UNC Professional Science Master’s

The need for professionals with strong knowledge in the discipline of toxicology is greater than it has ever been.  In addition to direct participation in research and development, toxicologists contribute toward important societal goals:

  • Remediate and protect our environment
  • Develop pharmaceuticals for which health benefits significantly outweigh potential hazards
  • Develop effective regulation of chemicals and other materials used in consumer products.

Beginning fall 2014, the Master of Professional Science in Toxicology degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill combines advanced coursework in toxicology with a breadth of business fundamentals to produce graduates who are prepared for leadership roles at their work place. 

The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program in toxicology focuses on toxicology at the master’s level.  The program is open to full- and part-time students and is intended to be completed in three semesters of full-time study. 

The program requires completion of graduate courses, seminars and experiential activities that will prepare students for a non-academic career in applied toxicology.  In addition to coursework, students will apply their skills in the work place during an intensive internship outside UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Master of Professional Science in Toxicology builds on the combined strengths of several top-ranked professional schools on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, including the School of Medicine, Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Gillings School of Global Public Health.

History of the Professional Science Master’s degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill

In 1997, a nationwide effort began to respond to industry’s need for employees with both scientific knowledge and professional skills. The Sloan Foundation launched this effort, and it blossomed under the oversight of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Keck Graduate Institute.

As a result, hundreds of Professional Science Master’s (PSM) programs currently exist – and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has now created it's own. Under the leadership of Dean Steve Matson, the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School has worked to develop PSM programs for a new generation of students; these programs, administratively based in The Graduate School, also address the needs of non-academic organizations in North Carolina and surrounding areas, and add to PSM degree opportunities available at other University of North Carolina institutions. 

Dr. Heidi Harkins joined The Graduate School in early 2014 to direct the University’s Professional Science Master’s Programs. Dr. Marila Cordeiro-Stone, former director of graduate studies for the Curriculum in Toxicology, with the guidance of both internal and external advisory boards, worked with The Graduate School to gain approval for a Master of Professional Science (MPS) program in Toxicology. The UNC Board of Governors approved the master of professional science degree in Toxicology in April 2014.