Graduate Research Doctoral Degree Program

University of Kentucky Doctoral Degree in Toxicology

The Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. For students specifically interested in a Ph.D. in Toxicology and Cancer Biology, direct application and admission to the Toxicology and Cancer Biology doctoral program offer several opportunities. Students directly admitted to the program may select a dissertation mentor from among Core faculty and all Joint faculty of Toxicology and Cancer Biology. Together, these faculty offer students directly admitted to the program a full spectrum of research programs related to environmental, agricultural and biomedical toxicology and cancer biology.


Applicants must meet the following requirements for admission to the University of Kentucky Graduate School and the Toxicology and Cancer Biology program.

  1. An appropriate degree (e.g., Chemistry, Biological Sciences) from an accredited college or university.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score is not required.
  4. For international applicants, the minimum acceptable TOFEL score is 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based). The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.

Applicants with lesser qualifications will be accepted only if other indices of performance and qualification are outstanding.

If you are interested in pursuing our program we encourage you to submit your application early as we have a limited number of spots for interviews and entrants into our program. We will review applications in the order in which they were received.

PhD Application Deadline and Timeline

Application Opens for Upcoming Fall Semester: June 1
Application Deadline: December 31
Review of Applications: January*
Interviews: February-March

*Applications submitted after January 1 may be considered depending on the Admissions Committee's recommendation.

All applications for graduate study at the University of Kentucky Graduate School must be submitted online. We use Hobsons ApplyYourself Application Network, a system used by over 700 colleges and universities that provides an opportunity to submit all Graduate School and program requirements in one application including letters of recommendation and other required application materials. You may apply for as many programs as you wish, but each application requires completion of a separate application form and submission of a separate application fee. Currently, the fee for domestic applicants is $65.00 per application and for international applicants, the fee is $75.00.
To apply:

Click Here!

For students who are not certain of their desire for a Ph.D. in Toxicology and Cancer Biology, admission through the IBS program offers the opportunity to consider research programs in one of six departments participating in IBS, including the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology. For further information about admission to IBS, please visit the IBS website.

All students accepted into the Doctoral program are supported in the first year by the department. The current minimum stipend is $26,000 per year plus the tuition fee to cover the curriculum-required or graduate advisory committee-recommended courses, student health insurance, and activity fee. During this first year, students are required to carry out at least three two-month rotations in laboratories of departmental faculty, with the aim of identifying a mentor who will guide their Ph.D. research. The student's mentor is responsible for identifying financial support for the doctoral student from year two onward. Most financial assistance for students comes from the grants of individual faculty members, the NIEHS training grant and various University fellowships.

Students in the M.S program are not eligible for a research assistantship. Students are encouraged to apply for non-service fellowships and loans from the University, various agencies, foundations, etc.

If you have questions about the application process, please use the contact information below.
Isabel Mellon, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
859-257-6253 or