Saint Joseph’s University’s accredited master’s in pharmaceutics program explores how best to administer a drug to the human body and turn chemicals into effective medications. With a pharmaceutics graduate degree, you’ll advance to the forefront of medical progress.
Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD
Saint Joseph’s University’s Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD, housed in the School of Health Professions’ historic Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, trains you to contribute to this growing body of scientific and medical research with a curriculum that combines theory with experiment. Pharmacology and toxicology lie on the cutting edge of medicine, where researchers discover and determine the effects of chemicals.
This doctoral degree in pharmacology and toxicology offers the opportunity to conduct doctoral-level research, defend a PhD thesis and publish and present your research. With a PhD, you’ll gain a competitive edge to advance your career in academia, the government or the pharmaceutical industry.
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
As a pharmacology and toxicology PhD 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, and equipment to maximize your learning experience, which contains:
- A real-time PCR for nucleic acid amplification
- Flow cytometers
- Fluorescence microscopes
- A fully automated flash chromatography system
Our long-standing relationships with many companies and organizations provide you with fieldwork and job opportunities. For example, a majority of our graduates have launched their professional careers at pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Johnson & Johnson.
The PhD program in pharmacology and toxicology is taught by expert faculty in the field. This program is designed to accommodate small classes and laboratory sessions, enabling valuable connections with your peers and professors.
You can find more information on our faculty and their research below:
What Can You Do With a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology?
With a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology, you’ll have a thorough theoretical knowledge and hours of laboratory experience that can immediately improve your career prospects. Numerous pharmacologist jobs and toxicologist jobs exist in diverse settings including:
- Clinical Researcher
- Forensic Scientist/Toxicologist
- Drug/Toxicant Information Specialist
- Pharmaceutical Marketing
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Pre-doctoral students must pass written and oral comprehensive qualifying exams to achieve doctoral candidacy.
The PhD degree requires the completion of at least 20 credits of coursework and a minimum of 20 credits of research. Courses fulfilling the didactic course requirement for the PhD degree should be primarily core courses at the 700 or 800 level required by the program and Research Advisor/Advisory Committee. A maximum of 6 credits of courses at the 300 or 400 level can be accounted for this requirement. 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.
As a PhD student in the pharmacology and toxicology program, you are required to propose, develop and perform an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor and advisory committee. Once you complete your research project, you must write a thesis and defend it before an examination committee, which includes the advisory committee and an external reviewer.
Affordable tuition options start at $1,200 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 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 offers 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 Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD 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
- Basic Pharmacology
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. You 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 PhD 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
The master's program is taught in a similar style to that of an undergraduate degree. Students enrolled in the MS in Pharmacology and Toxicology will be taught lecture-style, along with assignments and projects to complete. The master's program can be completed within two years if enrolled as a full-time student.
The PhD program allows the student to work independently on a research-based project that will be presented at the end of the program. Students will work alongside Saint Joseph's expert pharmacology and toxicology professors to help guide their research. Due to the intensive coursework of the PhD, it can take up to six years to complete.
Both programs require you to complete further research on a specific topics to be presented at the end of your study. The master's program culminates in a thesis statement to be presented, while doctoral students will complete a dissertation. A thesis is compilation of small research assignments based on the information gathered throughout the program. The dissertation allows you to formulate new research on a specific topic of your choosing, contributing to a new theory or practice in your field.
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 learn how drugs modify living organisms by studying and measuring drug actions at molecular, biochemical, cellular and physiological levels. Toxicologists extend this work by examining the adverse effects of chemical substances and assessing 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- and mid-level roles in pharmacology and toxicology that only require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, many employers require a PhD for pharmacologist and toxicologist positions.