Pharmacology & Toxicology
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Pharmacology & Toxicology Overview

Are you interested in curing diseases? Do you want to help develop new drugs and chemicals to help save lives? If the answer is yes, Pharmacology and Toxicology could be the major for you.

This major involves the study of biology and biomedical sciences, as well as pharmacology and toxicology. These two topics work well together as you study drugs in pharmacology and poisons in toxicology. Both topics will focus on the chemical makeup and the interactions and effect these substances have on the body. Medicines need to balance risks and side effects with benefits.

Courses that are associated with pharmacology and toxicology are: biology, chemistry, biopharmacy, organic chemistry, physiology, risk assessment methodologies, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, food toxicology, ecology, and advanced mathematics.

Concentrations within this major include: Molecular Pharmacology, Neuropharmacology, Toxicology, Molecular Toxicology, and Environmental Toxicology among others.

Required Skills

Accuracy and attention to detail is very important in this major. You will be exposed to the mechanics of making a medicine, as well as designing and testing drugs. It is very important to be accurate when testing results and side effects.

Like most biology majors, you will spend a lot of time working and researching in the laboratory. Here you will learn valuable techniques: how to conduct research, analyze your findings and report results. There will be a mixture of group work and independent projects. Work on your time management and communication skills to be able to meet deadlines and write clear and understandable reports.


You will be prepared to enter multiple different careers with this degree. Many graduates use their adept research skills to work for government, medical or environmental agencies. Others work for pharmaceutical companies testing products and writing reports. You could also continue your education to become a pharmacist, nurse, physician's assistant or doctor.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Pharmacology & Toxicology might open up.

Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Biological Scientists, All Other
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
Natural Sciences Managers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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