brown plme

Brown PLME Admissions Guide

The Brown PLME (Program in Liberal Medical Education) program is one of the most competitive combined BS/MD programs in the country. This unique program allows aspiring medical professionals to complete both their undergraduate and medical school educations within an 8-year period.

With the Brown PLME acceptance rate just over 3%, the application process is highly selective – even among other accelerated MD programs. With such a low Brown PLME acceptance rate, only a select few applicants will gain admission. If you’re looking to apply to the Brown University PLME program, it’s important to adequately prepare. 

As you explore accelerated MD programs, applying to the Brown PLME program may feel intimidating. However, CollegeAdvisor is here to help! This guide will help you navigate the Brown University PLME application process. We’ll discuss the PLME Brown program, application requirements, and important deadlines.

Before we dive into the application process, let’s start by discussing the program itself.

What is Brown PLME?

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The Brown PLME program is a combined BS/MD program, meaning students will complete both their undergraduate and medical school degrees. Considered one of the best BS/MD programs, the Brown PLME program has many unique qualities. You may be interested to learn that Brown’s PLME program is the only combined BS/MD program in the Ivy League.

However, it’s important to note that the Brown PLME program is not an accelerated MD program. Later on, we’ll discuss the key differences between the typical trajectory for accelerated MD students vs PLME Brown students. But first, let’s take a closer look at Brown’s medical school.

Does Brown have a medical school?

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Yes, Brown University has one of the best medical schools in the country. The Warren Alpert Medical School is housed within Brown’s Division of Biology and Medicine and is home to about 600 medical students. Students admitted into the Brown PLME program will enroll in the Warren Alpert Medical School once they complete the undergraduate portion of their degree. 

The Brown medical school is centered around several Brown University hospital affiliates, which service both students and the local community. Access to Brown University hospitals, such as Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, provides many opportunities for PLME students to get hands-on experience. 

In addition to an MD program, Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School also offers four other degree programs. Medical students can pursue an MD/PhD, MD/ScM in Population Medicine, ScM in Medical Science, and ScM in Medical Physics. 

The presence of the medical school, as well as surrounding Brown University hospitals, makes Brown University one of the best colleges for pre med, per CollegeAdvisor. Even if you don’t apply to the Brown University PLME program, Brown is certainly a great place to complete your medical degree. 

How is Brown PLME different from BS/MD Programs?

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There are many different BS/MD programs across the country. Some of these are accelerated MD programs, meaning students will complete the program on a condensed timeline (typically 7 years). The Brown University PLME program differs from accelerated MD programs, as it does not offer a condensed timeline for students. PLME Brown students complete their degrees on an 8-year timeline. 

Additionally, the Brown University PLME program differs from other BS/MD programs, as it centers around a broad liberal arts education. The Brown PLME program offers its own take on combined BS/MD programs by encouraging students to explore different academic areas. For students considering accelerated MD programs, the PLME Brown experience can offer a dynamic and holistic environment.

How long does Brown PLME take?

The Brown PLME program takes 8 years to complete. First, students will complete their undergraduate degree in four years. Then, they’ll complete the MD program through Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School over the following four years. However, students do have an option to defer entry to medical school for one year. So, if you’re interested in pursuing other interests before completing your MD degree, you have some flexibility. 

Is it hard to get into PLME?

Typically, combined BS/MD programs are extremely competitive. As one of the best BS/MD programs in the country, the Brown University PLME program is difficult to get into. The PLME Brown program is fairly small – with around 50 students per class. With such small class sizes, it’s no surprise the admissions process is highly competitive. 

While it may be hard to get into the Brown PLME program, it’s not impossible. Like any other competitive program, ensuring that you submit the best application you can is key. With focused attention, relevant experience, and excellent grades, you can present a winning combination of qualities to the admissions team.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the PLME application process. To provide some context, we’ll briefly discuss the Brown PLME acceptance rate. Later on, we’ll highlight important components of your application and relevant resources to help you through your college admissions journey.

What is the Brown PLME acceptance rate?

The Brown University PLME program’s Class of 2019 had 2,641 applicants. 94 of those applicants were admitted. This calculates to a Brown PLME acceptance rate of just over 3%. This makes the Brown BS/MD acceptance rate one of the lowest in the country. The Brown PLME acceptance rate is reflective of Ivy League acceptance rates overall, which tend to be extremely low. Even though the Brown BS/MD acceptance rate is one of the lowest, it should not deter you from applying. 

Like many other BS/MD programs, the Brown PLME acceptance rate is not unique. Many of the best BS/MD programs have extremely low acceptance rates and are typically very competitive. This is why it’s important to start your research early and to make sure you’re meeting all the application requirements. While the Brown BS/MD acceptance rate can be intimidating, it’s not impossible to get in. Keep reading for tips on completing the PLME Brown application! 

Understanding Brown PLME Application Process

There is no separate application for the Brown University PLME program. According to the Brown PLME website, students apply to the PLME program at the same time as they apply to Brown. Since Brown University uses the Common Application, students will need to complete the Brown Supplement along with three additional Brown PLME essays. 

In general, the Brown PLME application process is no different than applying to a traditional program. Some accelerated MD programs require separate applications, but the Brown PLME program allows students to just use a single application. In fact, students have the option to apply to the Brown PLME program through Early Decision or Regular Decision–just like other undergraduate applicants.

However, there is one significant distinction to make note of. Brown highly recommends that students submit a video introduction as part of their Brown PLME application. Students can do so via the Brown Applicant Portal once they formally submit their application. Although it may feel awkward to film, the video introduction is a great way to personally introduce yourself to college admissions officers.

As the Brown PLME program allows students to explore non-STEM Brown majors, students have the opportunity to provide a different lens to their application. In the next sections, we’ll detail the application requirements and deadlines for the PLME Brown program. 

Brown PLME Application Requirements

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Per the Brown PLME admissions website, a PLME applicant is an applicant to Brown. Therefore, the application requirements for the PLME Brown program will be the same as any other applicant. Brown requires students to submit their application, as well as supplementary materials, via the Common Application. 

In addition to the Common App, Brown requires several school forms, including: 

  • Transcript 
  • School Report 
  • Midyear grades
  • Counselor Recommendation 
  • Two Teacher Evaluations

Students applying to the PLME program will need to make sure that one of their teacher evaluations comes from a math or science teacher. This is the case for every applicant, regardless of whether they will pursue one of the non-STEM Brown majors. In the past few years, Brown has adopted a test-optional policy. As this policy may change, be sure to check the Brown Admissions website for the most up-to-date information. 

Additionally, applicants must complete the Brown supplemental essays via the Common App. Besides the standard Brown essays, students will need to complete three additional Brown PLME essays. Students should account for the additional Brown PLME essays ahead of time to ensure they have ample time to draft and edit each essay. We’ll detail the Brown PLME essays later in this guide!

Overall, applying to the Brown PLME program does not differ greatly from the general Brown application. Given the very low Brown PLME acceptance rate, it’s crucial to prepare for the application process. For more help on your Brown application, check out our guide on How to Get Into Brown

Brown PLME Application Deadline

brown plme

The Brown University PLME application is due on the same timeline as a standard Brown application. Students can apply Early Decision to the Brown PLME program, or they can apply Regular Decision. For Early Decision students, the application deadline will be November 1. For Regular Decision students, the deadline will be January 3. 

It’s crucial to understand that a student may gain acceptance to Brown University but not to the PLME program. Deciding to apply Early Decision can be a difficult choice. While applying early may result in a slightly higher Brown BS/MD acceptance rate, Early Decision is a binding agreement. This requirement means that if granted admission, you must attend and cannot apply Early Decision to any other college.

Alternatively, students can apply Regular Decision to the Brown PLME program. In this case, you’ll have the flexibility to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to attend Brown. That means, if you are not admitted to the PLME program and no longer want to attend Brown, you are free to attend any of the other schools you’ve gained acceptance at.

But remember, even if you have your heart set on the PLME program, gaining admission to Brown is fantastic—PLME program or not! Brown’s pre-med program is one of the best in the country, so you can rest assured that you will still have a solid foundation for medical school. 

PLME Program Eligibility

According to the PLME Brown website, there are no formal prerequisites for the program. However, students are encouraged to take advantage of honors and AP classes while in high school. If you’re interested in the Brown University PLME program, you should consult with your guidance counselor. Together, you can strategically pick the classes that will set you up for success. 

Ultimately, you should consider taking advanced science and math courses if you plan on applying to the best BS/MD programs, or accelerated MD programs. While there are no formal prerequisites, focusing on advanced STEM classes will help prepare you for many different Brown majors. Many of the best colleges for pre med will want to see advanced classes reflected on your transcript, so it’s important to take advantage of what your high school has to offer. 

Standardized tests

While Brown has adopted a test-optional policy for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle, it can be a good idea to adequately prepare for the SAT or ACT. Given the low Brown BS/MD acceptance rate, having excellent test scores can help you stand out in the admissions process. Students accepted into the PLME Brown program must demonstrate math/science competency and excellent verbal/writing skills. While your transcript and Brown PLME essays can help highlight your skills, strong SAT/ACT scores can help ground your application. 

With the competitive Brown PLME acceptance rate, it’s important to demonstrate your ability to do well in advanced coursework. Starting your college admissions journey early will help you prepare for the low Brown BS/MD acceptance rate and the Brown University PLME program. You can better craft your high school transcript, as well as extracurricular activities, to help boost your application!

Brown PLME Essays

In addition to the Brown supplemental essays, students applying to the Brown University PLME program will need to complete three additional Brown PLME essays. With the exceptionally low Brown PLME acceptance rate, it’s important to craft the best Brown PLME essays possible. These essays are the best opportunity for you to speak directly with the admissions officers. And, they help bring your unique personality into your application to help you stand out amongst other applicants. 

Prompts for the Brown PLME essays

Committing to a future career as a physician while in high school requires careful consideration and self-reflection. What values and experiences have led you to believe that becoming a doctor in medicine is the right fit for you? (250 word limit)

Most people describe a career as a physician/doctor as a “profession”, beyond a job. Describe for us what “professionalism” and “the profession of a physician/doctor” mean to you. (250 word limit)

How do you envision the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) helping you to meet your academic, personal, and professional goals as a person and as a physician of the future? (500 word limit)

For help breaking down each prompt, you can check out our Brown University: PLME and Brown-RISD Essay Guide. Your Brown PLME essays help add dimension to your application and can help you communicate why such a specialized program is right for you. With the low Brown BS/MD acceptance rate, and how competitive accelerated MD programs are as a whole, it’s important to demonstrate why you’re a good fit through your essays. 

Brown PLME Interview

brown plme

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Brown University PLME program does not have a formal interview process. While there is no interview, students applying to the PLME Brown program have the opportunity to submit a video introduction as part of their application. Given the highly competitive Brown BS/MD acceptance rate, students are highly encouraged to submit a video introduction. 

While the video introduction differs greatly from interviews, it can be a great opportunity to add a personal dimension to your application. The video introductions can be up to 2 minutes in length, and allow students to personally introduce themselves to the admissions office. For helpful prompts and tips for the video introduction, you can check out Brown’s webpage on the video introduction. 

How do I increase my chances of getting into Brown PLME?

brown plme

Given the extremely low Brown BS/MD acceptance rate, it’s natural to wonder how to best boost your chances of getting into the PLME Brown program. It’s important to remember that accelerated MD programs, as well as the Brown University PLME program, are difficult for many students to get into. Ultimately, even the most qualified and impressive students may not get into the PLME Brown program. While there is no secret formula to get into the Brown University PLME program, putting your best application forward is the best thing you can do. 

Get an early start

Deciding to apply to the Brown PLME program early in your high school career can help you hone your application and set yourself up for success. The college admissions process can be difficult to navigate, and the earlier you start, the better. Strategically picking your high school classes, getting involved in your community, and crafting your personal narrative are the best things you can do to prepare. Many of the best colleges for pre med look for similar student profiles, so preparing for the Brown PLME program will help you with your overall college admissions journey. 

Craft an application narrative

Once you’re ready to apply, ensuring your application demonstrates a cohesive narrative, and showcases your skills and experience, is key. Start drafting your Brown PLME essays early, and be sure to collect ample feedback and suggestions from your teachers and mentors. Craft your resume to highlight any experience you have in the medical field, as well as the humanities. Given the unique mission of the Brown PLME program, exploring all available Brown majors can help you detail why Brown’s program is your best fit. 

Overall, the Brown University PLME program is one of the most competitive in the country. Taking time to hone your application, and being intentional in crafting your high school experience, is the best way to prepare. Narrowing down your motivations for applying to the Brown PLME program can help you shape your application and put your best foot forward! 

Other Resources on Brown PLME

Applying to the Brown University PLME program can be intimidating, but we have plenty of helpful resources. Be sure to check our CollegeAdvisor’s overview of the Brown PLME program. We also have a helpful webinar on applying to pre med and combined BS/D programs, which you can watch here

Deciding if the Brown University PLME program is the best combined BS/MD program for you is crucial. Explore the Brown PLME website for information for prospective students to help understand Brown’s unique structure. For program requirements, the PLME Brown website also breaks down the degree types students can pursue, as well as competency requirements. 

The Brown PLME FAQ is also a great resource if you want more specific information. Given how competitive the PLME program is, having a full understanding of the program’s structure and focus will help your application greatly.

Brown PLME – Final Thoughts

Considered one of the best schools in the U.S., it’s no wonder that Brown’s MS/MD program is so highly ranked. With a unique focus on the humanities, the Brown PLME program offers students the opportunity to explore non-STEM Brown majors, while preparing for medical school. While it is not an accelerated MD program, Brown’s unique structure allows them to complete both their undergraduate degree and medical degree in 8 years. 

With the extremely low Brown BS/MD acceptance rate of 3%, the application process is extremely competitive. The best way to navigate the low PLME acceptance rate is to have a focused application that highlights your strengths and demonstrates that the Brown University PLME program is your best fit. For students who aren’t sure if the PLME program is right for them, remember Brown is still considered one of the best colleges for pre med. You’re sure to find excellent resources, opportunities, and access to the Brown University hospitals as a Brown student, PLME or not.

Overall, the Brown PLME program is an exceptional and unique opportunity for students dedicated to a career in medicine. Applying to the Brown PLME program can be intimidating, but arming yourself with knowledge is the best action step you can take. We hope this guide has been helpful – good luck!

brown plme

This article was written by senior advisor, Jess Klein. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.