curriculum

After one year, individuals who have completed the Bryn Mawr Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program are well prepared to succeed in medical school.

Bryn Mawr offers a structured and comprehensive curriculum that fulfills all the premedical requirements you will need to apply to medical school. Over a 12-month period, you will carry a full-time load of courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. This typically involves a two-semester general chemistry laboratory course during the summer session, and biology, physics and organic chemistry laboratory courses per semester during the following academic year.

Unless you have already taken the full year of general chemistry in the past five years, students will begin the program in the summer and will complete the program the following May, and take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in May or early summer.

Bryn Mawr offers a structured and comprehensive curriculum that fulfills the premedical requirements you will need to apply to medical school. It is an exciting time in premedical/medical education because a report that was published recently from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) that recommended the development of innovative approaches to premedical education. The report, “Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians,” outlined a set of scientific competencies and quantitative skills that should be mastered by premedical students. This report was followed by another AAMC report, "Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for Future Physicians," which advocates that it is essential for physicians to have a conceptual framework in these disciplines to understand socioeconomic and cultural determinants of health and to address health care disparities.

The AAMC has announced that there will be changes to the MCAT that will be implemented in the spring of 2015. MCAT 2015 will include topics covered in general chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory biology, and introductory physics courses, and will also incorporate topics from biochemistry. In addition there will be a new interdisciplinary section entitled Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, that will cover topics from the behavioral science. Statistical reasoning will be incorporated into the science and social sciences sections of the new MCAT. The 2015MCAT for Students section of the AAMC web site provides useful resources to itnroduce students to the new MCAT and to help them start to study for the exam. 

We have modified our introductory biology course and our general and organic chemistry courses to include biochemistry; in fact, the second semester of the postbac organic chemistry sequence is focused on biological organic chemistry. We have also modified our physics course to include information about the life sciences. In addition we have offered and will continue to offer elective courses in statistics and the behavioral sciences.

Typical Course Schedule

Summer Session

General Chemistry

Fall & Spring Semesters

Biology: Genetics & the Central Dogma; Biochemistry and Human Physiology

Organic and Biological Organic Chemistry

Physics

Optional Extra Summer Session

Biochemistry or Statistics

May/June or July

Take the MCAT

Self-Scheduled Exams

Like all of the undergraduate and graduate students at Bryn Mawr, you have the freedom to decide when to schedule your final examinations in many of your classes. This is one of the privileges of the College’s Honor Code, which allows students to govern themselves and take responsibility for integrity in their academic and social behavior.

Elective Courses

The program can be adjusted to meet your individual needs. If you have previously completed one of the core course requirements as an undergraduate, you may take an elective course. Bryn Mawr’s academic departments offer many undergraduate courses that are of interest to postbacs.

Some of the more popular elective courses are:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology and Public Policy
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics
  • Math - Calculus and Analytic Geometry
  • Math - Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • To Protect the Public Health
In every field of study, you will find that Bryn Mawr faculty are accomplished teacher-scholars who relish the opportunity to teach students who are intellectually curious, hard working, and passionate about learning.