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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Toxicology

Majors Overview April 26, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in toxicology and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Toxicology

Toxicologists engage in the study and evaluation of the effects of biological, chemical, and physical agents on living organisms. Students enrolled in a master’s degree program in this field are provided training in both environmental and human/mammalian toxicology.

A research-oriented Master of Science (M.S.) program makes graduates adept at teaching, conducting research, and supplying vital toxicity information to public interest groups and governmental organizations.

Schools also offer a non-thesis program option that may culminate in a Master of Toxicology (M.Tox) degree. Professionals who seek advanced toxicology training, but do not seek research experience would be best served by enrolling in this program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in science or a related major. They are also required to have completed undergraduate courses in calculus, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics. Prospective students are also expected to possess a grasp of engineering and a background in physical sciences.

Coursework

Coursework in a toxicology program can cover elements of analytical chemistry, statistics, pathology, pharmacology, and genetics. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Molecular toxicology
•Reproductive toxicology
•Risk factors of public health
•Neuropharmacology
•Forensic toxicology
•Physiology in humans
•Toxicology methods
•Biodynamic principles
•Science and responsibility
•Pharmacology principles

Job and Wage Outlook

Toxicologists are considered to belong to a field of medical scientists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $76,980 (BLS). A competitive advantage is enjoyed in the job market by specialists in toxicology over individuals armed with a biology degree or other broader education (Society of Toxicology). Toxicologists can seek occupations in the pharmaceutical industry and academia, in addition to government organizations and research foundations (SOT).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete an M.S. degree program may seek continuing education by applying to a Ph.D. degree program. A dissertation may have to be presented by candidates for the Ph.D. before they graduate. Armed with a Ph.D., graduates may seek college-level teaching jobs.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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