The Bryn Mawr Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program is designed for individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree with an excellent academic record, yet lack the prerequisite science courses needed for admission to medical school.
Although most postbac students pursue medical school, the core science courses in the Bryn Mawr postbac curriculum also prepare students for veterinary school, dental school, and other health professional schools.
The program is designed primarily for those who are changing careers, many of whom are new to science. You can be considered for the program if you have or will have completed a bachelor’s degree by the time you start the postbac program and you have had a strong academic record in college.
Postbacs start our program during summer school with General Chemistry (unless they have already taken one year of chemistry as an undergraduate). During the following fall and spring semesters, postbacs will take Biology, Physics, and Organic Chemistry (with labs). Students can take an optional Biochemistry course the following May. Students will take the MCAT in the spring or early summer.
The postbac program is designed for individuals who have not taken the prerequisite science courses for admission to medical school. Although Bryn Mawr may consider a student who has completed one or two of the required science courses, you are not eligible for the program if you have completed all or a majority of these courses or if you have taken the MCAT.
Admission to the Bryn Mawr postbac program is very competitive. Your application must demonstrate your ability to handle an academically rigorous course load in the sciences as well as a strong commitment to and understanding of medicine.
We recommend that college seniors wait until they have received their fall semester grades to apply to the program. The majority of our applicants have already earned their bachelor's degree, and thus have eight semesters of undergraduate courses with grades for the admissions committee to review. In the fall semester, college seniors only have six semesters of graded courses. It is generally more advantageous to an applicant to show a more comprehensive academic picture. If you are concerned that having your registrar's office send an official transcript once fall grades are posted would further delay your application, you are welcome to apply with an official transcript for your freshman through junior years, and a screen shot of your unofficial first semester grades, with an official transcript to follow. If you decide to apply before you complete the fall semester, there is a possibility that your application may be placed on hold pending fall grades.
Our staff will guide you every step of the way, from enrollment to the postbac program through your application to medical school. This includes: personal advising; step-by-step workshops on the medical school admissions process; help with the process of self-assessment that will lead to selecting schools to which you will apply; preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT); and a comprehensive, personal premedical committee letter written for each student.
Although there is no single "right" answer to this question, you should demonstrate that you have carefully thought about your motivation for a career change as well as your commitment to a medical career through your experiences in health-care or social services settings.
We require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution, an excellent undergraduate academic record, and SAT/ACT scores if you have taken one of these standardized tests. If you have taken the GRE or another graduate-level standardized test, you are welcome to send us those scores in addition to but not as a substitution for your SAT/ACT scores.
If your SAT/ACT scores are listed on your high school transcript, you do not need to send us a separate score report. If not, you can request your SAT scores from the Educational and Testing Service by calling (609) 771-7600 and giving them our school code, which is 2477. Please be aware that it may take 4- 6 weeks or more for Bryn Mawr to receive SAT scores from the College Board.
If you choose to submit your ACT scores, Bryn Mawr’s ACT code is 3526. If you have taken any other standardized tests for graduate or professional schools, such as the GRE or LSAT, you are welcome to send us a copy of your scores in addition to the SAT/ACT scores. Bryn Mawr’s GRE code is 2049.
Our application requires two personal statements comprising your responses to specific questions—one about your reasons for wishing to become a physician and another about yourself—each approximately one page in length.
Yes. In addition to one required academic recommendation letter, we require a recommendation letter from someone who has supervised you or served as your advisor. Please collect your official transcripts and recommendation letters and send them in an envelope with your application. We understand that it may be challenging to obtain an academic recommendation if you have been out of school for a few years. However, your medical school applications also will require academic letters of recommendation from your undergraduate institution.
If you feel that the admissions committee will be able to understand your transcript and academic record, then you do not need to have it evaluated. Contact individual credentialing services for fees and instructions to request a transcript evaluation.
World Education Services
P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Although the majority of the postbac premedical science lecture classes are geared specifically for postbac students, some laboratory sections may include postbacs and undergraduate students.
It can take up to three weeks from the time we receive your completed application materials until the time we contact you to inform you if you will be invited for an interview. Following an interview, it can take four to six weeks before we notify you of the decision of the admissions committee.
A report was published 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 MCAT section of the AAMC web site addresses the new skills and competencies addressed in both AAMC reports.
The MCAT includes topics covered in general chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory biology, and introductory physics courses, and also incorporates topics in biochemistry. In addition there is a new interdisciplinary section, entitled Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, that covers topics from behavioral science. Statistical reasoning has been incorporated into all sections of the new MCAT. For complete information, please visit https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/ .
Some medical schools have shifted from formal course requirements to "demonstrated competencies." With the changes to the MCAT there has been an increase in the number of medical schools that require statistics and biochemistry.
We have modified our Introductory Biology 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 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.
Both the medical schools and the postbac program are strongly committed to the consortial/linkage programs. We revisit the topic of the MCAT on an annual basis. Many of our consort schools still require the test for admission through linkage.
The "What's on the MCAT2015 exam?" gives prospective examinees a chance to become familiar with the content of the exam. The Official Guide to the 2015 MCAT is also a good resource. One full-length practice exam is currently available on the AAMC website with others due out soon. In addition, the AAMC has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free, online resources to help students prepare for the MCAT.