Undergraduate Studies


Toxicologists study the effects and mechanisms of action of toxic substances on living systems. Those systems can be human, plant, animal or microbial and the toxins may be natural or synthetic. The adverse effects caused by toxins may be as mild as to cause an annoyance or as severe as to be a threat to life. Toxicology is an inter-disciplinary field involving chemistry, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology and risk management. There are 2 primary areas of focus for toxicology. Those areas are biomedical or environmental.


For more information about the courses offered please visit: BTOX (regular)


Biomedical Focus

In the biomedical focus, students will concentrate on toxicology as applied to mammalian systems, including humans. The program will include courses in mammalian physiology, pharmacology, and pathology. Students will be concerned with issues such as the risk of cancer from exposure to environmental agents, including both natural and synthetic chemicals. The study of the metabolism of carcinogenic and other toxic substances, and the effects of these substances on DNA will also be discussed. Students will also learn about epidemiology (the distribution of toxic effects on large populations of organisms), how toxic substances act at the molecular level ( biochemical toxicology), as well as their effects on the whole animal ( toxicological pathology).

Environmental Focus

Within the environmental focus, students will get a broad scientific background in aquatic biology, biochemistry and comparative physiology. The effects of both natural and synthetic chemicals and their movement, distribution and break-down in the environment as well as the structure and function of natural biological systems and learn how to use laboratory experiments to predict effects in the field will be studied.
Many toxicants enter the environment in industrial effluents or through insecticides and herbicides. In the environmental focus, students will be concerned with the metabolism and breakdown of toxic substances - especially the rates at which the processes occur. They will learn how to calculate the dose received by target and non-target organisms and how to determine safety factors, using the best available information to assess safe and efficient doses.

Co-Operative Education

The Co-operative Education program offered for Toxicology allows students to complement their academics with valuable work experience. Work term positions in toxicology are available in industry and government, to give students the experience in experimental and regulatory aspects of toxicology.

Visit the following links to view course descriptions by semester:
Co-op BTOX