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 sciences is conducted through the Preprofessional Advising Office in the University Club. Check the pre-health advising website for information on prerequisite courses, events, volunteer opportunities, student pre-health organizations, applications and many other useful resources. Students should attend a pre-health advising session at orientation, then begin to follow the Pre-Health Pathway sequence of meetings early in their undergraduate careers to help plan course work and extracurricular experience in preparation for applying to programs of their choice. Current students and alumni may schedule pre-health meetings through MyCUHub. The Preprofessional Advising Office offers an extensive array of workshops and informational meetings, as well as a spring Health Professions Information Day.