October 17, 2021

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University of Pennsylvania: Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania: Perelman School of Medicine

The Perelman School of Medicine, commonly known as Penn Med, is the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located in the University City section of Philadelphia.

Founded in 1765, the Perelman School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in the United States and is one of the seven Ivy League medical schools.Penn Med is consistently one of the top recipients of NIH research awards and is currently ranked ninth for research among American medical schools by U.S. News & World Report.


As an internationally renowned community of scientists and physicians, they are dedicated to both advancing knowledge and fostering a culture of excellence in training the next generation of scientific leaders. The faculty are at the forefront of the biomedical revolution, and we are committed to sustaining a vibrant intellectual environment, with the ultimate goal of translating ground-breaking discoveries into medical therapies that will eradicate disease and improve health care around the world.

Our Mission

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.

MD Admissions

The Perelman School of Medicine seeks students with a broad education and rigorous science preparation. Admissions competencies are not based on specific courses, but rather on the cumulative achievement of knowledge and skills needed to become a physician. The student’s undergraduate or post-baccalaureate program can provide the course information identified by that educational institution as providing the best preparation for study in medical school. All applicants must have a BS or BA degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada prior to matriculation.

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English fluency in writing, speaking and reading: demonstrated abilities include writing clearly and correctly, the ability to organize and deliver oral presentations, the ability to read critically and appraise technical content, and strong interpersonal skills. Speaking other languages is also helpful in medicine and patient care.



Competency in basic biological principles shared by all living organisms, which includes the diversity of life, life cycles and metabolic processes, the structure of life and nucleic acid structures, how biological information is transferred and stored, and the basic molecular and cellular structure and function.


Competencies include understanding the molecular basis of life; principles of chemical equilibria and thermodynamics; acid base balance; ionization and redox reactions; the structure of molecules and experimental methods and the molecular architecture of organic compounds; and the quantitative and qualitative aspects of reaction rates, binding constants and reaction mechanisms.

Physics and Mathematics

Physics provides the conceptual framework for quantitative biology and biomedical sciences. A firm foundation in mathematics, statistics and physical science is essential, including knowledge of algebra, equations and interpretation of graphic representations of data as well as familiarity with constants or units of physical measurement.

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Behavioral Disciplines

Understanding and appreciating the basic social, cultural and behavioral factors that influence individuals, communities and societies in health and disease are essential. Applicants should seek to understand societal forces that contribute to the delivery of health care and basic clinical and heath service research. This understanding can come from a variety of courses in history, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, political science, economics, sociology and psychology.

Applicants Attending Foreign Institutions

All applicants who receive degrees from foreign institutions are required to complete one year of course work in the sciences at a college or university in the United States before applying for admission. Non-residents of the United States are ineligible for federal or school financial aid programs.

Applicants applying from accredited Canadian institutions are exempt from the required additional year of science study and may apply directly.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Each applicant must take the Medical College Admission Test within three years of applying to the Perelman School of Medicine. All candidates for admission in the fall of 2022 are required to have taken the MCAT between January 2018 and September 2021.


FIRST For Students

The prospect of financing your medical education may seem daunting–but you have a lot of options. FIRST for Medical Education offers resources and information that can help you:

  • Create a plan to responsibly manage and repay your student loan debt
  • Understand the long-range impact of your financial decisions
  • Become a well-informed consumer
  • Practice healthy financial habits
  • Expand your financial literacy
  • Achieve a smooth transition from medical school to residency
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The AAMC’s FIRST for Medical Education program has recently launched a great tool to help you manage your student loans. It’s called the Medloans® Organizer and Calculator. The Calculator is the only loan repayment calculator customized for medical school students.

This exciting new tool allows you to:

  • Organize your loans 24/7
  • Manage and save your loan information in one secure location
  • View and explore loan repayment options
  • Create your own unique scenarios in a “Scratch Pad”

The FIRST program offers a full range of Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools for applicants, medical school students, residents, advisors, and financial aid officers. Our mission is to help medical school borrowers expand their financial literacy, make smart decisions about student loans, and manage their student debt wisely.

Before Medical School

  • You Can Afford Medical School
  • Applying to Medical School: What it Costs
  • What is an Award Letter?
  • Medical School Costs for the Non-Traditional Students
  • The Financial Aid Application Process
  • Federal vs. Private Educational Loans
  • Direct Stafford Loans 101
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Post Baccalaureate Premedical Programs

During Medical School

  • Transitioning to Medical School
  • Unforeseen Emergencies and Financial Needs: What to Do?
  • Choosing a Specialty: A Critical Career Decision
  • Taking a Break from Your Medical Education
  • Applying for a Medical Residency: What it Costs

Leaving Medical School

  • Debt Management Relies On Good Record Keeping
  • Easing into Residency: Transition Tips


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