Best Medical Schools in Colorado - Complete List (2024)

February 22, 2024
6 min read
Contents

”Luke

Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 2/22/24

Considering attending medical school in Colorado? Read on to learn more about Colorado schools and what you need to apply! 

Despite a rapidly rising population, Colorado only has two medical schools. Both offer unique experiences regarding their locations, curriculums, and post-degree employment opportunities. 

We’ll explore admissions requirements, mission statements, and tips on how to get accepted into medical schools in Colorado. 

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List Of Colorado Medical Schools 

There are only two Colorado medical schools: the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Here’s a breakdown of important data you should know: 

University of Colorado School of Medicine Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Location Aurora Parker
Ranking 26 Unranked
GPA 3.7 3.60
MCAT 517 504
Tuition $44,754 (in-state) $64,254
Acceptance Rate 2.8% 7.9%

University of Colorado School of Medicine 

The University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM) is situated within the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado, one of the nation's newest healthcare campuses. UCSOM’s acceptance rate is 2.8%

Its mission is to provide “Colorado, the nation and the world with programs of excellence in” education, research, patient care, and community service. This school is not only one of the best medical schools in Colorado but is also ranked by U.S. News World and Report as the country’s eighth-best medical school for primary care. 

Application Timeline 

All applicants to UCSOM must apply through AMCAS. The UCSOM application cycle is as follows: 

Application Step Deadline
Earliest filing date for AMCAS primaries Late May
Earliest filing date for supplemental application Mid-July
Interview season begins September-March
Admission offers released on a rolling basis Mid-October
AMCAS primary application deadline Mid-October
Secondary application deadline Late November

Requirements 

UCSOM is interested in what you can offer beyond your standardized grades and test scores.

Karina Goodwin, UCSOM’s Senior Admissions Professional, says, “we really pride ourselves in that we use a very holistic review process when we are looking at applicants. We’re essentially looking for authenticity. We are looking for the entire package, not just the perfect applicant on paper.”

Degree and Coursework

Every candidate must obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.

The UCSOM admissions committee states they "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.”

According to the committee, demonstrable knowledge and competency in the following areas of study are essential for a competitive application: 

  • Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Mathematics/Statistics and Physics
  • Biology
  • Social Sciences and Communication

Additional recommended coursework includes: 

  • Computer Sciences
  • Genetics
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Biochemistry 

The academic requirement for attending UCSOM is rigorous; the median GPA of accepted students is 3.7

MCAT Scores

Prospective students must take the MCAT, and the median score of accepted students at UCSOM is 517.

Letters of Recommendation 

Applicants are required to obtain three to five letters of recommendation. Typically, these are written by current employers, physicians, and supervisors. 

Selection Criteria 

Congrats! You’ve progressed to the secondary application stage. The UCSOM secondary application consists of:

  • Required UCSOM essay
  • CASPer and Duet test results
  • Optional essays of interest in branches or programs (Colorado Springs Branch, Fort Collins Branch, Rural Program)
  • $100 supplementary application fee 

UCSOM Essay 

The UCSOM secondary essay has a 500-word limit: 

“Please do not repeat content from your AMCAS personal statement in these essays. To the extent that there is overlap in the personal statement to what you want to write here, please choose a different approach to discussing the issue(s), such as influence on your values and beliefs, changes you made in your life, reflections that are from a different perspective. The committee utilizes this important information in the selection process. The pillars of our curriculum are Leadership, Curiosity, and Commitment. Tell us about how you have embodied one or more of these attributes in your path to medicine thus far. In which of these areas do you see the most opportunity for personal growth and why?”

CASPer Test 

Once you reach this stage, you must complete the CASPer test. This is an “online test which assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics” that UCSOM believes “are important for successful students and graduates.” 

You can only take the CASPer test once per admissions cycle. For future admission cycles or different program types, you must take a separate CASPer test. 

Interview 

After reviewing secondary applications, the admission committee narrows down the applicant pool and sends interview applications. 

According to UCSOM, “applicants are selected for an interview using holistic review, a flexible, individualized way of assessing applicants’ capabilities in which balanced consideration is given to experiences, attributes and academic metrics and, when considered in combination, how the individual might contribute value as a medical student and physician.” 

Focusing upon the “assessment of intra- and interpersonal competencies needed for the practice of medicine,” these interviews are in a mixed format that includes a traditional interview, a small group interview, and observation of a group activity

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Located in Parker, Colorado, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) takes the second spot on the list of medical schools in Colorado and is also the first for-profit medical school in the U.S. The Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s acceptance rate is 7.9%.

Its mission is “to educate and inspire students to become highly competent osteopathic physicians and lifelong learners prepared to meet the diverse healthcare needs of tomorrow through compassionate service, relevant research, and innovative education.”

Application Timeline

All candidates must apply through AACOMAS. RVUCOM’s admissions process is as follows:

Application Step Deadline
AACOMAS application due Mid-March
Applications processed Late March to Late April
Supplemental application due Mid-April
Interviews conducted Various dates

Requirements 

To help you understand what you need to get into RVUCOM, let’s look at the admissions requirements.

Degree and Coursework

Before enrollment, you must complete a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. The courses must take include: 

  • Biology (12 semester hours including lab)
  • Physics (8 semester hours including lab)
  • Biochemistry (3 semester hours)
  • English or Literature (6 semester hours)
  • Social or Behavioral Sciences (6 semester hours)
  • General Chemistry (8 semester hours including lab)
  • Organic Chemistry (8 semester hours including lab)

RVUCOM states that “additional upper-division coursework such as Human Anatomy, Physiology, Genetics, and Cellular Biology is highly recommended.” 

A minimum science and cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. On average, however, accepted candidates have GPAs greater than 3.6 (3.54 was the average GPA of accepted applicants in a recent cycle).  

MCAT 

The average MCAT score of accepted candidates is 504.

Letters of Recommendation 

Submitted through AACOMAS, RVUCOM requires you to submit three letters of recommendation, which include: 

  • A letter from an academic reference 
  • A letter from a healthcare provider (DO or MD preferred) 
  • A letter from a source or your choice

CASPer Test 

Candidates are not required to take the CASPer test. 

Interview 

Though there is no supplemental application, successful applicants are invited for an interview. These often take the form of 35-minute, two-member panel interviews. 

Tips for Getting Accepted into Medical Schools in Colorado

These tips from authoritative sources can make getting into a medical school in Colorado easier. Dr. Vaughn Browne, Chairman of the Colorado School of Medicine Admissions Committee, states, “GPA is not the only consideration for admission, it is only one of five different areas in which each student is evaluated.” 

Gaining experience in patient care through clinical research, shadowing a physician, or hands-on clinical experience is an excellent idea.

Goodwin states, "we’re looking for people who can apply what they’ve been learning in the classroom to outside experiences, whether that be research, or clinical experience, or diversity and inclusion [experiences], or any way that they can get a patient perspective.” 

Phil Bennett, a fourth-year medical student at Rocky Vista, suggests prospective students should “talk to and ask current students what the student body is like.” 

“Get a feel for the personality of the school,” Bennett continues, “as you’ll spend hours with these students, and you’ll work together throughout your journey to becoming a physician.” 

FAQs: Colorado Med Schools 

Still have questions about getting into Colorado med schools? Check out these FAQs!

1. Does One of RVUCOM’s Required Letters of Recommendation Have To Come From a DO?

Though a letter of recommendation from an MD or DO is preferred, RVUCOM accepts letters from any healthcare provider or health professional who has worked with you, supervised or unsupervised. 

2. How Many Medical Schools Are In Colorado? 

There are only two med schools in Colorado. 

3. Which College in Colorado Has the Best Medical Program? 

Going only by rankings, the University of Colorado School of Medicine is the best school. 

4. How Many DO Schools Are In Colorado? 

There’s only one DO school: the Rocky Vista University College Of Osteopathic Medicine. 

5. Is Rocky Vista a Good Medical School? 

While Rocky Vista is unranked by U.S. News, Rocky Vista is an excellent option for Colorado residents ready to pursue a DO.

Final Thoughts

Despite there only being two medical schools in Colorado, both provide unique experiences, divergent curriculums, and varying training modalities. 

Focus on acquiring hands-on clinical experience, ace your MCAT and CASPer Tests, and approach the interview calmly and confidently. This will help you put yourself in the best position possible to get accepted at Colorado medical schools. Good luck!

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