Environmental Chemistry & Toxicology

The environmental chemistry and toxicology major focuses on the impact of drugs, toxins and natural compounds on the biosphere, including animals and humans. Students study a cross-section of the sciences as they prepare for careers in pharmacy, toxicology and environmental chemistry. All students design and conduct an independent research project, and students work closely with faculty research in both the undergraduate School of Natural Sciences and Pacific’s School of Pharmacy.


  • Study a spectrum of the sciences as you discover the impact of chemicals, drugs and toxins on the natural world
  • Conduct independent research projects in cooperation with faculty in the School of Natural Sciences and School of Pharmacy
  • Complete all prerequisites for Pacific’s doctoral School of Pharmacy as part of your undergraduate major
  • Gain understanding of pharmacology, toxicology and environmental chemistry that will prepare you for graduate studies or work in the environment


Students pursuing a bachelor of science in environmental chemistry and toxicology study environmental science, chemistry, biology and physics, as well as social science courses such as environmental politics or economics. The required coursework for the major fulfills prerequisites for Pacific’s School of Pharmacy. Students also conduct independent research and a capstone project.

Students in the Department of Environmental Studies conduct research in local communities, including the coniferous forest of the John Blodgett Arboretum, the riparian corridors of the Gales Creek and Tualatin River watersheds, and the 300-acre Fernhill Wetlands. Pacific’s B Street Living Museum, less than one mile from the Forest Grove campus, also provides a hands-on research and learning lab for students. Regionally, there are many exemplary resources available within a one- to two-hour drive from campus, such as the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Tillamook and Willapa bays and the forests of the Coast and Cascade ranges.


Students who earn a bachelor of science in environmental chemistry and toxicology from Pacific University are well versed in the sciences, in interdisciplinary environmental issues and in research. They have a strong liberal arts base, combined with technical and analytical skills that prepare them to go on to careers and graduate studies in the sciences. They have completed the necessary prerequisites for Pacific’s School of Pharmacy, and they are sought after by graduate programs in toxicology and chemistry. They may go on to careers in government, such as at the EPA and monitoring agencies, in environmental consulting and cleanup firms, and as pharmacists.

Department of Environmental Studies

The Department of Environmental Studies also offers majors in environmental biology and sustainable design, as well as minors in environmental scienceenvironmental policy and sustainability. Students interested in social sciences may choose a major in environmental studies: policy, culture and society.