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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 University of Colorado School of Medicine recognizes that the experiences and undergraduate academic experience of our applicants varies greatly. We encourage applicants to explore a diverse, interdisciplinary and balanced undergraduate education, encompassing the necessary foundational knowledge in the biomedical sciences and humanities. Students need to be adequately prepared in the scientific underpinnings of modern medicine and also understand the psychosocial elements that are critical to its practice.

 

Accordingly, we have moved away from traditional, specific course based requirements, and have revised our prerequisites and academic expectations such that students should provide evidence to demonstrate competencies in the life sciences, social sciences, physics and mathematics, based on the AAMC-HHMI Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians and AAMC-Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for Future Physicians. These competencies, representing the cumulative knowledge, skills and commitment to scholarship needed to undertake training as a future physician, can be met through traditional and/or interdisciplinary courses of study in an accredited institution of higher learning, or by other educational, employment, service or life experiences.

 

Competitive applicants should demonstrate in-depth competency in each of the following areas of study, as reflected by their academic achievements and letters of recommendation.


Biology: Applicants should demonstrate an understanding of molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and the principles underlying the structure and function of organ systems and the regulation of human physiology.


Chemistry/Biochemistry: Applicants should demonstrate competence in the basic principles of chemistry as it pertains to living systems, and knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to the structure and function of cells and organs.


Mathematics/Statistics and Physics: Applicants should demonstrate competence in the basic principles of physics and mathematics underlying living systems and must be able to apply quantitative reasoning, statistical principles, and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world. A basic understanding of statistics or biostatistics is required to comprehend the quantitative aspects of medicine and biomedical research.


Social Sciences and Communication: It is important that applicants demonstrate competence in the humanistic understanding of patients as individuals and members of a families, communities, and society. Applicants should be aware of factors that influence individual, community, and societal decisions regarding health and health care delivery. Applicants are expected to speak, write, and read English fluently.

 

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

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.

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.


MCAT
Students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), with the oldest exam accepted no more than three years prior to matriculation year. For example, applicants applying for August 2021 matriculation must have MCAT results from January 2018 - October 2020.
If the applicant takes the MCAT multiple times, the Admissions Committee will use the best one time composite score from that sitting.

 

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 CUSOM by the noted distribution date located on the CASPer website.
 Learn more about CUSOM and CASPer here: CUSOM and CASPer 2020-2021 US Medicine.pdf

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.
 

Technical Standards for Admission

Applicants for admission to the School of Medicine and continuing students must possess the capability to complete the entire medical curriculum and achieve the degree. In addition to successfully completing all courses in the curriculum, students must be able to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care.

See Technical Standards for Admissions, Promotions, and Graduation here: Technical Standards for Admission.pdf


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

·       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.