The Texas A&M University Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology (IFT) is administratively located in the Texas A&M University (TAMU) College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology is composed of faculty from many TAMU departments across several colleges, the Health Science Center, and three associated laboratories. Completion of a thesis/dissertation is required for the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Students are required to complete a core curriculum of courses in toxicology, pathology, pharmacology, risk assessment, exposure science and statistics. In addition, electives may be chosen from a number of advanced courses providing additional training within the sub-disciplines of cellular and molecular toxicology, reproductive and developmental toxicology, behavioral and neuro-toxicology, environmental and veterinary toxicology, genetics, public health, and applied and food toxicology.
Admission into the IFT program requires the successful completion of courses in advanced biology and/or chemistry or their equivalents. Applicants who cannot demonstrate sufficient knowledge in these areas may be required to take additional courses at Texas A&M University. Grades earned during the applicant’s entire college career are considered, and a satisfactory grade point average is required.
- To provide masters and doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows with balanced interdisciplinary research opportunities that span the continuum from basic science to practical application of the scientific knowledge in public and environmental health protection contexts.
- To offer a rigorous didactic training that provides the fundamentals in toxicology, pathology, pharmacology, biostatistics, exposure science, and risk assessment as a core set of competencies that will be required for successful careers in both research and practice.
- To encourage trainees to develop appreciation for and familiarity with various decision contexts and the process involved in various aspects of applications of toxicological sciences through externships with Federal or State regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations, or industry stakeholders.
The Texas A&M Office of Admissions (http://admissions.tamu.edu/graduate/apply) provides comprehensive support for the recruitment of graduate students into all degree programs on campus. IFT application materials need to include:
- Undergraduate and graduate (if available) transcripts,
- Letters of recommendation
- Applicant’s CV
- Personal essay or Statement of Purpose expressing interest in toxicology
- Other information required by the Texas A&M Office of Admissions
- TOEFL or IELTS scores for applicants whose native language is not English
- Standardized test scores are not required but may be included if they strengthen the application
TAMU requires a satisfactory TOEFL score taken within the last two years from applicants whose native language is not English. Exceptions are made for those applicants completing all four years of a baccalaureate degree in the United States, or those achieving a high GRE Verbal score (please consult the Office of Admissions web page for exact description of exceptions). Official TOEFL scores are required and should be sent to the TAMU Office of Admissions, code 6003.
Three letters of recommendation are required and may be submitted electronically through the Applicant Information System (AIS). Recommendations by research advisor(s) or professors are preferred. The letters should address the applicant’s background, prior research experience(s) and other salient points that will be evidence of the suitability for graduate studies in toxicology. Applicants whose GPA is below 3.0, or who do not have prior relevant research experience must explain these deficiencies in their essay to be fully considered.
1. Submit an electronic application via the GraduateCAS website and pay application fee to the TAMU Office of Admissions.
2. Arrange for each college or institution attended to send one official transcript and one official statement of the degree or diploma awarded to the TAMU Office of Admissions. See Application for Graduate Admission for specific requirements. Electronic transcripts can be processed much faster than paper transcripts. Texas A&M will accept transcripts sent electronically through PARCHMENT, SPEEDE, eScrip-SAFE or National Clearing House. Unofficial copies of transcripts may also be sent to the Toxicology Office, however official transcripts are required by the TAMU Office of Admissions prior to a student enrolling.
3. Have Educational Testing Services (ETS) send official test scores to Texas A&M University (Code 6003). Please do not send this to a Department or College, but only to TAMU or the TAMU Office of Admissions.
4. Arrange for three individuals to send recommendation letters, either through the AIS, or directly to the Toxicology Office via email.
5. Prepare the Statement of Purpose essay which will be evaluated by the Toxicology Office and admissions committee. This essay may be used to convey any information not included in the application, and is an ideal place to discuss research experience and career goals.
6. The curriculum vitae or resume, and optional items such as copies of publications and awards, etc. should be uploaded.NOTE: Items other than Letters of Recommendation which are being sent to the Toxicology Office should be sent via email if possible.
Application Period and Deadlines
IFT graduate students trainees begin studies in the Fall semester. Applications are accepted between September and February of the academic year preceding the anticipated start time in the program. Applicants are encouraged to apply and complete their applications by December 1, however completed applications from US citizens and resident aliens submitted before January 15 will be considered for institutional fellowships and invitations to the Open House recruiting event held in late January/early February. Outstanding candidates who are US citizens or resident aliens with interest in regulatory science and risk assessment will be considered for funding through an NIEHS-funded training grant.
The final date to to submit an application and required documents is March 1. Applications not completed by March 1 will be deferred to the next year unless the applicant petitions the program as detailed below. In exceptional cases applications may be considered for the Spring semester and a petition must be submitted to the Chair of IFT requesting permission to apply outside of the standing application period.
Applicants are encouraged to maintain contact with both the TAMU Office of Admissions and the Toxicology Office to ensure that all admission documents were received.
Application Review Procedures
Composition of the Admissions Committee: The IFT admissions committee consists of the IFT Chair, co-chair and no less than three additional faculty members. Additional members will include members of the admissions committee for the NIEHS T32 training program in “Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology,” representatives of the IFT Executive Committee, and may also include IFT faculty at large.
Meetings of the Admissions Committee: The Admissions Committee will meet periodically, as determined by the IFT Chair, between November and April, to review completed applications, make admissions decisions, consider matching the applicants to prospective IFT faculty mentors, and to make funding decisions, if applicable.
Admissions decisions: Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and the Committee will usually consider all applications that are complete at its next scheduled meeting. The Admissions Committee first considers whether the applicant is admissible into the MS or PhD program. All Admissions Committee members fill out a rubric for each applicant which includes, but is not limited to, the following information: GPA, strengths of the applicant’s prior research experience (including any presentations, publications or other tangible outcomes resulting from prior research), letters of recommendation and other factors. The Committee will discuss each applicant’s strengths and weaknesses, potential match with the faculty in the program, availability of funding, as well as suitability of the candidate’s career aspirations to the programmatic goals of IFT. A vote will be taken on whether to admit each applicant. A majority of affirmative votes is needed to render an admissions decision. All admitted applicants will be notified promptly by email and/or postal mail of their acceptance by the IFT and steps will be taken for the official acceptance by Texas A&M University.
Note on the international graduate student admission decisions: No international applicant will be admitted without a clear funding plan. Therefore, in addition to the general admissions requirements outlined above, the Admissions Committee will require that a firm written funding commitment is made by a prospective faculty mentor to each international applicant (i.e., those who are not US citizens or resident aliens) who are deemed as potentially admissible by the Committee. Alternatively, documentation of a firm third party commitment of a fellowship/scholarship already awarded (or to be awarded pending admissions decision) to the applicant that covers tuition, fees and reasonable living expenses must be included in the application package.
Funding Decisions: The Admissions Committee will use a weighted scoring system and rank the applicants for the relevant IFT (T32 training program funding for doctoral applicants) and/or institutional (http://ogaps.tamu.edu/Buttons/Funding-Opportunities) funding that may be available. Consideration will also be given to representation of trainees that contribute to diversity. Availability of funding will be communicated to each admitted applicant. The IFT will make every effort to ensure that all admitted applicants are funded, but funding is not guaranteed.
Interviews and Campus Visits
Applicants may request an informational interview with faculty. Personal interviews are not required but provide an opportunity for the applicant to become better acquainted with the toxicology program. Itineraries to meet faculty members and current graduate students can be arranged. The IFT program may hold an annual 1-2 day-long open house events for admitted applicants and other interested parties. The dates will be announced on the IFT website and usually will encompass the period from January 30 to February 15. Highly qualified admitted applicants may receive travel grants to attend the IFT Open House. Contact the Toxicology Office for information.