A Master of Science program in toxicology is research-oriented and requires a thesis. It prepares graduates to teach, conduct research and supply vital toxicity information to governmental organizations and public interest groups. A Master of Toxicology (M. Tox) degree is non-research-oriented, and has no thesis requirement.
Applicants to these 2-year programs should have a bachelor's degree in science or a related field. Students should also have a background in physical sciences and an understanding of engineering.
Master's Degree in Toxicology
A toxicology program can include elements of genetics, pharmacology, pathology, statistics and analytical chemistry. Common courses include:
- Toxicology methods
- Physiology in humans
- Forensic toxicology
- Risk factors of public health
- Reproductive toxicology
- Molecular toxicology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
As of September 2019, PayScale.com reported that toxicologists earned a national median salary of $84,439. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers toxicologists as part of the field of medical scientists. An annual median salary of $84,810 was reported for that profession in 2018 by the BLS. The Society of Toxicology (SOT) stated those who have specialized in toxicology have a competitive advantage over those who have followed a broader educational path such as a biology degree (www.toxicology.org). Toxicologists work in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as with research foundations and government organizations, according to the SOT.
Upon successful completion of an M.S. degree program, students may apply to a Ph.D. degree program. Candidates for a Ph.D. may be required to present a dissertation prior to graduation. With a Ph.D., graduates may be able to teach at the college level.
Students interested in toxicology can pursue a research-based Master of Science or non-research-based Master of Toxicology. Graduates of these programs can earn a Ph.D. in the field, or work as toxicologists and medical scientists.