University of Arizona College of Medicine

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University of Arizona
College of Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine logo.jpg
Type Public
Established Tucson campus: 1967
Phoenix campus: 2007
Dean Steve Goldschmid MD (Tucson)
Stuart Flynn MD (Phoenix)
Students Total students: 581[1]
Tucson's incoming class: 115
Phoenix's incoming class: 80
Location Tucson, Arizona and
Phoenix, Arizona
, United States
32°14′27″N 110°56′46″W / 32.24070°N 110.94604°W / 32.24070; -110.94604Coordinates: 32°14′27″N 110°56′46″W / 32.24070°N 110.94604°W / 32.24070; -110.94604
Campus Urban

The University of Arizona College of Medicine is the only MD granting medical school in the state of Arizona. It has two campuses: the Tucson campus located at the Arizona Health Sciences Center on the campus of the University of Arizona and the Phoenix campus located in the Phoenix Biomedical Campus (PBC) on the former site of the historic Phoenix Union High School. Both colleges are associated with the University of Arizona, and are governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. Traditionally, the colleges accepted Arizona residents exclusively. However, in Fall 2009 the school changed its policy to allow "highly-qualified" non-residents.[2]


The school was founded in 1967 with a class of 32 students on its Tucson campus.

In 1974, the University of Arizona received $5.5 million USD from the Arizona state legislature to renovate its football stadium. A provision of this legislation (ARS 15-1630) prohibited University Medical Center from performing abortions (unless the mother's life is in jeopardy) or teaching its medical students abortion procedures. This legislation is still in effect, and could potentially impact every public medical school in Arizona, making Arizona the only state which prohibits the teaching of abortion in public universities. To address this issue, Planned Parenthood implemented a rotation for obstetrics and gynecology residents to receive abortion training. Interested residents and medical students have the ability to utilize such resources to study the medical and surgical procedures of abortion. Second and third year Ob/Gyn residents have scheduled time available to pursue training. Medical students may pursue training on an elective basis.

In 2004, the Arizona Board of Regents and the Arizona Legislature approved a plan to expand the medical school to a second, downtown Phoenix campus. The plan includes a rare and historic collaboration between the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, and a partnership with the neighboring Translational Genomics Research Institute. The 16-acre (65,000 m2) campus, centered around the renovated Phoenix Union High School buildings, will eventually be expanded to include students from the College of Pharmacy, buildings for research, as well as an academic hospital. The first 24 students arrived in the fall of 2007, and the program is planned to be expanded to 150 students in the future, more than doubling the number of MD physicians graduating in the state each year.

As of 2008, the college has graduated 3,000 students.[3]

On April 2, 2010, ASU withdrew its partnership with UA for the Phoenix campus, due to state budget cuts.[4]


The standard curriculum is a four-year program which currently graduates approximately 115 students per year. The inaugural class for the Phoenix campus had 24 students, which graduated in 2011. Enrollment at the Phoenix campus will ultimately be increased to 150 per class, and currently trains 80 students per class.

Grades in the first two years are pass/fail. In the last two years, students may choose to do clinical clerkships in either the Tucson or Phoenix area hospitals. Grading in the last two years is Pass/Fail/Honors. This system is based on the curriculum of other schools like Stanford. Curricular highlights include traditional lecture in addition to small group work including case-based learning and team learning. Also, students are paired up with physician-mentors and practice their clinical skills with patients weekly. The college also awards PhD, MD/MPH, MD/PhD, and MD/MBA joint degrees.

Admissions and rankings[edit]

Admissions to University of Arizona College of Medicine is very competitive with over 4000 applicants applying to each of the campuses. Applicants compete for 120 spots in Tucson and 80 spots in Phoenix. Beginning Fall 2010 cycle, both campuses decided to accept extremely qualified out of state applicants with a cap of 25% of the incoming class. Starting Fall of 2012 cycle, this cap was raised to 50%, due to the increase of number of seats in Phoenix campus to 80 students. The College of Medicine, along with most of the medical schools across the country, does not allow international students to take classes unless recommended by a faculty of the college and approval from the Dean under very special circumstances.[5] The average GPA and MCAT for the Class of 2018 was 3.7 and 30.5 respectively.[6] Starting from the Fall 2011 cycle, AMCAS separated the application process between Phoenix and Tucson, allowing students to apply for these campuses separately.

In 2016 U.S. News and World Report ranked University of Arizona College of Medicine at #42 in the U.S. for primary care and ranked #67 for research. University Medical Center, a nationally ranked academic hospital, was ranked #40 in Cardiology & Heart Surgery and #46 in Geriatrics. The College of Medicine ranked #7 among the nation's medical schools for Hispanic students, according to Hispanic Business Magazine.[7][8]


Tucson Campus
Years Dean
1964–1971[9] Merlin K. DuVal
1971–1973[9] Jack M. Layton (acting)
1973–1974[9] Merlin K. DuVal (acting)
1974–1977[9] Neal A. Vanselow
1977–1987[9] Louis J. Kettel
1988–2001[10] James E. Dalen
2001–2002[11] William S. Dalton
2002–2003[12] Kenneth Ryan (acting)
2003–2008[13] Keith A. Joiner
2008–2009[13] Steve Goldschmid (acting)
2009–2014[14] Steve Goldschmid
2014-present[15] Joe "Skip" Garcia (acting)
Phoenix campus
Years Dean
2007–2008[16] Edward H. Shortliffe
2008–2009[17] Stuart Flynn (acting)
2009–Present[17] Stuart Flynn


The University of Arizona is home to noted faculty, such as Dr. Andrew Weil.