All of the medical schools in Colorado add up to one possibility: the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM). That’s not to say there are other medical schools you shouldn’t bother with but literally that there are no other medical schools. So, if you are keen to study medicine in Colorado, this is the school for you.
What you need now are the best data, analyses, and strategies for how to prepare for your medical school application. Fortunately, we have you covered with the best medical school application help. In this article, we present the most recent statistical information, break down that information and give you the best expert tips and strategies on how to get into medical school in Colorado.
Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
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Medical Schools in Colorado: An Overview
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Acceptance Rate for In-state Applicants: 9.78%
Acceptance Rate for Out-of-state Applicants: 0.74%
Acceptance Rate for International Applicants: 0.67%
Median MCAT for Matriculating Students: 515
Median GPA for Matriculating Students: 3.82
Male to Female Ratio: 54% Female; 46% Male
Combination Degrees Offered: MD/MPH; MD/MBA; MD-PhD; BS/MD
Tuition for In-state Students: $41,584 USD
Tuition for Out-of-state Students: $67,539 USD
Are you interested in learning how to make your medical school application stand out… without perfect stats? Check out this video:
Analysis of Admissions Statistics
You have 10X the chance of being selected for a spot in the class at the University of Colorado School of Medicine if you live in Colorado than if you are from out-of-state. Notable is that CUSOM accepts international students and applicants with DACA status.
If you do not live in Colorado, but you have connections to the Centennial State, you might consider referring to these connections in your secondary essays. While official residents are the ones who have the edge, you might raise yourself to the top of the out-of-state applicant pile if you have Colorado connections.
This is also important to keep in mind: admission rates are derived from the stack of applicants. It is not terribly useful to dwell on these rates or use them as the basis for application. After all, these positions are given out after careful evaluation. Admission is not a dice roll with a percentage chance of entry, but an intentional choice. Good use of expert advice and studious attention to detail in your application can greatly increase the odds in your favor. Making full use of our medical school admissions consulting services here at BeMo can really help.
Keep in mind that the MCAT and GPA scores are from students who got in and that these are average scores. Oftentimes, applying students want to know if their MCAT score is high enough, or they are concerned about medical school GPA requirements. Remember that these are averages, so students with scores that are a little lower also get in. Obviously, thinking about how to get into medical school with a low GPA is not easy, but you still have a shot with a slightly lower score, depending on how you manage this issue in your application. With that said, boosting your GPA is a great way to stand out, and higher scores aren’t going to hurt.
Tuition and Fees
There is a noticeable, significant difference between the tuition for in-state students and those from out-of-state. While you should keep finances in mind, medical school is, generally speaking, expensive. Consider this money an investment in your future, as your future salary will make up for tight budgets now. Of course, financial aid is available with 86% of CUSOM’s students availing themselves of assistance.
Scholarships available for all students include Diversity & Equity, Leadership & Merit, and Commitment to Primary Care. A Research scholarship also exists, although this is only available to MIII and MIV students. Finally, a Commitment to Rural Care scholarship is available if you apply to the rural track. These scholarships require an essay that demonstrates your suitability to the particular category.
CUSOM does not explicitly have any direct prerequisites or courses that you must take. In fact, they state that they understand that experiences among undergrads vary greatly. However, the school does require that students demonstrate competency in life sciences, social sciences, physics, and mathematics. You will need to show your ability to handle the basic knowledge of a physician.
However, CUSOM does say that these competencies can come via, “...traditional and/or interdisciplinary courses of study in an accredited institution of higher learning, or by other educational, employment, service or life experiences.”
Four areas are specifically highlighted: biology; biochemistry or chemistry; mathematics, statistics, and physics; and social sciences and communication.
We recommend that you demonstrate competencies through high-level courses – CUSOM accepts upper-level AP and CLEP courses as well as college courses – as it is easier to demonstrate your abilities via coursework and grades than through experiences.
If you do want to showcase your skills through experiences, work is one of the best sources. If you were employed in an accounting department, for example, or analyzing statistics for a company, you could explain how this demonstrates your mathematical and statistics skills. If there is no record or accountability of high-level work, however, your experiences may be viewed dubiously, which is why we still recommend the academic route.
Recommended: Behavioral Sciences; Biochemistry*; Biology**; College English; College Mathematics; Genetics; Inorganic Chemistry; Organic Chemistry; Psychology; Social Sciences
* “Applicants should demonstrate competence in basic principles of chemistry as it pertains to living systems knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to structure and function of cells and organs.”
** “Applicants should demonstrate an understanding of molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and principles underlying the structure and function of organ systems and regulation of human physiology.”
Also notable: none of the courses listed indicate that laboratory work is required. With that said, lab work can be very useful and you should have a reasonable amount. Should you sign up for classes with laboratory components? Close to 100% of matriculating students to CUSOM have lab experience, so you don’t want to stand out as one of the few who doesn’t. However, if you don’t excel in the lab, you may wish to prioritize classes that will keep your GPA up.
What Type of Student is University of Colorado Looking For?
Just a glance at CUSOM’s acceptance rates and statistics shows that they are mainly looking to serve applicants from Colorado. As previously noted, if you have a Colorado connection, make sure you highlight it in your application.
If you plan to practice medicine in Colorado, even if you are not originally from the state, you could focus on this goal in an essay, such as “why this school?” or any derivative version of that prompt. This will give the admissions committee a good reason to admit an out-of-state student to their state school.
Diversity is important to CUSOM, which offers pathway programs and support for diverse applicants.
The BA/BS-MD pathway program is designed particularly to increase representation and covers a variety of diverse groups. There are several categories listed by CUSOM, and program applicants must fit into one or more of them:
- Educationally disadvantaged backgrounds
- Financially disadvantaged backgrounds
- Federally designated rural/frontier communities in Colorado
- First generation college students
- Ethnic groups currently underrepresented in the medical community in Colorado, including:
The program is also specifically looking for students who want to practice medicine in Colorado after their education. If you want to make your medical career in the Centennial State, this pathway program is for you.
The post-baccalaureate pathway program is also for diverse students. Although CUSOM’s website does not directly identify what defines “diverse” for this particular program, the BA/BS-MD program list above is a good indicator. This program grants entry and up to $7,000 in funding after completing 24 hours of "intense undergraduate and graduate science courses prior to starting medical school.” Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA.
You should apply to these opportunities if you qualify as diverse.
With a specific rural track and a scholarship available for students enrolled in it, the University of Colorado is emphasizing a need for physicians trained for a rural environment. If this is something you are interested in, it will set you apart. Do you have a background in the wilderness? Have you been a Scout, or worked in rural environments? Do you come from a small town or have lived in the country? Putting these experiences in your secondary essays or showcasing your rural experiences – volunteer or professional – on your resume will help you with a Colorado medical school application.
Preferred Premedical Experiences and Extracurriculars
The single most-common premedical experience held by matriculating students to CUSOM was in research or the laboratory. In a recent year, 95% of the incoming students had some experience with research or lab work. This should be a priority for you: find some good, solid experience in this capacity. Go for quality work that will impress the admissions committee. With such a strong showing from the sciences, you might also want to have one of your letters of recommendation come from a lab instructor or research supervisor. You can also use some extracurricular activities as your AMCAS most meaningful experiences.
Three other experiences were about equally popular in a recent year: medical or clinical volunteer experiences (88% of students) and physician shadowing and community service (86% each). Volunteer experiences speak to an applicant’s altruism and selflessness, but more important are the medical ties here. Note that physician shadowing and medical or clinical experience will directly serve you in your studies and build a knowledge base that will prove invaluable in health care. Combine this with the fact that 55% of students had paid experience in medicine or clinics, and you can see how valuable this knowledge is to students and to CUSOM as an institution.
Wondering how to make your medical school application stand out from the crowd? Here are some ideas:
What Type of Doctor Can You Become at a Medical School in Colorado?
Colorado has a lot of wilderness and rural areas. Medical practices are different in such environments because resources are also different, and staffing can be a problem. CUSOM recognizes the need for rural-focused doctors and trains health care professionals to handle specific environments. As previously stated, note any rural experiences you have in your application, as well as any interest you have in working in rural health care, as these are highly regarded by the school. There is a specific rural track program for students to learn in rugged environments for a year and gain hands-on experience in rural Colorado communities.
A research track offered by CUSOM offers long-term exposure to research. This track gives you access to a mentor who will help you conceive of and implement a four-year research plan. With this track, along with combined degrees like the MD-PhD program, CUSOM is an excellent place for scholarly physicians to advance scientific medicine.
Global Health Physicians
CUSOM offers a Global Health track for students who wish to focus on addressing worldwide health care issues. This track requires additional work on top of your standard course load.
The most common specialties in which a graduating class trained for in a recent year were Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Anesthesiology – all of which had over 10% of the student body.
These specialties were followed by Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Surgery (General), Neurology, and ObGyn at between 5% and 9%.
Next, Radiology (Diagnostic), Orthopedic Surgery, Dermatology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Otolaryngology, and Pathology held between 1% and 3%.
Finally, 0% of students devoted themselves to Plastic Surgery.
CUSOM offers several combination degrees:
- BS-MD or BA-MD
The Trek curriculum employed by CUSOM uses a metaphor of a journey – from plains to foothills, alpine ascent, and summit – to describe the first four years of a student’s medical school training. The first two years are considered “foundational,” while the latter two are described as “individualized.”
The vision statement for the Trek curriculum is: “Our graduates will be physician leaders capable of transforming the health of diverse communities.”
The mission statement for the Trek curriculum is: “Through a longitudinally integrated curriculum, we aim to educate physician leaders who are curious, life-long learners with a commitment to serve the profession, our patients, and society.”
These goals are implemented with several pillars:
Furthermore, the Trek curriculum integrates a basic understanding of science throughout all years to give students a good, solid foundation. Primary care and clinical care experiences are emphasized in all years.
The only real issue to consider when thinking about medical schools in Colorado is whether you wish to attend school there. With only CUSOM on the list, after making your decision, it’s simply a question of using every advantage you can to improve your application.
This article, full of advantages in the form of strategies, tips, and data, should boost your willpower. Follow our expert advice and head out to your best future.
1. How many medical schools should I apply to?
You can apply to as many as you want, but you should aim for between 6 and 8. Don’t overextend yourself, but don’t just bank on one application, either. Even if Colorado is your dream school, be sure to consider others as well.
2. What are the fees associated with application to medical school?
The secondary application at CUSOM was $100 in a recent year. Sitting the MCAT also has a small fee. Fee waivers are available through the AAMC.
3. What is the best major to take in my undergrad to get into medical school in Colorado?
There is no preferred major; provided you have met the coursework requirements and demonstrated the requisite scientific knowledge, you can major in anything.
4. Does the University of Colorado Medical School take deferred entry?
Deferred entry is allowed, yes.
5. How many times can I retake the MCAT?
Three times in one year, four times in two, and seven times over your lifetime.
6. Should I take a gap year?
The question is why you’re taking it. If you take a gap year before medical school to build up funds or experience, it will show you that you are a conscientious, practical, and driven student. If you just take an extended vacation, that gap will not look good on your application.
7. How do I know which medical schools to apply to?
This is a personal choice that you should make based on the career you want. Will you thrive at this school? Can it help you learn the skills you want for your career? The more specific you are about where you want to be in five or ten years, the easier it will be to know the right schools for you. For professional support in making this decision, BeMo can help with how to choose a medical school.
8. Does the University of Colorado Medical School require secondary essays?
Yes, it does.
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