The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson was established in 1967 and was the state’s first MD degree-granting college. The College of Medicine has graduated more than 4,000 physicians. It offers MD, MS, and PhD programs, residencies, fellowships, and other graduate programs, as well as undergraduate education. It is one of the few medical schools in Arizona and has two main campuses, one in Tucson and the other in Phoenix.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.
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“Advancing health and wellness of our community and beyond, while embracing diversity, in the pursuit of excellence through innovation in our tripartite mission: education, research and patient care.”
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson focuses on medical education, research, and patient care. It looks for candidates who can serve as care providers, physician scientists, clinical leaders, medical educators, and/or public health experts. If you are applying to the University of Arizona College of Medicine, make sure to highlight academic excellence, leadership qualities, and your dedication to becoming a lifelong learner.
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- Average GPA accepted: 3.83
- Average MCAT accepted: 510
- Total enrolment in a recent year: 515
- Out-of-state applicants accepted: Yes, UACOM accepts up to 50% out-of-state students
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson accepts out-of-state applicants and is one of the Canadian friendly US medical schools. Students from other countries who are accepted must receive their permanent residency status before school starts. Students who received their degree from outside the United States or Canada must complete a minimum number of units within the two countries. They will need to take all the core academic prerequisites at an accredited institution within the United States or Canada.
MCAT and GPA
In a recent year, the incoming class at the University of Arizona College of Medicine had an average GPA of 3.74. The minimum MCAT score required to apply to the medical school is 498. Scores from the past three years are valid. The medical school does not favor science majors over non-science majors during the application review process.
Tips to Improve Your MCAT Score
Tips to Improve Your GPA
If you are wondering how to get into medical school with a low GPA, there may still be time to improve your grades. If you have yet to complete your undergrad education and can still work on your GPA, consider the following tips:
If you have already graduated, take a look at some of the easiest medical schools to get into to get an idea of the least competitive medical schools based on acceptance rates, median accepted GPA, and MCAT.
Finally, if you’re still struggling with your grades, you can always consider medical schools that accept low GPA.
Coursework and Undergrad
The coursework required when applying to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson comprises 90 semester (135 quarter) hours at an accredited college or university in the US or Canada, as well as 30 semester (45 quarter) hours at an upper-division (junior/senior) level.
The MD, PhD, and dual-degree programs require that candidates have a bachelor’s degree.
Prerequisites and Recommended Courses
AMCAS Work and Activities, Experiences, and other activities sections
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson uses the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), which is a centralized medical school application processing service. The components of an AMCAS application are:
- Identifying information
- Schools attended
- Biographical information
- Letters of evaluation
- Medical schools
- Standardized tests
There is also a secondary application that is sent to eligible candidates with a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA and at least a 498 MCAT score. However, candidates who do not meet these requirements but have taken at least 12 credits of either post-baccalaureate or graduate coursework in premedical hard sciences and earned at least a 3.0 GPA can also receive a secondary application.
Taking a look at AMCAS Work and Activities in advance can help you prepare a more complete application. For the AMCAS most meaningful experiences section, you will need to provide up to 15 employment, research, volunteer, and extracurricular activities, of which a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 must be marked as “most meaningful experiences.” Each entry is given 700 characters, including spaces, but the “most meaningful experiences” are given an additional 1325 characters, including spaces. The experiences must be categorized under Extracurricular Activities, Non-Healthcare Employment, Non-Healthcare Volunteer or Community Enrichment, and Healthcare Experience. Within the AMCAS application, there will be an option to add an experience and then select the appropriate experience type. You will also need to provide information about the organization where the experience took place, your supervisor at the organization, date or date range, title of the experience, and time commitment.
Example of AMCAS Work and Activities Most Meaningful Experiences
Experience Type: Community Service/Volunteer
Experience Name: Volunteer Tutor
Contact Name & Title: Mr. Henry Payne
Contact Email: example email
Contact Phone: 495027841
Organization Name: LearnXtra Tutoring
City/State/Country: San Francisco / California / United States
Most Meaningful Experience: Yes
Dates: 10/20XX – 04/20XX
Total Hours: 500
Experience Description: The LearnXtra Tutoring group provides academic support to children from underserved communities to assist them in graduating from high school. As one of the tutors, I taught English and math to high school juniors and seniors. I spent about six months tutoring youth who needed help and was eventually approached by my employer to work with them full-time.
Most Meaningful Experience Remarks: I joined LearnXtra Tutoring in October of 20XX, as they needed a volunteer tutor. Due to my knowledge and experience in core subjects like English and math, this opportunity was ideal for me. I value education, and from day one, I knew that I was going to have a great time working at LearnXtra Tutoring.
When I met my first group of students, I discovered that some of them had some form of learning disability. While it was quite challenging to work with them at the start, I was able to devise a learning plan that they found manageable. I was asked to give two hours daily at the tutoring center, but I added an extra hour each day to address the concerns of some of the students. This allowed the students to become more confident in not only approaching me but also in sharing their issues during class.
I think that the extra time and effort I put into helping these students, and the appreciation they showed for it, were the reasons I was offered a full-time position at the center. Unfortunately, at the time, I could not accept the offer, but I continued to monitor the progress of my students, even after I completed my tenure at LearnXtra. This experience cemented my desire to continue to build my talents, skills, and empathy to better help underserved communities.
What Does the University of Arizona College of Medicine Value?
The medical school looks for exceptional applicants with a range of personal and professional strengths. Candidates must have an appreciation of the humanities, respect for ethics in personal and professional life, critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills, and a solid foundation in the sciences. Make sure to highlight these qualities in your personal statement, letters of recommendation, and interview.
Personal Statement/Application Essays
The AMCAS personal statement or “personal comments” essay is part of the AMCAS primary application process. Some of the points that you may want to address in your personal statement are “why do want to become a doctor?”; what motivates you to learn more about medicine; and what you want medical schools to know about you that has not been disclosed in other sections of the application. Additionally, you can talk about hardships and challenges you may have faced that influenced your academic path. You can also explain significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained elsewhere in your application.
Note that there is a 5,300-character limit for the personal comments essay, including spaces. Students applying to an MD-PhD program must complete two additional essays: the MD-PhD Essay and the Significant Research Experience Essay.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine sends a secondary application to eligible candidates who have completed their AMCAS application. This holistic review process considers a candidate’s academic and personal circumstances, as well as their overall fit within the university.
The secondary essay prompts that are given by the medical school change with time. They can include questions like:
- Please share a meaningful experience while working or volunteering in the health professional field.
- Talk about a time when you were responsible for the care and well-being of someone else. What did you learn from this experience?
- Discuss a time when you failed at something other than an academic experience. How did you confront the failure and what did you learn from it?
- Describe the role you can play in helping the college with its mission.
- Describe the effect of experiences with engaging diversity on your own growth and development.
- Share any disruptions in your academic/volunteer/work/personal life related to COVID-19 that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider.
Students applying to the University of Arizona College of Medicine will need to submit three letters of recommendation (LOR). One of them must be from a clinical setting. The medical school gives you two options for your LORs:
- 1 clinical letter from an MD, volunteer coordinator, RN, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider. Someone who has seen you interact with patients, family members, and other staff members.
- 2 letters from other professionals
In case you have obtained a committee letter, it will be considered sufficient to meet the minimum requirement of three letters of recommendation. However, you will still need to submit one letter from a physician or clinical supervisor.
- 1 letter packet/committee packet
- 1 clinical letter from an MD, volunteer coordinator, RN, nurse practitioner or other health care provider. Someone who has seen you interact with patients, family members, and other staff members.
The admissions committee is looking for an accurate and in-depth evaluation of qualities, such as motivation to attend medical school, commitment to the practice of medicine, maturity, and character. If you are asking yourself the question, “can you add letters of recommendation after submitting AMCAS,” the answer is yes! This is one of the three sections of the application that can be modified after submission.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine is one of the medical schools that use MMIs (multiple mini-interviews). This is a situational judgment test comprised of 8–12 virtual stations, including 1 or 2 rest stations. It allows different interviewers to assess a candidate’s reaction to different types of questions and scenarios that reflect real-life situations. Candidates will interact with interviewers for seven minutes per station, with a two-minute break between stations.
Reviewing some of the hardest MMI questions and answers can help you familiarize yourself with the format and get an idea of the type of questions that can be asked.
Want to know how you can get the best medical school letters of recommendation? Watch this video:
Acceptance and Waitlist Information
The medical school typically sees 35–50 students on the waitlist per cycle. In a recent year, it offered an acceptance letter to 25 students on the waitlist. Students on the waitlist are notified via email and phone call. They have a maximum of five days to accept or decline the offer.
Applications for the MD program open May 3, and the deadline for the primary application is November 14. Candidates will have 21 days from the date they receive a request for a secondary application to complete it. August to March is interview season at the College of Medicine. Decisions are announced between October and April.
Students applying to the University of Arizona College of Medicine should note that the “Plan to Enroll” option becomes available for accepted students on February 22. The “Commit to Enroll” option becomes available on May 2. By June 24, candidates are required to select the “Commit to Enroll” option.
The primary application deadline for the MD/PhD program is September 1. Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway Program applications open July 1, and the deadline is October 31. The Accelerated Pathway to Medical Education program applications open September 12 with a deadline of January 20.
Tuition and Debt
The total cost of attendance for in-state students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine is $63,803, of which tuition and fees are $35,942. For out-of-state students, the cost of attendance becomes $83,937 or $56,076 in tuition and fees. The average graduate indebtedness is $193,788 for students finishing their program at the medical school.
At the University of Arizona College of Medicine, all students are automatically considered for scholarships. Priority is given to those who demonstrate financial need and commitment to fulfill the mission of the college. No additional application is required to apply for scholarships. The scholarships offered by the medical school are:
Primary Care Physician Scholarship: up to 10% of University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson students are eligible to receive free tuition through this scholarship.
Future Physicians Scholarship: this includes financial aid and academic support for up to seven Navajo scholars every year. Those who are selected for this scholarship must serve the Navajo people for a minimum of five years.
There are several external scholarship opportunities as well, such as:
- Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships
- National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) scholarship
- White Coat Investor Scholarship
- National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship
- Wellsford and Mildred Clark Medical Memorial Scholarship
- Jim Troxell Foundation Scholarship
- Make It So Foundation Scholarship
- American Indian Education Foundation
- Cobell Scholarship
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Indian Health Service
- Guinn B. Burton Medical Scholarship Fund
- National Italian American Foundation
- Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS) Scholarships Opportunities
- Association on American Indian Affairs, Inc
- Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship
- JFK Foundation Scholarships
- American Indian Education Fund
- Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program
- Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century Pocahontas Scholarship for Native American Students
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- Workforce-Ready Master’s Fellowship Application
- Helen Roberti Scholarship
- Native Graduate Health Fellowship
- Ida Foreman Fleisher Fund Application
- American Indian College Fund
- American Indian Educational Foundation
- American Indian Graduate Center
- Tylenol Scholarship
- Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Law School Diversity Scholarship and Application
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program
- Minority Scholars Award
- Pisacano Leadership Foundation Scholarships
- AMA Foundation Scholarship Forms
- American Indian Graduate Center
- Patt Tillman Foundation
- I Have a Dream Scholarship
- Clinical Sport medicine Endowment
- 8th Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest
- Chinese American Physicians Society
Graduates from the University of Arizona College of Medicine can practice in the US and Canada.
Review of Available Programs
The programs offered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine are as follows:
The MD program is designed to produce highly skilled physicians who not only diagnose, treat, and prevent disease, but also pose and pursue research questions, follow the latest scientific literature, apply new knowledge to practice, participate in professional discourse, and engage with the social, ethical, and economic challenges facing modern health care.
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) – MD-PhD Program
This program is for students looking for careers in academic medicine or biomedical research. It is research-intensive, and the dual-degree program gives students the opportunity to grow as both individuals and independent physician-scientists.
Residency and Fellowship Programs
The University of Arizona College of Medicine sponsors over 70 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs. Residency options include Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine South, Emergency Medicine/Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Family Medicine South, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine South, Interventional Radiology Integrated, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Ophthalmology, among others.
The undergraduate majors offered by the University of Arizona College of Medicine are the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Physiology and Medical Sciences (Physiology Major), Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Bachelor of Science in Medicine.
Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway (P-MAP) Program
This is a 13-month, full-time, intensive medical school preparation program for students who have faced challenges, such as educational inequity, language obstacles, and family and work commitments.
MS and PhD Programs
These programs include an MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering, PhD in Cancer Biology, MS in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, PhD in Molecular Medicine, MS in Clinical Translational Sciences, PhD in Clinical Translational Sciences, PhD in Cognitive Science, PhD in Genetics, MS in Medical Pharmacology, PhD in Medical Pharmacology, PhD in Neuroscience, and MS and PhD in Physiological Sciences.
Dual-Degree MD Programs
These include the MD-PhD, MD-MPH, and MD-MBA dual-degree programs.
Detailed Academic Curriculum of the MD program
The MD program offered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine has a three-phase holistic curriculum that has been designed with their educational competencies in mind, as expressed through the program objectives. It uses an organ-systems structure in a logical and reinforcing sequence.
There are 45 hours per unit/week of learning events, of which 20–24 per week are spent on blocks/courses/pathways in health and medicine. Four hours are spent on Doctor & Patient/Societies, two are spent on a Clinical Reasoning Course, and 13 to 15 hours are protected time for self-directed and lifelong learning.
Right from the first week, students will participate in patient care and other clinical experiences. The program gives students the opportunity to gain skills and participate in interprofessional teams across the health professions.
Campus and Faculty
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is located at 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, PO Box 245017, Tucson, Arizona 85724. It is part of the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) campus, which also includes a network of colleges and the attached teaching hospital, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. The campus also houses 29 academic units, which include basic science departments, clinical departments, and centers committed to research. The multidisciplinary centers at the College of Medicine include the Arizona Aids Education and Training Center, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Arizona Center on Aging, Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center, Steele Children’s Research Center, University of Arizona Arthritis Center (UAAC), Sarver Heart Center, Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute, and Valley Fever Center for Excellence.
Students can get help by contacting the following:
Tejal M. Parikh, MD
Associate Dean, Admissions
Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine - (Educator Scholar Track) (Career Track)
Director, Life Cycle Block
Larissa M Gronenberg
Admissions Coordinator, Sr
Accelerated Pathway to Medical Education
Honors Early Assurance Program
Mona R. Lopez
Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway Program
Affiliated Teaching Hospitals
Banner – University Medical Center Tucson
The medical school has ongoing research in the following fields:
- Cellular & Molecular Medicine
- Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Emergency Medicine
- Endocrinology (Department of Medicine)
- ENT Surgery
- Family & Community Medicine
- Gastroenterology (Department of Medicine)
- Medical Imaging
- Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine (Department of Medicine)
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Ophthalmology and Vision Science
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Otolaryngology (Head & Neck Surgery)
- Radiation Oncology
Official admissions office website: https://medicine.arizona.edu/admissions/staff
Email of the admissions office: [email protected]
Address: 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, PO Box 245017, Tucson, Arizona 85724
Phone number: (520) 626-4555
1. What application process does the University of Arizona College of Medicine use?
The medical school uses the AMCAS centralized application system.
2. How many letters of recommendation are required to apply to the University of Arizona College of Medicine?
Students applying to the medical school are required to submit three letters of recommendation. One of them must be from a clinical setting.
3. What is the cost of attendance for in-state students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine?
In-state students can expect to pay $63,803 as the cost of attendance, of which tuition and fees are $35,942.
4. Does the University of Arizona College of Medicine accept international students?
Unfortunately, the medical school does not accept international students.
5. I completed my undergraduate degree outside the United States; do I need to complete any units within the country?
Students who received their degree outside the United States or Canada must complete a minimum number of units within the two countries. They will need to take all the core academic prerequisites at an accredited institution within the United States or Canada.
6. What interview format does the University of Arizona College of Medicine follow?
The admissions office conducts virtual multiple mini interviews (MMIs).
7. When are interviews conducted at the University of Arizona College of Medicine?
August to March is interview season at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
8. What is the deadline for primary applications to the MD program?
The deadline for applying to the MD program is November 14.
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