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Programs in pharmacology teach people how drugs interact with biological systems.

Programs in pharmacology and toxicology teach people how drugs and chemical toxins operate. Students learn chemistry and biology. They study the effects specific substances have on people, animals, food, and plants.

Pharmacology programs include topics such as:


In pharmacology programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Very few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in pharmacology. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree. Often, these programs are offered through a pharmacy program.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

For this program, schools recommend that you know how to use a computer and the Internet.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

Things to Know

Most pharmacologists work as researchers and policy analysts. You can study drug therapies at a pharmaceutical company or work in a university laboratory.

Some pharmacologists also teach at medical, dental, nursing, or veterinary schools. In addition, you can work for government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration or the National Institutes of Health.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle