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Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health*

For more information contact

Director of Graduate Studies
Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program
Box 90328
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 613-8078



General Information

Degree offered:
Ph.D. offered through one of the participating departments. (Biochemistry, Biology, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Environment, Marine Science and Conservation, Neurobiology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Certificate.
Faculty working with students:
Students receiving Financial Aid:
Part time study available:

Program Description

The Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program (ITEHP) is the only training program at Duke which fully prepares students from a variety of backgrounds and educational disciplines for participation as rigorously trained research scientists active in environmental health careers. Interdepartmental and multidisciplinary, a PhD degree is awarded by one of several participating departments, with the ITEHP certification granted by ITEHP upon graduation. Upon completion of doctoral studies, ITEHP graduates will have been trained in a wide range of cutting-edge research skills necessary to successfully navigate the merging of basic science with human an environmental health; analysis, interpretation, and presentation of research results; and ethical and responsible research conduct. Completion of this training at the doctoral level prepares graduates for careers in the complex interdisciplinary fields of exposure science, environmental toxicology, and environmental health and disease.  Graduates pursue a variety of careers in academia, industry, government, and non-profits, including positions involved in research, risk assessment, consulting, and policy.

Research directed by ITEHP faculty is centered on environmental and occupational exposures, including effects on reproduction and development, neurodevelopment and function, pulmonary health, and carcinogenesis. These research programs include studies focused on both human and ecological health, and interconnections between the two. The elucidation of mechanisms underlying toxicities and adverse health outcomes is central to many studies in ITEHP laboratories. Exposures of particular concern currently include nanomaterials, pesticides, metals and metalloids, aromatic hydrocarbons, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, tobacco smoke, and endocrine disruptors. How such exposures intersect with other factors such as diet, lifestyle, and socioeconomic variables to affect health are also of interest.

Application to the program can be made in two ways.

  1. If a student’s primary interest is toxicology, then they may apply for admission directly through the ITEHP.  Applicants should indicate their Intended Degree on their Graduate School application as “PhD. (Biomedical Sciences Programs – School of Medicine” and their Department/Degree as “Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health – Ph.D.”.  Students admitted directly into the program affiliate with a department depending upon their choice of research mentor, typically at the end of their first year.
  2. Students with a primary interest in a departmentally based field may also apply to the ITEHP by indicating their Intended Degree as “Ph.D. (All Others)” and their Department/Degree as their program of interest (e.g. “Environment – Ph.D.”).  Intended Degrees include graduate programs within Duke University’s Schools of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, or Environment).  Applicants should also “ITEHP certificate” in the free text Area(s) of Interest field on the graduate school application.  In addition, these students must send an email to in order to indicate interest in the ITEHP certificate.*  (NOTE: It is also possible for students to add the ITEHP certificate option after they matriculate.  Contact the program for more details.)

There is no difference in the eventual degree granted through either mechanism; both routes result in a PhD granted by a specific department, with certification in toxicology.

Students are offered admission to the program with fellowship support based on rank among all applicants. Students may be awarded a toxicology and environmental health training grant fellowship or may be accepted into the toxicology and environmental health program with support from departmental funds. For each entering year, approximately three full fellowships (tuition, fees, and stipend) are awarded to toxicology graduate school applicants.

Please note that toxicology and environmental health training grant fellowships are restricted to US citizens or permanent residents. Non-US citizens who are interested in the integrated toxicology and environmental health program will need to apply and request funding directly through a participating department.

*Please note that students in participating departments who are interested in certifying in Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health are invited to complete the certificate but are not typically eligible for program funding. 


Application Information

Application Terms Available

Application Deadline
December 1

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional for 2022)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Writing Sample
None required

Additional Components
Optional Video Essay: How would a Duke PhD training experience help you achieve your academic and professional goals? Max video length 2 minutes; record externally and provide URL in application.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance