College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Molecular Toxicology

Important Announcement

There is a pending proposal that beginning fall 2014, Undergraduate Students interested in specializing in toxicology will be admitted to a Molecular Toxicology emphasis in the department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. Re-formulation of a "major" into an "emphasis" has been undertaken to foster a unifying theme in NST programs under an umbrella of metabolic biology, while continuing to allow for distinct interests (emphases). Required courses for graduating with an emphasis in toxicology will remain the same as with the major, but broader elective options will be encouraged. Students declaring before the end of the 2013/2014 academic year will be grandfathered into the major.


The Nutritional Science and Toxicology Departmentís Molecular Toxicology (MT) major combines a strong foundation in the biological and chemical sciences with specialized advanced course work focusing on the hazardous and beneficial effects of natural and man-made toxic agents. From industrially produced environmental contaminants and designer drugs to naturally occurring herbs and food products, this field of study applies molecular and computational methods to better understand how these agents interact with living organisms and what should be done to ensure human health and safety.

How much coursework is required?

MT requires 53-55 lower division unit requirements and an additional 40 units of upper division coursework. 15 of the 40 units must be fulfilled with courses offered at CNR.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade with the exception of free electives or courses that are only offered on a pass/no pass basis. You must receive at least a 'C-' in all courses required for the major.

What can I do with this major?

The Molecular Toxicology major prepares students for careers in many applications of biological or computer sciences, including:

  • environmental protection
  • public health
  • pharmacology
  • forensic sciences
  • biotechnology
  • the food industry
  • business.

MT is also ideal preparation for medical school and other professional health programs (e.g. pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, etc). Many of the required pre-med courses are part of our curriculum (including one semester of math, general chemistry, physics, biology, biochemistry as well as two semesters of organic chemistry). Additional pre-med courses (such a second semester of math, physics and biology) can be easily added to your academic plan. To learn more about a career in toxicology, please visit the Society of Toxicology.


Undergraduate Advisor: Nicole Lowy,

260 Mulford Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720