Academic Programs Catalog

College of Human Medicine

Program in Human Medicine


The professional program leading to the Doctor of Medicine degree has been accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association/American Association of Medical Colleges.

To achieve its educational goals, the college will:

  1. Recruit students from diverse academic, geographical, racial, and ethnic origins.
  2. Enact a curriculum for medical students that:
    1. is strongly influenced by the focus of educating primary care physicians.
    2. considers the understanding of human behavior and social processes, as well as the biological sciences, as basic to medicine.
    3. is located, to the extent possible, in communities that closely approximate the environments in which students, as physicians, will ultimately provide health care.
    4. considers the needs of the population which its students will ultimately serve.
    5. emphasizes medicine as a helping profession as well as an applied science.
    6. fosters student responsibility for self–learning, peer evaluation, interactive professional discussion, and decision making in groups of health professionals.
    7. results in the preparation of graduates to enter and complete graduate medical education.
    8. can be evaluated in terms of its intended accomplishments.
    9. can be modified based on assessment of its effectiveness.
    10. emphasizes preventive and health maintenance services in clinical practice.
  3. Provide oversight to integrated and affiliated community residency and fellowship programs that stress goals similar to those of the medical student curriculum.
  4. Promote and support graduate student and postgraduate programs in the disciplines basic to medicine.
  5. Provide programs whereby physicians and other health professionals can acquire the conceptual background and skills in instruction, educational planning, evaluation, research, and administration needed to function as effective faculty members.
  6. Conduct patient care programs that encourage and foster continued clinical excellence by the faculty and that provide students with examples of quality–evaluated and cost–effective patient care.
  7. Sponsor, organize, and evaluate continuing education programs in medically related fields of biological, behavioral, social, educational, and clinical sciences to assist practicing physicians and other health professionals in pursuing lifelong learning objectives, often by collaborating with community organizations and physicians.
  8. Collaborate with other colleges in providing educational programs and experiences that would expand the scope of health professions education in the University.


The College of Human Medicine’s Shared Discovery Curriculum is designed to be responsive to the health care needs of Michigan, the country, and in the educational best interests of diverse learners.  The curriculum represents a significant departure from present educational models by emphasizing usefulness and experience as the motivating framework for adult medical education.  It features the blending of pedagogy and action reverting back more than a century to the traditional medical education of the last 80 years.

The design of the curriculum is based on a set of guiding principles which are divided into two categories. The core principles are envisioned as the foundation to all learning within the curriculum.  The critical additional principles are critical to the college’s vision and mission and should be reflected in the experiences of any graduate of our program.

Core Principles
Adult learning/student centered
Competence and excellence
Rational instructional design
Faculty development link to the curriculum

Critical Additional Principles
Community medicine
Chronic disease
Compassion and empathy
Innovative use of technology
Cultural competence
Healthcare disparities
Future oriented
Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
accreditation standards
Multidisciplinary programming
Safety science
Continuous quality improvement model

Learning Societies

Students and faculty are organized in an Academy through the creation of four learning societies spanning the geographic campuses and medical student years in the curriculum.  The learning societies are the site of academic coordination of student learning plans as well as the home of post clinic groups that integrate and contextualize students’ experiences in clinic with the programmed content of the curriculum. The learning societies provide student mentorship, exploration of the social context of medicine and medical humanities, and peer-to-peer and near-peer support.

The college’s curriculum is organized around a core group of competencies based on residency competencies adopted by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  Additional competencies were added and others were reorganized to better align with the college’s mission. This competency structure will be used within the shared discovery curriculum.

Major Curriculum Experiences

The curriculum will be organized around three major clinical experiences: an Early Clinical Experience, a Middle Clinical Experience, and a Late Clinical Experience.  Between the clinical experiences there will be a series of intersessions which will provide an opportunity for students to focus on particular areas of strength, weakness, and interest.

Early Clinical Experience

The 24-week Early Clinical Experience begins with an 8-week lead-in Preparation for the Early Clinical Experience  which emphasizes student and patient safety in clinical settings, communication and clinical skills, the social context of clinical decisions, medical humanities, and a survey of the necessary sciences underpinning common ambulatory clinical exam procedures, diagnostics tests, and clinical findings.  Within the first few weeks of the Preparation for the Early Clinical Experience, students take the Progress Suite and develop a personal learning plan with their learning community faculty.  During the Preparation for the Early Clinical Experience students begin orientation in their ambulatory clinic site and begin learning the clinic’s processes.  As the Early Clinical Experience proper begins, students sequentially function as a medical assistant and then participate in care management activities before beginning to do focused histories and examinations on patients with common presenting conditions.

The weekly template for Preparation for the Early Clinical Experience and Early Clinical Experience student workflow includes small group sessions, a Team-Based Learning Session or Integrative Clinical Correlation, Post Clinic Group, and guaranteed Guided Independent Learning time each week.

Topics in the Preparation for the Early Clinical Experience include: introductory gross anatomy and radiological correlates for the Core Physical Exam; and integrative molecular and cellular biology of common laboratory tests and host response to pathogen.

Topics for the Early Clinical Experience Chief Complaints include: immunizations and fever, upper respiratory tract infections, knee and back joint pain, blood pressure dysregulation, palpitations, health maintenance, introduction to evidence-based medicine, depression and anxiety, dyspnea, abdominal pain, dysuria, blood glucose dysregulation, dizziness, vertigo, disequilibrium, and syncope.


The Shared Discovery Curriculum includes a series of intersessions between the Early and Middle Clinical Experiences and again between the Middle and Late Clinical Experiences designed to help students prepare for their next level of clinical work.

There are four blocks of intersessions between the Early and Middle Clinical Experiences.  Each block is four weeks long and students takes two intersessions at a time creating eight total intersessions.  Students take three required intersessions such as Medical Humanities, Health of Special Populations, and Evidence-based Medicine. Students also have the opportunity to take “catch-up” intersessions in basic sciences and clinical skills as well as take intersessions related to the college’s certificate programs.

Between the Middle and Late Clinical Experiences there are two blocks of intersessions.  Each block is four weeks long and students take two intersessions at time creating four total intersessions.  Students are required to take two intersessions such as Clinical Anatomy and the United States Medical Licensure Examination preparation. Students also have the opportunity to take “catch-up” intersessions in basic sciences and clinical skills as well as take intersessions related to the college’s certificate programs.

Middle Clinical Experience

The Middle Clinical Experience in the curriculum further integrates clinical and necessary science and humanities experiences in more complex settings and to a greater depth.  The learning society scholar groups of the Early Clinical Experience continue once a week in the Middle Clinical Experience in support of the weekly programmed large group content.  The clinical experiences of the Middle Clinical Experience are more varied than in the Early Clinical Experience but still have their own goals and objectives supported by a weekly rotation based small group precepted by faculty.

Late Clinical Experience

The Late Clinical Experience provides disciplinary clerkships to prepare students for residency and a career of learning in the specialty of their interest.  The major disciplines will be included through four-week rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery (1 and 2), required selectives in primary care and critical care and additional electives.  Because of the clinical intensity of the Middle Clinical Experience, many of these clerkships are at the level of a sub-internship.  A Human Medicine course series, Advanced Skills and Knowledge, including the recurring progress assessment suites, occurs throughout the Late Clinical Experience.


Students are required to complete 20 weeks of approved clinical electives as a part of meeting the college graduation requirements. At least 4 of the 20 weeks must be completed in the community to which the student is assigned. Students are encouraged to study broadly and/or to pursue intensively their special interests through elective programs. Elective programs may include a variety of courses offered by the college and university, research projects, or placements in hospitals other than those associated with Michigan State University. Students may also take elective courses at other medical schools.


From the first days of the curriculum, and at regular intervals throughout a learner’s trajectory, a suite of progress assessments enable students and their faculty to verify learners’ achievement of competence and readiness to advance through the curriculum.  Progress testing is a longitudinal competency assessment that facilitates adult lifelong learning.  In essence, the College of Human Medicine’s progress suite of assessments is the graduation test for the M.D. degree.  Students take the progress suite assessment and move through the curriculum as they demonstrate competency.  With some slight variation for licensure preparation, every offering of the progress suite of assessments is equivalent and students are evaluated on the assessments many times in their College of Human Medicine career.   

Pragmatism as an educational philosophical stance requires assessing thought, action and their interaction.  The curriculum utilizes a group of assessments that include the nationally-normed multiple choice examinations associated with a professional education but do not stop at the determination of simply what our learners “know.”  A core assessment is the Progress Clinical Skills Examination of actual performance with standardized patients. Other assessments in the suite include a multi-source rating by their faculty, peers, health care team members and actual patients which will indicate what our College of Human Medicine students “do.”  Portfolios of evidence containing essays, multimedia, reflections, scholarly products and projects are regularly reviewed by faculty to assure that acquisition of the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes is taking place, and that learners can receive anticipatory guidance to achieve not only competence, but excellence.  Ongoing data flow from these multiple types of assessments assure students, faculty, staff, and administration are engaging in continuous quality improvement.  Students with particular strengths, such as a strong basic science or clinical background, and weaknesses, such as a time away from formal schooling or an atypical college major, are guided to focus on particular areas of challenge and opportunity.

Progress suite assessments are offered twice a semester to students of all levels of the curriculum.  Students are required to pass the progress suite of assessments in order to advance through the curriculum.


The College of Human Medicine Committee on Admissions strives to select qualified applicants who are academically, emotionally, motivationally, and socially competent and ready for the rigors of medical school and for a career in medicine. These competencies creates graduates who meet the bio-psycho-social needs of a diverse patient population. As a community-integrated medical school in Michigan, the college’s mission focuses on educating physicians to meet the primary health care needs of the people of Michigan, including the state’s underserved rural and inner-city areas. In preparation for serving a diverse patient population, the composition of the entering class of 190 students is representative of Michigan’s general population. Students come from a variety of cultural, geographic, and ethnic backgrounds. Historically, women have comprised more than 50 percent, underrepresented minority students 15 to 20 percent, and Michigan residents 80 percent of the entering class. Since there is no preference for academic majors, applicants with varied academic backgrounds are represented in each entering class, including those with degrees in the natural sciences, applied sciences, arts, business, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.

The College of Human Medicine uses the primary application services available through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Applicants may contact their premedical advisor, or contact AMCAS at http: // for application information. The Committee on Admissions encourages students to submit the AMCAS application in June of the year prior to anticipated enrollment, but no later than the November 1 deadline date. The Committee also requires that all applicants submit Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores. The MCAT is administered multiple times throughout the year. MCAT scores are valid for three years. For more information about the MCAT, applicants should contact their premedical advisors, or the MCAT Program Office at For further information about the College of Human Medicine, request a copy of the CHM Handbook for Premedical Students, by contacting the College of Human Medicine at

The admissions process will continue the college's traditional use of holistic review, which uses a balanced assessment of academic metrics, activities, and personal characteristics, and attributes when making admissions decisions.The College of Human Medicine Committee on Admissions evaluates applicants’ AMCAS applications, including life experiences and personal statements, and letters of recommendation (personal characteristics and attributes), and academic profile (major, classes, GPA trends, MCAT scores, undergraduate institution). The Committee evaluates the applications to determine the most qualified applicants to advance to the next phase of the admissions process, the interview. Students are invited to Interview Day to learn more about the College of Human Medicine through a series of highly-structured interviews and programs. Applicant interviews consists of a one-on-one interview with a medical students and a 100-minute, eight-station multiple mini-interview that uses faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other vested individuals. Interviewers are trained to assess applicants on the qualities the College associates with becoming exemplar physicians consistent with the mission of the college.

The Committee on Admissions makes the final admissions decisions based on the following cognitive and non-cognitive considerations:

  1. Academic competence including attributes such as fulfilling the premedical requirements, grades, trend in grades, degrees earned, rigors of the degree programs, MCAT scores, research experience, and cognitive skills.
  2. Experiences consistent with a commitment and success within medicine, such as clinical experiences, non-medical community service experiences, experiences with people different from self, experiences showing commitment to a community of people, mentoring experiences, leadership experiences, and teamwork experiences.
  3. Personal characteristics and attributes that are consistent with a commitment and success within medicine, such as compassion, maturity, social responsibility, professional responsibility, morals and ethics, sociability, cultural competence, self-awareness calm-disposition, honesty, competence, and respect for others.

Minimum requirements which must be fulfilled prior to enrollment in the program in human medicine are:

  1. Completion of the baccalaureate degree.
  2. Completion of 8 semester credits or 12 term credits in each of the following areas with no final grade below 2.0:
  • General/Inorganic Chemistry Sequence including at least one laboratory
  • General Biology Sequence including at least one laboratory
  • Organic Chemistry Sequence including at least one laboratory
  • General Physics Sequence including at least one laboratory
  • English Writing courses which may include “Writing in the Major”
  • Humanities/Social Science Courses that focus on psychological and social theory, individual and/or group behaviors, and comparative cultures. Recommended Humanities/Social Science Courses include anthropology, cultural studies, economics, ethics, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, and philosophy.
  1. Mathematics through college algebra or one statistics course at the college level (requirement waived with Advanced Placement credit for Calculus 1 or placement above college algebra on a mathematics placement test).
  2. Completion of two upper-level (junior or senior level) biological science courses from the following list: biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, or physiology.

Transfer Credits

For a student who is pursuing a full-time M.B.A. degree from MSU jointly with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Michigan State University - College of Human Medicine, a maximum of 12 credits from the MSU College of Human Medicine may be transferred to the full-time M.B.A. degree program.