Longitudinal Associations Between Grit, Academic Outcomes, and Residency Match Rates Among Pharmacy Students

Katherine Gruenberg, Tina Brock, Conan MacDougall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To characterize Grit-S scores in pharmacy students, determine whether Grit-S scores change within individual pharmacy students and cohorts over time, and investigate the relationship between Grit-S scores, academic outcomes, and professional outcomes. 

Methods. A survey was conducted in fall 2016 and again in fall 2017 to determine Grit-S scores in first- through fourth-year pharmacy students. Participant demographic variables, grade point average (GPA), advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) ratings, and residency match results were collected. 

Results. Over the study period, 852 survey responses were completed by 85% of students surveyed. The mean Grit-S scores of each cohort ranged from 3.5 to 3.7 (on a 5-point scale with 5 representing the highest level of grit). Underrepresented minorities had slightly higher Grit-S scores and first-generation college students had slightly lower Grit-S scores. Two hundred eighty-seven students responded to both the 2016 and 2017 surveys. Among these paired responses, small but significant changes in individual Grit-S scores over time that varied in direction and magnitude by school year were noted. Higher Grit-S scores were not associated with higher GPA or superior APPE performance, nor were they predictive of a student matching to a postgraduate pharmacy residency. 

Conclusion. Significant associations between grit and measures of academic or professional achievement were not detected in this pharmacy student cohort. The presence of small but significant changes in Grit-S scores over time, in the absence of any intervention, has implications that further research should be conducted in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6947
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • academic success
  • achievement
  • grit
  • pharmacy education

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