With excellent ratings in research and primary care, UPENN’s Perelman School of Medicine is looking for students with strong communication skills who can articulate their motivations to study medicine and serve as community leaders. Providing further information and insight in this secondary application about the reasons why you are motivated to study medicine at UPENN will be important. Even better, if those motivations illuminate character and the way your life goals have shaped you as a person and leader, you will impress the adcom.
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine 2020-21 secondary application essays
Perelman School of Medicine essay #1
Were there changes to your academic work and/or personal circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic that you would like to share with the committee? Y/N
If Y, Please describe these changes during this time in 500 characters or less.
It might be helpful to brainstorm a little before answering this prompt. Other schools categorize the adjustments due to COVID-19 in three ways: personal, professional and educational. Stay factual. You do not have a lot of room here (500 characters or less). Close positively. What did you do to engage the pandemic and help the vulnerable?
Perelman School of Medicine essay #2
If you were offered an option to continue courses with a standard grading system or switch to Pass/Fail, and you chose Pass/Fail, please describe the reason(s) for your decision here. (500 characters)
Historically in higher education, Pass/Fail is an opportunity for students to explore a subject matter that is not germinal to their degree without consequence, or it’s an intervention for an impending poor final grade, which could have a variety of causes. If you chose Pass/Fail during the pandemic, there may be a very reasonable explanation for doing so. Also, sometimes, the reason for choosing Pass/Fail for Spring coursework in 2020 has something to do with your college or university. Don’t over-explain. Don’t be emotional. Just explain the course and its circumstances that made Pass/Fail the right option.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #3
Have you taken any online courses for credit? (not due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
You should answer this question directly and honestly, giving your grades on the courses.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #4
Have you been nominated for or received an award from any state, regional or national organization?
You should answer this question directly and honestly, providing the award, awarding organization and year of the award.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #5
Have you taken or are you planning to take time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation? If so explain in 500 characters or less.
If you have already graduated from college, you should explain what you were doing over the last year(s). Everyone should describe plans for the gap year(s), including positions for which you plan to apply. Include planned or actual volunteer work. Staying engaged in clinical activities is key. Building upon your exposure to patient care and research is wise as well. You might travel abroad for a medical mission trip, volunteer, or work in health care for pay. Are you an EMT? The gap year experience must be an opportunity to show the admissions committee how practically or imaginatively you utilized this time to engage health care, locally or abroad, or re-engaged academia in a master’s program, to offset a low GPA, to show your commitment to becoming a doctor.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #6
Have you participated in any global activities outside of the U.S. prior to submitting your AMCAS application? If so, explain in 1,000 characters or less.
For this question, you should respond if you have done any volunteer, paid or academic work outside of the U.S. This would include overseas missions and study abroad programs. For each activity, provide a brief explanation, including the amount of time you were abroad and the general scope of your activities there. This response should be direct and to-the-point.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #7
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.) (1000 characters if yes)
This question is left open-ended. You should respond if you a) have particular circumstances or challenges related to your journey to medical school or personal life or b) have a part of your personal background that you want to reveal to the admissions committee. This essay can take the form of a brief diversity essay. There is a later essay about “why Penn,” so you should avoid answering that question here.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #8
Have you or your family experienced economic hardships? (1000 characters if yes)
If you answer yes to this question, you should briefly explain what those hardships were and how they impacted your journey to medical school (etc. frequent moves, working during school, etc.).
Perelman School of Medicine essay #9
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
You should answer this question briefly with the information requested.
Perelman School of Medicine essay #10
Please explain your reasons for applying to the Perelman School of Medicine and limit your response to 1,000 characters.
Since this secondary question requests a short essay, be succinct in your response. Start by doing your research on UPENN; read their mission statement, standards for admission, and basic requirements. Check out the structure and focus of their curriculum.
What excites you about their school? Do you have a connection to their location? Do they offer any special programs or specialties that you are interested in? In what ways are the school’s goals similar to your own? How will Perelman’s faculty, curriculum, or special programs better prepare you for a career in medicine?
If you would like professional guidance with UPENN’s Perelman School of Medicine application materials, check out Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for Perelman’s application materials.
University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine 2020-21 application timeline
|AMCAS application is due||November 1|
|Supplemental application and all required materials (supplemental fee, MCAT score, and LORs) are due||December 1|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Dr. Mary Mahoney, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience as an advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. She is a tenured English Professor with an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in Literature and Writing from the University of Houston. For the last twenty years, Mary has served as a grad school advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. Want Mary to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!