Pre-med at UPenn

January 4, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Pre-med at UPenn

The majority of people refer to this university as UPenn. It is the location of the Perelman School of Medicine, which is consistently regarded as one of the top medical schools in the United States. If you are accepted into this medical school, you will have access to a virtually endless supply of research possibilities. According to recent research, 76% of pre-med at UPenn had their applications to medical schools accepted. This is pretty remarkable, particularly when one takes into account the fact that the national average for that year was 43%.

As a student, you will be provided with advice as part of your enrollment, which will assist you in meeting the prerequisites for pre-med at UPenn. Through participation in this school’s pre-health advising program, you can be confident that your application to medical school will be accepted.

You can even choose one of the University of Pennsylvania‘s majors that has a pre-med emphasis to help you get ready for the steps that come after them on the path to medical school.

Does UPenn have a Pre-med?

Does UPenn have a pre-med? Even though the University of Pennsylvania is well recognized as a dominant force in the economic world, it is also widely regarded as one of the best schools for pre-med students.

According to the data, Penn (commonly referred to as “UPenn”), which ranks second among the Ivy League and scores in the top 10 among private universities across the country in terms of the number of graduates enrolling in medical school, had over 300 applicants in the year 2021.

There are a lot of different reasons why there are so many people applying for this job. Penn offers the tools that can set you up for success in premed by combining an undergraduate education from an Ivy League school with close links with the famous Perelman School of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

College students walking in the school camous.

Since all of these affiliations are situated within a short walking distance of the undergraduate campus, students will have easy access to opportunities for study, volunteering, and job shadowing.

In addition, because Penn is located in West Philadelphia, pre-med students have the opportunity to become fully involved in the neighborhood around them, which may include the possibility of working with a range of marginalized groups.

Pre-med at UPenn is distinguished from other premed schools thanks to its various distinctive offerings and resources. The Vagelos Scholars Program in Molecular Life Sciences is one example of a specialized degree program that offers mentoring and courses geared toward a future in biomedical research. This program is one of many that are available.

In addition to this, Penn has played a significant part in the history of medicine in the United States over an extraordinarily extended period of time. It is possible to trace the origins of the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania all the way back to 1765, making it the oldest medical school in the whole United States.

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which first opened its doors in 1874, holds the title of being the nation’s oldest academic hospital. Even the man who established the university, Benjamin Franklin, made significant contributions to the field of medicine.

Some of these contributions include writing about the placebo effect and vaccination, identifying several symptoms of lead poisoning, and even inventing a new type of flexible urethral catheter.

Although there are a lot of perks that come with being a pre-med at UPenn, there are also sometimes major obstacles to overcome. Competition in pre-med classes can be tough, and it can be challenging to maintain a good grade point average due to the excellent caliber of the undergraduate students who attend the school.

Even outside of the classroom, you could have to compete with other people for leadership roles in extracurricular organizations, which will make it more difficult for you to build a solid overall résumé.

What Percent of UPenn Pre-meds Get Into Med School?

What percent of UPenn pre-meds get into med school? When looking at the data as a whole, studies have demonstrated that 82% of Penn students and alumni were successful in having their applications to medical schools accepted.

This is pretty remarkable, particularly when one takes into account the fact that the national average for that year was 43%. And despite much better acceptance rates, students at Penn actually had a somewhat lower average GPA (3.63 at Penn vs. 3.68 nationwide), even though the Penn average MCAT score of 517 was significantly higher than the national average MCAT score of 512.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

Based on these findings, it appears that students of pre-med at UPenn, on average, have a higher MCAT score than the national average. It’s possible that this also suggests that Penn’s reputation and resources can positively affect your chances of being accepted to medical school; nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind that having MCAT scores that are above average is also important.

Which Undergrad is Best for Med School?

Which undergrad is best for med school? There is a widespread belief among those who are planning to pursue a career in medicine that the likelihood of being accepted into medical school varies greatly depending on the field of study chosen.

Some people believe that medical schools place high importance on the difficulty of a degree in the life sciences, while others believe that medical schools are more interested in students who have a unique background or who have a well-rounded education from an atypical major.

In point of fact, the available evidence demonstrates that students with applications to medical schools have been accepted from a diverse range of academic disciplines, which suggests that there is no single academic discipline that is universally regarded as the most beneficial for pre-med students.

Students talking while on a table.

At UPenn, you can choose from an astonishing variety of different majors to study if you so want. The conventional premed majors of chemistry and biology have been represented among the successful applicants, but so have candidates with degrees in subjects as diverse as French, anthropology, and even Wharton (i.e., business).

Despite this, students of pre-med at UPenn generally major in many of the same fields as premed students around the country, most commonly in the life sciences. This is the case not only due to the fact that students who are interested in medicine typically have an interest in the sciences but also due to the fact that the prerequisites for this kind of major will greatly overlap with your premed courses.

That is not to imply that it is impossible to major in something that does not involve significant overlap; nevertheless, doing so will require you to take a greater number of classes.


Students who intend to pursue a career in medicine almost universally choose to concentrate their undergraduate education on biological science, also known as the branch of science that investigates the life and all forms of life.

According to the statistics provided by the American Medical Association, a total of 12,845 of the 22,239 students who were documented as enrolling in medical school in the United States in the year 2020 had majored in biological science during their undergraduate studies.

Health Sciences

The field of health sciences is studied in depth at a number of undergraduate institutions. It might seem like a major in health sciences would be ideal for a career in medicine, but in reality, only 784 of the 22,239 medical school students tracked by the American Medical Association had majored in specialized health sciences.

This is despite the fact that health sciences are a popular major. This only accounts for roughly 3.5% of the total number of medical school students who major in the health sciences.

The majority of students who study health sciences end up working in the medical profession, however, they don’t typically work as doctors. Instead, these students typically find employment as technicians in the healthcare industry, where they assist physicians and other highly trained medical professionals in performing diagnostic tests, dispensing prescriptions, and carrying out a variety of other therapeutic procedures.

Biomedical Engineering

Engineers solve issues by applying the disciplines of science and mathematics, and biomedical engineers specifically apply these methodologies to the design of solutions relating to the medical area. The prerequisite scientific coursework for engineering programs is typically the same as that required for medical school.

You will have the opportunity to learn about developments in all areas of biomedical science if you decide to concentrate on your undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering.

When you are getting close to finishing the requirements for your bachelor’s degree, you will have the opportunity to make a decision about whether you want to pursue a career in engineering design or apply to medical school in order to be able to treat patients in clinical practice.

Public Health

Although the majority of students enroll in medical school with the goal of working in clinical practice as a physician or surgeon, a medical degree can also be utilized to further initiatives in public health.

Pre-med students who want to get a head start in the medical field are increasingly likely to major in public health. In point of fact, some students who specialize in medicine go above and beyond to earn a Master of Public Health degree in addition to their Doctor of Medicine degree while they are enrolled in medical school.

If you have an interest in topics such as community health, infectious disease outbreaks, disease prevention, or preventive medicine, you could be interested in pursuing a degree in public health as an undergraduate student.

However, they do cover scientific research methods and provide valuable insight into public health issues and obstacles that individuals may face in getting healthcare services. Public health degree programs tend to include fewer laboratory science courses because it is a medical major, but they do cover scientific research methods.


Applicants to medical schools who aren’t particularly interested in psychiatry could be tempted to dismiss the value of a degree in psychology as irrelevant to their professional goals. However, there is a great deal of value in learning what drives mind and conduct – in any field, particularly in a medical career. This is because medical practice is heavily influenced by thought and behavior.

It is possible to classify psychology under either the category of natural or social science. Students who major in psychology can benefit from developing a deeper comprehension of the scientific method, which serves as the basis for research in the field of medicine.

If you are familiar with the ways in which individuals think and behave, you will be able to communicate more effectively with patients. If you are interested in a medical specialty linked to mental health, such as psychiatry, or to the brain, such as neurology, majoring in psychology may be a particularly astute choice for you to make in your educational pursuits.

Social Sciences

According to the American Medical Association, there were 1,991 students who majored in the social sciences out of a total of 22,239 enrolled students in medical schools. This represents a rate of nearly 9%.

The American Medical Association reported that researchers came to the conclusion that medical school applicants with a background in social science (or a degree in the humanities) “may be more effective at communicating with patients.” This may come as a surprise to some people, given that a social science major may not seem like an obvious choice for a medical career.

What GPA is Required for UPenn?

What GPA is required for UPenn? As being a pre-med at UPenn may be an exceptionally challenging experience, particularly when it comes to preserving a strong grade point average. In premed courses, difficult topics like organic chemistry are covered. This requires you to use skills that you may not have used before, such as thinking in three-dimensional space or working backward through a complicated synthesis of a molecule. These are the kinds of skills that are necessary to become a physician.

This challenge can be made much more difficult by the fact that many of your classes will be assessed using a curve, putting you in competition with the other students in the class. This is especially true of Penn, where even entrance as an undergraduate student demands exceptional academic talents, as the school’s standards are so high.

a student studying beside a glass window

Additionally, UPenn is not widely recognized for having grade inflation, which can make it difficult for many people to acquire the GPA required for admission to medical school.

Take the most difficult coursework you can when you’re in high school with the goal of earning a grade point average of at least 3.9. In spite of the fact that UPenn does not mandate a particular grade point average (GPA) threshold for admission, candidates still have to submit their high school GPAs. Therefore, having a high-grade point average is necessary in order to improve your chances of being chosen.

Want to learn more about pre-med at UPenn? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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