CHM Mission SMART Initiative

The Mission SMART (SpartanMD Acceptance Realization Track) Initiative is an enriched, interest-directed early acceptance program; to clarify, it is not an accelerated course of medical study. With this initiative, the College of Human Medicine (CHM) formally pursues and partners with like-minded undergraduate institutions, with whom we share a strong mission-fit based on graduate experiences and outcomes by providing an early admission opportunity with enriched experiences for those who are interested in becoming physicians who serve high need communities and marginalized populations.

Qualified applicants from our partner schools should pursue a program of meaningful human clinical and service experiences. They receive academic support and advising  from their home school directed toward medical school admissions in general, with additional guiding advice consistent with our college's mission. During their junior year (or the year prior to completion of their undergraduate degree), students apply to this program as a representative of their college/university. We do not impose a limit to the number of applications received from individual partner institutions.

Preferred qualities of students applying through Mission SMART include those who

  • are the first generation to attend college
  • graduated from a low-income high school
  • are eligible for need-based grants
  • express and support an interest in a high-need medical specialty area
  • hold residency status in Michigan (though not required)

Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum BCPM GPA of 3.0. The MCAT deadline is June 15th, 2024 and requires a minimum MCAT score of 500, with sub-section scores of 125 or above. Applicants to MSU CHM may choose between the CASPer Exam or the AAMC Preview Exam. Please see our CASPer and AAMC Preview pages for details on when applicant scores are due.  

We consider all courses for college level credit, including repeated courses when calculating GPA. Students may complete any major. Applicants must complete all required premedical coursework before matriculation with a grade point of no less than 2.0. Please review the CHM admission prerequisites for further prematriculation details.

If you missed the webinar regarding this year’s Early Assurance Pathways’ application cycle, please click here to view it. For just the student panel portion, click here.

Completing the Mission SMART Application

Students may access a no-cost online application via the CHM Applicant Portal in December—see our event schedule for dates. Complete the application no later than January 31, 2024. We require an AAMC ID to create a user account. To create this account number, please register for the MCAT exam. Subsequently clicking on Early Assurance Applicants after accessing the CHM Applicant Portal will allow you to create your application account.

Your premedical advisor also participates in the application process by endorsing your application and forwarding your grade transcripts and letters of evaluation. Applications without premedical advisor endorsement are not considered.

The Selection Process

Once the College of Human Medicine receives your application, we forward it to the partner school's point-of-contact premedical advisor. The advising team at the partner school establishes how and when to collect letters of evaluation and transcripts; check with your premedical advisor for instructions. The advisors submit a program endorsement letter, letters of evaluation, and transcript for a Mission SMART Initiative applicant as a complete packet to the College of Human Medicine in mid-March.

The college reviews all application materials and invites selected applicants for interview on a dedicated Early Assurance day, typically at the end of February/ beginning of March. The virtual interview experience features a ½ day Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) and a 30-minute interview with a current CHM student. 

The decision to admit a Mission SMART Initiative applicant to the College rests with the Committee on Admissions. The committee releases conditional decisions in the Spring, with final decisions on a rolling basis, as MCAT scores have been received.

Applicants accepted to the program must decide to either accept or decline the offer within ten (10) business days. By accepting an offer, applicants commit to matriculation at CHM and cannot apply to other AMCAS-participating schools. Accepted applicants will begin an active relationship with the college during their senior year. Unsuccessful applicants to the Mission SMART Initiative can begin the regular AMCAS application process without delay.

Accepted Mission SMART Initiative students can select their ECE/MCE campus (East Lansing or Grand Rapids), engage in research, seek dual degrees, and/or defer matriculation for one year if they wish. Additionally, accepted applicants are free to spend their senior undergraduate year pursuing research, study abroad opportunities, or other personal/academic interests.

Guidelines for Mission SMART Letters of Evaluation

We expect three-five letters of evaluation in support of your application. An applicant should seek individuals who are able to write strong letters and who know you well. The most meaningful letters come from people who know you well and who can convey your character and abilities based upon their personal experiences. We expect writers to sign and submit their letters using pertinent letterhead and including current contact information. We do not accept letters older than one year from that of your application.

We encourage writers to comment on non-academic qualities that expand beyond what may be reflected by your grades or address any special achievements or attributes. We especially welcome letters from writers who can attest to your maturity, empathy, moral character, reliability, interpersonal skills, self awareness, cultural sensibility, and any other special attributes or experiences.

The letter packet must include an endorsement form from an academic advisor/mentor who can discuss how you'd be a good fit for the College of Human Medicine Early Assurance Opportunity. We desire one letter from a basic science or medical science professor who can critically evaluate your academic potential, maturity, strengths and weaknesses, along with the rigor of coursework. We accept letters from graduate teaching or research assistants as long as they are cosigned by his/her/their supervising faculty mentor.

We also desire one letter from someone with clinical expertise who has observed you and can critically evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in this setting.

We welcome additional letters from people who can attest to your work and attributes in academic, clinical, employment, research, or volunteer settings. If pertinent, we ask that you include letters from people who can validate or clarify special circumstances or anticipated concerns raised within your application (ex: lower grades one semester, compelling reason for withdrawal from a class, minor institutional action).

Notice to Mission SMART Applicants: Applicants must complete the no-cost application by 11:59PM on January 31, 2024. Your endorsement packets are due from your advisors, uploaded into the portal by 11:59 PM on February 16, 2024. All transcripts must be sent to by February 16, 2024 as well.

Questions about the Mission SMART Program may be directed to:
Jessica Davison, MA
15 Michigan St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503