Course Requirements | Minor in Toxicology | Expectations of PSMTOX | Capstone Project Current Students and Recent Graduates 

The Professional Science Masters of Toxicology (PSMTOX) provides training for recent graduates of undergraduate programs looking to advance their study in Toxicology but do not wish to pursue research training and would like to enter the workforce and early-career professionals. The degree emphasizes job-related experiences through a professional internship or capstone project.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate mastery of material related to toxicology
  • Students will learn to conduct scholarly or professional activities in an ethical manner
  • Students can effectively communicate science in an outreach product or a well-written report that places their work in proper context to communicate major findings effectively
  • Students demonstrate good oral communications skills during the closed defense with their committee
  • Students display evidence of critical thinking skills during the oral defense

Time Commitment

The program is designed where all the course work is completed in 2 calendar years.

Course Requirements

Professional Masters graduate program requires a minimum of 45 credits.

Core course requirements (20 credits)

TOX 511 Fundamentals of Toxicology (3) Fall Quarter
TOX 512 Target Organ Tox: Mol mechanism of Environment Disease (3) Winter Quarter
TOX 555 OR
TOX 580
Ecological or Human Health Risk Assessment (3) ** Winter/Spring Quarter
TOX 530 Chemical Behavior in the Environ (3) Fall Quarter
TOX 557 Scientific Skills & Ethics (3) Spring Quarter
TOX 599 Special Topics: Integrated Env Chem & Mol Tox (1) Spring Quarter (2 terms)
ST 511 Methods of Data Analysis (4) Winter Quarter

Capstone requirement

TOX 501 Research/Capstone (6 credits)

Additional requirements (19 credits)

Rotations TOX 505 (1) - Credit for lab rotations in the Fall quarter
TOX Electives Electives in TOX (6 credits)
Gen Electives  Any graduate-level courses (12 credits) that fulfills the requirement of at least 50% of the courses on the program of study is graduate stand alone

**Gen Electives is defined as credits taken in any department as long as it is graduate level. (e.g. it can be any department code such as IB, PHARM, etc)

Potential Capstone Mentor and Projects

PSMTOX students are expected to identify a mentor by the latest Week 5 of Winter term. To facilitate the identifying a potential mentor, a list of available mentor projects and the faculty member who is proposing the capstone project is listed here. This is in no ways an extensive list of projects that are available, but is a beginning to help the graduate student understand what the scope and expectations are.


Graduate Committee

All graduate students must form a graduate committee by the end of the Spring term of their first year and meet with their committee before the start of their 2nd year. PSMTOX committee composition is 3 faculty members (2 must be from EMT). No graduate council representative necessary (GCR). Members of the graduate committee should be those who can contribute to the capstone project or provide guidance towards career choices.


Committee Meetings

PSMTOX graduate students are expected to hold a minimum of two committee meetings during their tenure.

PLANNING MEETING: The planning meeting should be held by the end of the Fall term of year 2 (at the latest). This meeting aims to introduce the graduate committee to the capstone project, planned course work, and the student's career objectives. At this meeting, the student will introduce themselves, present the scheduled courses for the program of study, and mentor approved project definition report (more detail below). The graduate committee will provide feedback on the planned coursework and the capstone project.

  • Preparing for the meeting: dress professionally, and have a presentation detailing the information necessary.
    • The presentation should include:
      • An introduction slide about yourself
      • A copy of your program of study-> what courses still need to be completed (in what area/# of credits), how many credits you have remaining, and what your current term course load looks like
      • Slides to cover each aspect of the project definition report
      • Proposed timeline of completion. 

FINAL/ORAL EXAM MEETING: All graduate committee members must be present for the final/oral exam. Prior to this meeting, paperwork should be filed with the OSU graduate school. The meeting format is a student project presentation (15-20 minutes) followed by questions from the graduate committee. The meeting should last approximately 30-45 minutes. One week before the final/oral exam meeting, the final project report should be distributed to all graduate committee members.



A typical schedule is shown below. The timeline is flexible to the individual's project.


  • Fall Term: Complete rotations to meet with faculty and gain an understanding of the research conducted in the department.
    • Check in from Dr. Truong to discuss progress at the end of the term. 
  • Winter Term: Identify a suitable mentor and develop a program of study.
  • Spring Term: Form a graduate committee 

YEAR 2: Students are expected to take a total of 6 credits of capstone credit (TOX 501) beginning the Fall term of Year 2.

  • Fall Term: Identify a capstone project with their mentor, present this at the program of study meeting (with the graduate committee), and submit a mentor signed project definition report to Academic Programs Director by the latest Week 10 of Fall term but it could be earlier [Dr. Lisa Truong].
  • Winter Term: Execute the project as described in the project definition report.
  • Spring or Final Term: Turn in a written report by Week 5 to all members of the student's committee. The content is as described in the project definition report. The oral presentation must be completed by Week 10. Make sure to submit the appropriate paperwork to Graduate School to schedule the final exam (the oral presentation is considered the oral exam)

Expectation of Professional Masters (PSMTOX)

Graduate Student Responsibilities

  • Complete the course requirements listed
  • Identify a suitable mentor and develop a program of study (by the end of the Winter term of Year 1)
  • Form a graduate committee (by the end of Spring term of Year 1)
  • Hold a program of study meeting (by the end of Fall term of Year 2)
  • Fulfill graduate school program of study (by the end of Fall term of Year 2)
  • Complete a capstone project (which includes conducting, writing, and defending by the end of the Spring term of Year 2)

Capstone Project Requirements

The capstone project has two components – a written report and an oral presentation defended to a graduate committee. Each capstone project is unique to the student. The project must be related to the mentor's project.

Project overview

The capstone project is designed to apply what the student has learned in the PSMTOX Program. It is the student's responsibility to find and execute an acceptable project that meets the requirements outlined.


Projects must allow students to demonstrate mastery in the following program learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of at least two areas of toxicology through the design and implementation of a plan for an integrated live problem or opportunity. (depth of knowledge)
  • Collect data and decide how to apply it in the most appropriate way to create a plan of action (research)
  • Exhibit scholarly and professional competency through effective oral and written communication (communication)
  • Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in identifying a problem, and recommendation of solutions (critical thinking)
  • Formulate a project plan through the application of multidisciplinary knowledge (planning)


The capstone project can be in the form of scientific research or as a practicum. The purpose of the practicum is the development of skills and knowledge to apply what was learned in the coursework in a real world setting. The decision in the format must be approved by the mentor.


The project needs to have a real-world focus – meaning it is the responsibility of the graduate student to understand and formulate a project plan that is part of the mentor's program. The project must be meaningful for the mentor. Students should meet with their mentor to define the project and present the information to their graduate committee at the program of study meeting. Once the project is determined, the student is expected to submit a "Project Definition" report and have that signed by the mentor.

Project Definition Report

Conducting front-end analysis makes analysis more effective rather than at the end. With this analysis in hand, it is essentially having a blueprint for the capstone project. The goal of the project definition report is to help define the project. The project definition report should include the following elements (signed report submitted by Week 10 of Fall term of Year 2 in the PSMTOX program).

  1. PROBLEM ANALYSIS – Identify a specific problem in the area of toxicology of your mentor project that must be addressed? Describe the problem or opportunity. Make sure it is clear what the problem to be solved or a missed opportunity.
  2. PROJECT PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES – How will your capstone project address the identified problem/opportunity? Provide context on how this project is valuable to the mentor's project and how it fits in.
  3. DELIVERABLES – Describe the expected content that you will collect. Consider this very carefully. The deliverables need to address at least two different areas of disciplines (courses) from the PSMTOX program.
  4. METRICS– How will you determine that you have made progress to completing this project? Describe the technical requirements for the project and how they will be measured.
  5. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE – Create a Winter and Spring term schedule to help define the appropriate level of detail throughout the project. Map each of the deliverables to a specific outcome to demonstrate what will be completed by the end of the 2nd term.
  6. STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS – For each expected outcome, describe who will be responsible for helping with the work breakdown structure (point 5).
  7. SIGNIFICANCE – Explore how the proposed project will be significant to the mentor's project and generally for advancing the field of toxicology.

Project Deliverables

Project Definition: This report provides an overall project objective and scope, deliverables, work breakdown, and stakeholder analysis. The mentor

Written Report: The report requires the student to provide detailed supporting information related to the capstone project.

Oral Presentation: This is a face-to-face meeting that should be approximately 30-45 minutes. Make sure to emphasize the value that your project brings to the mentor and the field.

  • Project Presentation (20-25 minutes)
  • Questions, conclusions, and significance (5+ minutes)




Recent Graduates

Commencement year Graduate Name Current Position, Organization, Address