How do I apply to PRESTIGE?
The application window for PRESTIGE is between November 1st and March 30th. At this time, the application will be live. Click the Apply Now tab on this website and you will be taken to the application.
Once I start the application, can I save my progress and resume at a later time?
Yes, you will be able to start the application and return to it to complete it at a later time. You will be prompted to write down the code that is given to you at this time and enter your email to receive the link to return to your incomplete application. As you will only be allowed to create one application, it is important you save both of these or you will not be able to return to your application to complete it. Your application won’t be submitted to the PRESTIGE team until you click finish and submit.
What is the deadline to submit my PRESTIGE application and supporting documentation?
The final deadline for the application and all application materials is March 30, 2023.
Will my application be considered if my references have not submitted their letter of recommendation by the March 30 due date?
Yes, your application will still be reviewed (following the March 30thdeadline) even if your letters of recommendation have not been submitted. However, this could affect the committee’s consideration of you as a candidate. If your letters of recommendation have not been submitted by the early review deadlines, you will not be considered for early admission. Please stay in contact with your references and ensure they are clear on the application due dates. Email PIKE.PREP@cuanschutz.edu with questions or concerns regarding your letters of recommendation.
How soon after the application deadline will I be notified if I am accepted into the program?
All applicants will be notified of the results between April 15th and May 1st.
Who should I get to write my letters of recommendation for the program?
Your letters of recommendation should be written by people who are able to attest to your personal, academic, and research skills and interests. A letter of recommendation from a research mentor is ideal if you have had research experience. Faculty members who have worked with you in laboratory-based courses and who know you and your research interests would be other good sources for letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation should address your commitment to pursuing an MD or MD-PhD degree and your future career plans and goals.
What should I do if my recommenders did not get the recommendation request emailed to them?
First, double check that you entered their email into the application correctly. Next, ask your recommenders to search their inbox, spam, and trash for PRESTIGE. Our recommendation requests can easily end up in spam or be accidentally deleted. If they still do not have the recommendation request, reach out to us at PRESTIGE@cuanschutz.edu and we can regenerate the email request to your recommender.
I see there is a list of mentors on the PRESTIGE website that I might have the opportunity to work with during my time as a PRESTIGE scholar. Do I need to select my desired mentor before applying to the program?
Potential mentors are listed on the website for your information. In the application you will have the opportunity to note any potential mentors you are interested in working with. However, mentor placement will ultimately be done by the PRESTIGE leadership team. We will strive to place you with the best mentor based on your research interests. Scholars should not contact mentors and try to arrange their own lab placement. That is the job of the PRESTIGE leadership team.
What if I am interested in working with a specific faculty member that is not listed as a current PRESTIGE mentor?
If you have a specific faculty member in mind that you would like to work with as a PRESTIGE scholar that is not listed as a vetted and trained mentor with the program, we are happy to reach out to them to see if they are interested in serving as a PRESTIGE mentor and working with you as a scholar. You will have the option to provide us with their name in the PRESTIGE application.
Does my baccalaureate degree have to be from a biomedical field if I have taken numerous and well-rounded science courses?
Yes, your baccalaureate degree must be from a biomedical field. Having a degree in a biomedical field from an accredited institution allows you to demonstrate that you have the foundational knowledge and skills needed to pursue admissions to a top-tier medical school. Students applying to PRESTIGE should have completed rigorous coursework in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences in addition to mathematics. If you have specific questions about your eligibility based on your degree or coursework, please email PRESTIGE@cuanschutz.edu.
I completed my baccalaureate degree more than three years ago but have been taking courses since this time. Do I still qualify to apply?
In order to be eligible to participate in PRESTIGE, you must have completed your baccalaureate degree within three years or less of the program start date.
Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations is not included in the 3-year eligibility limit, nor is national service (e.g., Peace Corps, or service in the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserves).
I received my first baccalaureate degree more than three years ago but I returned to school and received a second baccalaureate degree within the last three years. Am I eligible to apply to PRESTIGE?
Yes, as long as the last baccalaureate degree you earned was no more than 36 months from the start date of PRESTIGE, and it was in a biomedical field you are eligible to apply.
I have already earned or am completing my Master’s degree, am I still eligible for the program?
Yes, you are still eligible to apply to PRESTIGE even if you have earned a Master’s degree. The eligibility requirement is that you may not be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at the same time as you are participating in PRESTIGE AND that you earned your baccalaureate degree within 36 months of the start of PRESTIGE.
I do not belong to any of the categories that would classify me as underrepresented in the biomedical field. Am I still eligible to apply for the program?
PRESTIGE is specifically designed for students who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. If you are not classified as one of the categories described below, you are not eligible to apply for the program. The categories are Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, having a disability, or being from an educationally, culturally, socially, and/or economically disadvantaged background. For more information see the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity.
While my coursework demonstrates a strong scientific background in biological, chemical, and physical science as well as mathematics, I struggled in one or two of these courses. Should I still apply for the program?
Yes, you should still apply. The goal of PRESTIGE is to support our scholars in addressing areas they may have deficiencies in that would impact their ability to be accepted into competitive medical school programs. You will have the opportunity to retake undergraduate courses or take graduate-level courses with support from the PRESTIGE mentors and team during your time in the program.
I am uncertain if I would like to do research and pursue a MD or MD-PhD degree in the future. Is PRESTIGE a good program to enable me to explore research as a future career?
No, PRESTIGE is not an exploration program. PRESTIGE is for scholars who have already decided to pursue a future career in medicine and research and who need more support, development, and training in order to have a competitive application to medical school.
I do not have prior research experience. Should I still apply?
Yes. You do not have to have prior research experience to be accepted into PRESTIGE. This may be the area where you have a gap that PRESTIGE can address in your medical school program application. You should, however, already have experiences that have led you to know that a future career in medicine and biomedical research is your desired career path and be able to articulate that in your PRESTIGE application.
What are you looking for in a competitive application?
The selection committee will consider your eligibility criteria, coursework, grades, research experiences, answers on the application, statement of purpose/intent, and letters of recommendation. We are looking to bring in scholars that have demonstrated a clear passion for medicine and scientific research and who intend to enroll in an MD or MD-PhD program immediately following PRESTIGE. We also want to understand why you are interested in PRESTIGE and what you need to develop a competitive medical school program application as well as how the program will benefit you moving forward into an MD or MD-PhD program.
How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the program?
We anticipate that we will be able to maintain all of the planned programming for our scholars in the upcoming cohort. While we recognize that the delivery method of the programming could be modified for safety, our scholars should be able to engage in research on campus provided that all state and University COVID-19 guidelines are followed such as masking and social distancing.
Can I visit the campus and labs before making a decision to either apply for or accept an invitation to join the program cohort?
At this time we are unable to accommodate lab and site visits. However, applicants are encouraged to review the information on the PRESTIGE website, reach out to the PRESTIGE program team with any questions at PRESTIGE@cuanschutz.edu, visit the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus website, and the Biomedical Science Graduate Program website.
What if I am not eligible to apply to PRESTIGE? What other recommendations do you have to help me prepare for an MD program?
There are other preparatory programs at universities across the country. You could research to find other programs that might be a better fit for you. Alternatively, interested students could consider obtaining a job in a research laboratory such as a research assistant, research coordinator, or laboratory technician. These positions may also offer tuition remission or reimbursement for employees to take graduate courses while working. These experiences could also help you prepare for medical school and enable you to further develop the skills and experience you need to be accepted to a medical school program. To find listings for positions at CU go to the CU Careers Website.
If you are interested in receiving research mentoring, check out the National Research Mentoring Network, which connects students with potential mentors across different disciplines.
Do you have other questions?
Reach out to the PRESTIGE team at PRESTIGE@cuanschutz.edu.