Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

Information about dual degree programs offered by colleges and schools of pharmacy is scarce. Factors that motivate a pharmacy student to pursue a dual degree have not been formally assessed. Furthermore, whether dual degree graduates pursue non-traditional career paths more often than single degree graduates (i.e. PharmD degree alone) is unknown. The research questions are: 1.) Why do PharmD students pursue dual degree programs at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy? and 2.) Does obtaining a dual degree increase the likelihood of a “non-traditional” pharmacy jobs upon graduation?

There are three main parts of this capstone project. The first part of this project is composed of descriptive analyses of reasons that motivate first year pharmacy students (PY1) at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) to pursue a dual degree. The second part of this project is to assess current second through fourth year dual degree pharmacy students (PY2-PY4) opinions of dual degree programs offered at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. The first and second parts of this project will be assessed using survey questions. The third part of the project examines the career paths of existing University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy graduates, using logistic regression.

There was an 81.8% response rate for first year pharmacy students (PY1) and a 73.7% response rate for dual degree students (PY2-PY4) surveyed. Approximately 66% of PY1 students did not want to pursue a dual degree. More than 66% of PY1 students believed obtaining a dual degree will lead to a higher chance of advancing in their career. The majority of dual degree students (40%) stated that they chose their respective dual degree program to differentiate themselves from pharmacy peers and become more marketable .The next reason for pursuing a dual degree was that students could obtain a second degree and not pay extra tuition, in essence a “free degree” (20%).

Approximately 16% of PY1 students want to pursue “non-traditional” pharmacy career verses 36% of dual degree students who want to pursue a “non-traditional” pharmacy career. The odds ratio between 2010 vs. 2009 University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy graduates was significant. Student who graduate in 2010 are 2.269 times more likely to have a “non-traditional” job than those who graduate in 2009. The likelihood of obtaining a non-traditional pharmacy career if you had a “dual degree” was very close to significant.

Faculty and professors to pharmacy students throughout their education should heavily emphasize career advice. Information about possible non-traditional pharmacy careers can influence graduates to be open-minded to alternative career paths.