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Am J Pharm Educ. 2012 Oct 12;76(8):151. doi: 10.5688/ajpe768151.

Diversity characteristics of the 2008-2009 pharmacy college application service applicant pool.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, University of California - San Francisco, CA 93701-2302, USA.



To characterize the 2008-2009 Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) applicant pool in terms of diversity-related variables compared with admissions-related variables.


The relationships between the diversity variables of ethnicity, gender, parental education, and prepharmacy education, and the admissions-related variables of grade point average (GPA), pharmacy college admission test (PCAT) score, and acceptance rates were evaluated.


There were 16,246 applicants to PharmCAS during the 2008-2009 pharmacy college and school admission cycle. Female applicants and non-underrepresented minorities (non-URMs) achieved higher mean GPAs, and male applicants and non-URMs had higher mean PCAT scores. Higher parental education was associated with higher mean GPA and PCAT scores. Mean PCAT score and GPA increased as prepharmacy education increased, with the exception of a bachelor's degree, which was associated with a lower GPA. Acceptance rates were higher among female applicants, non-URMs, and applicants with higher prepharmacy education and parental education.


Female applicants, non-URMs, applicants with higher than a bachelor's degree, and applicants whose parents attained a doctoral degree were associated with higher mean GPAs and PCAT scores and were accepted to a higher proportion of the colleges and schools to which they applied. Colleges and schools of pharmacy can use these data as a benchmark when evaluating admissions processes.


PharmCAS; admissions; applicant; diversity; minority

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