Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Donald W. Good

Committee Members

Bethany Flora, Peter Panus, Jasmine Renner


With the increase of students applying to pharmacy programs, it is imperative that admissions committees choose appropriate measures to analyze student readiness. The purpose of this research was to identify significant factors that predict the academic performance, defined as grade point average (GPA) at the end of the first professional year, of pharmacy students. The population consisted of 466 students enrolled in a Doctor of Pharmacy Program in northeast Tennessee over a 5-year period. Statistical procedures included bivariate correlations, t-tests for independent samples, and multiple regression. Analysis of the data revealed that the majority of the students in the population were between 21 and 24 years of age, female, and White, non-Hispanic. Most were from the surrounding region, attended a 4-year undergraduate institution, and earned a bachelor’s degree prior to pharmacy school. Average PCAT scores were: 68 (Composite), 67 (Biology), 64 (Chemistry), 64 (Reading), 60 (Quantitative Ability), and 68 (Verbal Ability). The average undergraduate GPAs were 3.43 (cumulative) and 3.32 (math and science), whereas the average first-year pharmacy school GPA for the population was 3.33. Younger students tended to have higher first-year pharmacy GPAs than did older students. Students with higher PCAT Composite, Biology, Chemistry, or Verbal Ability scores also tended to have higher first-year pharmacy GPAs. Students in the population under study with high undergraduate math and science GPA or undergraduate cumulative GPA also tended to have a high first-year pharmacy GPA. Female students had higher first-year pharmacy GPAs than male students, and White, non-Hispanic students had higher first-year pharmacy GPAs than students of other races or ethnicities. Predictors of first-year performance differed based on gender and race or ethnicity, but cumulative and math and science undergraduate GPAs were consistently significant predictors. No significant difference in first-year pharmacy GPA was observed based on regional status, undergraduate institution type or location, or bachelor’s degree status. The linear combination of preadmission factors was significantly related to first-year pharmacy GPA using a multiple regression model, and the cumulative undergraduate GPA variable accounted for 25% of the variance in the first-year pharmacy GPA.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.