Toxicology (BS)

Toxicology (BS)

Toxicology is an interdisciplinary science that addresses the adverse effects of substances on living organisms caused by chemical, physical or biological agents. The field includes exposure assessment, hazard identification, dose-response analysis, risk characterization and risk management. Toxicologists have the critical responsibility of understanding the effect of exposure to harmful substances found in food, the environment, medicines, licit and illicit drugs and other sources, as well as that of publicizing information of relevance to the public. Through research and education, toxicologists can improve the health and safety of humans and other living organisms and protect the environment in which we live.  

The major begins with the foundational science courses common to any degree in the chemical or life sciences: chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, calculus, and physics, with required laboratory work throughout. Then, students take a required core of courses that cover biochemistry, human physiology, the basics of toxicology and its major sub-fields (environmental, biomedical, clinical). Students also select two elective courses they can focus on their interests and future career goals such as risk assessment, forensic toxicology, genetics, microbiology, and inorganic chemistry. Finally, the major includes an advanced capstone experience which brings all of these courses together in the study of a specific research area in toxicology. Students in this major are well-prepared for a variety of careers and graduate programs including PhD programs in toxicology, the life sciences, medical school, and related professional degrees.

Learning Outcomes. Students who successfully complete the Toxicology major will be able to:

  • Describe the distribution and the toxic mechanism of chemical, physical, and biological agents in the natural and occupational environment.
  • Identify and describe the diseases or other adverse health effects that may result from exposure to toxic agents and the risk of those outcomes. 
  • Recognize regulatory and management considerations relative to toxic agents. 
  • Apply quantitative methods to measure the concentration or intensity of toxic agents.
  • Explain and promote interventions to reduce or eliminate exposures to toxic agents.
  • Interpret and analyze the information on the interaction of natural and man-made toxicants with people, and their impact on human health and disease.
  • Assess and communicate risk of toxins affecting communities of varied racial, socioeconomic and geographic divisions.


Credits Required.

Toxicology Major


General Education




Total Credits Required for B.S. Degree


Coordinator. Professor Shu-Yuan (Demi) Cheng, Department of Sciences (646-557-4637,

Admission Requirements. To be admitted to the Toxicology major, students must have at least an 81 CAA (high school academic average) and one of the following:

  1. Took New York State Chemistry Regents Exam; OR
  2. Took the AP Chemistry Exam; OR
  3. Earned at least 3.5 units of High School Mathematics; OR
  4. Earned at least a score of 50 on the CLEP Chemistry exam.

Students who do not meet above criteria can attend John Jay with an undeclared major and take introductory science and mathematics courses to achieve admission to the major by performing very well in these courses. Students who wish to transfer into the Toxicology major must have earned a Mathematics/Science GPA of 2.5 or higher in science major courses to be admitted. Transfer students from a non-science major will need to meet the criteria stated above.

Course information. To be placed into BIO 103, students must take a Biology placement exam AND must be majoring in Toxicology.  In addition, MAT 105, OR MAT 141 OR MAT 241 or higher is a pre or co-requisite for BIO 103. To be placed into CHE 103,  students must take a Chemistry placement exam AND must be majoring in Toxicology.

Note. At least two science courses count as STEM variants to satisfy the Common Core general education requirements. If students are exempt from the foreign language requirement, they can use an additional three credits of science towards the Common Core. Depending on mathematics placement, students may need to take MAT 105 and MAT 141 as prerequisites for the required calculus course, MAT 241. Either prerequisite course can satisfy the Required Core: Math and Quantitative Reasoning category of the Gen Ed program.

Honors option.  To earn honors in the toxicology major, students must have completed the TOX 401 capstone or the FOS 402 research internship with a grade of B+ or higher, completed all requirements for the major and have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in courses above the 100-level in the major.  Credit for courses required as prerequisites for major courses and transfer credits applied to the major will not be calculated into the major cumulative GPA.  Students must have also earned at least a 3.2 overall cumulative GPA.  This honor will be noted on the student’s transcript.

PART ONE. GENERAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION                                     Subtotal: 40 credits

BIO 103 Modern Biology I
BIO 104 Modern Biology II
CHE 103 General Chemistry I
CHE 104 General Chemistry II
CHE 201 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 202 Organic Chemistry II
MAT 241 Calculus I
MAT 301 Probability and Mathematical Statistics I
PHY 101 College Physics I (Liberal Arts Physics)
PHY 102 College Physics II (Liberal Arts Physics)

BIO 101 + BIO 102 may be taken in place of BIO 103
CHE 101 + CHE 102 may be taken in place of CHE 103
PHY 203 + PHY 204 can substitute for PHY 101 + PHY 102
Students considering graduate or professional school should take PHY 203 & PHY 204.

PART TWO. TOXICOLOGY CORE                                                                 Subtotal: 18 credits

BIO 355 Human Physiology
CHE 315 Biochemistry
TOX 313 Toxicology of Environmental and Industrial Agents
TOX 425 Techniques of Analytical Toxicology
TOX 426 Analytical and Quantitative Toxicology Laboratory
TOX 430 Principles of Pharmacological Toxicology

PART THREE. ELECTIVES                                                                              Subtotal: 5-7 credits

Choose two courses (One in each category)

Category A. Toxicology Electives
Choose one
TOX 336 Principles of Forensic Toxicology
TOX 338 Cellular and Molecular Toxicology
TOX 340 Clinical Toxicology
TOX 3ZZ Principles of Risk Assessment
Note: TOX 401 may be taken as an elective only if FOS 402 is taken as the capstone. Consult the major coordinator.

Category B. Biology/Chemistry Electives
Choose one

BIO 205 Eukaryotic Cell Biology
BIO 211 Microbiology
BIO 315 Genetics
BIO 356 Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
CHE 361 Inorganic Chemistry

PART FOUR. CAPSTONE COURSE                                                              Subtotal: 3 credits

Choose one
TOX 401 Capstone Experience in Toxicology
FOS 402 Undergraduate Research Internship
Note: If FOS 402 is completed for the capstone requirement, students can take TOX 401 as a toxicology elective. Consult the major coordinator.


                                                                                                                     TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 66-68

                                                                                                                                    Last Updated: 2/20/18