you, please describe experiences you have had which help you appreciate the challenges faced by individuals in these situations. Your discussion might include such things as family or personal health challenges, being from an economically disadvantaged background, having lived in a very rural or underserved community, being the first in your family to attend college, or speaking English as a second language.
A $100 application fee is necessary to complete the process.