Typical Program of Study

The objectives of the curriculum in the graduate program in Pharmacology and Toxicology are 1) to provide a strong background in basic biomedical sciences that provides the underpinning for modern-day pharmacology and toxicology, 2) to train students in the fundamental concepts of pharmacology and toxicology as a discipline, and 3) to facilitate more specialized training as needed for the dissertation research. Coursework is normally completed during the first two years.


First Year, Fall Semester

  • Faculty Research Seminar (BLCHM 6050)

  • Scientific Integrity & Ethics of Science Research (MBIOL 7570)

  • Proteins & Nucleic Acid Biochemistry (BLCHM 6410)

  • Genetic Engineering (BLCHM 6400)

  • Protein Chemistry (BLCHM 6460)

  • Biophysical Chemistry (BLCHM 6450)

  • 2 Graduate Research Rotations (BLCHM 7960-01, 02)


First Year, Spring Semester

  • Journal club and Grant Proposal Writing Course (BLCHM 6100)

  • 3 Track Courses

  • 1 Elective Course (recommend Cell Biology (MBIOL 6480)

  • 2 Graduate Research Rotations (BLCHM 7960-01, 02)

* Four research rotations of approximately 10 weeks each occur in the first year. Students chose a faculty research advisor and begin dissertation research during the summer after the first academic year.


Second Year, Fall Semester

  • Essentials of Pharmacolgy & Toxicology (PHTX 7113)

  • Pharmacology I (PHTX 7211)

  • Professional Skills (PHTX 6690)

  • Journal Club (PHTX 6710 or 6720)

  • Seminar (PHTX 7890)

  • Biomed. Sci. / PHTX elective

  • Research (PHTX 7920)


Second Year, Spring Semester

  • Principles of Toxicology (PHTX 7114)

  • Pharmacology II (PHTX 7221)

  • Statistics (PHTX 6680)

  • Journal Club (PHTX 6710 or 6720)

  • Seminar (PHTX 7890)

  • Advanced PHTX Elective

  • Research (PHTX 7920)

Preliminary qualifying exams are taken early in the second summer.


Third Year

  • Formation of dissertation committee (Fall semester)

  • Presentation of dissertation proposal to Faculty Committee and to Department

  • Dissertation research


Fourth-fifth years

  • Dissertation research



The program requires one advanced pharmacology and toxicology course from the list below:

  • Analytical Toxicology (PHTX 7620); Spring*; 2 sem hr

  • Mechanisms of Toxicology (PHTX 7630); Spring*; 2 sem hr

  • Advances in Endocrine Pharmacology (PH TX 7100); Spring*, 2 sem hr

  • Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Pharmacology (PHTX 7410); Spring*; 2 sem hr

  • Biochemical Mechanisms of Signal Transduction (PHTX 7500); Spring*; 2 sem hr

  • Neuropharmacology (PHTX 7270); Spring*; 2 sem hr

  • Advances in Neuropharmacology (PHTX 7280); Spring*; 2 sem hr

  • Applied Genomics (PHTX 7777 & 7778); Spring; 1.5 sem hr each


A course semester followed by an asterisk (e.g., Spring*) indicates that the course is not offered every year. Check the course catalog to determine the availability of the course or check with the course master to determine when it is to be offered.


Depending on the student's interests, other courses may be taken at any time. Some of the courses taken by graduate students in Pharmacology and Toxicology include:

  • Cell Biology II (H GEN 6481); Spring, 1.5 sem hr

  • Neuroanatomy (ANAT 7710 / NEUSC 6060); yearly Fall; 3 sem hr

  • Gene Expression (MBIOL 6440); yearly Fall; 1.5 sem hr

  • Basic Immunology (PATH 7330); yearly Fall; 3 sem hr

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (NEUSC 6040); yearly Fall; 4 sem hr

  • Structural Methods (BLCHM 6430); Fall; 1.5 sem hr

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