Welcome to this in-depth guide to walk you through the intricate yet rewarding admissions process for the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU SOM). Embarking on the path toward a medical career involves a series of significant decisions, rigorous prerequisites, and important milestones. Preparation and strategy can set the stage for a successful application, and that’s where this guide comes in.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine, located at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, is among the top medical schools in the nation. With a focus on patient-centered care, research, and community involvement, the school aims to develop competent and compassionate medical professionals. This guide offers an in-depth look into various programs, admission requirements, and how to become a competitive applicant.
This manual serves as your comprehensive roadmap, touching upon a broad range of essential topics—from admissions consulting tailored to medical school aspirants to discovering medical schools in your vicinity. We also explore specialized opportunities such as shadowing healthcare professionals abroad and delve into the particular offerings of institutions like the University of Colorado School of Medicine and its array of specialized departments.
In the hyper-competitive arena of medical school admissions, meeting the baseline criteria is often insufficient. Schools like CU Medical School are looking for candidates who not only boast strong academic records but also demonstrate sustained engagement in healthcare, robust communication abilities, and an earnest dedication to the medical profession.
Because of the immense preparation required for a compelling application, it’s common for prospective students to seek expert advice via our medical school admissions consulting services. Our consulting services aim to deliver recommendations suited to your unique attributes and long-term career goals, thereby enhancing your odds of securing a spot at CU SOM or other esteemed medical institutions.
Selecting the right medical school is a pivotal choice affecting your educational journey, hands-on training, and eventual healthcare industry role. This guide equips you with nuanced information, aiding you in making well-informed decisions, whether you’re contemplating schools within Colorado or considering other options nationally.
What’s in This Medical School Guide for the University of Colorado School of Medicine
This guide is your comprehensive resource for all things related to the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM). Below is an outline of what you’ll find:
- Overview of the University of Colorado School of Medicine: An introduction to the institution, including its history, mission, and contributions to medical education and healthcare.
- Admission Statistics for CUSOM: Key figures about the applicant pool, including the number of applicants, matriculated students, and acceptance rate, to give you a sense of the competitive landscape.
- Profile of Typical New Students: Understand the average GPA, MCAT scores, and other demographic data for entering students.
- Interview Process at CUSOM: Details about the interview structure, what to expect, and how to prepare, including tips on professional attire and demeanor.
- Curriculum and Requirements: Information about grading systems, community service expectations, research requirements, and clinical experiences during the medical school years.
- Clinical and Patient Experience: What you can expect in terms of patient interactions, clerkships, and other practical experiences.
- Financial Aspects: A summary of tuition costs, financial aid availability, and statistics on graduate indebtedness.
- Research Opportunities: Insights into research tracks available, types of research undertaken, and the funding landscape at CUSOM.
- Tips for Success: Expert advice on what you can do to strengthen your application and improve your chances of admission.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine is committed to excellence in education, research, and healthcare service. It aims to serve Colorado, the nation, and the world through its multi-disciplinary programs.
The mission of the University of Colorado School of Medicine is multi-faceted, aiming to excel in education, research, and the provision of medical services to the wider community. Its comprehensive educational offerings span medical and allied health students, graduate students, residents, fellows, practicing health professionals, and the public.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine is a part of a 230-acre medical campus in Aurora, which includes schools of dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. The school provides numerous clinical opportunities throughout the Denver metropolitan area and Colorado, engaging with a vast faculty network that includes over 5,000 full-time and approximately 3,000 community volunteer faculty members.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine is a prominent public medical educational institution in Aurora, Colorado. This esteemed school is a University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus component. This campus is a hub for medical education and research, and it houses several other specialized schools, including the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the CU School of Dental Medicine, and the CU Graduate School.
Established in 1883, the CU School of Medicine is steeped in history and is one of the oldest institutions for medical education in the Rocky Mountain West region. The school has garnered significant recognition in the academic community, holding the 26th position (tied) in the category of Best Medical Schools: Research, according to U.S. News & World Report. Furthermore, according to the same publication, it occupies the 8th position (tied) in the category of Best Medical Schools: Primary Care.
University of Colorado School of Medicine Alumni
The academic prowess of Medical Schools in Colorado, like CU School of Medicine is matched by an alumni network that has achieved an array of significant accomplishments in various fields. This network boasts individuals who have received Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, and other esteemed awards. Moreover, it comprises physicians and scientists who have made noteworthy contributions to medical science and healthcare. Some prominent alumni from the school have attained remarkable milestones in their respective fields, although their specific names were not provided in the original text.
Dr. EugeneAdmissions Information and Requirements W. Pflum
A retired orthopedist, Dr. Eugene W. Pflum’s passion for orthopedics was inspired by his wrestling background. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and has over two decades of medical experience. His early career was marked by his service in the Indian Health Service, where he worked in Alaska, New Mexico, and Arizona. These years were formative for him, both professionally and personally. He later moved to Delta, Colorado, and became the area’s first orthopedic specialist. Not only did he expand the local hospital, but he also brought additional specialists to the community. Moreover, he founded a soccer program in Delta county, which quickly grew in size.
Dr. Pflum’s global contributions are just as impressive. He has volunteered in numerous countries, treating a range of injuries and teaching new surgical techniques. On the home front, his charity work extends to volunteering for the Jail Ministry in Colorado.
Dan Smith, MD
Dan Smith founded the Christian Medical Ministry to Cambodia in 2004. This organization aims to provide healthcare to impoverished communities and train local healthcare practitioners.
Dr. Daniel Smith knew he wanted to be a surgeon from a young age. He attended the University of Colorado for his medical studies and focused on surgical rotations. He returned to Denver to practice after military service and further medical training. Dr. Smith founded and joined various surgical groups before retiring in 2000. Like Dr. Sheehan, Dr. Smith was moved by the healthcare crisis in Cambodia and co-founded the Christian Medical Ministry to Cambodia. The organization trains new healthcare practitioners in Cambodia and provides medical care to its poorest communities.
Theodore Ning, MD
Dr. Theodore Ning’s service to humanity extends far beyond his practice in urology. After completing his medical degree at Northwestern University and his urology residency at CU, he launched a career marked by international outreach and genuine social impact.
His early days in the U.S. Army in Vietnam were pivotal in shaping his focus on rural communities. Alongside his wife, Connie, Dr. Ning has been a driving force in adoption initiatives, both personally and through founding a Colorado adoption agency. He has shown an enduring commitment to education and mentorship, earning him a clinical professorship at CU. His work through Friendship Bridge and other global health initiatives, particularly women’s microcredit and educational programs, are awe-inspiring. Dr. Ning continues to balance his global efforts with local service, teaching, and practicing as a part-time urology hospitalist.
Debra Parsons, MD
Dr. Debra Parsons has seamlessly combined a commitment to acute care and long-term patient relationships throughout her medical career. A Colorado native, her journey into medicine was influenced by her early experiences in water safety and exercise physiology. Her ability to integrate acute-care hospital medicine and outpatient primary care, while teaching future doctors speaks to her versatility and effectiveness as a healthcare provider. Notably, her leadership extended to policy advocacy, addressing key issues like the opioid crisis and physician well-being.
Helen Morris, MD
Dr. Helen Morris has a storied career that has spanned research, patient care, advocacy, and drug development. As one of the few women in her class at CU School of Medicine, her journey was nothing short of pioneering. She contributed to groundbreaking research involving growth hormones and dwarfism and has held key positions across multiple healthcare institutions. Dr. Morris has been a forceful advocate for women in medicine and has remained deeply involved with her alma mater, providing mentorship and financial support to future doctors.
Dr. Hajar Ahmed Hajar Albinali
Dr. Hajar Ahmed Hajar Albinali has had an extraordinary impact on healthcare in Qatar, fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a cardiologist. After completing his education in the United States, he returned to Qatar and established a comprehensive cardiac care unit, eventually contributing to a state-of-the-art cardiac hospital. His anti-smoking campaigns earned him international accolades, including awards from the WHO. Beyond medical practice, Dr. Albinali has left an indelible mark through his poetry and scholarly works that explore the intersection of medicine and Arabic poetry.
You’ll be in good company at this university. In sum, all of these individuals are testaments to the versatility, commitment, and altruism that define the field of medicine. Their contributions span multiple facets of healthcare and social well-being, from clinical practice and education to policy advocacy and global outreach.
Is the University of Colorado School of Medicine Hard to Get Into?
Gaining admission to the University of Colorado School of Medicine is highly competitive. The school looks for applicants who are well-prepared academically, have relevant healthcare experience, and demonstrate a strong understanding of the medical profession.
What is the Acceptance Rate for the University of Colorado School of Medicine?
In the 2022-2023 application cycle, the acceptance rate was 1.29%. This means that for every 100 applicants, only 1.29 were accepted.
CU SOM is a highly competitive school, and admissions decisions are based on various factors, including GPA, MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and extracurricular activities. The school also strongly emphasizes diversity and inclusion and is committed to recruiting and admitting students from various backgrounds.
If you are interested in applying to CU SOM, it is important to start preparing early. Ensure you have strong academic credentials and can demonstrate your passion for medicine and commitment to diversity and inclusion. You should also practice interviewing and be prepared to discuss your experiences, values, and motivations for pursuing a medical career.
Is the University of Colorado School of Medicine a Good School? Compared to Other CO Medical Schools?
The University of Colorado School of Medicine consistently ranks among the top medical schools in the U.S., primarily known for its primary care programs. It has cutting-edge research facilities and an expansive network of affiliated hospitals, offering ample clinical exposure and research opportunities.
CU Anschutz Medical Campus Program List
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is not just a cornerstone for healthcare education in Colorado; it’s a hub of multifaceted medical programs that attract students nationwide. Offering a range of programs under its umbrella—from specialized courses at UC Denver Anesthesiology to foundational training in Public Health—the campus is designed to cater to a broad spectrum of healthcare interests and professional goals. Whether you want to become a physician, a nurse, a public health specialist, or to enter any other medical field, the University of Colorado’s comprehensive curriculum and world-class faculty offer an excellent foundation for your future career.
Aside from the highly-regarded CU School of Medicine, the campus also houses the College of Nursing, Colorado School of Public Health, a Graduate School offering general graduate programs, the School of Physical Therapy, the School of Dental Medicine, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Each school offers specialized tracks and degree options to meet students’ varied needs and interests.
For instance, if you’re focused on Anesthesiologist Assistant programs or the University of Colorado PA Program, you’ll find targeted programs that provide the training, licensing, and certification requirements needed to excel in those roles. CU Anschutz Medical Campus is a comprehensive platform for aspiring healthcare professionals from nursing to pharmacology and public health to physical therapy.
Medical Schools in CO – The CU School of Medicine
The School of Medicine at CU Anschutz offers many programs that aim to cultivate the next generation of medical leaders. One noteworthy option is the Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiology Program. This program offers intensive training to equip future Anesthesiologist Assistants with the clinical skills and knowledge essential for effective patient care in the operating room.
Another option is the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling, ideal for those interested in the intersection of genetics and patient care. Additionally, the school offers specialized programs in Child Health for those looking to work specifically in pediatric care.
- Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiology Program
- Anesthesiology Assistant
- Physician Assistant Program
- Master of Science Genetic Counseling
- Child Health
For those interested in the Anesthesiologist Assistant program, more information on training, licensing, and certification can be found here.
For an overview of Colorado PA programs, you can visit our Physician Assistant School Map Page to locate PA Schools in Colorado.
College of Nursing
The College of Nursing provides a well-rounded nursing program that emphasizes both technical skills and compassionate care. With state-of-the-art labs, a high faculty-to-student ratio, and multiple clinical placements, the nursing program prepares students for diverse settings ranging from hospitals to private practices and community clinics.
Colorado School of Public Health
For students interested in tackling health issues on a systemic level, the Colorado School of Public Health offers a robust Public Health Program. It integrates research, policy, and community involvement to train students to become impactful public health leaders capable of driving change on a global scale.
The Graduate School hosts various general graduate programs that serve as strong foundations for careers in research, academia, or continued professional studies in healthcare. Students can engage with renowned faculty and contribute to impactful research across various fields.
School of Physical Therapy
If rehabilitation and physical well-being are your interests, the School of Physical Therapy offers a Physical Therapy Program designed to turn you into a highly competent and compassionate physical therapist. The program offers a blend of academic coursework and clinical practice, aiming to prepare students for a range of settings such as hospitals, sports clinics, and private practices.
School of Dental Medicine
For those aspiring to careers in oral health, the School of Dental Medicine features several programs, including general Dental Medicine and specialized tracks in Orthodontics and Periodontics. These programs are designed to impart both theoretical and hands-on knowledge, ensuring graduates are well-prepared to provide high-quality dental care.
Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
The Skaggs School offers two distinct Pharmacy programs: one for Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and another distance learning program. Both are aimed at producing pharmacy professionals proficient in medication management and capable of providing comprehensive pharmaceutical care.
CU Anschutz also offers Continuing Medical Education courses for professionals looking to further enhance their medical knowledge and clinical skills. These courses are structured to provide up-to-date information and are often crucial for license renewal and career progression.
University of Colorado General Surgery Residency
The General Surgery Residency program is designed to train surgeons who are proficient in a broad spectrum of surgical procedures. This program has various sub-specializations and offers extensive clinical training.
The University of Colorado General Surgery Residency Program is a five-year, ACGME-accredited program that trains residents in all aspects of general surgery. The program is based at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, and also includes rotations at other hospitals in the Denver metropolitan area.
The program strongly focuses on clinical training, introducing residents to various surgical cases. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in research and academic projects. The program graduates approximately 11 chief residents in general surgery each year.
The University of Colorado General Surgery Residency Program is highly competitive, and admissions decisions are based on various factors, including USMLE scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. The program also strongly emphasizes diversity and inclusion and is committed to recruiting and admitting residents from various backgrounds.
Here are some of the highlights of the University of Colorado General Surgery Residency Program:
- Strong clinical training, with exposure to a wide variety of surgical cases
- Opportunities to participate in research and academic projects
- Focus on diversity and inclusion
- Graduates are well-prepared for careers in general surgery or fellowships in specialized surgical fields
University of Colorado Psychiatry Residency
The Psychiatry Residency program emphasizes a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health care and provides rigorous training in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.
The University of Colorado Psychiatry Residency Program emphasizes a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health care and provides rigorous training in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. This means residents learn how to treat mental illnesses using various methods, including talk therapy, medication, and other therapies.
The program is four years long and includes rotations at various clinical sites, including the University of Colorado Hospital, Denver Health Medical Center, the Denver Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in research and academic projects.
Admissions Information and Requirements
Application Deadline: October 16, 2023
Median MCAT: 515
Median GPA: 3.81
This means that half of the students accepted to CU SOM have an MCAT score of 515 or higher and a GPA of 3.81 or higher.
It is important to note that these are just median scores, and a range of MCAT and GPA scores are acceptable to CU SOM. The admissions committee considers various factors when making admissions decisions, including academic credentials, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and extracurricular activities.
Tuition & Fees: $43,916 In-state | $69,871 Out-of-state
Who the School Accepts: Out-of-state, Canadian, International applicants
School Type: Public / Urban
Important Dates: Classes Begin: July 19, 2024
Main Campus: Colorado-Aurora
Office of Student Life (Admissions):
Anschutz Medical Campus,
13001 East 17th Place, Room N1219
Aurora, CO 80045-2570 USA
Phone: (303) 724-8025
Diversity and Inclusion
Contact: Noble Gough
Title: Diversity and Inclusion Professional
Phone: (303) 724-4537
University of Colorado School of Medicine Primary Application
- Service: AMCAS
- Earliest Date: May 30, 2023
- Deadline: October 16, 2023
- Review Begins: June 12, 2023
University of Colorado School of Medicine Letters of Evaluation
- Minimum: 3
- Maximum: 5
- Preferred Letter Writers: Those with a longitudinal relationship who can speak specifically to competencies expected of entering medical students.
University of Colorado School of Medicine Secondary Application
- Requirement: Yes
- Fee: $100
- Fee Waiver: Yes
- Sent To: About 2/3 of applicants
- Deadline: November 30, 2023
Early Decision Program (EDP)
- Availability: No
Combined Degree Programs
- Undergraduate College(s): University of Colorado Denver
- About: The BA/BS-MD program is a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus, aiming to foster diversity in medical professionals serving Colorado. It targets about 10 outstanding high school seniors who are residents of Colorado each year.
- Website: More Info
Combined Degrees Offered:
- BA/BS-MD Program Information:
Program Partners: University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences & University of Colorado School of Medicine
Who it’s for: Outstanding high school seniors who are Colorado State residents
Program Details: The program provides a ‘reserved’ spot in the medical school, provided students meet annual academic and professional requirements.
MD/PhD Program Contact:
Cara Wilson, MDP
Phone: (303) 724-4600
MD/MPH Program Contact:
Lori Crane, Ph.D.
Phone: (303) 724-4472
Other Combined Degree Options:
- MD/MS in Bioengineering
- MD/MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Combined medical degree/M.B.A.
Contact: Graduate School – (303) 315-8200
Combined medical degree/M.P.P.: Not Available
Combined medical degree/J.D.: Not Available
Combined medical degree/Ph.D.
Contact: Cara Wilson, MD – (303) 724-4600
Combined medical degree/M.P.H.
Offered by: Colorado School of Public Health
Contact: Lori Crane, Ph.D. – (303) 724-4472
Application Process and Deadlines
Primary Application Through AMCAS®
Timeline and Requirements
- Service: American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®)
- Earliest Date to Apply: May 30, 2023 (CU SOM’s portal opens on June 1)
- Application Deadline: October 16, 2023 (CU SOM: October 15)
- Review Begins: June 12, 2023
- Letters of Recommendation: Minimum of 3, Maximum of 5
- Preferred: Choose recommenders who have a meaningful, longitudinal relationship with you
The primary application via AMCAS® is the first crucial step to capture the attention of CU SOM’s admissions committee. Accurate and early submission is vital. Ensure your application is thorough and error-free and your letters of recommendation are from individuals who can attest to your competencies meaningfully.
CU SOM Specifics
- Prospective applicants must submit their primary application through AMCAS®.
- Applicants will need to input academic records, MCAT scores, and other relevant information.
- The application window for CU SOM specifically opens on June 1st and closes on October 15th.
- Requirement: Yes
- Fee: $100 (Fee waivers are available)
- Deadline: November 30, 2023
- Note: Invitation only; approximately 2/3 of primary applicants are invited
Upon verification of your primary application by AMCAS®, CU SOM may invite you to complete a secondary application, usually consisting of additional essay prompts and sometimes extra requirements. Prompt and thoughtful responses are essential.
University of Colorado School of Medicine Secondary Application Questions and Answer Examples 2023-2024
The University of Colorado School of Medicine is renowned for its rigorous academic program, cutting-edge research, and commitment to community service. As a prospective student navigating the 2023-2024 application cycle, you may face a range of secondary application questions designed to assess your academic aptitude and your personal characteristics, commitment to healthcare, and potential contributions to the medical community.
Below, we provide a selection of example questions and answers to guide you through this crucial stage of the application process. Whether you’re curious about how to demonstrate your commitment to medicine or looking for ways to articulate your unique strengths, these examples offer valuable insights to help you craft compelling responses.
Question #1. The pillars of our curriculum are Leadership, Curiosity, and Commitment. Tell us about how you have embodied one or more of these attributes in your path to medicine thus far. In which of these areas do you see the most opportunity for personal growth and why? (Limit this response to 500 words.)
When I worked with Doctors Without Borders in Rwanda, I was deeply inspired by a local nurse named Akimana. Her leadership qualities were exemplary, particularly given the limited resources and high-stakes environment. She managed her team with poise, doing what was available and never compromising patient care. This experience solidified my understanding of leadership in healthcare, teaching me the essential skills of effective communication, team collaboration, and crisis management. I took these lessons to heart, which have since been the cornerstone of my approach to medical practice.
My commitment to alleviating healthcare disparities has equally influenced my path to medicine. After returning from Rwanda, I initiated a community health project in my hometown of Dillard, Georgia. We provided free screenings, health education, and referrals to affordable medical services. This commitment was about offering medical services listening to the community’s needs, and responding effectively. The experience taught me that a physician’s role extends beyond the clinic, influencing how healthcare is delivered in various socio-economic contexts.
Although I’ve developed leadership skills and have a strong sense of commitment, I identify Curiosity as the area with the most room for growth. In a field as dynamic as medicine, remaining inquisitive is not optional; it’s a requirement. While my experiences have broadened my perspective, they’ve also made me realize that medicine is an ever-expanding universe of knowledge and skills. The advent of telemedicine, the breakthroughs in gene editing, and the innovative public health strategies to combat global pandemics all indicate the need for an insatiable curiosity.
To address this, I plan to engage more actively in medical research. I have recently joined a research team at my university, focusing on early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases through AI-based technology. This opportunity allows me to ask questions and seek answers in a structured setting, ultimately deepening my understanding of complex medical issues. I’m also committed to regular professional development through academic courses and hands-on experiences to ensure I’m up-to-date with the latest medical advancements.
My journey thus far has been shaped by my ability to lead and my commitment to service. However, as I navigate medical school and eventually into my career, I see Curiosity as my guiding star. It is the attribute that will keep me engaged, drive me to explore beyond the obvious, and fuel my quest for continuous improvement. By cultivating this trait, I aspire to be a competent physician and a lifelong learner who contributes meaningfully to the field.
Question #2. Please describe how your background and/or your unique lived experiences contribute to our culture of inclusive excellence. (Limit the response to 300 words.)
Born into a multicultural family with an Indian mother and an American father, I’ve been uniquely positioned to appreciate diversity’s richness in any setting. This blend of Eastern and Western cultures has given me the skills to navigate different cultural norms and expectations effortlessly, allowing me to act as a bridge in diverse settings. My upbringing has instilled in me a deep respect for diversity in terms of ethnicity, thought, spirituality, and socioeconomic status.
During my undergraduate years, I initiated a program called “Healthcare for All,” which focused on providing basic healthcare education to underprivileged communities. The program was more than just an educational initiative; it was a melting pot of diverse ideas and perspectives. Volunteers came from all walks of life, from LGBTQ+ advocates to racial and ethnic minorities to individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds. Working with such a varied group of people helped me appreciate the nuances of the healthcare needs of different communities, enriching my understanding of inclusive healthcare practices.
My involvement in community health initiatives also extends to mental health. Recognizing the stigma associated with mental health in many communities, I collaborated with local counselors and psychologists to hold workshops and create resources tailored to different cultural perspectives. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of how cultural factors can influence access to healthcare and reinforced the need for a multi-dimensional approach to medicine.
These experiences have shaped my approach to healthcare and prepared me to contribute positively to the University of Colorado’s culture of inclusive excellence. I bring a lived experience of diversity in multiple dimensions—ethnic, social, and intellectual.
This background equips me to foster an educational environment that is both inclusive and enriching, encouraging dialogue and collaboration across diverse groups at the University of Colorado.
Question #3. (If reapplicant) Please explain how you and your application has changed since your previous submission. (Limit this response to 1500 Characters.)
Since my previous application, I’ve made concerted efforts to address the gaps in my profile. One area of growth was clinical experience. I have since undertaken an extended role as an EMT, working in diverse environments to sharpen my patient care skills. I’ve also completed a post-baccalaureate program, strengthening my academic foundation in the sciences.
In addition to gaining more hands-on experience, I’ve expanded my research endeavors. Alongside Dr. Nguyen, a renowned epidemiologist, I’ve contributed to a study that aims to understand healthcare disparities in minority communities. This research has honed my technical skills and deepened my appreciation for social determinants of health.
I’ve also taken the time to engage with my community in new ways. I initiated a health education program aimed at the youth in underserved communities, focusing on preventive healthcare.
This journey has allowed for introspection and growth, broadening my perspective on medicine and strengthening my resolve to become a physician. I am a more rounded, informed, and committed applicant than before and would bring a deeper level of understanding and compassion to the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Letter of Evaluation Preference/Policy at CU SOM
- Committee Letter: Preferred. This should be authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and is intended to represent your institution’s comprehensive evaluation of you as a candidate.
- Letter Packet: Accepted. This is a collection of letters from your institution and may include a cover sheet from a pre-health committee or advisor.
- Individual Letter(s): Accepted. A single individual authors these letters and represent only that person’s viewpoint on the applicant.
Interview Process and Preparation
CU SOM employs a Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) format, a series of short, structured interviews assessing non-cognitive qualities like empathy, critical thinking, and communication skills. The school offers MMI preparation tips on its website, but here are some additional pointers:
Practice MMI Scenarios: Get familiar with typical MMI questions. Here are our 320 Common Medical School Interview Questions & Answers (2023) to properly prepare you.
Showcase Experiences: Be ready to discuss experiences proving your qualifications and medical aspirations. This might include Shadowing Hours that you have acquired for medical school.
Clear Articulation: Ensure your answers are concise yet comprehensive.
Maintain Professionalism: Uphold etiquette and dress codes throughout the process.
Final Tips for CU SOM Application Success
While the above components are non-negotiable, additional information like research publications, extracurricular activities, or unique life experiences can provide further depth to your application. Ensure that each piece of information adds value and relevance to your medical career goals.
The application process is a multi-step endeavor that demands attention to detail, timely submissions, and strategic planning. Your letters of recommendation should be thoughtfully selected, and any secondary applications should be completed promptly and meticulously. Given the preferred evaluation methods, consider obtaining a committee letter if your institution offers one.
- Begin early, as both AMCAS® and CU SOM’s applications demand attention to detail and time.
- Prioritize the quality of your letters of recommendation.
- If invited, take the secondary application as seriously as the primary.
- Use fee waivers if applicable, but don’t let the fee be a deterrent.
- Compile all transcripts, MCAT scores, and letters of recommendation beforehand.
- Powerful Essays: Use this chance to differentiate yourself.
- Mock Interviews: Practice makes perfect, especially for MMI scenarios.
For more information, please visit CU Anschutz Medical Campus.
By following these guidelines and approaching the application process as a committed, informed candidate, you can significantly improve your chances of success.
General Overview of the Physician Assistant Program CU SOM
The Physician Assistant (PA) program at the CU School of Medicine offers a comprehensive 35-month, full-time curriculum leading to a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree. The program focuses on primary care across the lifespan, emphasizing pediatrics and care for the medically underserved. Each year, the program enrolls 44 students who begin their studies in early July with a mandatory orientation and classes.
For those aspiring to become Physician Assistants in Colorado, choosing the right educational path is crucial for a successful career. To help you make an informed decision, we recommend exploring this comprehensive guide on Physician Assistant Schools in Colorado. It offers detailed insights into the programs, admission criteria, and other essential information to set you on the right course for your future. Read more here: Physician Assistant Schools in Colorado.
Application Timeline CH/PA Schools in CO
The application process involves multiple stages, with specific deadlines to adhere to. The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) opens its application window in mid-April, closing on September 1. The CU School of Medicine also requires a supplemental application with a non-refundable fee of $55, also due by September 1. The CASPer Test, an online situational judgment test, needs to be completed within the dates posted in mid-March each year. Interviews are conducted in September and October. Admission decisions are generally completed by early spring.
How to Apply
- CASPA Application: The CASPA application serves as the primary application and should include three letters of recommendation.
- Supplemental Application: A CU-specific application form with a $55 non-refundable fee is also required.
- CASPer Test: The CASPer test is an online situational judgment test that is valid for one admissions cycle.
COVID vaccination and booster verification are mandatory for eligibility to participate in interviews. Notably, the program does not require the GRE or the PA-CAT as part of the application process.
Admissions Process and Criteria
The program is highly competitive and requires rigorous academic preparation. Admissions are made on a rolling basis, meaning earlier applications may have an advantage. The program makes admission offers continuously until the class is full.
The program evaluates applicants based on the strength of their academic record, essays, letters of recommendation, interviews, and an overall understanding of the PA profession. Life experiences and character are also significant factors. Note that in-person interviews are mandatory, and accommodations for special scheduling are not guaranteed.
University of Colorado PA School Prerequisites
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, both cumulative and science, and should hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
Specific courses are required to apply:
- 8 semester hours of Chemistry (one course must include a lab)
- 14 semester hours of Biology (one course must include a lab)
- 3 semester hours of General Genetics
- 6 semester hours of Psychology
- 3 semester hours of Statistics
All courses must be graded ‘C’ or higher; pass/fail grades are not accepted except for Spring and Summer 2020 courses. Online courses and labs are acceptable.
Additional Information for Applicants with Disabilities
The program offers accommodations for applicants with disabilities. Consult The Office of Disability, Access & Inclusion for a confidential consultation on available accommodations.
Actionable Advice and Strategy
For All Applicants
- Apply early to take advantage of rolling admissions.
- Ensure you meet all the prerequisites and maintain the required GPA.
- Obtain letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your abilities and suitability for the program.
- Prepare diligently for the CASPer test.
- Use your essays as an opportunity to highlight your strengths and motivations for becoming a PA.
For Applicants with Lower GPAs
- Consider enrolling in additional coursework to boost your GPA.
- Use your letters of recommendation and essays to compensate for a lower GPA.
- Excelling in the interview can help offset other weaknesses in your application.
For Applicants Without Health Experience
Though healthcare experience is not explicitly required, having relevant experience can add significant weight to your application.
Professional Organizations and Resources
- American Academy of Physician Assistants
- Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants
- Journal of American Academy of PAs
- National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
- Physician Assistant Education Association
- Physician Assistant History Society
Housing Options Near CU Anschutz Medical Campus
CU Anschutz Medical Campus doesn’t offer on-campus housing, but various alternatives exist for students seeking accommodation. The university’s Off-Campus Housing Website is a handy resource where you can search for rental listings, find roommates, or even list a unit if you have one available for students. It’s recommended to allocate at least a four-day weekend before the start of your course to secure suitable living quarters.
International students unfamiliar with the U.S. housing market can benefit from the Guide to Living Off-Campus for International Students.
If you need short-term accommodations, RotatingRoom is an external website focusing on sublets near medical schools and hospitals nationwide.
Landlords who wish to list a vacancy can do so exclusively through the university’s Off-Campus Housing Website. Once on the site, select “Have a listing? Post it now” and follow the steps as prompted. Note that this is the sole university-approved channel for posting housing information.
All enrolled students receive an RTD College Pass, funded by student fees, at the beginning of the semester. This allows convenient access to bus and light rail services throughout the Denver Metro area. More details can be found on the Commuting to Campus page.
Additional Resources and Assistance
The university’s Ombuds Office can provide mediation services for roommate conflicts. Laws and regulations affecting tenants are available in the State of Colorado Landlord and Tenant Law document. For rental complaints, consider contacting the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) or the Colorado Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Legal aid is accessible through Colorado Legal Services, primarily for low-income clients. The CU Anschutz Shares resource is also available for emergency financial assistance.
For any housing-related questions or concerns, email Off-Campus Partners or call them at 1-877-895-1234.
By planning and utilizing these resources, you can find a living situation that meets your needs and ensures a smooth transition into life at CU Anschutz.
Evaluation and Requirements at CU Anschutz Medical Campus
When grading and performance evaluations occur at CU Anschutz Medical Campus, students in the preclinical phase are assessed using a pass/fail grading system. This shifts to a more nuanced system in the clinical phase, where students are graded as Fail, Pass, High Pass, or Honors. Although students are not ranked numerically for the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), they are categorized into one of four quartiles: Outstanding, Excellent, Very Good, and Good.
Community service is a significant part of the educational experience. Not only is it a requirement during medical school, but many elective courses also incorporate a community service component. For those more research-oriented, there is a Mentored Scholarly Activity that students are required to complete to graduate.
Clinical and Patient Experience
Patient interaction begins early, starting from the first year itself. Students gain initial exposure through clinical skills training and preceptorship, which continues longitudinally via integrated clerkships, electives, and acting internships. In clinical settings, professional attire is the expected norm. The clinical training is enhanced through longitudinal integrated clerkships at several affiliated hospitals like Denver Health Medical Center, National Jewish Hospital, and Children’s Hospital Colorado, among others.
Global Health Experiences and Research Opportunities
17% of graduating seniors have reported participation in a global health experience during their medical school years. In terms of research funding, CU Anschutz Cancer Center received a total of $248,646,497 in direct federal research grants and contracts for the last reporting year. Students interested in deepening their research skills can engage in a research track focused on scientific discovery, involving primarily lab-based research or computer simulations.
Tuition, Financial Aid, and Indebtedness
Financial matters are an important aspect to consider. The cost of attendance varies for in-state and out-of-state students, with an average cost of attendance at $80,913 and $106,868, respectively. Financial aid is accessible and 86% of students receive some form of aid. For those concerned about debt, the average graduate indebtedness stands at $221,847. Specific inquiries about financial aid can be directed to the phone number 303-724-8039.
These varied aspects collectively offer a comprehensive look at what to expect in terms of evaluation, requirements, clinical exposure, and financial considerations at CU Anschutz Medical Campus.
Medical Schools Near Me Exploring Medical Education Close to Home
The University of Colorado School of Medicine recognizes the importance of choosing the right medical school to become a healthcare professional. You might be considering local options or looking into schools nationally. Whichever route you decide to take, our comprehensive guide aims to support your decision-making process.
- Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM)
- The University of New Mexico School of Medicine
- Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM)
- University of South Alabama College of Medicine
- University of Alabama School of Medicine
- FIU College of Medicine
- UCF College of Medicine
- USF Morsani College of Medicine
- Florida State University College of Medicine
- Morehouse School of Medicine
- Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
- Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM)
- Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM)
- ECU Brody School of Medicine
- Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)
- University of South Carolina Medical School
- Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
- Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM)
- Penn State Medical School
- CUNY School of Medicine
- SUNY Downstate Medical School
- NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
- NYU Long Island School of Medicine
- TOURO College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Albany Medical College
- Norton College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University
- Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo
- Hofstra Zucker School of Medicine
- Weill Medical College of Cornell University
- University of Rochester Medical School
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
- University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
- University of Toledo College of Medicine
- Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
- Ohio State University College of Medicine
- Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
- Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine (HMSOM)
- Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS)
- Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
- Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)
- A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Saint Louis University School of Medicine
- University of Missouri Medical School
- Kansas City University (KCU)
- UMKC School of Medicine
- New York Medical College
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- University of Wisconsin Medical School
- VCU School of Medicine
- University of Maryland School of Medicine
- Case Western Medical School
- University of North Carolina Medical School
- University of Florida Medical School
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Boston University College of Medicine
- California University of Science and Medicine
- UC San Diego Medical School
- California Northstate University College of Medicine
- Touro University of California
- CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
- UC Davis School of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- UC Riverside School of Medicine
- USC Keck School of Medicine
- UT Southwestern Medical School
- Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio
- University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine
- UT Austin’s Dell Medical School
- UTMB School of Medicine
- McGovern Medical School at UT Health
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- McGovern Medical School at UT Health
- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- UNT Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Houston College of Medicine
- Texas A&M College of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Baylor College of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- St. George’s University School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (in Pennsylvania)
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences (in California)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School
Pre-Med Experience Through Pre-Med Shadowing Study Abroad Programs
The University of Colorado School of Medicine encourages pre-med students to consider study abroad shadowing programs for invaluable clinical training and broader insights into global healthcare. Unlike mere observation, shadowing involves active engagement—gaining a firsthand understanding of various medical practices, ethical considerations, and cultural nuances. We also recommend considering additional activities like medical scribing or volunteer work, which can make your medical school application stand out.
Why Pre-Med Study Abroad Shadowing Programs Are Beneficial
Global Understanding: These programs enable you to see healthcare delivery in various cultural and economic contexts, thereby broadening your grasp of global healthcare issues and possible solutions.
Hands-On Clinical Training: You’ll shadow healthcare professionals in real-life settings, offering you firsthand exposure to a variety of medical specialties, treatment protocols, and patient interactions. This can be instrumental in helping you identify your own medical interests.
Cultural Skill Building: Working in an international setting allows you to build the necessary skills for communicating with a diverse range of patients, an essential capability for any future healthcare provider.
Networking Opportunities: Interacting with medical professionals globally expands your network, which could be advantageous for your career and educational prospects.
Fulfillment of Clinical Hours: Many study abroad programs allow you to meet some clinical hour prerequisites, which can enhance your medical school application.
Programs for Your Needs
The study abroad programs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine aim to offer the best of both worlds. By collaborating with healthcare institutions around the globe, we deliver a rich, immersive experience. Whether it’s specialized shadowing in operating rooms or primary care in remote areas, our programs provide diverse experiences that can elevate your medical school application.
Opting for a shadowing study abroad program isn’t just a step forward academically; it’s an experience that can profoundly expand your worldview and deepen your comprehension of being a healthcare provider in an increasingly globalized healthcare landscape.
For additional details, you’re invited to explore our Global Initiatives Overview to learn more about embarking on an enriching pre-medical journey.
For more information, click here to visit our Global Initiatives Overview.
Conclusion and Well Wishes
We hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights for your upcoming interview at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM). The admissions process serves as your platform to demonstrate not only your accomplishments but also your ambitions to become a leader in healthcare.If you need personalized guidance or further assistance, please arrange an appointment with our IMA experts for specialized advice on completing the medical school admissions process. Best of luck with your CUSOM application, and we wish you a rewarding and meaningful medical career. Schedule an appointment with IMA for expert advice.