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.
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:
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. We strongly recommend that letters not be
from family friends or others who know the student only peripherally.
Secondary Application and the Completion of the Applicant’s File
Upon receipt and verification of the AMCAS
application, the SOM 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:
processing fee – Fee is Non-refundable
CASPer test results
secondary applications are forwarded to the MSTP admissions committee who perform a
holistic review of applications and invite select applicants for an interview.
Interview invitations are on a rolling basis – December through February.
Application Fee Payments and/or Fee Waivers
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