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Holistic Review

​To balance quantitative assessments, such as GPA and MCAT scores, the College of Medicine employs a Holistic Review in its admissions process to consider an individual's cognitive capabilities, depth of past experiences, and personal attributes and characteristics. This type of review helps assess an applicant’s potential to become a highly competent, diverse, and caring physician.

Therefore, the admissions process will include a structured evaluation of an applicant's personal characteristics such as the following:

  • Compassion for others
  • Altruism
  • Preparation for medicine
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • Personal maturity
  • Cultural competence

Professional characteristics of interest to the College of Medicine community include:

  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Positive work habits
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork
  • Self-discipline
  • Resilience
  • Persistence

The admissions process is also interested in identifying applicants who desire to provide healthcare to communities in Central and Northern Michigan.


The Holistic Review process was developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as a means of helping medical school admission committees take personal factors into account in addition to academic factors. For more information about Holistic Admissions, visit the AAMC website

Essential Standards

Matriculation, promotion, and graduation within and from the College of Medicine requires adherence to the Essential Standards in Academic and Technical areas.

Academic standards

The College of Medicine’s Academic Standards outline the acceptable levels of mastery required in six broad areas of competency demonstrations of mastery in various disciplines, before matriculation and after, as judged by faculty members, examinations, and other measurements of performance. These areas are as follows:

  • Medical/scientific knowledge
  • Clinical Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Communication/interpersonal skills
  • Practice-based learning (engaging in self-assessment and making improvements in one's learning and performance)
  • Systems-based practice (effectively carrying out responsibilities in a complex system of medical and associated professionals)

Technical Standards

Technical Standards, also known as Standards for Capacity (SFC), are the essential aptitudes and abilities that allow medical students (and physicians) to perform in the vast array of requisite ways summarized by the six areas of competency above.

Students at CMU College of Medicine must have capacities/abilities in five broad areas:

  • Perception/observation
  • Communication
  • Motor/tactile function
  • Cognition
  • Professionalism (Mature and Ethical Conduct)

Students will read and agree to the Essential Standards for Matriculation, Promotion, and Graduation at Central Michigan University College of Medicine. To see the entire Essential Standards document, click here.