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PhD and MS in Toxicology

Students in the PhD and MS programs in toxicology study and perform research in respiratory toxicology, nanotoxicology, immunotoxicology, and neurotoxicology. Students with a background in the biological, biomedical, or chemical sciences are encouraged to consider graduate study in this program.

Degree Requirements:

Successful completion of at least 60 graduate semester credits for a PhD (30 for MS), a written and oral comprehensive exam, and PhD dissertation defense or MS degree thesis defense.

Course Requirements:

The following core courses are required of all students in the PhD/MS program.

Year 1 Fall Term

Year 1 Spring Term

BIOC  481* Biochemistry (4) or
BMED 600 Adv. Cellular Biochemistry (4)

BMED 605 Biomedical Research Ethics (1)

BMED 545 Research Laboratory Rotations (2-3)

BMED 609 Biomedical Statistics (3)

BMED 593 Current Research Literature (1)

BMED 642 Toxicology II- Toxic Agents (3)

BMED 626 Research Methods Biochem Pharmacol (2)

BMED 697 Research

BMED 641 Toxicology I- Principles of Toxicology (3)


Total Credits: 12-13

Total credits: minimum of 9



After the third rotation: Choose Research Advisor                                                         

Summer: Committee selection                                                                                      


Year 2 Fall Term

Year 2 Spring Term

BMED 643 Cellular and Molecular Toxicology (3)

BMED 628 Grantsmanship (1)

BMED 583 Seminar (Informational Seminar+) (1)


BMED 628 Grantsmanship (1)

BMED 697 Research

Electives*** (5-9)


BMED 697 Research (5-9)


Total Credits: minimum of 9

Total Credits: minimum of 9



During third semester: first committee meeting to approve plan of study                        

By end of second year: PI training through ORSP                                                           

+Third or fourth semester: Informational Seminar                                                            


Year 3 Fall Term

Year 3 Spring Term

BMED 628 Grantsmanship (1)

BMED 628 Grantsmanship (1)

BMED 583 Seminar (Research Progress Seminar)(1)

Electives*** (only if necessary)

Electives*** (only if necessary)

BMED 697 Research

BMED 697 Research 


Total Credits: minimum of 9

Total Credits: minimum of 9



By end of third year: Research Proposal                                                                         

By end of third year: Qualifying Exam                                                                             

Third-fourth year: Research Progress Seminar                                                            


Year 4 et seq.

BMED 628 Grantsmanship (1)

BMED 697 Research

BMED 699 Dissertation

Total Credits: minimum of 9 per semester


1 semester prior to defense: Application for graduation                                               

2-4 weeks prior to defense: Dissertation draft to committee                                        

At least two weeks before graduation date (see graduate school): Defense              

By 2 weeks after graduation: Final copies of Dissertation                                            

Submitted at time of departure to CEHS Admin: Updated CV upon departure          

3-5 publications accepted prior to departure for PostDoc position                              

*    or BIOC 481/482. Waived for students with equivalent preparation in biochemistry.
**  A minimum of 20 credits is required by the Department for the PhD degree.
A maximum of 30 credits may be applied toward the 60-credit requirement for the PhD

PhD students will take at least two of the following elective courses, according to research interests.
MS students will take at least one of the following elective courses, according to research interests.

***Elective Courses

BMED 595

Risk Assessment

BMED 644

Immunopharm/ Immunotoxicology (3)

BMED 645

Respiratory Toxicology (3)

BMED 646

Neurotoxicology (3)

BMED 647

Topics in Toxicology (1-3)

The following are examples of additional elective courses available to meet student interests:

BIOC 581

Physical Biochemistry (3)

BIOC 582

Proteins and Enzymes (4)

BIOC 583

Lipids and Membranes (3)

BIOC 586

Advanced Molecular Biology (3)

BMED 607

Topics in Epidemiology (1-3)

Course descriptions can be found in the online University of Montana Catalog at