Saint Joseph’s is the only university in the region offering a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry. With this program, you’ll learn all aspects of drug development, from initial design to delivery.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Major
Many breakthroughs in science and technology have occurred as a result of research in pharmacology and toxicology, including advancements in drug therapy. Saint Joseph’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology program is one of the few undergraduate programs of its kind in the country that prepares you to enter this cutting-edge field. In this program, you’ll learn laboratory techniques and how to conduct and analyze research while mastering pharmacology and toxicology theoretical approaches. You’ll conduct independent research in our state-of-the-art labs under the guidance of expert faculty and present your findings in our annual undergraduate research symposium.
What Can I Do with a Pharmacology and Toxicology Degree?
Pharmacologists and toxicologists play an important role in the discovery, development, testing and control of chemicals. With a degree in pharmacology and toxicology, you’ll be able to find good-paying, entry-level positions in:
- Pharmaceutical and chemical industries
- Biomedical research
- Forensic laboratories
- Government and environmental agencies
A high percentage of our graduates also pursue an MS or PhD in pharmacology and toxicology and a variety of other disciplines including:
- Cell and molecular biology
What Sets Our Program Apart
The Explorers and Scholars in Science Program allows selected first-year students to conduct eight weeks of full-time research with a faculty mentor during the summer following their first undergraduate year at Saint Joseph’s University. The program includes a stipend, and scholars present at a summer research symposium.
Saint Joseph’s pharmacology and toxicology curriculum was designed with government and industry advisors to meet their needs as potential employers. Our curriculum is focused on research design, analytical methodology and data analysis — all the practical skills you’ll need to pursue a successful career as a pharmacologist or toxicologist.
As a pharmacology and toxicology student, you’ll get to examine how drugs work — and why some are toxic — in our well-equipped laboratories inside Griffith Hall. We have a lab dedicated to pharmacology research, which contains a real-time PCR for nucleic acid amplification, a fully automated flash chromatography system and more equipment to maximize your learning experience.
You’ll get to conduct research with our expert faculty on a topic of your choice during your third and fourth years of study. Many students publish or present their research results in science journals or at local science meetings, such as the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Toxicology.
The pharmacology and toxicology program is an outstanding precursor to medical school because of its focus on the scientific theory of and research practices in the biomedical sciences. You can complete the basic courses required for admission to medical school in the first two years of the program and extend this knowledge in subsequent core and elective courses. At Saint Joseph’s you’ll get health professions advising support to reach your goal of attending medical school.
The BS in pharmacology and toxicology program is designed to accommodate small classes and laboratory sessions, enabling valuable connections with your peers and professors.
Why Study Pharmacology and Toxicology in Philadelphia?
Here in Philadelphia, you’re in the heart of the health and science industry. You’re in close proximity to healthcare and research institutions, major pharmaceutical and government agencies. Saint Joseph’s numerous connections in the industry will also give you a competitive edge in the job market as you acquire valuable experience through internships or traineeships.
The focus of the pharmacology and toxicology program is on the scientific theory of and research practices in the biomedical sciences. You’ll gain valuable experience in laboratory techniques, research conduct and analysis.
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
Health Professions Pathways
We offer health professions advising for students who are interested in pursuing a science- or health-related career. Pharmacology and toxicology majors can participate in our pre-health professions (pre-med) program, which provides the tools, preparation and foundation to gain admission to medical school, as well as dental, veterinary, optometry or podiatry schools.
Double Majors and Minors
Here at Saint Joseph’s, we encourage you to double major or add a minor to make your experience rewarding and unique. The following majors or minors can complement your pharmaceutical chemistry degree:
Professional and scientific affiliations enrich your educational experience by providing you with the chance to learn from and network with those in your field. Our students, faculty and alumni are affiliated with the following organizations:
- Society of Toxicology
- Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Toxicology
- American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
- American Cancer Society
- American Chemical Society
- Society for Neuroscience
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society
- Association for Women in Science
- Delaware Valley Drug Metabolism Discussion Group
- American Physiological Society
- Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society
The tuition for a pharmacology and toxicology major entering fall 2022 is $27,500/year*. *Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page for a detailed cost breakdown.
Financial aid in the form of scholarships, federal and state grants, loans and discount eligibility may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Major Admissions Information
To apply for the Pharmacology and Toxicology BS program, complete an application online. SAT and/or ACT scores are optional but you can submit them if you think they will strengthen your application.
Learn more about admissions requirements and how to apply as a first-year student, transfer student or international student. You can also get a feel for life as a Hawk with our in-person and virtual visit opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Pharmacology is the study of the actions and effects of chemicals intended primarily for the prevention, treatment or diagnosis of disease. Meanwhile, toxicology is the study of the poisonous or injurious effects of drugs and chemical agents on living organisms.
Pharmacologists and toxicologists determine the immediate and long-term effects of chemicals (such as drugs, cosmetics and household products) on the health of individuals. Toxicologists extend the work of pharmacologists by examining the adverse effects of those chemicals and assessing the risks associated with them.
Become a practice-ready pharmacist in a range of areas through Saint Joseph’s direct entry pharmacy program. Enter the program as a first-year undergraduate student or transfer student to earn a bachelor’s in pharmaceutical and healthcare studies and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in six years. If you already have the prerequisites completed or have a baccalaureate degree, you can enter directly into the professional phase of the program.
As a biochemistry student, you’ll dive into an exciting interdisciplinary field that explores the chemicals and chemical reactions in living systems. You’ll learn to use powerful analytical tools — including nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy — to study the molecules that power life.