It is the policy of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix (COM-P) to provide a safe environment for patients, employees, students, visitors, and the general public, as well as to protect property, by conducting criminal background checks (CBC) on all accepted applicants, on alternate applicants at the request of the Office of Admissions, and periodically as required by clinical training sites. COM-P requires a criminal background check according to the recommendation of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

  • Applicants must consent to and complete a criminal background check investigation as a condition of matriculation. 
  • Background checks will be obtained only after the applicant has received a conditional offer of acceptance.
  • An acceptance offer is contingent upon satisfactory results of a criminal background check.
  • The criminal background check must be completed by June 1st, or within two weeks of a student receiving a conditional offer of acceptance, whichever is later. If a student does not comply with the required criminal background check by matriculation, the applicant will be subject to dismissal.


I. Application: The American Medical College Application Service application includes an inquiry about felony convictions. Applicants who refuse to complete this section will not receive offers of acceptance.

II. The conditional offer of acceptance will not be considered final, and enrollment will be withheld, until completion of the background check with results deemed acceptable by COM-P. If the results of the background check(s) are not deemed acceptable by COM-P, or if information received indicates that false or misleading statements were submitted, required information omitted, or if the applicant would not be permitted to participate in any portion of the curriculum based upon the content of the report, the conditional offer of acceptance may be denied or rescinded.

III. Costs: All expenses associated with the CBC are the responsibility of the applicant/student.

IV. Confidentiality: CBC files will be maintained consistent with Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines and stored separately from students’ permanent files. Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that results of the CBC are kept as confidential as possible with a limited number of persons authorized to review results.

V. Review of Findings:

  1. Applicants: If the CBC identifies findings which may preclude acceptance, the case will be referred to the COM-P Admissions Committee for review and action. 
  2. Matriculants: Should the situation arise where a review of findings in a CBC is necessary, the COM-P Criminal History Review Committee shall review the findings. The Criminal History Review Committee will include: Dean, COM-P, and three individuals bearing the rank of educational vice dean or associate dean. Where possible the individuals will be selected from the following: dean, student affairs; dean, admissions; dean, equity, diversity and inclusion. The University of Arizona Office of the General Counsel will serve as an adviser.

VI. Action on Findings:

  1. Applicants: The existence of a finding does not automatically disqualify an individual from eligibility for admission. Relevant considerations may include, but are not limited to, the date, nature, and number of convictions; the relationship the conviction bears to the duties and responsibilities of the medical student; and successful efforts toward rehabilitation. Any decision to reject or accept an applicant with a conviction is solely at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
  2. Matriculants: When the Criminal History Review Committee determines a finding requires additional action or review, the case will be referred to the Honor Code Committee. The Honor Code Committee will conduct a hearing and recommend further action, following the process outlined in the Honor Code Policy and Committee Procedures and Process for Dismissal.  

VII. Ability to Review Information: The applicant or matriculant may review their own criminal background report received by COM-P by contacting either the dean, admissions or dean, student affairs, or their respective designees in writing. 

VIII. Right to Respond to Adverse Report: The applicant or matriculant will be asked to review any adverse information and to provide a written response for either the Admissions Committee or the Criminal History Review Committee, respectively. When appropriate, an in-person meeting may be requested to answer questions.

Curriculum Committee
  • Original Approval Date:
  • Revision/Reaffirmation Date:
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