Michigan Health Sciences Pre-College Exposure Academy

Important Dates

Application LIVE for SPEA Program
Application Deadline TBD
Acceptance Letters Sent to Participants
Program Start Date
Program End Date

General Program Information

Thank you for your interest in the Michigan Health Sciences Precollege Exposure Academy.  Due to current institutional restrictions and general uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate communicating a final decision  by May 15.  More information about our institutional response to COVID-19 can be found at https://www.uofmhealth.org/covid-19-update


Program Eligibility


  • Applicants must be a US citizens or permanent resident in the 10th or 11th grade at time of application submission
  • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in serving vulnerable populations
  • Applicants from communities that are disadvantaged economically, educationally, or socially are encouraged to apply
  • Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative and science GPA

Location: University of Michigan Medical School

This program is offered free of charge to all selected participants.

  • The first step in planning for the future is making sure you are ready for the challenges that lay ahead. The Michigan Health Sciences Pre-College Exposure Academy (SPEA) is an entry-level residential academic enrichment program that brings together highly motivated high school students to gain exposure to healthcare professions. SPEA is designed for participants who typically come from populations underrepresented in medicine, medically under-served areas and have an interest in addressing health equity issues.  Our goal is transform medicine through development of highly qualified students who want to become future leaders in health science careers.The Institute is designed to develop the Association of American Medical Colleges Core Competencies ( AAMC Core Competencies).  The SPEA curricula are aligned to the core competencies that are fundamental to preparing students to be future healthcare professionals. 

Program Modules

Modules are implemented throughout the two-week program to meet the programmatic goals. These modules are designed to provide participants with a collegiate learning community experience and are designed to increase students’ academic development by providing Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), anatomy, physiology, and biomedical research workshops; while building a diverse, collegiate, learning community. Participants are also exposed to workshops and activities that increase students’ exposure to different cultures and increase cultural awareness.

MODULE I—Biomedical Sciences Exposure Workshops

This module includes instructional anatomy and physiology lectures, lab activities, demonstrations, and experiments designed to highlight the major organ systems through inquiry-based learning.  Students developed familiarity with the core concepts within biology and the biomedical sciences as they explored content through inquiry-based learning.  Students also explore biomedical research through a series of interactive, hands-on laboratory activities followed by a bioethics discussion. 

MODULE II— Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Workshop

This module explores the tenants of the SDoH as a key component of observable health differences in society. These sessions introduce health equity terminology, concepts, and principles allowing students to build a learning scaffold that 1) Identifies and frames SDoH principles; 2) Investigates the intertwining of policy and SDoH; 3) Analyzes the intersection of policy and SDoH in real-world situations; and 4) Considers the historical and current impact of structural inequities experienced by vulnerable populations. 

MODULE III— College Prep Workshop

This module includes SAT prep instruction, formal presentations, lectures, and panels on the academic path to college.  OHEI faculty and staff; SPEA student leaders; undergraduate, graduate, and medical students share their personal journey to higher education.  The intent of these conversations and presentations are to assist students in providing a better understanding of navigating the academic path to college. 

MODULE IV—Personal and Community Wellness

This workshop is comprised of activities and presentations designed to promote bonding among the students and construction a diverse culturally academic community.  Students will attend the Ann Arbor Art Fair, explore the U of M Arboretum, and analyze their favorite artwork at the U of M Museum of Art (UMMA). Participants will also participate in field trip(s) to build awareness and learn about the medical needs of patients requiring various levels of care. 

Targeted Activities

During the 2-week program, participants will:

  • Receive over 24 instructional hours of SAT sessions and take SAT diagnostic tests along with receiving on-line access to SAT study materials and additional tests until July 2021
  • Attend workshops on anatomy and physiology, biomedical research, health equality, the Social Determinants of Health, collegiate readiness, introduction to research, and academic wellness
  • Experience one-on-one and small group mentoring, academic coaching, and intellectual and social stimulation from SPEA staff
  • Tour U of M central campus, Medical School, and Michigan Medicine
  • Participate in fun-filled evening events highlighting cultural diversity, self-development, and the arts
  • Receive practical experiences and classroom instruction by U of M faculty and staff, graduate and medical students, consultants, and alumni to create an enriching experience


Application Requirements

You must submit your completed application before 5 p.m. EST on March 9, 2020. We encourage applicants to apply early. 

A completed application includes:

  • Submitted online application
  • Two letters of recommendation submitted online*:

1. Science or math teacher must submit a student evaluation and a letter of recommendation

2. High school counselor recommendation

  • Official transcript from your high school counselor
  • Submitted responses to essay questions

*Teacher and counselor recommendations: In the application, a student must identify a teacher and counselor who will provide recommendations. An email with a link to the MHSPEA recommendation site and password will be sent to the persons listed in the application. The recommender will need the password to enter the MHSPEA recommendation site. 


If you have any questions, please contact oheiprecollegeprograms@umich.edu or call 734-763-7726.