Curriculum

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is primarily a doctoral-degree granting program. We also offer a Master’s of Science Degree in Neuroscience for students with a Doctoral of Medicine degree. In addition, students in many Departmental PhD Programs may obtain a “Concentration in Neuroscience” with their Departmental PhD degree. For information about these degrees, please visit MD-PhD and Concentration in Neuroscience, respectively.

The GPN PhD Program follows the curricular guidelines established by the UIC Graduate College. A total of 96 credit hours is required for graduation. Of these 96 hours, 32 must be obtained from formally-graded courses at the 400- or 500-level. These constitute the “GPA” credit hours. Credits obtained to satisfy requirements are included in the 32 GPA hours needed for graduation.

Students who enter the program without a foundation in Biochemistry (3-4 credit hours at the 300 level) or General/Organic Chemistry may be asked to take GEMS 501 (Biochemistry) their first semester in lieu of an elective.

All PhD students are also required to take Research Ethics (GC 401) and Use of Animals in Research (GC 470), normally in the first or second year.

 

Required Core Courses (9 hrs)

NEUS 501. Foundations of Neuroscience I. 3 hours.

Provides a core understanding of modern neuroscience. Focuses on topics in cell and molecular neuroscience. Taught by faculty from multiple units.

NEUS 502. Foundations of Neuroscience II. 3 hours.

A core understanding of modern neuroscience. Focus is on topics in systems, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Will be taught by faculty from multiple units.

GEMS 503. Cell Biology. 3 hours.

Advanced course on fundamental aspects of cell biology; basic concepts will be integrated with key examples which span gene, protein, cell, and tissue function.

 

Additional Requirements (>8 hrs)

Neuroanatomy Requirement (3-4 hrs) is filled by NEUS 403 or NEUS 483.

  • NEUS 403. Human Neuroanatomy. 3 hours. Morphological organization of the nervous system. Functional correlations of neural structures.
  • NEUS 483. Neuroanatomy. 4 hours. Organization of the nervous system, with an emphasis on mammals.

Statistics Requirement (3 hrs) may be filled by a number of 400- or 500- level courses offered in various Departments.

Methods Requirement (2 hrs) may be filled by taking either NEUS 582 (2 hrs) or at least two modules of GEMS 504 or gems 505 (1 hr per module).

 

Elective Courses (8 hrs)

At least 8 Elective credit hours must be obtained in 500-level graded courses. Electives are subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).

All students are required to take NEUS 595 (Neuroscience Journal Club, 1 hr) each semester in the Program. Note: this course does not count toward the GPA credit hours requirements.

Non-GPA Credits (64 hrs)

The remaining non-GPA credits (64 hrs) may be obtained from Research Courses. First-year students typically register for NEUS 506 (Research Rotations, 3-6 hrs) each semester. Three separate laboratory rotations are required in the first year. At the end of the first year, students select a Thesis Advisor, in consultation with the DGS. After the first year, students enroll in NEUS 599 (Thesis Research, 1-12 hrs) with their Thesis Advisor each semester. At the end of the second year, students take a Preliminary Examination before continuing their dissertation research.