Students can prepare to enter the undergraduate professional health science program in nursing at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado by taking courses on the Boulder campus.
Students whose goals include entering the medical, dentistry, physical therapy, physician assistant, pharmacy or public health programs and schools at the Anschutz Medical Campus, or the veterinary medicine or occupational therapy programs at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, can complete any undergraduate major at CU Boulder. In most cases, these students are required to complete a baccalaureate degree before entering professional school. In fact, a baccalaureate degree is recommended for most health professions.
At the time of application to a professional school, students are judged on several factors, including performance in undergraduate courses. For this reason, no required course may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Some fields require specific preprofessional examinations before application. For most fields, interviews are an essential part of the application process.
In all cases, admission committees are concerned with students' compassion, coping and decision-making abilities, intellectual capabilities, realistic self-appraisal, sensitivity in interpersonal relations and staying power (physical and motivational). In addition to formal course work, students should have experience in people-related activities (especially those related to their field of choice), so that they can be more certain of their motivation for health careers. Also, health-related activities expose premed and other health science hopefuls to various patients and illnesses. The health professions require, or strongly recommend, such experience.
Some of the professional programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus give preference to Colorado residents and residents of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) states; interested students should check with individual programs for specific policies. Students from other states usually can obtain at CU Boulder the preprofessional courses required by their state schools, but should check with those schools in advance. Students are encouraged to apply to their state school, as well as to other public and private professional schools, to increase their chances of gaining acceptance to the professional program of their choice.
During the preprofessional years, personal intellectual development leads many students to change professional goals. Since there are usually more applicants for these programs than there are spaces available, many students need to pursue alternative goals. Therefore, students should plan college programs to give themselves the greatest flexibility in considering other vocations.
Advising for preprofessional study in the health professions is conducted through Career Services office in the Center for Community. Check the Health Professions Advising website for information on prerequisite courses, events, volunteer opportunities, student pre-health organizations, applications and many other useful resources. Students should attend a health professions advising session at orientation, and begin working with a health professions advisor on exploring options, planning extracurricular experiences and utilizing their resources to prepare for applying to programs of their choice. Current students and alumni may schedule health professions advising appointments through MyCUHub. Career Services offers an extensive array of workshops and informational meetings, as well as the Health Professions Expo.