University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts

These are the secondary application essay prompts for University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Perelman School of Medicine. To put your best foot forward and maximize your chance of an interview invitation, visit our secondary application editing page.

2018-2019

MD:
1. Have you taken any online courses for credit?

Answer as appropriate based on your past academic experience.

2. Have you been nominated for or received an award from any state, regional or national organization?

Answer as appropriate based on your prior scholastic achievements.

3. Have you taken or are you planning to take time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation? If you answer yes, a 1,000 char prompt to elaborate appears.

If you have taken or will be taking time off between undergraduate and medical school, describe the experiences you had during that time. For each experience, explain how this helped you grow and become a better medical school candidate, which is the most important goal of the gap year in the admissions committee’s eyes. Focus on the lessons you learned and skills you gained during the time off. Do not repeat what is in your primary application. This is a key to all secondaries. If you use a prior experience from the AMCAS primary (which can be difficult to avoid given the nature of some secondary questions), try to adopt a new angle or describe a different aspect of the experience than has been presented before. Consider using an anecdote to spice up the answer.

4. Have you participated in any global activities outside of the U.S. prior to submitting your AMCAS application?

Discuss any prior experiences which are relevant here, including but not limited to medical mission work, medical volunteer work or clinical experience abroad, other volunteer work abroad, study abroad programs. Be sure to discuss how the experiences expanded your horizons and helped you grow as a person and future physician. If interested in global health, this is a perfect time to discuss it.

5. 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 you answer yes)

Start by brainstorming what is unique about your background. Is it your place of birth, your family, your culture, or you path to medicine? Next consider prior adversity you have had to overcome and how that has shaped your values. Consider 1-2 of these experiences and weave a story about them which show your unique characteristics. Specifically answer how this can contribute to your medical school class; consider the effect you might have on your peers, professors and patients. Be sure not to repeat issues discussed elsewhere.

6. Have you or your family experienced economic hardships? (1000 characters if yes)

If relevant to you, discuss your prior experiences here. Be sure not to make yourself sound like a victim as this can reflect poorly. Instead focus on the lessons these hardships taught you and how they made you stronger. How did they help develop your perseverance, discipline or drive to succeed. Focus on the positive growth from these hard times.

7. 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

List past experiences as appropriate.

8. Please explain your reasons for applying to the Perelman School of Medicine and limit your response to 1,000 characters.

The first step to answering this question is doing some research on the program website to understand some of its nuances. Is it very strong in a particular field of research, or perhaps in community clinical work for the underserved? If one of these aspects aligns with your strengths or interests, explain how you are a great fit for this reason. Outline how these opportunities will help you grow toward your career goals as you envision them. Think about the opportunities the location provides in terms of clinical experience and social experience as well.

9. Sexual and Gender Identity (optional)

Do you identify as (please check all that apply):

Heterosexual/Straight
Gay
Lesbian
Bisexual
Asexual
Queer
Other

Do you identify as (please check all that apply):

Cisgender
Transgender
Gender non-conforming
Gender non-binary
Other

Please let us know if you have a preferred name and/or preferred Gender Pronouns.

Answer the above questions as you see fit.

MSTP:

Additional pages to check your preferred research group at the time of application (History and Sociology of Medicine, Anthropology, and Business/Economics have further requirements). Also a 500 character box to list keywords related to your research interests.

List your preferred research group. For your research interests, do your research on existing labs, mentors, and research opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania and detail those which interest you. Tie them to your prior experiences and your future career goals. If you discuss topics which were touched on in your primary application, try to approach your prior research experience from a new angle, perhaps employing anecdotes to convey a point. Make sure you answer how these opportunities will prepare you to achieve your goals in medicine.

2017-2018

  1. Have you been nominated for or received an award from any state, regional or national organization? Yes/No… “Add Award”
  2. Have you taken or are you planning to take time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation? Yes/No… If yes, 500 characters given.
  3. Have you participated in any global activities outside of the U.S. prior to submitting your AMCAS application? Yes/No… If yes, 1000 characters given.
  4. 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.) Yes/No… If yes, 1000 characters given.
  5. Have you or your family experienced economic hardships? Yes/No… if yes, 1000 characters given.
  6. 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.
  7. Please explain your reasons for applying to the Perelman School of Medicine and limit your response to 1,000 characters.

2016-2017

1. Have you been nominated for or received an award from any state, regional or national organization? If so, please describe; each line allows 100 characters. (Please do not list awards from high school or earlier.)

2. Have you taken or are you planning to take time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation? (500 characters to describe plans, if yes)

3. Have you participated in any global activities outside of the U.S. prior to submitting your AMCAS application? (1000 characters to describe, if yes)

4. 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)

5. Have you or your family experienced economic hardships? (1000 characters, if yes)

6. Please explain your reasons for applying to the Perelman School of Medicine and limit your response to 1,000 characters.

Disclaimer: The information on this page was shared by students and/or can be found on the medical school’s website. Med School Insiders does not guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page.

We're here to help

The secondary application is just as important as the primary. We'll make sure you get it right.

Join the Insider Newsletter

Join the Insider Newsletter

Receive regular exclusive MSI content, news, and updates! No spam. No nonsense.

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

×
×

Cart