MSUToday
Published: Oct. 30, 2019

New initiative provides ‘enhanced opportunity’ for medical school admission

Contact(s): Geri Kelley College of Human Medicine office: (616) 233-1678 cell: (616) 350-7976 Geri.Kelley@hc.msu.edu, Kim Ward Communication and Brand Strategy office: (517) 432-0117 cell: (734) 658-4250 kim.ward@cabs.msu.edu

Xavier University of Louisiana and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine have announced an agreement that will provide an enhanced opportunity for Xavier premedical students to attend medical school at MSU.

Potential candidates for the SpartanMD Acceptance Realization Track, or Mission SMART Initiative, will receive academic advising directed at admission to MSU College of Human Medicine and will be enrolled in a program of enriching clinical and service experiences in preparation for admission.

“We are excited to welcome Xavier University of Louisiana as our founding partner with the Mission SMART Initiative,” said Aron Sousa, M.D., interim dean of MSU College of Human Medicine. “This partnership represents two institutions that share core values, including promoting the dignity and inclusion of all people. We are offering this pathway to medical school to premedical students who share our mission for responding to the needs of the medically underserved.”

“We are delighted to team up with Michigan State University to provide yet another direct avenue for our students to continue Xavier’s prominent role in the education of young African American doctors,” said Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University of Louisiana. “It is the ongoing purpose for which Xavier was founded, to find and cultivate talent, especially from African American communities, and send it forth to serve and build the nation, whether through medicine, law, whatever the need.”

According to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, Xavier ranks first among the nation’s colleges and universities in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school.

Preference for Mission SMART will be given to students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • They are a first-generation college student.
  • They graduated from a low-income high school as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • They are eligible for or a recipient of an undergraduate Pell Grant or institutional need-based grant.
  • They graduate from an underserved (health professional shortage) urban or rural area.
  • They demonstrate interest in a high-need medical specialty area.

Nationally, admission to medical school is highly competitive. This year, MSU College of Human Medicine has received 7,983 applicants for 190 available seats for first-year students starting this fall. Qualified Mission SMART premedical students are eligible for one of the seats available to the matriculating class.