Scholar’s Year

Instructions and FAQs

The University of Colorado School of Medicine offers the Scholar’s Year program to students seeking the opportunity to participate in educational experiences outside of the regular curriculum. Scholar’s Year programs are customizable to meet the student’s professional interests and improve the student’s ability to serve their patients and communities.

The Scholar’s Year allows students to take one year away from the regular curriculum for specialized study. Students pay only minimal student fees and minimal tuition during this time, yet retain the benefits afforded to full-time students, including health insurance, financial aid, federal loan forbearance, and access to campus facilities and support. 

The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Scholar’s Year program provides a significant degree of flexibility for students to pursue opportunities that will inform and enrich their careers and benefit their patients and communities. 

How does it work?

All CUSOM students in good standing are eligible to apply. Students must first identify a project and mentor. The student must then complete the Scholar's Year application and submit it to an advisory committee for review and guidance. If accepted, the student may begin his or her work after completing the third year of studies.

Potential academic experiences may include:

  • Basic science or clinical research
  • Global health
  • Community-based learning
  • Public/Health policy
  • Humanities in medicine 

What do I need to apply?

The application will ask you for the following:

  • a high-level description of your project
  • a summary of the final outcomes
  • a draft timeline of milestones to be met
  • an explanation of how the program will advance the student’s career goals
  • A signed statement from your Mentor showing support for your project and demonstrating their understanding of their role


Your application must be completed and submitted by FRIDAY, October 14, 2022 to be considered.  After that, the Committee may reach out to you to request revisions or additional information. 


Accepted students may begin their projects upon completion of the LIC curriculum and ASC/ basecamp material. They will be enrolled in a Canvas course for each semester in which they participate in the Scholar’s Year.

Students will be required to meet 5 times with Scholar’s year leadership- once before beginning their year, once at the end of their year, and three times in the middle to assure progress on their project. 

Completion of the Scholar’s Year

Students must submit a final scholarly project on 2/1/2024, to the Scholar’s Year Program Committee. Examples of scholarly projects include but are not limited to:

  • Research paper
  • Journal article
  • Poster or presentation at a meeting or conference
  • New curriculum
  • Video or audio project

 All scholars will gather at an event at the end of the year to present their projects. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information

Dr. Brian Dwinnell,​
 Associate Dean of Student Life

Dr. Jeff Druck​​, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

Dr. Amira del Pino-Jones,​ Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs

Ms. Haylee A. Shacklock,​ Director of Medical Education and Student Affairs

Mailing address: 13001 East 17th Place, Mail Stop C292, Aurora, CO  80045
Location: Building 500, First Floor, Room N1219 ​
Phone: 303-724-6407