Forensic Toxicology Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Students can achieve degrees relating to the field of forensic toxicology at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Students can prepare for a graduate program in toxicology by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, biology or physics. Each of these degree programs contains a slightly different curriculum, but all are commonly accepted by graduate degree toxicology programs.

How to Select a Forensic Toxicology School

Forensic toxicologists test bodily fluids and tissues to identify chemicals and analyze their relevance to a crime. The field includes aspects of biology, chemistry and physics. Graduate degree programs in toxicology prepare individuals to work in government and private industry.

Consider the following when looking for forensic toxicology schools:

  • Some schools offer a combined 5-year bachelor's and master's degree curriculum in toxicology.
  • Prospective toxicology master's or Ph.D. students should investigate the school's reputation, grant awards, faculty recognition and scientific agency affiliations.
  • Individuals choosing a toxicology graduate degree program should also consider the state of the school's labs, the networking opportunities it provides students and any possible financial awards.
  • Some schools offer master's and Ph.D. students full scholarships that include a living stipend.

Forensic Toxicology Program Overview

Associate of Science in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

These programs consist of 60-70-course credit hours. In addition to general education coursework, students take a core curriculum based on the program's focus. Credits earned in the majority of these degree programs are transferable to 4-year colleges or universities. Depending upon the specific degree type, students might take courses in:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Ecology
  • Cell biology

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

These programs typically require four years of study and consist of approximately 120 course credit hours. Specific coursework depends on the field of study, but all three types of programs contain some of the same courses. Some schools permit students to concentrate their studies on forensics. Course examples include:

  • Genetics
  • Neurobiology
  • Anatomy
  • Relativity
  • General chemistry

Master of Science in Forensic Toxicology

Forensic toxicology master's degree programs typically consist of two years of study. In these programs students learn drug design theories, neurochemical pharmacy, molecular biology and criminal law. Students complete either a thesis or a research project. Most programs consist of extensive amounts of lab time or internships in local labs. Toxicology-specific classes include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Drug metabolism
  • Occupational toxicology

Doctor of Philosophy in Toxicology

Some Ph.D. programs are offered as pharmacology rather than toxicology degrees. Ph.D. toxicology programs are research-intensive. The first two years is typically dedicated to coursework. During the final years students write a dissertation on a toxicology topic of their choice. Most programs permit students up to five years to complete the dissertation. Students take courses in:

  • General pathology
  • Biostatistics
  • Cardiovascular biology

10 Schools with Forensic Toxicology Programs

College/University Institution Type
University at Buffalo 4-year, Public
Emory University 4-year, Private
University of Rochester 4-year, Private
St John's University 4-year, Private
The University of Tennessee Chattanooga 4-year, Public
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, Public
Idaho State University 4-year, Public
Penn State 4-year, Public
Gateway Community College 2-year, Public
The George Washington University 4-year, Private

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