Course Information

This section describes the core courses of the Pharmacology and Toxicology research track in the college's graduate programs. 

Students are required to complete 9 units of coursework in the minor subject, 18 units of dissertation and a minimum of 36 units of coursework in the major subject including:

  • 4 seminar credits (minimum)
  • 6 laboratory rotation units
  • 4 research conference credits (minimum)

Core Courses:

Introduction to Pharmacology, Drug Discovery & Pharmaceutics (PCOL 501, fall)

The course will present basic principles that underlie each of these program tracks and will provide a basis for more advanced work in these areas of study.

Cellular Communications and Signal Transduction (PCOL 520a, spring)

Principles of molecular signaling regulating membrane, cytoplasmic, and nuclear events in eukaryotic cells. Topics include extracellular signals, intracellular transduction pathways, modulation of cell signaling, and biological processes controlled by specific signaling pathways.

General and Systems Toxicology (PCOL 535, fall)

Survey of tissue and organ system effects of toxins and toxicants. Introduction to adsorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of chemicals; toxicology of liver, lung, kidney, central nervous system, skin, reproductive systems, hematopoeitic system, and immune system; examine carcinogenesis and developmental toxicology.

Biostatistics for Public Health (BIOS 576a, fall or spring)

Introduction to biostatistical methods and applications, and will cover descriptive statistics, probability theory, and a wide variety of inferential statistical techniques that can be used to make practical conclusions about empirical data.

Scientific Writing, Presentation and Bioethics (PHCL 595B, spring)

The class emphasizes writing; manuscripts, manuscript and grant reviews, Scientific presentations, and applications for awards, future employment etc. Significant class participation is mandatory.  This course satisfies the bioethics requirement of NIH funded grants.  Signature of Course Director is required for individuals who do not meet the pre-requisite requirement.

Seminar (PCOL 696a, fall & spring)  

The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting.

Research Conference (PCOL 695a, fall & spring)

Lab Meeting

Directed Research Laboratory Rotations

ABBS students: (MCB 792, fall & spring) / Track Specific Admission students: (PCOL 792, fall & spring)


Students will choose electives to total a minimum of 36 units for the major.  For a list of electives avilable, refer to the Pharmacology & Toxicology Handbook.