The University of Pennsylvania Perelman school of Medicine secondary application will take some time to fill out. Don’t be lured into rushing and sacrificing quality for speed. You need your Perelman School of Medicine secondary application to shine just as much as your AMCAS if you want to snag an interview.


Indicate your intended area of specialization
(MSTP Only) Please use keywords or phrases, separated by commas, to identify your research more specifically. Do not use tabs or add lines by hitting the enter key. There is a limit of 500 characters.

You only need to fill this out if you are applying to the MSTP. This question is to get a sense of your research quickly. Why can’t they just read your research essay? Rest assured somebody will read that essay but this is for a lay person to be able to immediately identify your field of research without reading through all the technical jargon. They can then assign you to a reader and to interviewers who will actually understand your technical jargon since they work in your indicated field of research. Follow instructions: do not use tab or the enter key.

Why Penn?

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

You will have to answer this question for many schools. Do your homework, go to the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine website and learn about the school. Then pull out a few salient features that really speak to you. You don’t want this to sound generic – if you copy the main highlights from their homepage you will have an essay that is identical to hundreds of others. Another mistake to avoid is sending in an essay that can clearly be used for other programs by changing the school name.


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.)

This is a place for you to show off any big honors you have received post high school. If your honor was received during high school, don’t list it. I don’t care if you won the Intel Science Championship – they are specifically telling you not to list this. You will not impress them by your lack of ability to read and follow the rules. Also note they do not want to hear about local campus awards. This is only for people with state, national or regional awards.

Gap Year:

Have you taken or are you planning to take time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation? 1000 characters

Only fill this out if you are planning on taking time off. This underscores the importance of having solid plans for your gap year. You need to use that time to strengthen your application and participate in meaningful activities. Yes it is OK to list activities that have not started yet. They understand that this is a space for future activities.

Global Health:

Have you participated in any global activities outside of the U.S. prior to submitting your AMCAS application? 1000 characters

If you have not had any global experiences please do not freak out. It will not disqualify you from admission. It simply means you shouldn’t answer this question. Those who have had significant global experiences should fill this out with an eye to global health and cultural competency as an important part of medical care. Please do not list touring or fun party trips in other countries. They are looking for volunteering, immersive semesters abroad, healthcare related activities or other experiences that truly had depth and meaning beyond tourism. This is for completed activities only NOT for future plans.

Special Situations:

Are there any special, unique, personal, or challenging circumstances that you would like to share with the Committee on Admissions (siblings/relatives at Penn, applying as a couple, educational environment, culture, ethnicity, etc.)

This is a great space for those with personal connections to Penn or spouses in the area to let the admissions committee know. If you are locationally restricted to the Pennsylvania area for any reason, state so here. You can also use this space to explain any strange red flags on your application. This space is not to be used for blaming others for your difficulties. Economic issues should be saved for the question that follows that specifically deals with these issues.

Out of U.S. Applicants

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.

This is their way of being nice and accommodating you if possible. If you know dates when you will be in the U.S. list them. If you are not outside the U.S. do not list dates you will be in Pennsylvania. You can do that later by e-mailing the admissions office at a more appropriate time. This is only for applicants who wil be out of the country during the application cycle.


Financial Hardship

Have you or your family experienced economic hardships?

This is pretty self explanatory, but just in case anyone is wondering: yes natural disasters destroying property or having your single parent get laid off and struggle to find a job count as hardships. No, having to take out college loans does not.

The Fee:



November 15th

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