Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Broadhurst, Christopher

Second Advisor

Beabout, Brian

Third Advisor

Bonis, Marc

Fourth Advisor

McCleary-Gaddy, Asia


The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive ability of MCAT scores on the pre-clinical grade point averages of Black medical students. Underrepresented in medicine students, including students of color and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds have often been prevented from pursuing medical education. This is due to the heavy reliance on numeric metrics including undergraduate grade point averages and MCAT scores for admissions decisions. (DeCarvalho et al., 2018; Linville, 2015; Reede, 1999). The research questions employed in this study focused on the relationship between MCAT scores and pre-clinical grades of Black students and the relationship between secondary variables including undergraduate GPAs, socioeconomic status, or the tier of undergraduate institution attended on the relationship of the two primary variables.

This study was quantitative in nature and grounded in Practice Theory. Practice Theory was chosen to stimulate alteration of inequitable structures which lack representation and inclusion for marginalized and underrepresented citizens. Pearson correlations and multiple regressions were used to answer the research questions. This study added to existing data by supporting the need to eliminate absolutes from academic numeric metrics when using them in medical school admissions decisions, indicating the need to develop admissions rubrics which give value to non-quantifiable experiences, and to employ EDI personnel with the ability to forge multidimensional relationships with underrepresented applicants. Results showed a significant, yet weak, positive correlation between MCAT scores and pre-clinical GPAs for Black medical students. Only undergraduate GPAs and the number of EDI staff predicted pre-clinical GPAs and neither of these variables affected the relationship between the primary variables.

Keywords: medical education; standardized test scores; equitable admissions


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