SoPharm_pharmacology-toxicology-bs

See the School of Pharmacy Academic and Admission Policies.

Application

Application to the B.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology is required as the program's size is limited.  Students (both at UW–Madison and at other institutions) typically apply to the program by the beginning of February in their sophomore year for subsequent fall semester admission; students are not admitted at any other time of the year.  (Note that potential transfer students must also apply to UW–Madison itself).  Students are notified by the end of March regarding their admission status. Applications and current due dates can be found on our website.

To strengthen applications for admission and demonstrate their preparedness for this rigorous academic major, applicants are encouraged to enroll in course loads of 14–16 credits per semester during pre–PharmTox studies.

prerequisites

To be eligible to apply, students must complete the following courses  by the end of the summer semester prior to entering the program. Potential transfer students from a wide variety of regional institutions can find course equivalents (from their current university/college) on this School of Pharmacy webpage.

CALCULUS I

Select one of the following options: 1
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I
and Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II

GENERAL AND ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Select one of the following general chemistry options:
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Chemical Principles I
Select ALL of the following organic chemistry courses:
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2

INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY

Select one of the following options:
Introductory Biology
and Introductory Biology
Animal Biology
and Animal Biology Laboratory
and General Botany
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
and Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory
and Cellular Biology
and Cellular Biology Laboratory

Communication

The UW–Madison Communication Part A requirement must be fulfilled.

Social Science

Any course that qualifies as social science (S or Z) credit, 3 credits required.

Other College Courses

Sixty (60) credits must be completed by the end of the summer semester prior to entering the program. AP, IB, retrocredits, and credit-granting transfer coursework from other institutions (including coursework completed while in high school) all count toward the 60 credits.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

Overview of Requirements

The Pharmacology and Toxicology B.S. degree requires the following groups of coursework:

  • University General Education requirements (above - those that are also prerequisite requirements will be completed before entering the program; remaining gen ed requirements can be completed at any time prior to graduation)
  • Prerequisite requirements (completed prior to admittance/entrance to the program)
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology major requirements (mostly completed after entering the program, though some courses can be completed earlier)

 The PharmTox degree does not require any additional breadth courses beyond the University General Education requirements. Foreign language coursework can count towards the "Humanities/Literature/Arts" gen ed requirement.

School of Pharmacy academic policies (regarding matters such as academic and professional conduct, academic progress/probation, honor roll, pass/fail registration, and independent study coursework) are found in the PharmTox student policy handbook

Prerequisites

CALCULUS I

Select one of the following options: 1
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I
and Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II

GENERAL AND ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Select one of the following general chemistry options:
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Chemical Principles I
Select ALL of the following organic chemistry courses:
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2

INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY

Select one of the following options:
Introductory Biology
and Introductory Biology
Animal Biology
and Animal Biology Laboratory
and General Botany
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
and Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory
and Cellular Biology
and Cellular Biology Laboratory

COMMUNICATION

The UW–Madison Communication Part A requirement must be fulfilled.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

Any course that qualifies as social science (S or Z) credit, 3 credits required.

OTHER COLLEGE COURSES

Sixty (60) credits must be completed by the end of the summer semester prior to entering the program. AP, IB, retrocredits, and credit-granting transfer coursework from other institutions (including coursework completed while in high school) all count toward the 60 credits.

Pharmacology and Toxicology Major Requirements

Students must take most of their major-level coursework in very specific semesters in order to graduate within four semesters of starting the program, due to prerequisites and fall or spring-only courses - see four year plans for course sequences. It may be possible to take some major-level courses earlier if prerequisites are met; consult the advisor.  The five credits of elective coursework, statistics, genetics, and physics requirements can be completed at any time, including prior to admission to the program. The laboratory-based advanced independent study requirement must be performed after admission to the program.

LABORATORY-BASED ADVANCED INDEPENDENT STUDY (699), 2 CREDITS

Should be completed in semesters 1, 2, or 3 of the PharmTox major curriculum and have prior approval to meet PharmTox major requirements. A wet-lab basic science experience available in a variety of academic departments can fulfill the requirement.  "Wet lab" research is laboratory-based research involving one or more of the following: laboratory animals; animal organs, tissues or cells; biochemical methods/techniques; molecular biology technology; cell culture; chemical synthesis; preparation of solutions; use of chemical hoods; etc.

physics I and II

Select one of the following options (consult with advisor on recommended sequences):
PHYSICS 103
PHYSICS 104
General Physics
and General Physics
8
PHYSICS 201
PHYSICS 202
General Physics
and General Physics
10
PHYSICS 207
PHYSICS 208
General Physics
and General Physics
10

STATISTICS

Select one of the following:
STAT 371 Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences3
STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods3
STAT/​B M I  541 Introduction to Biostatistics3
BOTANY 575 Special Topics (Introduction to Modern Statistical Methods for Biologists)1-3
STAT/​F&W ECOL/​HORT  571 Statistical Methods for Bioscience I4

BIOCHEMISTRY

BIOCHEM 507
BIOCHEM 508
General Biochemistry I
and General Biochemistry II
6

PHYSIOLOGY

Select one of the following:
ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology5
BIOCORE 485
BIOCORE 486
Principles of Physiology
and Principles of Physiology Laboratory
5

 GENETICS

Select one of the following:
GENETICS 466 Principles of Genetics3
GENETICS 467
GENETICS 468
General Genetics 1
and General Genetics 2 1
6
BIOCORE 381
BIOCORE 382
BIOCORE 383
BIOCORE 384
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
and Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory
and Cellular Biology
and Cellular Biology Laboratory 2
10

 PATHOLOGY

PATH 404 Pathophysiologic Principles of Human Diseases3

PHARMACUETICAL SCIENCES

All of the following are required:
PHM SCI 558 Laboratory Techniques in Pharmacology and Toxicology2
PHM SCI 679 Pharmacology and Toxicology Seminar (taken twice) 11
PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  521
PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  522
Pharmacology I
and Pharmacology II
6
PHM SCI 623 Pharmacology III3
or BIOCHEM/​PHMCOL-M/​ZOOLOGY  630 Cellular Signal Transduction Mechanisms
or PHM SCI 581 Molecular and Cellular Principles in Pharmacology
PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​ONCOLOGY/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  625
PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​PATH/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  626
Toxicology I
and Toxicology II
6

ELECTIVES IN THE MAJOR

Students must complete at least 5 elective credits in the pharmacology and toxicology major from the below list. Electives in the pharmacology and toxicology major are available within the School of Pharmacy and in many departments. It is suggested that students select electives in consultation with their advisor.  Another option for fulfilling a portion or all of these 5 credits are additional laboratory-based independent study (i.e., 699) credits beyond the minimum 2 credits required for the major.  Additional 699 credits must be approved by the PharmTox program to count towards the elective requirement (unless they are done within the same laboratory that was originally approved).

Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacy

PHM SCI 420 Physicochemical Principles of Drug Formulation and Delivery3
PHM SCI 421 Introduction to Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics3
PHM SCI/​B M E  430 Biological Interactions with Materials3
PHM SCI 531 Medicinal Chemistry I3
PHM SCI 532 Medicinal Chemistry II2
PHARMACY 640 Appropriate Use of Abused Drugs2
PHM SCI 691 Senior Thesis2
PHM SCI 692 Senior Thesis2

Anatomy & Physiology

ANAT&PHY 337 Human Anatomy3
ANATOMY 329 Human Anatomy-Kinesiology2

Animal Sciences

AN SCI/​DY SCI  434 Reproductive Physiology3

Biochemistry

BIOCHEM/​NUTR SCI  510 Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism3
BIOCHEM 550 Principles of Human Disease and Biotechnology2
BIOCHEM 551 Biochemical Methods4
BIOCHEM/​M M & I  575 Biology of Viruses2
BIOCHEM 601 Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function2
BIOCHEM/​GENETICS/​MICROBIO  612 Prokaryotic Molecular Biology3

Biology Core Curriculum (BIOCORE)

BIOCORE 587 Biological Interactions3

Chemical and Biological Engineering

CBE/​B M E  783 Design of Biological Molecules3

Chemistry

CHEM 547 Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 561 Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 565 Biophysical Chemistry4

Environmental Studies

ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  471 Introduction to Environmental Health3
ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  502 Air Pollution and Human Health3
ENVIR ST 513 3

Food Science

FOOD SCI 550 Fermented Foods and Beverages2

Genetics

GENETICS 545 Genetics Laboratory2

Math

MATH 605 Stochastic Methods for Biology3

Medical Microbiology & Immunology

M M & I 301 Pathogenic Bacteriology2
M M & I/​PATH-BIO  528 Immunology3

Medical Physics

MED PHYS/​H ONCOL  410 Radiobiology2-3

Microbiology

MICROBIO 303 Biology of Microorganisms3
MICROBIO 304 Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory2
MICROBIO 305 Critical Analyses in Microbiology1

Oncology

ONCOLOGY 401 Introduction to Experimental Oncology2
ONCOLOGY/​PL PATH  640 General Virology-Multiplication of Viruses3

Pathobiological Sciences

PATH-BIO/​HORT  500 Molecular Biology Techniques3

Psychology

PSYCH 450 Primates and Us: Insights into Human Biology and Behavior3
PSYCH 454 Behavioral Neuroscience3
PSYCH/​ZOOLOGY  523 Neurobiology3

Toxicology (Molecular & Environmental Toxicology)

M&ENVTOX/​CIV ENGR/​SOIL SCI  631 Toxicants in the Environment: Sources, Distribution, Fate, & Effects3
M&ENVTOX/​AGRONOMY/​ENTOM/​F&W ECOL  632 Ecotoxicology: The Chemical Players1
M&ENVTOX/​AGRONOMY/​ENTOM/​F&W ECOL  633 Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Individuals1
M&ENVTOX/​AGRONOMY/​ENTOM/​F&W ECOL  634 Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Populations, Communities and Ecosystems1

Zoology

ZOOLOGY 425 Behavioral Ecology3
ZOOLOGY 430 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates5
ZOOLOGY 470 Introduction to Animal Development3
ZOOLOGY 555 Laboratory in Developmental Biology3
ZOOLOGY 570 Cell Biology3

Quality of Work Requirements and Pass/Fail

Students must have a 2.000 cumulative grade point average at the time of graduation in order to earn a Pharmacology and Toxicology B.S. degree. 

No course that is used for Pharmacology and Toxicology degree requirements may be taken as pass/fail and must be taken for a letter grade (AP, IB, or other test credits or placement exemptions are excluded from this requirement).  This includes all prerequisite coursework, major requirements, and University General Education requirements.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the supportive biomedical fields.
  2. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of Pharmacology.
  3. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of Toxicology.
  4. Understand scientific principles of laboratory design and presentation of scientific data.

A minimum of 120 credits is required to earn the B.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology.  Below are sample four-year plans for the Pharmacology and Toxicology major, incorporating both prerequisites and major coursework. They focus on science coursework sequencing and do not take into account factors such as AP or advance standing credits, additional summer courses, study abroad, or preparing for standardized tests like the MCAT or PCAT.

It is critical that you talk with your advisor about your tentative plan for course sequences and prerequisites, which courses are offered fall vs. spring vs. summer, etc.

EXAMPLE PLAN: Chem 103/104

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 1034CHEM 1045
MATH 2215STAT 3713
Communication A3Social Science3-4
Electives3-4Electives3-4
 15-16 14-16
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 3433CHEM 3453
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  151 (or Biocore)5CHEM 3442
Ethnic Studies3-4ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  152 (or Biocore)5
Electives3Humanities3-4
 PharmTox elective or research2-3
 14-15 15-17
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOCHEM 5073BIOCHEM 5083
ANAT&PHY 335 (or Biocore)5PATH 4043
PHM SCI 5582PHM SCI 6791
Humanities3PHYSICS 1034
 Research credits2-3
 13 13-14
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  5213PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  5223
PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​ONCOLOGY/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  6253PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​PATH/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  6263
PHM SCI 623 or BIOCHEM 63013PHM SCI 6791
PHYSICS 1044GENETICS 466 (not req. if Biocore taken)3
PharmTox elective or research2-3Electives or research3-4
 15-16 13-14
Total Credits 112-121

EXAMPLE PLAN: CHEM 109; BIOLOGY IN FIRST YEAR

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 1095CHEM 3433
MATH 2215ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  1515
Communication A3Social Science3-4
Electives3-4Electives3-4
 16-17 14-16
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  1525CHEM 3442
CHEM 3453PHYSICS 103 or 2074-5
Ethnic Studies3-4STAT 3713
Electives or research2-3Humanities3-4
 Electives or research2-3
 13-15 14-17
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOCHEM 5073BIOCHEM 5083
PHM SCI 5582PATH 4043
ANAT&PHY 3355PHM SCI 6791
Humanities3PHYSICS 104 or 2084-5
 Electives or research2-3
 13 13-15
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  5213PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  5223
PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​ONCOLOGY/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  6253PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​PATH/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  6263
PHM SCI 623 or BIOCHEM 63013PHM SCI 6791
PharmTox elective2-3GENETICS 4663
Electives3Electives3-5
 14-15 13-15
Total Credits 110-123

EXAMPLE PLAN: CHEM 103 SPRING OF FIRST YEAR

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
MATH 112, 113, 114, or 1713-5CHEM 1034 
Social Science3-4MATH 221 or 2175 
Communication A3Electives3-4 
Electives3-4  
 12-16 12-13 
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
CHEM 1045CHEM 3433CHEM 3453
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  1515ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  1525CHEM 3442
Ethnic Studies3-4Humanities3-4 
Electives3PharmTox elective3 
 16-17 14-15 5
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
BIOCHEM 5073BIOCHEM 5083 
PHM SCI 5582PATH 4043 
ANAT&PHY 3355PHM SCI 6791 
STAT 3713PHYSICS 1034 
Humanities3Research2-3 
 16 13-14 
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  5213PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M  5223-4 
PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​ONCOLOGY/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  6253PHM SCI/​M&ENVTOX/​PATH/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  6263 
PHM SCI 623 or BIOCHEM 63013PHM SCI 6791 
PHYSICS 1044GENETICS 4663 
PharmTox elective or research2-3Electives or research3-4 
 15-16 13-15 
Total Credits 116-127

Advising 

Pre-PharmTox students are often in the College of Letters & Science or the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences during their freshman and sophomore years while they are taking prerequisite coursework and preparing to apply to the major.  Students can request to be assigned to the PharmTox advisor during this time, in addition to having a primary academic advisor in their current school/college, and are welcome to meet with the PharmTox advisor at any time.

The PharmTox advisor advises both current undergraduates and prospective high school/transfer students interested in learning more about the major.  Appointments may be scheduled by calling (608) 262-6234 (for prospective high school/transfer students) or scheduled online via Starfish (for current students).  Advising is also available at SOAR for incoming students and includes curriculum planning and introductions to enrollment tools.  The advisor can connect prospective undergraduate students with upperclassmen and alumni with similar interests.  Once admitted to the major, students will have the PharmTox advisor assigned as their primary academic advisor.  

CAREERS

Students completing the program will be well qualified to pursue entry-level scientific career employment in industry (e.g., biomedical; biotechnology; consumer products; contract research organizations; regulatory affairs; pharmaceutical), in academic basic science and clinical research laboratories, or in various agencies of government focused on science, health, or the environment. The program’s depth and breadth has proved to be an excellent foundation for graduate work in pharmacology, toxicology, or other related biomedical sciences, as well as for medical school, veterinary medicine, and other health professions schools (e.g., pharmacy, dental, optometry, public health). For students who tailor their general education and elective coursework appropriately, the Pharmacology and Toxicology program can also uniquely launch students into scientific writing, business or regulatory positions, environmental positions, or law school. As future professionals aware of the pharmacological and toxicological sciences, pharmacology and toxicology graduates are well poised to make meaningful improvements in human and animal health.

Statistical information about immediate post-degree work or advanced degree attainment for alumni in the last decade may be found on the School website.  Due in part to its small size, the program has strong connections with its 400+ alumni who are located across the country and the globe.  The PharmTox advisor can help students connect with alumni to explore careers and learn about employers.

Available career resources:

  • The PharmTox advisor can assist with resume building, interview preparation, and career exploration, and also gives all PharmTox students access to a virtual career center via Canvas.
  • Many L&S and CALS career workshops and fairs are open to all students, including PharmTox students. The Career Exploration Center (CEC) is also available to students who are in the early stages of career exploration, especially those who have lots of ideas or no ideas yet. 
  • Current students can join the Pharmacology and Toxicology LinkedIn group to network with fellow students and alumni.
  • Handshake features employer job postings specifically available to UW–Madison students, and is a great place to browse for internships and full-time jobs. Students can also post resumes and allow employers to contact them regarding potential employment.
  • The Center for Prehealth Advising assists students with preparing for and applying to professional healthcare programs, including medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant, dentistry, and more.

Faculty Director 

Johnson, Jeffrey (Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences)
 

Academic staff Affiliated with Program

Gurnee, Kendra (Advisor and Program Coordinator)

Kopacek, Karen (Associate Dean for Student Affairs)

de Villiers, Melgardt (Vice Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs)

 
ADMISSIONS/OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
 

Altschafl, Jeremy (Assistant Dean - Admissions)

Dai, Jun (Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Gurnee, Kendra (Advisor and Program Coordinator)

Hong, Seungpyo (Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Johnson, Jeffrey (Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Josephson, Laura (Alumna)

Vezina, Chad (Associate Professor, Comparative Biosciences)

de Villiers, Melgardt (Vice Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs)

The following opportunities can help students connect with other students interested in pharmacology, toxicology, and other biomedical sciences, build relationships with faculty and staff, and contribute to out-of-classroom learning:

  • The program's small size and cohort-based model makes it easy to arrange study groups, tutoring, and social events, and funds can be requested to support these activities.
  • Students have access to a student commons, group study rooms, lockers, and a variety of gathering spaces in Rennebohm Hall. Ebling Library, located adjacent to Rennebohm Hall in the Health Sciences Learning Center, serves the School of Pharmacy student body, in addition to that of students from medicine, veterinary medicine, and nursing.
  • The School of Pharmacy hosts a variety of student organizations, several of which are available to PharmTox students. PharmTox students have their own Class Council with several representatives from each class.  Junior and senior class presidents are elected each year and help facilitate Class Council, as well as serve on various School of Pharmacy committees as representatives of the PharmTox program.
  • Students are required to participate in a wet-lab basic science research experience for at least one semester after being admitted to the major, though continued research involvement throughout one's time here is highly encouraged. The Biocommons website has step-by-step information on how to find a research opportunity, and students can also speak with the advisor for additional guidance.
  • Study abroad is definitely possible, although a winter session, spring break, or summer session experience fits most easily with the PharmTox curriculum. Visit the Study Abroad Major Advising Page for PharmTox to learn more.
  • One to two travel awards are given annually to allow seniors to attend a national conference in the field of pharmacology and toxicology, and funding is often available to facilitate travel for interested students to regional conferences near Madison.
  • The annual Pharm.D./PharmTox Research Symposium provides students with an opportunity to present their research projects each spring.