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For the first time in its 53-year history, the University of Massachusetts Medical School next fall will begin accepting out-of-state students.

The Worcester medical school will benefit financially from the extra students, who will pay about $55,000 per year compared to the approximately $38,000 for residents.

UMass Medical will continue to admit 125 in-state students each year but increase the size of the class by 25, reserving those spots for out-of-staters. The increase will occur over two years, the school said. The school will not admit international students, a spokeswoman said.

The decision, announced internally on the Worcester campus a month ago, will allow UMass Medical to compete with other public and private-sector schools while continuing to reserve most slots for locals, medical school Chancellor Michael F. Collins said in an internal memo to the campus sent in August.

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Collins spoke about the change Wednesday in his convocation speech.

“With these actions we shall increase diversity of thought, experience and background as we recruit the finest medical students to our campus,” Collins said in the speech, according to a transcript.

The medical school’s combined MD/PhD program, which already admit out-of-state students, will continue to do so, the memo said.

To accommodate the need for additional clinical and clerkship opportunities for the new students, UMass Medical says it will rely upon new partnerships with Baystate Health and Cape Cod Hospital.

The change comes as the five-campus UMass system as a whole comes under the new leadership of President Martin Meehan, who took over in July.


Contact Laura Krantz at laura.krantz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.