Interested in a Masters of Science Degree in Toxicology? A Masters in Toxicology could cover pulmonary toxicology, analytical toxicology, environmental toxicology, renal toxicology, pesticides, neurotoxicology, molecular toxicology, and pharmaceuticals. Research GradSchools.com for Masters Degree options in Toxicology, the leading website for Graduate Programs, Colleges & Universities in Pharmacoloy and Toxicology.
Toxicology master’s degree programs focus on exploring the interplay between various chemicals, the human body and the environment, toxicology is a specialized field that may have a surprisingly broad range of applications. Toxicology master’s degree programs emphasize the importance of gathering data and practicing lab science, toxicologists may work with pharmaceutical companies doing drug research or even in an environmental capacity, studying the effects of industry on the ecosystem.
Toxicology and pharmacology are similar disciplines, and often work hand-in-hand. The principal difference between the two is that pharmacology tends to focus on the restorative effects of drugs from a therapeutic perspective. Toxicology, on the other hand, seeks largely to study and understand the negative impact of drugs and other chemicals on living systems in an attempt to help relieve these effects.
Toxicology Master’s Degree Program Curriculum
Even within the lab sciences, toxicology is a fairly specialized field. The emphasis on the effect of chemicals on the body and ecosystem mean that students should expect a high concentration of chemistry courses. Physiology is also commonly studied, as an understanding of the body's systems is necessary for analyzing chemical effects. As a heavily research-oriented field, lab courses may encompass a large amount of the curriculum.
At higher levels of study, students may be able to specialize further, focusing on smaller areas such as immunotoxicology, reproductive toxicology or even product safety evaluation. Some toxicology master’s degree programs require students to have a Bachelor of Science. While specific courses such as math, biology and chemistry may not be required, they would be considered helpful. Prospective students are encouraged to check with their selected program to verify any prerequisites.
Potential Careers for Individuals with a Master’s Degree in Toxicology
Unlike other fields of applied science, toxicology places a higher emphasis on research and lab work. For this reason, many graduates might choose to pursue careers in a research lab setting. Common applications include pharmaceutical research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical scientists claimed a 2012 median annual salary of $76,980, with jobs expected to grow by 13 percent through 20221. Other graduates of a master’s degree in toxicology program might consider teaching or academic research as a potential career path. The BLS noted that post-secondary educators reported a 2012 median annual salary of $68,970, with an expected 19 percent job growth through 2022.2
Is Earning a Master’s Degree in Toxicology Right for You?
Despite its specialized nature, toxicology is a science that might have applications across many different industrial, academic and government sectors. While many graduates may flock to the pharmaceutical or medical sciences industry, other opportunities can be found in environmental research and public health, making the degree relatively variable within the research science fields.