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Master of Science in Translational Toxicology

Toxicology encompasses a wide array of disciplines that include biology, chemistry, physics and pharmacology, and spans professions that evaluate the adverse effects of toxicants on the environment to how therapeutics and experimental medicines affect human physiology. Toxicologists are also significantly involved in the drug approval process and risk assessment. There is currently a need in the pharmaceutical/chemical industries as well as government and non-government organizations (NGOs) for Masters-level toxicologists.

This one-year non-thesis-based graduate program includes a ten week internship in one of these industries or an academic sector, which will provide the student with first-hand experience in toxicology careers. A key feature of this program is that students have the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from their courses directly to a professional work environment. Students also gain relevant career experience and develop professional networks and connections. Students who are unsure whether to pursue a PhD in toxicology or a related discipline have the opportunity to experience a rigorous biomedical science curriculum while pursuing a graduate degree that is sought after by industry, government, and NGOs. 


Prospective students must apply online through the IUPUI Graduate Office by June 15 (domestic applicants) or by March 15 (international applicants) to matriculate in August of the same year.

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Admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of the applicant and take into account the qualifications and experiences of the applicant. Information to be considered include:

  • Personal statement – should include why the applicant is interested in the Master of Translational Toxicology Program and where they see themselves professionally within five years from graduating
  • Educational documents – include college transcript(s), degree certificate, marksheets (if applicable) and diploma. Official college transcripts (directly from the institution) should be sent to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine, Attn: Richard Nass, PhD, 635 Barnhill Dr., MS A414, Indianapolis, IN 46202, or sent electronically to Richard Nass, PhD at
  • GRE or other professional scores (ex., MCAT, DAT, LSAT, etc.) if applicable. Applicants who have earned a cumulative undergraduate GPA of below 3.0 should submit GRE scores or other professional tests from within the past five years. These tests are not required of applicants who have a graduate or professional degree from a US college or university.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors and other academics or employers who can assess the applicant’s educational preparation and suitability for graduate study.

The successful applicant will have a passion to work in a field associated with toxicology and would like the opportunity to earn a graduate degree while obtaining relevant work experience. Please direct any questions about the program to Richard Nass, PhD, at


The Master of Science in Translational Toxicology requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credits. The credits consist of 14 required foundational course credits, 13 required specialization core course credits that includes the internship, and three to five elective course credits.

a student and mentor meet together and look at coursework

Required coursework

Courses include introductory biochemistry, cellular basis of systems biology, principles of medical pharmacology, experimental design and research biostatistics, principles of pharmacology, principles of toxicology, seminar in toxicology, science writing, principles of pharmaceutical toxicology in the 21st century, and advanced pharmacology.


Courses include at least one of the following: basic human physiology, molecular mechanism of drug action, physiological disposition of drugs, and cellular and molecular toxicology.

a toxicology student using a microscope


The program includes a required ten week (400 hour) internship designed to provide opportunities to make connections between the theory and practice of academic study and the practical application of that study in a professional work environment. The student is exposed to toxicology-based careers, including in the pharmaceutical/chemical industry, at NGOs, and/or research/educational institutions, while gaining relevant experience and professional connections. Internships are completed under the guidance of an on-site supervisor (mentor) and the course director, who in combination with the student will create a framework for learning and reflection.