student at poster board presenting to others

The Mentored Scholarly Activity

Scholarship for Life-Long Learning 

The University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine’s curriculum includes a four-year longitudinal course requirement for all students to pursue and complete a Mentored Scholarly Activity (MSA) project. The MSA project culminates with a Capstone Presentation prior to graduation.

The MSA project is aimed at fostering self-directed, life-long learning. The MSA requires students to identify and work with a mentor to complete their project(s), which also prepares them for working with mentors in their careers and serving as mentors to others in the medical profession.

Students will do an in-depth scholarly project in an academic area of interest related to medicine or health care with the mentorship of a University of Colorado faculty member. MSA requirements can also be satisfied through the successful completion of the MSTP program or the School of Medicine Research Track. 

Thematic Research Areas

To best support students, five thematic areas of scholarship have been defined. These thematic areas are not meant to be restrictive in any way. For example, an appropriate project might bridge two or more thematic areas, or might not clearly fall under any of the thematic areas.

Student Resources for the MSA

Phase Expectations


Grading will be pass/fail - assessed at the end of each phase based on course requirements. The Phase IV grade will be determined by the Director, Mentor, Associate Director, and a team of faculty.

  • Selection of an appropriate problem statement/ question/ hypothesis/ aim 
  • Selection of an appropriate methodology to answer problem statement/ question/ hypothesis/ aim 
  • Background literature search 
  • Application of an appropriate methodology 
  • Clarity of poster 
  • Clarity of presentation

Mentor Resources 

Office of Curriculum Contact Information

Technical Support


Contact Information 

MSA Course Director:

Thematic Areas and Associate Directors:

Global Health:

Program Coordinator: 

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