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Current Toxicology Student Handbook

The toxicology curriculum consists of several components: Core courses, electives, seminars, and research. We believe that research is the most important part of this program, with the Ph.D. degree being awarded for a dissertation that demonstrates intellectual competence. Because toxicology is highly interdisciplinary, our curriculum reflects the belief that a thorough grounding in basic sciences is indispensable. A student taking more than four years to complete the Ph.D. need earn no further credit and devote their full time to research.

Core Courses

Exemption is possible if an equivalent course has been taken elsewhere.

Course Code Course Name
IND 431

Foundations in Modern Biology I (5 credits)

IND 432

Foundations in Modern Biology II (5)

IND 501

Ethics in Research (1)

TOX 521

Biochemical Toxicology (4)

TOX 522

Organ Systems Toxicology (4)

TOX 558

Seminar in Toxicology (1 x 4 times)

PHP 403

Human Cell Physiology  (4)

PHP 404

Principles of Pharmacology  (3)

BST 467

Applied Biostatistics in the Biomedical Sciences (3)


Prior to the PhD thesis defense, a minimum of 6 credit hours must be earned from elective courses, and at least 3 of these credits must be from toxicology (TOX) electives. Some courses that commonly provide needed background for toxicology students are listed below. However, this list is by no means exhaustive and students are encouraged to check the scope and availability of courses in any given year since course offerings may change.

Course Code Course Name

TOX 501

Forensic Pathology for the Toxicologist (1)

TOX 502

Forensic Toxicology (1)

TOX 503

Skin Toxicology & the Environment (1)

TOX 510

Toxicology in Risk Assessment (1)

TOX 527

Immunotoxicology (1)

TOX 528

Gene Environmental Interactions (1)

TOX 530

Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology (2)

TOX 533

Neurotoxicology (1)

TOX 560

Societal Determinants of Neurotoxicity (1)

TOX 564

Pulmonary Toxicology (1)

BIO 402

Molecular Biology  (4)

GEN 506

Stem Cell Biology

IND 412

Graduate Experience in Science Education (2)

IND 447

Signal Transduction: Cell & Mol. Mechanisms (4)

MBI 473

Immunology (3)

NSC 512

Cellular Neuroscience (4)

PM 470

Environment & Occupational Epidemiology (3)

PTH 507

Cancer Biology (3)

PTH 510

Cell Biology of Human Disease (3)

Optional Degree Concentrations

The Program has added two concentrations to the PhD degree: Bioinformatics and Cancer Biology. Interested students should speak with the mentor and the directors for these concentrations to identify the courses that need to be taken to satisfy requirements. These courses serve as electives, but please note that the total credits earned will in most cases be greater than those required by the Toxicology Program (6). The table below provides information about the courses that are required for the concentrations and some guidance as to when they can be taken.

Concentration in Cancer Biology Concentration in Bioinformatics
  Credits   Credits
Year 2

Molecular and Cellular Biology
of Cancer1


BCH 521
Bioinformatics for Life


Cancer Biology Seminar


Current Topics in Bioinformatics

Year 3+

Clinical and Translational
Oncology for the Laboratory


Introduction to
Quantitative Biology


Cancer Biology Seminar


Current Topics in

  96+   96+

1 Concentration-specific electives can be distributed across the second through fourth years with permission of program director, concentration director, and thesis advisor.

2 With permission of concentration director and course director, the following course may be substituted for BCH 521: BIO 457 Applied Genomics (4 credits).