Toxicology Program Overview
Have you ever wondered why prescription drugs have side effects? Or why some plants and animals are poisonous? Or how exposure to air pollutants affects people’s health? As you learn the answers to these questions, you will be preparing for a rewarding career in toxicology.
Toxicology is the study of how chemicals affect human health and the environment. AU is one of only thirteen schools in the country that offer a comprehensive bachelor’s degree in this field. Our program provides coursework in biology and chemistry that prepare you for career opportunities in industry and government, medical/health professional schools or graduate research programs.
Is This Program Right for You?
This program is ideal for anyone who:
- Is passionate about investigating chemicals to reduce their harmful effects
- Wants to understand how the toxicants in the environment affect people’s health and discover ways to eliminate them
- Finds poisonous plants fascinating and wants to learn more about them
- Aims to improve the safety of drugs and other chemical products
You can look forward to:
- Learning from an extraordinary group of professors who are respected scholars in their fields
- Using modern science instrumentation to conduct research in unique facilities, such as:
- Four laboratories dedicated to collaborative research
- Five area environmental preserves
- A greenhouse and research animal facility
These are a few of the toxicology courses you will take:
- Principles of Toxicology - Covers the basic principles of toxicology, focusing on the biochemical, physiological and ecological effects of toxicants
- Methods in Toxicology - Study methods used in toxicological research and obtain hands-on experience applying techniques to toxicological problems.
- Toxic Agents - Learn about the toxic activities, physical properties, regulatory status and current/historic uses of various poisons, pesticides and environmental toxins.
- Pharmacology and Toxicology - Survey the major categories of drugs and toxicants and their therapeutic and/or toxic effects on humans.
When you graduate, you’ll be ready to work in applied areas, such as clinical medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and forensic science. With your bachelor’s degree, you will qualify for entry-level toxicology jobs as technicians, lab assistants or animal-care specialists.
What kinds of work will you do? As a toxicologist you may:
- Conduct basic research on the effects of toxicants on human health and the environment
- Develop and perform tests to assess the safety of drugs and other chemical products
- Assist government agencies in developing regulations and standards in areas ranging from food safety to pollution control
There are approximately 9,000 toxicologists currently working in the U.S. and Canada. Demand for these professionals far exceeds supply. About half of open positions go unfilled each year.