Undergraduate Minor in Toxicology

The Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology offers baccalaureate degree students at Oregon State University an undergraduate minor in Toxicology. There is a growing interest in protecting human and environmental health, environmental toxicology, and computational toxicology making this a contemporary field of study for undergraduate students. The field of toxicology is highly multidisciplinary, which makes it a great minor to all sciences and technology-related degrees. The minor in toxicology is intended to provide undergraduate students an understanding of how chemicals and physical agents can adversely affect biological systems and the environment, including mechanisms of chemically induced toxicity, the source, fate, and effects of chemicals in the environment and evaluation of chemical hazards and risk.

Successful completion of a minor allows students to:

  • Understand the core concepts of the science of toxicology, including hazard identification, exposure assessment, doseresponse assessment and an understanding of  the mechanisms of action and effects of toxic chemicals at multiple levels of biological organization
  • Develop technical and experimental approaches in toxicological research, testing and risk assessment
  • Communicate and conduct scientific analysis, including the ability to analyze relationships, draw appropriate conclusions supported by data, and articulate in writing and orally a critical perspective using evidence as support
  • Connect the role of toxicology in society, including the importance of risk analysis, management, and communication
  • Identify and discuss contemporary issues in toxicology

Courses to earn a Minor in Toxicology

An undergraduate Toxicology minor requires a minimum of 28 credit hours (CR). Ten credit hours are required courses, 6 restricted toxicology electives, and the remaining twelve hours are made up of credits from either the Research or Didactic option. The course distribution is as follows:

Required Courses (10 credits)

TOX 360 The World of Poisons (3) Fall Quarter
TOX 411 Fundamentals of Toxicology (3) Fall Quarter
ST 351* Introduction of Statistical Methods (4) Fall Quarter
TOX Elective Up to 6 credits of TOX electives (6) Any term

*Acceptable substitutions: ST 201 and ST 202 [Principles of Statistics; 8 CR total] OR ST 314 [Introduction to Statistics for Engineers; 3 CR]

Restricted Toxicology Electives (6 credits)

TOX 429 Toxic Substance in Food (3) TBD
TOX 430 Chemical Behavior in the Environment (3) Fall Quarter
TOX 435 Genes and Chemicals in Agriculture: Value and Risk (3) Spring Quarter
TOX 455 Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment: Aquatic Systems (3) Winter Quarter
TOX 480 Human Health Risk Assessment and Computational Toxicology (3) Spring Quarter
TOX 490 Environmental Forensic Chemistry (3) Winter Quarter


Minor Option (12 credits)

  1. Research
TOX 401 9 credits in research
GEN Electives 3 credits in unrestricted/general electives
  1. Didactic

As Toxicology is an applied science with relevant questions in many different disciplines of science, the goal is to ensure students have broader expertise and exposure in the sciences. Thus, we don't allow choosing all the electives from a single department, but any upper-division, non-blanket courses from the subjects below would apply.

A minimum of 4 upper-division science electives that constitute up to a minimum of 12 credits. It is highly recommended a TOX elective is a component of the didactic option.

  • No more than 6 credits can be selected from the same course prefix
  • Blank courses cannot be applied to this requirement


Elective course options from these subject prefixes (ie: BRR, TOX) are acceptable:

College of Subject Prefixes
Agricultural Sciences Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC), Animal Sciences (ANS), Applied Economics (AEC), Biological Ecological Engineering (BEE), Bioresource Research (BRR), Botany and Plant Pathology (BOT), Crop and Soils Sciences (CSS), Crop Science (CSS), Entomology (ENT), Fisheries and Wildlife (FW), Food Science and Technology) FST), Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG), Rangeland Ecology and Management (RNG), Soil Science (SOIL), Toxicology (TOX)
Science Biochemistry and Biophysics (BB), Biology (BI), Chemistry (CH), Computer Science (CS), Medical Physics (MP), Microbiology (MB), Zoology (Z)
Public Health and Human Sciences Nutrition (NUTR), Health and Human Sciences ((HSS), Public Health (PH)
Engineering Biological and Ecological Engineering (BEE), Biological Engineering (BIOE), Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering (CBEE), Chemical Engineering (CHE), Engineering Science (ENGR), Environmental Engineering (ENVE), Nuclear Engineering (NE), Radiation Health Physics (RHP)
Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Atmospheric Sciences (ATS), Oceanography (OC), Geosciences (GEO)
Forestry Forest Ecosystems and Society (FES), Forest Engineering (FE), Forest Science (FS), Forestry (FOR), Natural Resources (NR), Wood Science and Engineering (WSE)
Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Medicine Biomedical (VMB)