Our Learning Community
Since its founding in 1885, Bryn Mawr College has maintained its character as a small learning community that fosters close working relationships among faculty and students. Our faculty of teacher/scholars emphasizes learning through conversation and collaboration, primary reading, original research, and experimentation. As a postbac student, you will be welcomed and supported by our learning community.
There are several ways we help ease your transition to a rigorous course of study in the sciences. Once you enroll, we'll share science review resources, math self-assessment tools, math practice problems, and study hints and tips from our science faculty members. Then, during orientation, you will participate in a math review session before the general chemistry course begins that is taught by a member of our faculty and designed specifically for postbac students.
Our faculty are dedicated to making the sciences accessible and relevant to your interests as a premedical student. Our faculty are readily available outside of class, as well, to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about your coursework. Many of our faculty members supplement their courses with evening group help sessions. 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, hardworking, and passionate about learning.
We also offer peer-led instruction ("R+R")—usually by a senior majoring in the specific subject or a former postbac student. Our faculty members carefully select these outstanding students and train them to supplement class lectures. The peer instructors organize non-mandatory group work sessions during the summer and the academic year to reinforce your learning. Group or individual peer tutoring in the sciences is also available free of charge at any time during the program.
Finally, and most importantly, you’ll be encouraged to form or join informal study groups, in which students help one another strengthen their understanding of the material presented in classrooms and labs.
There are two primary institutions of student self-governance at Bryn Mawr. The first is the Self-Government Association (SGA) Constitution, a living document outlining the purpose and rules of the Self-Government Association. The second is the Academic and Social Honor Code, a set of principles stressing personal integrity and mutual respect to which all students agree to adhere.
Like all of the undergraduate and graduate students at Bryn Mawr College, you will 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.
Bryn Mawr offers a structured and comprehensive curriculum that fulfills the premedical requirements needed 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 usually includes a two-semester general chemistry laboratory course during the summer, and biology, physics and organic chemistry laboratory courses per semester during the following academic year.
Our introductory biology course and general and organic chemistry courses include biochemistry. In fact, the second semester of the postbac organic chemistry sequence is focused on biological organic chemistry. Our physics courses include information about the life sciences. In addition, we offer elective courses in statistics and the behavioral sciences.
Summer (June-Early August):
- General Chemistry*
Fall and Spring Semesters
- Biology: Genetics and the Central Dogma; Biochemistry and Human Physiology
- Organic and Biological Organic Chemistry
Optional Extra Summer Session
- Biochemistry or Statistics
May, June, or July
- Take the MCAT
*If you have taken a full year of general chemistry in the past five years, then you would begin the program in the fall.
If you have previously completed one of the core course requirements as an undergraduate, you may be able to take an elective. Bryn Mawr’s academic departments offer many undergraduate courses that are of interest to postbacs. Some of the more popular elective courses are:
- Biology and Public Policy
- Developmental Biology
- Calculus and Analytic Geometry
- Introduction to Statistics
- Introduction to Neuroscience