A Special Place
The College offers a breathtaking combination of outstanding landscaping and exceptional architecture. In the late 1800s, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for having planned Central Park in New York City, designed Bryn Mawr’s original campus. Today, our 135-acre campus is a uniquely attractive arboretum with more than 75 varieties of trees, surrounded by scenic biking, walking, and jogging trails. Our buildings are noted for their Collegiate Gothic architecture style, reminiscent of Cambridge and Oxford universities, but they also include modern designs, most notably a landmark residence hall designed by Louis Kahn. Ten of our buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the M. Carey Thomas Library is also listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Integrity and Independence
At Bryn Mawr, the integrity and maturity of students are respected. The College’s fundamental trust in students is reflected in the Honor Code, which empowers students with individual responsibility for their academic and social behavior. A matter of great pride to our community, the Honor Code contributes greatly to the mutual respect that exists among students as well as between students and faculty. Self-scheduled examinations are one example of the freedom and independence granted by the Honor Code—students may choose to take most of their examinations at whatever time during the examination period that is most convenient to their schedules and study patterns. Incoming students are given an orientation to the Honor Code at the start of the year. In addition, postbacs have the opportunity to elect two representatives to the Honor Board.
The College offers exceptional facilities for premedical and science studies. Recent renovations of selected teaching and research labs in the Park Science Center reflect the growing trend toward interdisciplinary teaching and research and new areas of interest. The Park Science Center has many "smart classrooms" with the latest audio, visual, and computer equipment for teaching and special lectures. A new computer graphics lab in the Center offers high-end Macintosh drafting and image processing, a slide scanner, and a color laser printer for special projects.
Our students have open-stack access to more than one million volumes in the collections of Bryn Mawr’s three main libraries, as well as borrowing privileges to an additional one million titles at Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges. The Reginald Collier Science Library, located in the Park Science Building, houses the College’s collection of about 56,000 books and 400 journals in science and medicine. In addition to these printed journals, you have full-text access to an extensive range of online journal titles available through Science Direct, Kluwer, BioOne, and other electronic collections. The library also subscribes to several indexing and abstracting databases, including PubMed, CSA Biological Sciences, SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts online), and Web of Science, the online version of the Science and Social Sciences Citation Index.
The College also has advanced laboratory facilities and instruments to support undergraduate and graduate research in the sciences. These include a laser scanning confocal microscope, transmission electron microscope, amino acid analyzer, X-ray diffractometer, NMR and mass spectrometers, and a wide variety of lasers. Our high-performance computing equipment includes SUN, LINUX, and UNIX workstations. Laboratories and classrooms also have extensive computer resources for data analysis and instruction, including state-of-the-art video projection systems.
Bryn Mawr sponsors a variety of cultural, social, and recreational activities that enhance its stimulating educational experience. As a postbac student, you have full access to all that the College offers. Our athletic facilities include a 50,000-square-foot gymnasium, an Olympic-size pool, fitness center, basketball court, and outdoor tennis courts and fields for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey. In the arts, Bryn Mawr sponsors a variety of dance, music, and theater performances directed by faculty members and students. An extensive program of readings, exhibitions, performances, and workshops by visiting professional writers, artists, actors, and musicians complements these activities.
Postbac students are encouraged to take advantage of campus facilities and activities, as well as our proximity to the Philadelphia area’s wide array of cultural, athletic, and dining venues, as a springboard for socializing with one another. Our postbacs also share a wide range of personal interests with their peers, including cooking and dining, music, yoga, hiking, running, extramural team sports—and just hanging out!
Town and City
Bryn Mawr College is located in Bryn Mawr, Pa., the heart of Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs (directions). A serene town with a population of 9,000, Bryn Mawr offers a variety of retail stores, restaurants, apartments and rental properties, and other services. Excellent public transportation, including a train station within five minutes of the College, makes Bryn Mawr easily accessible from throughout the region.
Just 11 miles to the east is Philadelphia, a vibrant urban mecca of culture and entertainment. Anchored by the new Kimmel Center, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Avenue of the Arts in Center City is where you will find all of the performing arts, including ballet, drama, jazz, musicals, opera, pop, and rock. The city’s major museums of art, medicine, and science—the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Franklin Institute, Mutter Museum, and Academy of Natural Sciences—are situated along the Ben Franklin Parkway. One of only two U.S. cities that boast professional teams in all four sports, the city’s arena complex in South Philadelphia includes new baseball and football stadiums for the Phillies and Eagles, and a new combined basketball and hockey arena for the Sixers and Flyers, which also hosts major rock concerts.
Millions of tourists from around the world are drawn to Philadelphia each year by the city’s historic treasures—Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center, Carpenters' Hall, Elfreth’s Alley, the Betsy Ross House, and more. And everyone in town and the region enjoys Philadelphia’s fantastic dining options, from five-star restaurants to neighborhood bistros and cafés, across all national and ethnic cuisines.
Philadelphia is also one big college town. In fact, its 80 colleges and universities, with a combined student population of 250,000, give the city the highest per capita concentration of higher education institutions in the nation. Students have helped to make Philadelphia’s Center City the third-largest residential downtown in the nation and one of the youngest—one-third of all residents in the heart of the city are between the ages of 18 and 29. Not surprisingly, the city’s student population has created a vital nightlife scene at myriad nightclubs, dance clubs, comedy clubs, art houses, restaurants, and bars as well as youth-oriented events such as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, World Cinema Festival, X Games, and First Friday art gallery open houses—not to mention the perennial Spring Break occurring on South Street.
If you need a change of scene, New York City is just 100 miles to the north and Washington, D.C., is 133 miles to the south—only a few hours by car, bus, or train.