Perelman Med School Admission
To advance knowledge and improve health through research, patient care, and the education of trainees in an inclusive culture that embraces diversity, fosters innovation, stimulates critical thinking, supports lifelong learning, and sustains our legacy of excellence.
Secondary Application Questions
The University of Pennsylvania is the oldest and among
the finest medical schools in the United States. Founded
in 1765, the School has maintained a significant presence
in the community while educating the leaders of tomorrow
in patient care, medical education and biomedical research.
Have you been nominated for or received an award from
any state, regional or national organization? Please do not
list awards from high school or earlier. (3 lines with 100
Because the Committee on Admissions assesses more than
just MCAT scores and academic credentials, your answer to
this question provides an opportunity to distinguish yourself
from other applicants while demonstrating that you are a well-rounded individual. It is also an opportunity to cite new achievements made after you have submitted your primary application. Cite awards with dates for your hobbies, athletics and artistic and musical talents as well as community service, research and/or medically – related accomplishments.
Have you taken or are you planning to take time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation?
Non-traditional students comprised 68% of the 2015 entering class. Like them, you may have delayed your medical school matriculation. Having engaged in research for some applicants has been noteworthy to the Committee on Admissions since Penn Medicine has consistently ranked among the top five institutions earning NIH research grants. However, a meaningful community service program is also impressive. These are but two examples. Whatever you have done or planning to do for your “gap” year(s) should be explained along with the reasons for taking time off. Your reasons should address contributions to your personal or professional development and how they directly add to your skill sets necessary for physician competency.
Have you participated in any global activities outside of the U.S. prior to submitting your AMCAS application? What country? (1,000 characters)
The Committee on Admissions seeks to enroll a student body with diverse backgrounds and experiences consistent with the School’s Mission Statement. Reference your foreign travel(s) and how you spent your time abroad. As with the last question, explain how living abroad has contributed to your personal or professional development.
Are there any special, unique, personal, or challenging aspects of your personal background or circumstances that you would like to share with the Committee on Admissions, not addressed elsewhere (siblings/relatives at Penn, applying as a couple, educational environment, culture, ethnicity, etc.). (1,000 characters)
Use this space to mention current connections you may have with Penn such as sibling or spouse matriculation and/or your applying as a couple. This space is also an opportunity to highlight other information not addressed in your AMCAS primary application. In reviewing your entire application, the Committee on Admissions will have a clearer picture of you and your background.
If you are traveling outside of the U.S. during the application year, will you need special scheduling if invited for an interview? If so, please describe and indicate dates that you are in the U.S. (255 characters)
The question is self-explanatory and intended to facilitate your interview arrangements. Do the best you can to be available and flexible with your schedule.
Have you or your family experienced economic hardships? (1,000 characters)
Explain how your or your family’s financial hardships have impacted you and what you have done to address them. Your answer could be an opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving skills as well as your need for financial aid. For example, you might have a seriously ill family member whose treatment requires significant costs thereby requiring you to support yourself or pay for your education without family assistance.
Have you been employed at the University of Pennsylvania Health System or Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and worked with a Penn faculty mentor? If yes, please indicate name, department, phone number of faculty, and start/end dates.
Before answering this question, make sure to contact your faculty mentor to ask for permission for the Committee on Admissions to contact him or her about you.
Please explain your reasons for applying to the Perelman School of Medicine. (1,000 characters)
In addition to having studied the website, perhaps you have interacted with Perelman students or faculty, attended events, or participated in programs. Mention it. Cite specifics explaining what you like about the School’s academic resources and medical education and how you would use them to further your career goals. Offer ways you would like to become involved at Perelman if accepted. In summary, present yourself as a competitive applicant whose first choice is Penn.
All AMCAS applicants will be invited to submit a secondary application.
Perelman School of Medicine Application Timeline:
AMCAS Application submission deadline: October 15, 2019
Secondary Application submission deadline: November 15, 2019
Interview Invitations sent: September 2019 – January 2020
Admissions Decisions Released: March 2020
For more information about the medical school application process,