What is the format of admissions interviews during the 2020-21 admissions cycle?
Virtual interviews will be conducted for the entirety of this application cycle due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Details about the interview and scheduling will be sent to candidates upon invitation. The interview will comprise of, at minimum, several live/synchronous meetings: a 30-45 minute one-on-one interview with a member of the Postbac Program Admissions Committee and a group meeting with the director of the program. These will take place on the same day. We will provide additional opportunities and materials with further information about the program to interviewees, including the chance to speak with current and/or former students.
I understand that interviews will be virtual in 2020-21. However, can I visit the campus in person?
In order to reduce the risk of transmission on campus, Bryn Mawr does not permit external visitors to campus at this time. It’s not ideal, we know (especially since we have such a beautiful campus!) but this policy is in place for everyone’s safety. To learn more about the Bryn Mawr campus, please see the extensive offerings on our interactive map. Locations are described in detail, including the Park Science Center where postbacs spend much of their time. There are also several virtual tours; in particular, we suggest the tours featuring the overall campus, Philadelphia, and the Athletic Center.
With Covid-19, many in-person volunteering experiences have been suspended. How might I pursue health-related experiences prior to applying to the program?
The Admission Committee reviews all aspects of an applicant's credentials file including their high school and college grades as well as their work/volunteer experiences. Health-related volunteer experience is not a requirement for admissions. We do, however, like to see a well-considered expression of your motivation for medicine; that motivation can be based on many experiences, both personal and professional, and often well before the arrival of Covid-19. But to be clear: we are certainly aware that a number of health-related volunteer programs and employment opportunities have been suspended due to Covid-19—all over the country. The Admissions Committee is sympathetic to this unusual set of circumstances. You can find helpful information about co-curricular, health-related opportunities during Covid-19 on the AAMC website.
My life has been significantly impacted by Covid-19. How will the Admissions Committee view my individual experiences with the pandemic?
Step one in the application process, PostBacCAS, provides you the opportunity to explain how you have been impacted by Covid-19—academically, professionally, and personally. We will consider your comments on this topic very carefully and compassionately. With regard to academic preparation, similar to medical school admissions, our Admissions Committee is looking for evidence that applicants are prepared to thrive academically while taking a very demanding set of courses in a condensed 12-month schedule. How to demonstrate this preparation is going to be unique to each applicant. We understand that the Spring 2020 semester (for those of you who were in college or graduate school at that time) involved many difficult challenges and changes. As for demonstrating your interest in medicine, the committee is also very aware of the circumstances around the country that have necessitated the cancellations of volunteer opportunities and other health-related experiences.
Recognizing how educational institutions are changing their learning models to adapt to a Covid-19 world, I was wondering if you had developed a plan for the 2020-21 school year and what the post-bac program might look like in 2021-22?
For the Fall 2020 semester, current postbacs have been given the option of doing their courses via “Track A” or “Track B.” Track A is in-person; Track B is virtual. During the Fall 2020 semester, Bryn Mawr College will make determinations for the Spring 2021 semester based on recommendations by public health experts and an ongoing assessment of conditions in the greater Philadelphia area. Bryn Mawr follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and information on Covid-19. Click here for updates to the college community with further information. If Covid-19 persisted well into 2021, we are prepared to continue to offer virtual learning options for the next (2021-22) academic year, although we are hopeful that this will not be necessary.
How is Bryn Mawr’s linkage program impacted by Covid-19?
Our linkage program, officially called the “consortial process,” has been affected by Covid-19, of course—just as all of education in the U.S. has been affected. We still have the same number of consortial partners for the 2020-21 year, with the same academic criteria for eligibility. However, understandably, physical visits to the medical schools are not possible. During the Fall 2020 semester, current postbacs will attend virtual visits organized by the schools, including discussions with admissions personnel and current med students. We will also be working hard to connect those interested in applying to link with our alumnix currently enrolled at our consort schools. You will find a FAQ on linkage on our website here. Further information about linkage is provided to candidates during the interview process.