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A student survey was conducted to determine perceptions of such things as differential treatment due to gender, level of preparedness for courses in the hard sciences, and gender performances of students in the sciences. Additionally, students’ grades of sixteen courses with a heavy hard science focus were analyzed by taking the percent of a letter grade sorted by male or female to determine if there was a significant gender difference in the final grades. Our objectives were to: 1) determine if the underrepresentation of women in some health-related jobs is due to discouragement of females to enter these professions or perceptions of success in hard science courses, 2) examine grades in courses with a strong biology and chemistry focus to see if a significant difference due to gender exists. We concluded that a gender gap in hard sciences grades at the School of Pharmacy did exist but the gap was not large and was not present in all courses. The majority of women were not discouraged to pursue a science based career, but there was a difference in the perceived confidence that many females exhibit in the ability to learn material in the hard science courses and in their preparedness for hard science exams.


Originally published in Creative Education at .