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.
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 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:
•Risk factors of public health
•Physiology in humans
•Science and responsibility
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.