Bryn Mawr

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Application | Admission Plans | Entrance Tests and Interviews | Early Admission and Deferred Entrance | Advanced Placement and Credit | Transfer and International Students | Special Academic Programs

Bryn Mawr College is interested in candidates of character and ability who want an education in the liberal arts and sciences and are prepared for college work by a sound education. The College has found highly successful candidates among students of varied interests and talents from a wide range of schools and regions in the United States and abroad. In its consideration of candidates, the College looks for evidence of ability in the student’s high-school record, the challenge of her program of study, her rank in class, and her College Board or ACT tests; it asks her high-school adviser and several teachers for an estimate of her character, maturity and readiness for college.

Candidates are expected to complete a four-year secondary school course. The program of studies providing the best background for college work includes English, languages and mathematics carried through most of the school years and, in addition, history and a laboratory science. A school program giving good preparation for study at Bryn Mawr would be as follows: English grammar, composition and literature through four years; at least three years of mathematics, with emphasis on basic algebraic, geometric and trigonometric concepts and deductive reasoning; three years of one modern or ancient language, or a good foundation in two languages; some work in history; and at least one course in a laboratory science, preferably biology, chemistry or physics. Elective subjects might be offered in, for example, art, music or computing to make up the total of 16 or more credits recommended for admission to the College.

Since school curricula vary widely, the College is fully aware that many applicants for admission will offer programs that differ from the one described above. The College will consider such applications, provided the students have maintained good records and continuity in the study of basic subjects.


Bryn Mawr College accepts the Common Application with a required institutional supplement. The Common Application is available from the Bryn Mawr College Office of Admissions, high school guidance offices and through the Internet (see The required Bryn Mawr College Common Application Supplement will be provided to applicants or can be downloaded from the College’s Web site as well. A fee of $50 must accompany the application and is not refundable.

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Admission Plans

Application to the first-year class may be made through one of three plans: Regular Admission, Fall Early Decision or Winter Early Decision. Applicants follow the same procedures, submit the same supporting materials and are evaluated by the same criteria under each plan.

The Regular Admission Plan is designed for those candidates who wish to keep open several different options for their undergraduate education throughout the admission process. Applications under this plan are accepted anytime before the January 15 deadline.

The two early-decision plans are designed for candidates who have thoroughly and thoughtfully investigated Bryn Mawr and other colleges and found Bryn Mawr to be their unequivocal first choice. The Winter Early-Decision Plan differs from the Fall Early-Decision Plan only in recognizing that some candidates may arrive at a final choice of college later than others. Early-decision candidates under either plan may file regular applications at other colleges with the understanding that these applications will be withdrawn upon admission to Bryn Mawr. Early-decision candidates who apply for financial aid will receive a financial-aid decision at the same time as the decision about admission. Any early-decision candidate who is not admitted through either the fall or winter plan and whose application is deferred to the Regular Admission Plan will be reconsidered without prejudice along with the regular admission candidates in the spring.

Timetables for the three plans are as follows.

Fall Early Decision

Closing date for applications and all supporting material: November 15
Notification of candidates: byDecember 15

Winter Early Decision

Closing date for applications and all supporting materials: January 1
Notification of candidates: by January 31

Regular Admission

Closing date for applications and all supporting materials: January 15
Notification of candidates: by mid-April

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Entrance Tests and Interviews

For students applying for entrance in the Fall of 2005, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) and three SAT II tests of the College Entrance Examination Board are required of all candidates and should be taken as early as possible, but no later than January. If possible, SAT II tests should be taken in current subjects. Students should offer three of the one-hour tests: one in Writing and two in other subjects.

For students applying for entrance in the Fall of 2006, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) and two SAT II tests of the College Entrance Examination Board are required of all candidates and should be taken as early as possible, but no later than January. If possible, SAT II tests should be taken in current subjects. Students should offer two of the one-hour tests in the subjects of their choice.

In general, the College recommends, but does not require, that one of the SAT II tests be taken in a foreign language because a (recentered) score of 690 or above satisfies part of an A.B. degree requirement (see The Academic Program for details on language exemption).

Candidates are responsible for registering with the College Entrance Examination Board for the tests. Information about the tests, test centers, fees and dates may be obtained by writing to the College Board, P.O. Box 592, Princeton, New Jersey 08542-0592 or on the College Board Web site at

For students applying for entrance in the Fall of 2005 or 2006, students may submit the ACT of the American College Testing Program in lieu of the SAT I and SAT II tests. All tests must be completed by the January test date.

An interview either at the College or with an alumna area representative is strongly recommended for all candidates. Interviews should be completed by the deadline of the plan under which the candidate is applying. Appointments for interviews and campus tours should be made in advance by writing or telephoning the Office of Admissions at (610) 526-5152. The Office of Admissions is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. From September to January, the office is also open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A student who is unable to visit the College may write to the Office of Admissions for the name and address of an alumna representative in her area.

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Early Admission and Deferred Entrance

Each year a few outstanding students enter the College after the junior year of high school. Students who wish to apply for early admission should plan to complete a senior English course before entrance to the College and should write to the dean of admissions about application procedures. An interview, on campus or with an alumna area representative, is required of early admission candidates.

A student admitted to the College may defer entrance to the freshman class for one year, provided that she writes to the dean of admissions requesting deferred entrance by May 1, the Candidates’ Reply Date.

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Advanced Placement and Credit

Students who have carried advanced work in school and who have honor grades (5 in Art History, English, Environmental Science, French, Government and Politics, History, Music Theory, Psychology and Spanish; 4 and 5 in most other subjects) on the Advanced Placement Tests of the College Board may, after consultation with the dean and the departments concerned, be admitted to one or more advanced courses in the first year at the College. Bryn Mawr accepts advanced placement tests with honor grades in the relevant subjects as exempting the student from College requirements for the A.B. degree. With the approval of the dean and the departments concerned, one or more advanced placement tests with honor grades may be presented for credit. Students receiving six or more units of credit may apply for advanced standing. The advanced placement tests are given at College Board centers in May.

Students who present the full International Baccalaureate with a score of 30 or better and honor scores in three higher-level exams (6 and 7 in English and History; 5, 6 and 7 in other subjects) normally receive one year’s credit; those with a score of 35 or better, but with honor scores in fewer than three higher-level exams, receive two units of credit for each honor score in higher-level exams plus two for the exam as a whole; those with a score of less than 30 receive two units of credit for each honor score in a higher-level exam.

Depending on their grades, students who present Advanced Levels on the General Certificate of Education may be given two units of credit for each subject. Up to a year’s credit is often given for the French Baccalaureate, German Abitur and for similar diplomas, depending upon the quality of the examination results. Students may also consult the dean or the director of admissions about the advisability of taking placement tests given by the College during Customs Week, Bryn Mawr’s orientation for new students.

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Transfer and International Students

Each year a number of students are admitted on transfer to the sophomore and junior classes. Successful transfer candidates have done excellent work at other colleges and universities and present strong high-school records that compare favorably with those of women entering Bryn Mawr as first-year students. Students who have failed to meet the prescribed standards of academic work or who have been put on probation, suspended or excluded from other colleges and universities will not be admitted under any circumstances.

Transfer candidates should file applications as early as possible but no later than March 15 for entrance in September, or no later than November 1 for the second semester of the year of entrance. Application forms and instructions may be requested from the director of admissions.

Transfer candidates are asked to submit official test reports from the College Board of the Scholastic Aptitude and Achievement Tests taken in high school. Those who have not previously taken these tests are required to take only the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Test registration information may be obtained by writing to the College Board, P.O. Box 592, Princeton, New Jersey 08542-0592 or on the College Board Web site at

To qualify for the A.B. degree, students ordinarily should have completed a minimum of two years of full-time study at Bryn Mawr.

Bryn Mawr welcomes applications from foreign citizens who have outstanding secondary school records and who meet university entrance requirements in their native countries. Application forms and instructions are available from the dean of admissions. Applications from international students should be filed early in the year preceding entrance and must be completed by January 15.

International student applicants are required to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test of the College Board. SAT II tests are recommended but not required. Test registration information may be obtained by writing to the College Board, ATP, P.O. Box 6200, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-6200, U.S.A. or on the College Board Web site at Registration arrangements for students taking the tests abroad should be made at least two months prior to the scheduled testing date.

International student applicants whose native language is not English must present credentials attesting to their proficiency in English. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all non-native speakers of English, unless they have studied for several years in an institution in which English is the sole medium of instruction. A score of 600 (or 250 on the computer-based TOEFL) is considered to be adequate. TOEFL registration information can be obtained by writing to TOEFL, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-6151, U.S.A. or on the College Board Web site at

A student who has withdrawn from the College is not automatically readmitted. She must request readmission and should consult her dean and the dean of admissions concerning the procedure to be followed. Evidence of the student’s ability to resume work at Bryn Mawr may be requested.

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Special Academic Programs

The Continuing Education Program provides highly qualified women, men and high-school students who do not wish to under- take a full college program leading to a degree the opportunity to take courses at Bryn Mawr College on a fee basis, prorated according to the tuition of the College, space and resources permitting. Continuing-education students may apply to take up to two courses per semester; they have the option of auditing courses or taking courses for credit. Alumnae/i who have received one or more degrees from Bryn Mawr (A.B., M.A., M.S.S., M.L.S.P. and/or Ph.D.) and women and men 60 years of age and older are entitled to take undergraduate courses for credit at the College at a special rate. This rate applies only to continuing-education students and not to matriculated McBride Scholars. Continuing-education students are not eligible to receive financial aid from the College. For more information or an application, contact the Continuing Education Program office at (610) 526-6515 or send a request to Continuing Education, Bryn Mawr College, 101 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899.

The Katharine E. McBride Scholars Program serves women beyond the traditional college entry age who wish to earn an undergraduate degree at Bryn Mawr. The program admits women who have demonstrated talent, achievement and intelligence in various areas, including employment, volunteer activities and home or formal study. McBride Scholars are admitted directly as matriculated students.

Once admitted to the College, McBride scholars are subject to the residency rule, which requires that a student take a minimum of 24 course units while enrolled at Bryn Mawr. Exceptions will be made for students who transfer more than eight units from previous work. Such students may transfer up to 16 units and must then take at least 16 units at Bryn Mawr. McBride Scholars may study on a part-time or full-time basis. For more information or an application, visit the McBride Program Web page at, send an e-mail to or call (610) 526-5373.

Women and men who hold bachelor’s degrees but need introductory science courses before making initial application to schools of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine may apply to the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program. The Postbac Program stresses intensive work in the sciences. It is designed primarily for students who are changing fields and who have not previously completed the premedical requirements. Applications are considered for admission in the summer or fall only. Applications should be submitted as early as possible because decisions are made on a rolling admissions basis. The Postbac Program is highly selective. Please visit for more information.

Students enrolled in the Postbac Program may elect to apply early for provisional admission to an outstanding group of medical schools with which Bryn Mawr has a “consortial” arrangement. Students who are accepted at a medical school through the consortial process enter medical school in the September immediately following the completion of their postbaccalaureate year. Otherwise, students apply to medical school during the summer of the year they are completing the program.

The following are Bryn Mawr’s “consortial” medical schools:

  • Brown University School of Medicine
  • Dartmouth Medical School
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • George Washington University School of Medicine
  • Jefferson Medical College
  • Temple University School of Medicine
  • University of Rochester Medical School
  • State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
  • SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine.

During Summer Sessions I and II, qualified women and men, including high school students, may take courses in the sciences, mathematics and intensive language studies in Russian. Students may use these courses to fulfill undergraduate requirements or prepare for graduate study. The current summer-session calendar should be consulted for dates and course descriptions. Each course carries full academic credit.

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Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000