The Central Michigan University College of Medicine is one of the many that has a mission to admit and train Michigan residents to become doctors. The school receives state funding so 80% of every new class is reserved for in-state applicants, while out-of-state applicants vie for the remaining 20% of the class. Still, the school regularly admits out-of-state, Canadian and international applicants; the latter must have at least permanent residency status in the US to apply. This article will showcase important admission information, ways to get in, and .
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“The Central Michigan University College of Medicine educates diverse students and trains culturally competent physicians to provide comprehensive health care and services to underserved populations in Michigan and beyond. Our faculty, staff and graduates advance health and wellness through exceptional education, innovative research, quality patient care and strategic collaborations to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.”
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The school has a specific mission to create the type of physician that would be well-suited to serve in small, underserved communities in and around Michigan, which is evidenced by its Comprehensive Community Clerkship. This program introduces students to community-based medicine through rotations performed at local clinics in rural communities, as well as at larger teaching hospitals.
Overall Acceptance Rate: 1.2%
In-State Acceptance Rate: 5.5%
Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 0.3%
Average MCAT of Incoming Students: 508
Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.68
Preference for master’s or PhD: No
Experience of Accepted Medical School Applicants:
The CMU-COM is a public school so it must accept a greater number of Michigan residents than out-of-state residents. While the may make it seem different, the CMU-COM is an , as it admits dozens of out-of-state applicants every year. Canadian students are also welcome to apply and do not have to meet any additional .
International students must have at least permanent residency in the US to be eligible to apply, but foreign course work and degree will not be recognized. All applicants must have completed either a bachelor’s degree in the US or Canada, and the same applies to international applicants, who must take the required courses in Canada or the US; all applicants (in-state, out-of-state) must have a full bachelor’s degree.
MCAT and GPA
Average MCAT of Incoming Class: 508
Average Overall GPA of Incoming Class: 3.68
The CMU-COM is not one of those , as it requires all applicants to submit their most recent . The school will look at your entire MCAT history but only take your highest or most recent score into consideration. There is no minimum MCAT score to apply but all applicants should strive to reach at least 500 to make it through the initial screening process, even though, it is not an official policy of the CMU-COM to screen applications based solely on MCAT scores.
There is also no minimum nor does the school require applicants to complete course work with a specific grade. The school uses a holistic approach to reviewing all applications and places as much emphasis on and as it does GPA and course work. But the most recent class had a GPA of 3.68, which is well above the unofficial minimum for most , which is 3.0.
Coursework and Undergrad
All applicants to the CMU-COM must have completed a full bachelor’s degree upon being accepted into the MD program. The school requires a full degree and does not accept 90 credits or only three-years of a four-year degree. The Admissions Committee also prefers students complete their required course work at a four-year school, even though it will accept online and community college credits as counting toward the prerequisites.
Prerequisites and Recommended Courses
The school has a small set of that focuses mostly on science disciplines. But there is no required grade and you can choose from a wide range of disciplines from each category, (biochemistry for the chemistry requirement or genetics for the biology requirement, for example). The requirements include:
- Two semesters in Biology w/lab work (acceptable courses: anatomy, biology, genetics, physiology, and microbiology)
- Two semesters in Organic Chemistry w/lab work OR one semester of Organic Chemistry and one semester of Biochemistry w/lab work
- Human anatomy
- Human physiology
- Mathematics or statistics
- Organic chemistry
- Social sciences
AMCAS Work and Activities
The CMU-COM looks for several qualities in successful medical school candidates apart from their academic performance. The school also evaluates other aspects of a candidate’s application, such as:
- Clinical experiences
- Volunteer work
- Community service involvement or leadership experience
- Research and academic awards
The school requires all applicants to have up to 200 hours of personal experiences that relate to your preparation for medical school. Students can document these experiences in the section, which is part of the overall AMCAS application used by nearly all allopathic medical schools in the US (except for ).
In the Work and Activities section, students have 15 separate spaces to describe an experience and how it prepared them for medical school. This section is a companion to the section where students can also briefly touch upon meaningful experiences that led them to pursue medicine or prepared them somehow for a career in medicine.
Sample AMCAS Work and Activities Entry
I had never stepped into my father’s lab before, but after the first time, I knew its where I wanted to be. My father was a microbiologist at a milk processing plant. I usually never got to go inside, but one day he let me visit. It was fascinating to see how much science went into the production of dairy products. My father showed me bacteria cultures growing, and how he synthesized chemicals and then I realized research and lab work were for me. I signed up for webinars given by the CDC that teach basic and advanced lab skills. I earned a certificate and I also found a job as a lab assistant working at a daily plant, just like my father.
A is exactly what it sounds like; a personal letter you write to the Admissions Committee explaining and what you have done to ensure your success in medical school and beyond. As all students submit an application via AMCAS, so take a look at the examples to see the format and understand the expectations. The personal comments essay has a 5300-character limit and AMCAS recommends students write directly into the provided dialog box to avoid formatting issues if applicants copy/paste their statement.
Students are screened based on their primary applications to determine whether they receive a secondary application from the school, or not. The secondary application is a way for the Admissions Committee to evaluate your suitability to the school’s particular values and mission. To do this, the Admissions Committee will send all qualified applicants a series of based around values and qualities the school is looks for in all its prospective students.
- Describe your motivation for applying to the CMU College of Medicine and your future career in medicine. Finally, describe how your preparation and background will contribute to the mission of the CMU College of Medicine. (1000 words)
- [OPTIONAL]: Please tell us how you were able to overcome/adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic relative to your volunteer, work or educational activities (500 words)
- [REAPP ONLY]: If you have applied to any medical school in previous cycles, what have you done since your last application to prepare yourself for a career in medicine? (500 words)
Sample Essay Prompt #2
I think the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced in me the desire to serve the public and offer the reassurance of a health professional in a desperate time. I spent most of the pandemic in lockdown with my family, but I continued taking my two final recommended courses, Genetics and Cell Theory so I could improve my GPA and because I wanted to improve my biology knowledge, in general. Since I had so little course work left, a classmate of mine told me about a volunteer position tutoring elementary students who were struggling adapting to remote learning.
I found that many of them missed in-person classes and needed a social element to bond over. So, whenever my students were sluggish or disengaged with the lesson, I would stop the class and start a conversation about the pandemic and ask them what they thought or knew about Covid. When I told them that I was a pre-med student, they started to ask a lot of questions. I remember one girl asked about her mother, because her mother had asthma. Before I responded I thought about what to say. I was at a loss for words. I wanted to be upfront but I also didn’t want to scare a child and make them worry about their parent, especially since I was not a doctor. This child was looking to me for assurance but I also felt a responsibility to tell the truth, which is that people with pre-existing conditions often have bad outcomes.
This was before the vaccine, so I could not simply tell her to get vaccinated. Finally, I told her that her mother would be alright, but she, like everyone else, had to practice social distancing, wear a mask and avoid large public spaces. I don’t know what impact that had on that little girl or whether she was reassured because I felt something was missing from my response. I was disappointed in myself that even though I was competent enough to tutor these children in sciences I wasn’t able to convey a sense of security or certainty. Ever since then I’ve wanted to gain the skills and knowledge of a confident, knowledgeable doctor so I can reassure someone that their loved one is going to be OK or be able to find the right words when the opposite might be true.
The CMU-COM asks all applicants to submit a minimum of three and a maximum of five . But it has looser guidelines concerning the sources of those letters, while also preferring students submit a pre-medical advisory committee letter over all other sources.
However, if students are unable to secure a pre-medical letter, which is often the case for who have been out of school for a long time, they can also submit letters from individuals who are professionals in their fields, and know the candidates well. The letters do not have to be specifically from academic sources, although those would be acceptable, but they must be someone who has a professional title (lawyer, doctor, professor, etc.) who can attest to your skills and positive attributes.
The school invites up to 450 students to interview virtually in the format, as the CMU-COM is a . It begins holding interviews in September until March and students who meet the requirements will be sent an invitation via email. The school assigns you a date and time so you do not have to schedule the interview yourself.
Despite its virtual format, the Office of Admissions tries to make the entire interview day as informative as possible. All interviewees will be invited to participate in the Road to Matriculation (RTM) workshops that consist of lectures and presentations about the school’s curriculum and other academic highlights.
Interviewees will also have the chance to interact with faculty and current students and address them directly in a Q & A panel session. The MMI portion of the day takes approximately two hours and applicants should review common to prepare. Students must pass through several “stations” each of which is administered by a faculty member, current student or CMU-COM administrator.
The student reads a short description of the dilemma, situation, or role-playing scenario and then performs the scenario or discusses it with the station administrator. The student’s response is judged based on qualities such as ethical decision-making, situational awareness, judgement, and critical thinking skills.
Acceptances, or final decisions, are sent out beginning in October and are sent out on a basis, since the school does not follow a set schedule for when to notify applicants. Up to 100 applicants per cycle are placed on a medical school waitlist, which is unranked so there are no first or second tiers. From this list, almost 60 applicants are offered spots if other applicants decline or withdraw their offers.
If your application is rejected, the school counsels to contact the Office of Admissions to discuss your application. The CMU-COM even posts recorded application workshops online to help students apply or re-apply if they have already been rejected. The Office of Admissions is also happy to speak with applicants one-on-one about their application, but will not disclose anything about internal Admissions Committee discussions.
Primary AMCAS Application Deadline: November 1
Secondary Application Deadline: December 3
The school uses a rolling admissions schedule so it advises all students to send their applications as soon as possible, since the AMCAS application window opens in the spring. It begins sending out notifications using rolling admissions for every stage of the application process (secondary application, interview, and final decision) so it also cautions students to remain patient as it processes the close to 8,000 applications it receives every year.
In-State Tuition: $43,952
Out-of-State Tuition: $64,062
Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses (in-state and out-of-state): $23,329
Average Debt of Graduating Students: $229,790
How long does it take to become a doctor? Check out this infographic:
Aside from the typical ways for , such as federal student loans, which 78% of medical students use to pay for , the school also gives students the opportunity to apply for , which range from service and merit-based to residency based.
1. Mission Fund Awards
These awards are for medical students who most exemplify the school’s values and mission to educate residents of Michigan to become doctors and serve in communities throughout the state. Students selected for these awards have demonstrated through some notable achievement (academic or non-academic) their commitment to driving the school’s mission forward and helping fulfill its promise to the citizens of Michigan.
2. Dean's Awards
All incoming out-of-state medical students are eligible to receive these awards, which amount to one-half the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition or a $10,000 tuition waiver per year for most students. Out-of-state are selected based on their primary and secondary applications and there is no application process, other than applying to the medical school.
The Dean's Award Selection Committee reviews all applications to find a suitable applicant based on four factors such as:
- Interest in a primary care specialty
- Interest in practicing in a rural or other underserved community
- First-generation or disadvantaged status
- Academic credentials and achievements
Students who receive the Dean’s Awards must remain in good academic standing to continue receiving the award for up to eight full semesters. The Selection Committee also shows preference to applicants who accepted the school’s offer before the April 30 acceptance deadline, which, afterward, gives students only five days to accept offers, rather than two weeks.
The CMU-COM is often celebrated as one of the , as 100% of its students match with their preferred residency program. A majority of those residencies are in primary care specialties and more than half ended up staying in-state to complete their residency training. The most popular residency was an (20) followed by other primary care fields such as a (19), psychiatry (9) pediatrics (8), and emergency medicine.
CMU-COM Residency Match Rate:
1. Four-Year MD Program
The medical school curriculum at CMU-COM integrates foundational medical science with instruction of proper clinical skills and techniques. The focus of the first two pre-clinical years is to teach students by easing students into the science-side of the curriculum. The curriculum achieves this by introducing students to the basics of medical science with two 8-week Foundational Sciences of Medicine courses.
Following this orientation period, the curriculum then shifts to examining different systems of the body similar to the systems-based approach used by many other allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. Some of the first systems that students learn about include Reproduction and Human Development, Cardio-Pulmonary, and Renal and Endocrine. More systems follow in the second year, while students also take classes in two of their other longitudinal courses, Essentials of Clinical Skills and Medicine and Society.
In these two streams, students learn more about two defining aspects of medicine, clinical skills and the roles and responsibilities of physicians in society. The ECS module lets students learn, and refine important clinical skills such as history-taking, and physical examinations, while also letting them observe and practice these skills in local primary care clinics in their first years.
Medicine and Society helps students understand the interconnectedness of issues involving medicine such as ethics, public policy, public health and equality in health care. Students also learn more about the principles of professionalism in medicine and how to uphold the expectations of a physician within the community.
The clerkship years are where students participate in main attraction of the curriculum, the Comprehensive Clinical Clerkship (CCC). This unique feature of the MD program at CMU-COM takes third-year students into a rural or other medically underserved areas in Michigan for a 16-week placement. They work two days a week at a primary care clinic in a support and learning role. They are encouraged to provide longitudinal care by following up with patients and studying patient histories to devise of new therapies or treatments.
Following the 16-week CCC, students then take various weeks in standard medical rotations clerkships such as:
- General Surgery
- Hospital Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
The dual-degree program at CMU-COM offers medical students several tracks to accommodate them so they can earn both an MD and an MBA during their time at the school. Students can apply for the dual-degree starting their second year of medical school and must complete an application form, which includes submitting a one-page describing why you want to apply and what use the degree will be to your future career.
If accepted into the program, students can choose to complete their degree requirements one of three ways:
- Apply six medical school credits to the 30-credit MBA requirement
- Take a year off between year two and three or year three and four to complete the MBA degree
This five-year program combines the standard medical school curriculum with a year of instruction in public health policy, data-analysis and gathering, population studies, and other important aspects of public health to prepare students for future roles in creating and implementing important changes to public health. Only students in their second year of study can apply.
They must complete the separate application form with the Office of Medical Education and also include a personal statement detailing why they want to pursue the degree and how it figures into their future plans. Students will apply six course credits from the medical degree to complete the requirements of the MPH, but, unlike the MBA, that will not be enough to cover the degree requirements of the Master of Public Health degree, which is why the program takes five years to complete.
The CMU-COM is split across three locations in Michigan; two different locations at the Mt. Pleasant campus, and one in Saginaw. The Mt. Pleasant campus is the main headquarters of the College of Medicine, but there is another administrative office on the Saginaw campus as well. The Mt. Pleasant campus is also the main campus of Central Michigan University, so students can take advantage of the many amenities any college campus provides its students such as housing, recreational and physical fitness facilities, study and relax areas or common areas to eat and socialize.
- Covenant HealthCare
- Ascension St. John Hospital
- MidMichigan Health
- Spectrum Health Lakeland
- Ascension St. Mary's Hospital
- Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center
- Children's Hospital of Michigan
- Great Lakes Bay Health Centers
- HealthSource Saginaw
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Diabetes and heart disease
- Women and infant health
- Mosquito- and tick-borne diseases
- Inherited and acquired mitochondrial disease
- Regional public health community education and outcomes projects
- Minority Population End-of-life Decisions
CMU College of Medicine Main Building
1280 East Campus Drive
Mount Pleasant, MI
1. What is the mission of the Central Michigan University College of Medicine?
CMU-COM's mission is to grow and expand the ranks of medical doctors in the state to include doctors from communities all around Michigan. This means creating a more diverse student population, while also pushing forward the school’s other objectives, which are to be a leader in medical education and research.
2. Do I need to take the MCAT and submit my scores?
Yes, all applicants to the CMU-COM must submit their latest MCAT scores or any score that is no older than three years.
3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?
The school does not have an official minimum GPA to apply, but if a school does not even have a suggested minimum, all candidates should aim to get their GPA to at least 3.0.
4. What kind of degree do I need to get into the MSU-CHM?
You need a full bachelor’s degree from a licensed American or Canadian college or university.
5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?
The school has a shorter list of prerequisites than most medical schools have, but students must show competency in both biology and chemistry, but can take a variety of courses to fulfill those requirements including biochemistry, anatomy, genetics, and inorganic chemistry.
6. How can I apply to CMU-COM?
The school participates in the AMCAS application service, so all primary applications are submitted online. All applicants are sent a secondary application once the primary has been verified.
7. How much does one year at CMU-COM cost?
The CMU-COM is a state school so it charges tuition based on residency. One full year of medical school for a Michigan resident is $66,431. One full year of medical school for non-Maryland residents is $87,391
8. Is it hard to get into CMU-COM?
The CMU-COM is not the easiest medical school to get into for out-of-state applicants. Out-of-state applicants need to think hard about whether they want to apply to CMU-COM, as it is very competitive and their application must be better than above-average. Meaning you must have excellent stats (MCAT and GPA), clinical and community service experience and a desire to serve in Michigan.