Linkage Program??

Hello Everyone,
I am new to this forum (I will save some time to introduce myself later) and have found this forum amazingly helpful.
Thank you for taking your time to post all those messages!
I happened to read about “linkage program” and have a quick question:
I am wondering what their admission requirements are. If they don’t require MCAT, what are their selection criteria? Is it really hard to gain admittance to the program?
I heard Brown University is one of them that doesn’t require MCAT, but then how do they accept people based solely on their academic records, etc.?
Thank you in advance for answering my question.


I am going to show my ingnorence, but what is a “linkage” program?

Hi Amy,
Several of the formal post-bacc prgms have what is referred to as linkage prgms.
In late fall, students are able to apply to the school’s linkage program—that is a select list of med schools with which the school has a relationship (linkage) with. If accepted they can then matriculate the following fall rather than wait the “glide” year to complete premed requirements.
For instance Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Columbia, Scripps, Penn, Johns Hopkins, etc. link with some or all of GW, Drexel, Jefferson, Temple, Brown, Dartmouth, Suny Downstate, and Ben Gurion.
The pitfall is somewhat akin to that in the Early Decision Plan. One can only attempt to link with one school and if accepted must attend there.
The advantages are that one is accepted prior to taking the April MCAT and the completion of class work, but mind you that acceptance is provisional based on a certain MCAT and GPA…
Have a nice weekend.


The advantages are that one is accepted prior to taking the April MCAT and the completion of class work, but mind you that acceptance is provisional based on a certain MCAT and GPA…

Well, this is true regarding GWU, Jefferson, Drexel, Temple, SUNY-Downstate, SUNY-Stonybrook…you get accepted before April and your admission is contingent on maintaining a certain GPA and MCAT score (usually, 3.5 GPA and 27 -9,9,9- MCAT score). However, for the schools that do not require MCAT scores (Brown, Rochester, Dartmouth), you do need to take the MCAT and your admission is not contingent on your APril MCAT performance. To answer your question, John, the decision to admit you for these schools are based entirely on your academic record, EC, and other portions of your MCAT. All the same portions the other schools will consider, minus the MCAT.
Chasmo, is also correct that it is essentially early decision. You can only apply to one school and if accepted you make a promise to attend. So for example, if you apply early decision to Drexel, let’s say, and take the MCAT and find you scored a 42. You cannot at that point, rescind your linkage/consort application/agreemnet and decide to shop around, apply to Harvard, etc. You are confined to those 9 schools and once accepted you cannot decide to shop around. In all honesty, one of the negatives for me, is that let’s say I wanted to try to go to a state school or go where they gave the best scholarship offer, the linkage schools do not offer that kind flexibility.
However, from people who have done it and not done it, I’ve heard by and large that you should do it. Even the ones that didn’t do it, say so bc they say that at the end of it all they ended up with the same choices.
It really is a fantastic way to not waste the glide year and avoid the headache/stress of applying, waiting, interviewing, waitlist, etc. Not to mention even if it’s a school with an MCAT requireemnt, a lot of the guesswork is removed bc you know exactly what is good enough.
Also, I should say that this advice and list of linkage schools is based entirely on Bryn Mawr. I believe Columbia and Goucher has a very similar lists (with same schools give or take a couple of different ones and same number of schools).

Ok, thanks. I have heard of them then. Has anyone here on OPM done them and could recomend them to others?

The following is a list of schools you can link to through the Columbia post-bacc
1. Brown University School of Medicine
2. Jefferson Medical College
3. Drexel University
4. State University of New York - Brooklyn School of Medicine
5. State University of New York - Stony Brook School of Medicine
6. Temple University School of Medicine
7. Trinity College (Dublin) Medical School

Scripps offers a post-bacc program which has linkages to the following medical schools:
1. George Washington University School of Medicine
2. Temple University School of Medicine
3. The Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine
See Scripps Linkages page for more information.

Bryn Mawr offers linkage, or they call it, consortium with the following medical schools:
1. Brown University School of Medicine
2. Dartmouth Medical School
3. Drexel University College of Medicine
4. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
5. Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
6. SUNY Downstate College of Medicine - Brooklyn
7. SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine Health Sciences Center
8. Temple University School of Medicine
9. University of Rochester School of Medicine
See Bryn Mawr’s Consort School Page for more information.

Goucher offers linkages to the following medical schools:
1. Brown Medical School
2. Drexel University College of Medicine
3. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
4. Stony Brook University School of Medicine
5. Temple University School of Medicine
6. Tulane University School of Medicine
7. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Goucher informational download states:


Each year, these medical schools will accept a limited number of qualified
students from the Goucher Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program into their schools. This eliminates the “glide
year” between the completion of the Goucher program and the beginning of medical school. In a typical year,
approximately one-third of the class will opt to apply to one of our linkage schools.

Hope that information helps a little to dispel the confusiona about linkage programs. Also, don’t forget to use the particular post-bacc programs director as a portal of first-hand information. Email them or call them and they’d be glad to elaborate.
P.S. I think Penn might also have some linkages, although it is not clear which ones on their web site.

I really hope if someone here on OPM did one of these, that they will fill in our OPMers on their experiences.

Thank you Chasmo, iwant2bMD!

I asked someone who went to the Bryn Mawr program about this. She said the following:
1. Not everyone in the program gets in to the consort schools; you’re still competing against people in the Bryn Mawr program.
2. The consort schools have different arrangements with the program; in some cases, you accept the arrangement very early but your acceptance is contingent on an MCAT score. In other cases, as in Brown, Dartmouth and Rochester, you have to interview later in the year.
My friend felt that some of the Philly schools ended up getting “better people than they deserved” because people signed up early; she took her chances in the open market and felt that she ended up having better options that way. However, she was an extremely strong applicant in several different ways.

I suppose it should be clarified that in no post-bacc program (at least any of the ones listed Scripps, Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Columbia) is every post-bacc guaranteed or offered a spot in the consort/linkage schools. Most schools do not have a specific cut-off, but I believe Brown does. It says it will accept 2 students from Bryn Mawr, 2 from Goucher, 2 from Columbia, etc. So obviously, if more than 2 people apply, then not everyone is offered a spot. Finally, even if only 2 people apply, they can choose to reject one or both of them for the same reasons any other medical school rejects appplicants. So it is by no means a shoo-in, but it is simply an option (that if you are accepted) to attend these schools without the hassle of regular admission and glide year. It is my impression that once accepted, it is contingent upon maintaining a 3.5 in the post-bacc program and, for those that require the MCAT - obtaining a 9 on each section of the MCAT.
Research the consort/linkage schools. It is not a wide selection. Notice that John Hopkins, Harvard, etc. are not the consort/linkage list. You can only apply for one, and if accepted, you must go to that one. Linkage/consorts are not ideal for someone who really wants a lot of options.
I know someone who went to Bryn Mawr and went to Rochester through the linkage. He says Rochester is a great school and he did not have to stress about the MCAT/other aspects application cycle. I know another person who did not apply for linkage, but suggested that I do it. He chose not to apply to any linkage/consort schools bc he wanted more options in the regular cycle. In the end, he ultimately narrowed down his choice to Dartmouth, which was option for the linkage. Obviously, he doesn’t know if he would’ve gone in through the linkage, but in hindsight he wished he had applied. For anyone interested in speaking to someone firsthand about their linkage experience, PM me and I can put you in touch with them, but I don’t think it would be proper to publicize their name here.
I think what post-bacc you go to and if you apply for any linkage/consort schools connected to the post-bacc programs is a very personal decisions based on where you’d like to end up and the strength of your application. Many people on this forum who did not do a formal post-bacc and/or a linkage/consort and ended up in fabuluous schools. There is more than one way to get there. I would never go to one of these schools for the linkage program, bc after all it is not an absolute - just an option. But personally, I see that option as an added benefit beyond the things that already appeal to me about the particular progarm.

hi - just wanted to add my two cents to this discussion. i completed the post-bacc program at scripps college out in california. first off, i want to say that it was an absolutely wonderful experience. i can’t say enough positive things about the post-bacc program at scripps. it was definitely a tremendous amount of work but the program is very well structured and there is a great deal of support offered by the staff and professors. they are very enthusiastic about the program and will do everything in their power to make sure that you make it through the year and into medical school. i took advantage of the linkage and am currently at temple medical school. when i attended, it was very easy to get a conditional acceptance and you simply had to maintain the required gpa and mcat score. i don’t know if the same holds true now. in my year, every single person who applied to the linkages got in (both at temple and at gwu). there were three of us who went to temple and five others from the program went to gwu. another five or so applied the following year in the open pool. i hope this helps…

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone out there had ever managed to organize an “informal” linkage arrangement with a particular med school? I would like to go to UNECOM, they have a linkage program with Tufts, but I am attending Harvard Extension School (the price cannot be beat and the night classes mean I don’t need tons of childcare, another huge cost…). Is it even worth approaching them with a request for an arrangement similar to the one they have at Tufts? Am I crazy to mention it?