About the Degree

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 PhD 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.


To Apply

Requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School

All applications must follow the requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School and must be submitted directly to the Graduate School. When applying via the Graduate School online application, make sure to select toxicology and cancer biology from the drop-down menu.  

Direct Application

Required documents in addition to the application include:

  • 2-3 letters of recommendation. You will be asked to provide the names and contact information of your references.
  • A personal statement indicating research interest and goals for doctoral study and beyond.
  • CV/Resume.
  • If you have written a research paper we encourage you to include it, but it is not required.
  • A GRE score is not required.
  • International Students: the minimum acceptable TOFEL score is 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based). The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. The minimum Duolingo score is 115.

Submit Application Here

IBS Application

For students who are not certain of their desire for a PhD 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.

Learn More about the IBS Program

Financial Assistance

The first year students are supported by the department during the rotation period where students are required to carry out three two-month rotations in labs of departmental faculty with the aim of identifying a mentor who will guide their PhD research. Students will be supported by their individual PI once a permanent thesis lab has been chosen and they start to work on their dissertation. The current minimum stipend is $30,000 per year plus the tuition fee to cover the curriculum-required or graduate advisory committee-recommended courses and student health insurance.

Students in the MS 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.

Contact Us

Isabel Mellon, PhD

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
mellon@uky.edu or toxandcancerbio@uky.edu