Career Spotlight - Toxicology

Among science careers, toxicology is perhaps the most diverse. This field can bring you into an endless variety of careers within environmental, agricultural, pharmaceutical and health organizations along with a long list of food and consumer product companies and even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Shutterstock _72141610This is because toxicology combines various different fields including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, medicine and nursing to study the safety and biological effects of drugs, chemicals, agents, and other substances on living organisms, most commonly humans, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Because toxicologists are considered a type of "medical scientist," a bachelor in biomedical sciences degree from National University offers students the solid foundation in the basic sciences they need to succeed in this field. A BS degree includes classes in physiology, anatomy, epidemiology and biochemistry. At National University, you are also free to choose your own curriculum based on your future career plans.

Toxicologists make a median annual salary of about $82,000 and tend to have various levels of degrees including 50 percent with PhDs, 25 percent with master's degrees and 25 percent with bachelor's degrees, according to ACS.  

Toxicologists with bachelor's degrees can expect to spend most of their time in a laboratory while those with higher-level degrees might spend their time in an office planning experiments and interpreting data.

Earlier this year, Science Magazine featured a successful toxicologist who found her calling at the Hershey Company where she helps ensure the safety of the company's various types of candy. Originally, Alexandria Lau wanted to be a medical doctor. With her interest in science and medicine, she found toxicology was a better fit that still allowed her to positively impact people's health. Read more about her journey to a career in toxicology here.

What do you think about this diverse field? Does a career in toxicology sound like a right fit for you? 

How to choose a science career and set goals

With a bachelor of biomedical sciences degree, you can pursue a long list of lucrative career options in science. How do you choose which is right for you?

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 At 2.55.18 PMAccording to career experts, making these decisions early on and creating a game plan to achieve your career aspirations are important to finding success, particularly in the field of science.

If you're still undecided, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has an interactive tool that can help you narrow down some options and map out a strategic plan. 

Created by scientists, AAAS's Individual Development Plan (IDP) provides exercises that help examine your skills, interests and values. Based on this information, the program will select individualized careers from 20 different science-related options. The program will also help you identify preferred and alternative career paths.

Once you've chosen a career path, IDP will guide you in setting goals for the upcoming year with optional reminders. It's a great way to get a head start on any career in science.

Interested in exploring other careers options with a bachelor of biomedical sciences degree? You can also find a list of career options on our Future of Integrative Health blog or on the NUHS website.


Innovative search tool now provides access to biomedical research

In the field of biomedical science, the latest advances in research are a large part of your work both as a student and in your future career. But today, the ever-increasing flood of information can be overwhelming, according to an article in the journal Nature.

Semantic _scholar _ogA free tool may change that. A recently developed academic search engine, Semantic Scholar, uses artificial intelligence to find relevant scientific papers while also putting together a "comprehensive picture of cutting-edge research."

If there's a health care specialty or research topic you're considering for your future career, this free tool may help you discover some of the latest research on that topic. With access to millions of biomedical research articles, the program pulls up the most relevant articles by using your keywords and the keywords that the search engine picks on its own. 

Using the website's topic pages, you can also stay up to date with trends in literature over time. You can even use the website to see which research papers have the largest impact.

Since the program was developed in 2015, it has expanded from research in computer science into neuroscience and most recently biomedical science. In 20 years, the website claims it may one day be able to identify its own hypotheses and suggest experiments based on research and data that might be overlooked.

In your future career in biomedical science, how do you think you'll be able to employ this innovative search tool?

Explore your next career move through NUHS clubs

Still deciding which health care career is right for you? While in school, student clubs and organizations can allow you to experience many different health care professions firsthand.

Club2National University offers a wide variety of student clubs, even those geared to post-professional students. At the Illinois campus, there are currently over 20 active clubs dedicated to various health care specialties, community service, student professional organizations and common interests. 

For example, as a Bachelor of Biomedical Science student you can join the Homeopathy Club and learn more about homeopathic medicine and how physicians apply it for patient care. Or learn more about acupuncture and oriental medicine by attending in-school lectures hosted by our Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Club. In addition to treatment, some clubs also focus on specific patient populations including the Veterans Club and the Pride Medical Alliance, a group that teaches students how to provide health care to the LGBT community.

Club1Other great clubs on campus that let you explore future career specializations are the Functional Neurology Club, Applied Kinesiology Club, Public Health Club, or our professional clubs such as the Student American Chiropractic Association, or Naturopathic Medical Student Association.

During the annual Club Lunch Day, students are able to explore each of these clubs by speaking to club officers one-on-one while enjoying a catered lunch. Before becoming a student, you can also learn about NUHS student clubs at Campus Visit Day, where representatives from each club will be on site to speak with you directly.

The next Campus Visit Day is scheduled on Nov. 4. Visit the NUHS website to reserve your spot, or call the Office of Admissions at 1-800-826-6285 or email for more information.


Combine online and on-campus courses to complete your degree

Returning to school to complete your undergraduate degree doesn't have to be challenging. In addition to convenient evening courses, did you know that National University gives students the opportunity to take both on-campus and online courses?

On -campus ,online Learning

On-campus courses offer many benefits especially for those in the biomedical sciences field. Graduate-level health science laboratories allow students to take an anatomy course in a real hands-on cadaver-based  anatomy laboratory. Additionally, National University is one of few universities with the Anatomage Table. This state-of-the-art, life-size 3-D anatomy visualization table offers virtual dissection on several axes and a visual library of actual cases and pathologies to explore. 

However, unlike on-campus courses, online courses can give you flexibility in balancing your degree with real life demands. There may be seasons when your day job is more demanding or when family responsibilities require more of your evening hours. The scheduling flexibility of online classes gives you more options during these times.

National University allows you take advantage of both on-campus and online courses. You can choose to complete your entire degree completion program on our university campus or choose from seven online classes to integrate some flexibility and convenience into your schedule.

Here's a list of online courses available for this degree:

  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • General Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Basic Nutrition
  • Introduction to Public Health 

Still wondering if a bachelor of biomedical science degree from National University is right for you? The best way to learn more is to visit our campus. National University is offering three upcoming visit events including Student for a Day events on Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 along with Campus Visit Day on Nov. 4. At these events, you can tour our outstanding facilities and meet with current students and faculty.   

To register and reserve your spot visit