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UMD Graduate School

Program Overview

This University-wide program provides comprehensive training in the broad scope of toxicology. Toxicology, the science of poisons, is devoted to identifying and quantifying potential noxious agents in the environment. Although most chemical agents at sufficiently large doses may be toxic, not all present a significant risk to human health or to environmental organisms or ecosystems. Accordingly, the essence of the science of toxicology is defining the fine line that distinguishes a risk from a residue. To accomplish this requires scientific expertise in such areas as analytical and environmental chemistry, biology, and mathematics.

Admission and Application Requirements

Application for admission must include:

  • GRE scores from the General Aptitude Test
  • Three letters of recommendation from college-level faculty or equivalent persons who are familiar with the applicant's scholarship and research potential. Letters should be submitted online through Apply Yourself application system.
  • Complete set of official transcripts
  • Clearly written statement of career interests, goals, and objectives
  • TOEFL scores for English proficiency should be submitted if English is not your first language. We base our TOEFL, MELAB and IELTS standards on those of the U of M graduate school.   

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree is offered under Plan A and Plan B. Plan A requires 22 course credits and 10 thesis credits; Plan B requires 30 course credits. A core curriculum of 8 credits in toxicology (TXCL 8012, 8013, and 8100) is required for both plans. Additional courses are arranged on an individual basis. The final exam is oral.

The doctor of philosophy degree requires core courses in physiology (4 credits), biochemistry (6 credits), statistics (2 credits), and toxicology (10 credits). Students must also complete 12 credits in a minor or supporting program and 24 thesis credits. Because the program spans the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses, the required courses differ on each campus.

Additional advanced courses in toxicology or related fields may be specified by the adviser. Students must complete and defend an original research project.

Minor Requirements for Students Majoring in Other Fields—A minor is available at the doctoral level and requires 12 credits—8 credits of core courses and 4 credits of advanced toxicology courses.

Deadlines and Dates

The application deadline is March 15, but people are strongly encouraged to apply by February 1 to compete for the limited number of graduate student assistantships.

Financial Aid

Limited teaching and research assistantships are available through affiliated departments. Graduate students holding an assistantship are eligible for health benefits and tuition waivers of up to 13 credits per semester.

Areas of Specialization

Advanced courses and research are available in such subdisciplines as:

  • human health risk assessment
  • epidemiology
  • environmental chemistry and engineering
  • ecotoxicology
  • food additives and nutritional toxicology
  • biochemical and physiological mechanisms
  • histopathology
  • diagnostic and analytical toxicology
  • drug metabolism
  • chemical carcinogenesis
  • behavioral toxicology
  • toxicity of noxious agents to various organ systems (e.g., nervous, heart, liver, kidneys).

Contact Information

Toxicology Graduate Program, Medical School Duluth, 162 SMed, 1035 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812 (218.726.6354; fax: 218.726.8014;

Director of Graduate Studies: Kendall Wallace,, 218.726.8899

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies: Cheryl Beeman,, 218.726.6354

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