GRCC, MSU College of Human Medicine expand articulation agreement, opportunities for students

Oct. 21, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College students who transfer as undergraduate pre-medical students to Michigan State University will have an opportunity to be granted an early assurance of admission to the MSU College of Human Medicine under an agreement signed today.

The early assurance of admission opportunity will provide an enhanced opportunity for admission to medical school for GRCC students transferring to MSU as pre-medical students. These students will receive academic advising directed at admission to the MSU College of Human Medicine and will be enrolled in a program of enriching clinical and service experiences in preparation for admission.

MSU College of Human Medicine Dean Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, and Assistant Dean for Admissions Joel Maurer, MD, joined GRCC President Bill Pink, Ph.D, and Provost Brian Knetl, Ed.D, and students and leaders from both schools at a signing ceremony today in GRCC’s Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall.

“Partnerships make our institutions and our communities stronger,” Pink said. “GRCC provides a high-quality, affordable education. For some students, it’s the starting point on an academic pathway to advanced degrees and, in this case, medical school. We appreciate that MSU recognizes the value of GRCC and the students we serve, and is providing these opportunities.”

Nationally, admission to medical school is highly competitive. This year, the MSU College of Human Medicine has received 7,983 applicants for the 190 seats available for first-year students starting this fall, including 20 students entering medical school through its Early Assurance Opportunity and Early Assurance Program.

“MSU College of Human Medicine is committed to providing well-qualified premedical students from Grand Rapids Community College with this pathway program for admission to our medical school,” Beauchamp said. “This is a continuation of our partnership between our institutions with a long-term vision for improving health care in West Michigan and beyond.”

The MSU College of Human Medicine and GRCC signed an articulation agreement in 2012 with Grand Valley State University. GRCC students who transferred to GVSU were granted the opportunity for admission to the medical school.

“I directly benefited from the Early Assurance Program first established in 2012 with GVSU,” said Christina Heyboer, a fourth-year student at MSU College of Human Medicine. “The expansion of this great program will give GRCC pre-medical students an additional university pathway to admission into medical school.”

Preference for EAO admission will be given to those former GRCC students who now apply as an MSU student and may not otherwise be familiar with what goes into preparing for premedical and medical school application processes. These students must also 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.

The agreement goes into effect upon the signing of the articulation agreement, but academic affairs and admissions teams from the institutions have been working on setting the program in place by aligning advising and curriculums. 


Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning. For more information, visit

Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges. For more information, visit


Since 1964, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has drawn upon MSU’s land grant values to educate exemplary physicians, discover and disseminate new knowledge and respond to the needs of the medically underserved in communities throughout Michigan. The medical school’s statewide footprint includes seven community campuses: Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Midland Regional, Southeast Michigan, Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula Region. MSU’s Grand Rapids Research Center has centers of excellence in Parkinson’s disease research and women’s health research. The college’s Flint campus is home to the MSU-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative and MSU’s public health research. For more information, please visit

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