CHM Admissions Uses A Mission-Based Assessment Beyond Academics

As we've mentioned before, the reality of the medical school application process is that it is competitive. Tens of thousands of students across the country are vying for what amounts to only a few thousand spots. Sure, good grades and high scores are important to being a competitive applicant.

But that will only get you so far.

More and more schools such as the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (CHM) are looking beyond one's academic profile. Truth is, every cycle is full of applicants with terrific scores and grades. What sets you apart?

While we strive for a class with GPA and MCAT scores approximating the national average of accepted students, the CHM admissions committee uses a mission-based assessment of applicants that strongly considers nonacademic variables. For this reason, the CHM Office of Admissions does not use specific GPA and MCAT cutoffs.

That isn't to say your numbers aren't important. They certainly are. Admissions teams need to know that a candidate is capable of completing the curriculum. Yet what makes an applicant competitive is relative to what each school is looking for in a student. At CHM in particular, there are a number of factors we look to analyze. 

As a community-based medical school, a major focus of our mission at CHM is to educate future physicians interested in working with underserved populations (rural, inner city), particularly within Michigan.

With that said, the CHM admissions committee looks for applicants with whom our mission resonates. Successful applicants bring a range of experiences and interests to the College of Human Medicine, which typically align with our mission's direction and demonstrate a person's passion for medicine.

Personal characteristics consistent with the college's values are assessed via activity descriptions, application essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews. Applicants who enhance their profile by adding community service and clinical experience help their cause.

Those who get accepted to CHM can be assured they are good fit with our mission.
It's also important to note that CHM will consider students with a strong upward trend despite a lower GPA. Basically, students with significant experiences and goals clearly consistent with our mission typically demonstrate more curricular success than those with a downward trend or stable performance at a lower GPA level. 

For some right on the brink, our ABLE program may become an option. The Advanced Baccalaureate Learning Experience (ABLE) is a year-long enriched academic experience offered each application cycle to an invited group of disadvantaged students. Applicants who show promise for medicine, yet lack the science background required to perform optimally in medical school, are referred to the ABLE Selection Committee following their interview for regular admission.

The goal of the ABLE program is to build upon participants' science base through enrollment in upper-level science and medical school course offerings. Students who successfully complete the minimum requirements of the ABLE program are offered regular admission to the following year's entering class.

Each member of our entering classes can be assured that they were accepted to CHM because, out of the applicant pool, they fit CHM the best. All in all, we seek to admit students who are not only academically competent, but also representative of a wide spectrum of personalities, backgrounds, talents, and motivations.


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