Skip to main content
Sign In

"Education is our passport to the future,

for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." APPLICATION IS NOW OPEN


STEM and health careers historically lack diversity among the professionals within the fields reducing perspective, and often resulting in disparities in the services they provide. The CU Pre-Health Scholars Program (CUPS) is an academic enrichment program designed to provide resources and guidance to students from diverse backgrounds and identities who are interested in entering health professions. CUPS Scholars will graduate from high school with experience and knowledge to be successful in college and as they move into their chosen careers.

CUPS curriculum supports students’ growth through a variety of academic activities, college visits, mentoring, and exposure to different STEM and health specific technologies and careers. Students move through the program within a cohort of peers from different schools to collaborate, share ideas, and support each other’s learning during their time in the program. CUPS aims to help students gain a better understanding of themselves, the impact of societal systems on their experiences and their future careers. Over the course of the four years CUPS Scholars will participate in classes that focus on enhancing will enhance their self-awareness, critical thinking, collaboration, communication skills and self-advocacy skills. Through these classes, CUPS Scholars will gain advanced knowledge related to math, science and literacy.

The CUPS program staff values the perspectives and experiences that CUPS Scholars and their family members bring to the program. At various times staff members may ask scholars or family members for feedback on the program.



The CU Pre-Health Scholars Program envisions education, and medical systems that provide quality service to all. Through a holistic understanding of social determinants of health, researchers and practitioners center the values, experiences and needs of historically marginalized communities.



We strive to make this vision a reality through a non-traditional pre-collegiate STEM program for students from marginalized, and historically under-served communities. The CU Pre-Health Scholars Program expands on students’ knowledge and experiences in order for them to thrive in college, graduate and/or professional school. Our approach empowers students to infuse empathy, critical thinking and social change throughout their personal and professional journeys.

Four Pillars of CUPS

Scholarship- Scholars, as we define the term, are people who contribute to thoughtful insight, analysis and perspective to academic conversations. We provide opportunities for students to become emerging scholars, to dedicate themselves to life-long learning, and recognize the power and value of their voice and knowledge.


Innovation-Seeking new and creative ways of identifying problems based on research, student needs, interests and cultural knowledge, and emerging technology.


Health Equity- a health care system that supports and values the life experiences and values of all based on a nuanced understanding of social power and compassion for others.


Wellness- the state of thriving mentally, physically and socially. Wellness goes beyond physical health to include mental well-being as demonstrated by ones’ happiness, positive sense of self, and ability to build relationships with people from different backgrounds and experiences.



Critical thinking



Social responsibility




Knowledge and Learning

Diversity-valuing people because of their differences, not in spite of them. Throughout their classes students will






Program Eligibility  

-Must be a current high school freshman or sophomore, and  

-Must have and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the duration of the programand

-Must have a desire to pursue a career in healthcare or a related STEM profession after graduation, and

-Must commit to active participation for the duration of their high school years (3.5 year commitment for freshman applicants, 2.5 year commitment for sophomore applicants) and

-Must be a first-generation college-bound student (neither of whose natural or adoptive parent(s) received a baccalaureate degree in the U.S.) or 

-Must be a member of a one-parent family or 

-Must be a member of a historically underserved group (i.e. individuals from low-income backgrounds, rural communities, attend schools with limited educational opportunities (AP/extracurriculars), members of racial or ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA communities).


Program Commitment Requirements

CUPS is committed to providing scholars with every opportunity to develop their academic skills, succeed in high school, and gain entrance into an institution of higher education. However, scholars will gain the benefit from their experiences and fulfill their educational potential only to the extent that they commit themselves to the goals of the Program and actively participate in its activities. Therefore, the Program will expect participants to:

1) Commit themselves to active participation in the Program for the duration of their high school years (3.5 year commitment for freshman applicants, 2.5 year commitment for sophomore applicants, 1.5 year commitment for junior applicants).

2) Attend and involve themselves fully in all program-sponsored activities on the Anschutz Medical Campus:

- Freshmen CUPS scholars will attend monthly Saturday Academy meetings January - May, and a two-week program during the summer.

- Sophomore CUPS scholars will attend monthly Saturday Academy meetings January - May, and a three-week program during the summer.

- Junior CUPS scholars will attend monthly Saturday Academy meetings August - May, and a six-week program during the summer.

- Senior CUPS scholars will attend monthly Saturday Academy meetings August - May (no summer program).

3) Follow a college preparatory curriculum as prescribed by Program staff and high school counselor.

4) Cooperate with the Program staff in all program-related matters.

5) Maintain a 3.0 GPA or greater on CUPS semesterly academic assessments throughout high school years.​

Click Here to Apply​

Sponsors & Supporters:  If you are interested in supporting or sponsoring program, please contact us via email:


© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.