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MD Program Admissions Recommendations

Drexel University College of Medicine seeks highly qualified and motivated students who demonstrate the desire, intelligence, integrity, sound motivation and emotional maturity to become excellent physicians. Because of the school's unique historical background, we encourage nontraditional applicants and are committed to a diverse student body.

We recognize that a diverse educational experience enhances the education for all students and leads to additional expertise in providing care to an increasingly diverse patient population. We encourage applications from women, ethnic and racial minorities, first generation college attendees, Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents, LGBT individuals, veterans, rural, educationally disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged, and individuals who have prior careers outside of medicine. We value leadership, community service, and clinical experience, as well as accomplishments in athletics, employment and research. Our goal is to recruit and educate a class which will serve the needs of a diverse patient population.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Please review our Application Process page for information on how to apply.

Drexel University College of Medicine Commencement

Our admissions committee utilizes the process of Holistic Review in the consideration of applicants to the College of Medicine. Holistic Review is a flexible, individualized way of assessing an applicant's capabilities, by which balanced consideration is given to the experiences, attributes, and academic metrics, and when considered in combination, how the individual might contribute value as a medical student and future physician.

Statement from the Office of Admissions Regarding Academic Work Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Office of Admissions would like to address the concerns of MD Program applicants regarding theCOVID-19 pandemic, which has caused unprecedented disruption to academic work. The College of Medicine is keenly aware of the many challenges that applicants have faced.

Please be advised of the following:

  • The Admissions Committee will accept Pass/Fail, online, and courses not taken at an applicant’s “home school” without penalty to the applicant.
  • Applicants will not be penalized for experiences they had planned to complete or participate in that were impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.

For questions, please contact the Admissions Office by email at

Recommendations for Matriculation

In recent years, the scientific knowledge important to the learning and practice of medicine has changed and expanded dramatically. Drexel recognizes that future physicians must be equipped with a strong scientific foundation to practice modern medicine. In addition, they should have certain personal competencies which will allow them to have a successful career as a culturally competent, ethical health care professional.

The Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians authored by the HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) and AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) convened in 2010 to evaluate and update recommendations for premedical and medical learning. These recommendations list eight scientific competencies expected of all medical school applicants. Nine personal competencies were developed by the AAMC Innovation Lab Working Group (ILWG) and endorsed by the AAMC Council of Admissions (COA) in February 2013.

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AAMC/HHMI Competencies for Applicants

Scientific Competencies

Apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.

Demonstrate understanding of the process of scientific inquiry, and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.

Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the understanding of living systems.

Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and some of their applications to the understanding of living systems.

Demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to the structure and function of cells.

Apply understanding of how molecular and cell assemblies, organs, and organisms develop structure and carry out function.

Explain how organisms sense and control their internal environment and how they respond to external change.

Demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on earth.

Personal Competencies

Ethical responsibility to self and others

Reliability and dependability

Service orientation

Social skills

Capacity for improvement

Resilience and adaptability

Cultural competence

Oral communication


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Drexel's Admissions Recommendations

Consistent with the development of scientific and personal competencies as authored by the HHMI and AAMC, Drexel University College of Medicine moved from a premedical requirements model to competency-based recommendations. Drexel has developed a set of coursework and experience competencies that an applicant's classes and activities may fulfill. The College of Medicine will no longer require specific coursework; however, we want applicants to demonstrate competency in certain key areas.

Drexel's coursework and experience competencies:

  1. Biology – with an emphasis on the cellular and molecular aspects of living organisms. This competency may be met with one year of college biology.
  2. Chemistry – with an emphasis on an integrated sequence that leads to the mastery of biologically relevant general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. This competency may be met with two years of chemistry through the level of college biochemistry. Many possible course selections may be used for this recommendation.
  3. Physics – with an emphasis on the principles of mechanisms, kinetics, thermodynamics, wave motion, electricity and magnetism. This competency may be met with a course in college physics.
  4. Laboratory experience – with a focus on hypothesis-driven exercises, problem solving, and basic laboratory principles. One year of a lab experience in biology, chemistry, or physics is a way to demonstrate proficiency in this competency. Additional laboratory and research experiences are valued.
  5. Statistics and probability – with emphasis on hypothesis testing, quantitative scientific reasoning analysis, and biostatistics. A course in biostatistics is one way to demonstrate proficiency in this competency. Knowledge of statistics is important for understanding the literature of science and medicine.
  6. English literature/communication/intensive writing experience – a successful applicant must be competent to write, speak, and read the English language fluently. Proficiency in other languages is valued.
  7. Behavioral and social sciences – a medical career requires an appreciation that social, cultural, and behavioral issues influence individuals and communities regarding their understanding of health and illness. Applicants may explore factors that contribute to health care policy and delivery. These issues may be addressed through course work in history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, ethics, and economics.
  8. Service orientation/community service – a successful applicant will demonstrate significant commitment to community service so that applicants can gain a better understanding of a physician's role in a community and how that community may influence their patients. Examples of significant community service activities include, but are not limited to: tutoring or volunteering in a health care setting, shelter, or other organization. We recognize that students may have variable amounts of time due to other meaningful activities. These activities will be reviewed in the context of other time commitments.
  9. Meaningful clinical experience – applicants should participate in significant clinical experiences prior to matriculation in order to get a sense of working as a member of the health care community. Clinical experiences can be volunteer or work related, and should involve direct patient contact. Clinical settings include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, physicians' offices, or hospices.

Drexel University College of Medicine believes that the study and practice of medicine are enriched by the presence of students from different educational backgrounds and encourages students to obtain a broad liberal arts education. The premedical curriculum will be required to include significant academic rigor to demonstrate that the applicant can handle the scholastic demands of medical school and a commitment to lifelong learning. The curriculum in undergraduate medical education necessitates that a student be able to successfully balance a course load that is heavily weighted in the sciences. One way to demonstrate this is to take multiple science and/or math courses at the same time. Applicants will be required to have completed a course of study leading to a baccalaureate degree at an accredited college or university. If advanced placement credits in recommended courses are submitted, additional upper level science coursework will be valued.

Contact Information

Drexel University College of Medicine
Office of Admissions
60 N. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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