Dive deep into the interactions between drugs and chemicals and biological systems with a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology. Taught by renowned faculty in the historic Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, our research-focused program trains you to be a pharmacologist or toxicologist in academia, private industry or public service.
Pharmacology and Toxicology MS
Saint Joseph’s Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology combines informative course study with independent laboratory research. Build your mastery of how drugs and chemicals work and be in the front lines of drug innovation with a pharmacology and toxicology graduate degree.
Our thesis-based curriculum emphasizes the integration of pharmacology and toxicology with biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, physiology, statistics and experimental design. You’ll gain a solid knowledge foundation and hands-on research skills to pursue toxicology careers and pharmacologist careers in academia, private industry or public service. You’ll conduct independent research under the guidance of faculty researchers, defend a master’s thesis and present research findings at local and national scientific conferences. You also have the option to work toward the Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD degree.
Through Saint Joseph's 4+1 program, current undergraduate students can start earning credits toward their Pharmacology and Toxicology MS dgeree during their senior year. This unique option allows you to graduate with two degrees — a bachelor's and master's — in just five years, saving you time and money. Students from all majors are welcome to apply, but students majoring in areas outside of computer science may be required to complete prerequisite coursework. Students interested in this program should apply to the graduate program in their junior year and be conditionally accepted before they complete their bachelor's degree.
What Sets Our Program Apart
You’ll conduct groundbreaking research shoulder-to-shoulder with faculty in your coursework and laboratory rotations. Our pharmacology and toxicology faculty are conducting research in areas including:
- Cancer pharmacology
- Metabolism and cellular mechanisms of drug toxicity and xenobiotics
- Cancer motility and signaling
- Cardiovascular pharmacology and neuropharmacology
You can find more information on our faculty and their research below:
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 the Pharmacology & Toxicology Center (PTC), Griffith Hall and McNeil Research Center. We have labs dedicated to pharmacology and toxicology research, which contain instruments such as real-time PCR for nucleic acid amplification, fully automated flash chromatography system and more equipment to maximize your learning experience.
Our long-standing relationships with many companies and organizations provide you with internships, as well as pharmacologist jobs and toxicologist jobs. For example, a majority of our graduates have launched their professional careers at pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Johnson & Johnson.
The MS in pharmacology and toxicology program is designed to accommodate small classes and laboratory sessions, enabling valuable connections with your peers and professors.
What Can I Do With a Master’s in Pharmacology and Toxicology?
Pharmacologists and toxicologists determine the immediate and long-term effects of chemicals (such as drugs, cosmetics and household products) on the health of individuals.
A master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology prepares you for a professional career as a pharmacologist or toxicologist in a wide variety of settings including:
- Research institutions
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Hospitals and clinics
- Government and regulatory agencies
The master’s program in pharmacology and toxicology is designed for full or part-time study and research. You should have undergraduate preparation in mathematics through calculus, biology and mammalian anatomy, chemistry, biochemistry and general physics.
The MS degree requires the completion of at least 20 credits of coursework and a minimum of 10 credits of research. Courses fulfilling the didactic course requirement should be primarily courses at the 700 or 800 level required by the program and research advisor/advisory committee. You will also need to prepare and defend a research thesis.
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
Affordable tuition options start at $900 per credit.*
*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, student loans, graduate assistantships and discount eligibility may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Why Study Pharmacology and Toxicology in Philadelphia?
Saint Joseph’s University City campus in Philadelphia is in the heart of the biotech and health science industry — we’re surrounded by 250+ facilities and within two hours of 75% of all U.S. pharmaceutical firms. The city's diverse population and variety of health science employers offer the unique opportunity to gain experience in pharmacology and toxicology research. Here, you’ll make numerous connections in the industry and get a competitive edge in the job market.
You must meet the following prerequisites to be considered for admission to the master’s in pharmacology and toxicology program:
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college or be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or first degree program at Saint Joseph’s
- Fluent in both spoken and written English (see below for language requirements for international applicants)
- Complete a minimum of 3 credits for each of the following courses or equivalent courses (students can complete these prerequisites after matriculation):
- Anatomy & Physiology
GRE scores are optional. You can submit them if you think they’ll strengthen your application.
- Apply online.
- Submit official college transcripts from all colleges attended. If you attended Saint Joseph’s, we will obtain this transcript for you.
- Submit a 1000-word personal statement explaining your short and long term study and career goals. Applicants to the thesis MS must also identify at least two of the program’s faculty whose research interests align most closely with yours. Personal statements may be submitted as part of application via the application portal.
- Submit resume or CV.
- Submit three letters of recommendation.
The application deadlines for admission to Saint Joseph’s MS in pharmacology and toxicology program are:
- Priority Review for ALL applicants: March 1
- Domestic Student Deadline: June 1
- International Student Deadline: March 1
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Pharmacology is an important basic science discipline in health professions such as medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Toxicology expands our knowledge of pharmacology and other biological and chemical sciences to explain and predict the nature and extent of the harmful effects chemicals have on living things.
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.
Yes. The demand for pharmacologists and toxicologists has increased with the explosion of research the scientific community has experienced. In addition to advancements in drug therapy, our society has been faced with the reality of the toxic effects of many chemicals, such as food additives and environmental pollutants. Pharmacologists and toxicologists play an important role in the discovery, development, testing and control of these drugs and chemicals.
While there are entry-level roles in pharmacology and toxicology that only require a bachelor’s degree, most employers require at least a master’s or PhD for pharmacologist and toxicologist positions.