How it works


The BA/BS-MD Program is a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver's (CU Denver) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Colorado School of Medicine located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The purpose of the program is to admit outstanding students from ​broadly diverse backgrounds who have the desire to serve the health care needs of Colorado as primary care physicians. Provided that program participants meet specific academic, non-academic​, and professional requirements, being accepted into the BA/BS-MD program enables students to earn a reserved seat in a top-ranked medical school and will allow them the freedom to explore other interests during their undergraduate college years at CU Denver.


Program Process & Details

  • The BA/BS-MD combined program will take a minimum of eight years to complete; four years of undergraduate studies and four years to complete an M.D. Students will not be able to graduate early from their undergraduate program.
  • Students must attend the CU Denver Downtown campus and complete a Bachelor's degree of their choice. A list of all undergraduate programs is available at:
  • Students will be guided in applying for scholarships to help cover their educational costs.
  • Students will be required to complete a sequence of required premedical coursework while pursuing their Bachelor's degree.
  • As a participant in the BA/BS-MD Program, students are expected to live in Campus Village Apartments (CVA) for their freshman year and participate in the Pre-Health Learning Community (Pre-Health LC). Students will live with other students who are also in the BA/BS-MD Program and with students who have similar academic interests in the Health Sciences. Program participants have the option of living off campus their sophomore, junior, and senior year.
  • Students will be required to participate in, and attend co-curricular seminars on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and participate in full time summer programs each summer of their undergraduate education. This includes participation in a three day Summer Bridge program that occurs in June prior to the start of the students’ academic career at CU Denver as well as a week long academic boot camp starting the week before classes begin in August. Participation in both of these summer programs is required. The goal of the seminars and the summer programs is to enrich a student's education and enhance their knowledge about Colorado's public health issues, and to gain further knowledge about cutting edge research and biomedical ethics.
  • Upon successful completion of a Bachelor's degree, all academic, non-academic, and professional program requirements, the MCAT, and all CU School of Medicine admission requirements, including a successful SOM Interview, students will enter the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM) to complete their M.D. degree.

Program Criteria

All BA/BS-MD students are expected to aggressively apply for all scholarships for which they are qualified; the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office on the downtown campus will work closely with successful applicants to the program.

Summer Programs and Living On Campus
An important component of the BA/BS-MD Program are summer programs designed to help students successfully make the transition to college as well as enrich their educational experiences and prepare them for medical school. Student participation in each of these summer programs is mandatory. With the exception of the Summer Bridge Program, Academic Bootcamp, and MCAT preparation and Medical School Application processes, students will be paid for the time spent in the summer programs.

  • The summer before matriculating to the University of Colorado Denver, students will be expected to participate in a mandatory Summer Bridge Program and an Academic Boot camp.
      • Summer Bridge will take place over a three day period of time in early summer after acceptance into the BA/BS-MD Program. Overnight housing for students and scheduled meals are provided.
      • The goal of the Summer Bridge Program is to help students with the transition to college by developing key skills that will set up a lifelong pattern of success.
        • Examples of the areas for skill development included in the program are:
        • Identifying and Understanding Your Learning Style
        • Time Management Skills
        • Note Taking Skills
        • Enhancing Your Communication Skills
        • Understanding and Valuing Diversity
          • Mental and Physical Wellness
        • Students will also participate in subject assessments; Biology, Math, and Chemistry. The assessments will test the student’s readiness for honors courses and their performance on each assessment will help identify any knowledge gaps they may have.
    • BA/BS-MD Academic Boot camp starts one week before the start of the academic year; Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
    • Students will be participating in intense academic and non-academic activities on the Downtown Denver Campus and at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
    • ​BA/BS-MD Longitudinal Experiential Curriculum (LEC)​ Students are required to engage in the LEC throughout their BA/BS-MD undergraduate experiences with planned periods of intensification of their activities during six-week dedicated periods during the summers between freshman / sophomore and sophomore / junior years. Periodic LEC meetings with BA/BS-MD program leadership will provide continuity and guidance to the LEC experiences. Students will receive stipends during the summers in which they participate in the LEC program.​ The LEC supports activities in three main areas:​
      • Community engagement 
      • Research (basic, translational, or population-based), and
      • Clinical experiences

    MCAT Preparation​ ​The Summer between a student's junior and senior years, students will participate in intensive Medical School Application processes. This includes, MCAT exam prep, the MCAT exam itself, the AMCAS application, and transition activities related to the School of Medicine.

Course Work - Course list and schedule pre-requisites

In order to remain in good academic standing in the Program, students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours during their first two academic years and must maintain an overall college grade point average of 3.50. In addition, students in the program cannot receive a grade lower than a B (3.0) in any of the required medical school pre-requisite courses. Finally, in April 2015, an updated version of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) was launched. Scores are reported in four sections:


  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

An appropriate score for matriculation to the CU School of Medicine will be announced at a later date. 

Students can major in any undergraduate discipline at the University of Colorado Denver that leads to a B.A. or B.S. degree. However, all students must complete the medical school pre-requisites in accordance with the course list, while pursuing their undergraduate degrees.

All students will be required to enroll in Honors General Biology I and II as well as Honors General Chemistry I and II unless they have completed these courses through a recognized IB program and received a score of 5 or better on the IB exam for each subject. Students who completed AP Biology and Chemistry courses will be asked to repeat those courses at the University. Students who have taken courses at local community colleges or are transferring large number of credits to the University need to understand that this will not reduce the amount of time they will be required to spend in this program. Early graduation is not on option through this program.

Promotions Committee

At the end of every academic year, the BA/BS-MD Promotions Committee will review the progress of each student. If concerns are raised about academic performance and or professional development of the student, they will be shared with the student and the student will be counseled and given an opportunity to address deficiencies. If problems are not adequately addressed by the student, the Promotions Committee can recommend dismissal from the program. Any recommendation made by the Committee must be affirmed by a majority of the BA/BS-MD Promotions Committee and approved by the Program Directors. 

It should be noted that dismissal from the program does not preclude a student from applying to the University of Colorado School of Medicine as a regular applicant.

Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree, all program requirements as described above, and a successful School of Medicine Interview, students will be deemed to have met the academic, non-academic, and professional qualifications for admission to the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  While completion of the BA/BS-MD program will academically qualify the student for admission to the University of Colorado School of Medicine, final admission as a student to the University of Colorado School of Medicine is conditional on meeting all non-academic qualifications of School of Medicine applicants, including but not limited to the completion of a background check.​​