M.S. in Neuroscience


Our MS program in Neuroscience is a research thesis based program designed to provide students with basic background knowledge in Neuroscience, as well as an appreciation for emerging concepts and methodologies relevant to the study of Neuroscience. Students will learn to use their knowledge base to develop novel neuroscience questions and address them with rational and reproducible experimental design. Our degree prepares students for technical positions in academia and the biotechnology industry, or as primary or secondary science educators. The Neuroscience master’s program from Loyola can also prepare students for admission to professional and advanced graduate degree programs.

The Master’s degree is conferred upon demonstration of the following competencies:

  • Acquisition of a general knowledge base in the biomedical sciences
  • Acquisition of applied knowledge in the neurosciences
  • The ability to identify relevant original neuroscience-related questions, and to design, propose and execute critical experiments to address these questions
  • The ability to search and critically evaluate neuroscience-related literature and data
  • Acquisition of oral and written communication skills appropriate for scientific peers and the general public


The Neuroscience MS program requires applicants to have taken two semesters or the equivalent in each of the following: Biology, Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. Students must have also completed the laboratory courses associated with these core science courses. A bachelor's degree or the equivalent is required prior to matriculation, along with the submission of official GRE (or MCAT) scores. Three letters of recommendation are required and we highly encourage that these come from individuals who have supervised the student either in an academic course or research environment, with direct knowledge of the student's aptitude for scientific research. Completion of these prerequisites does not ensure acceptance. Admission occurs on a rolling basis and is competitive.

Prerequisite coursework:

  • Biology with lab- 2 semesters
  • Chemistry with lab- 2 semesters
  • Organic Chemistry with lab- 2 semesters

Deadline for application completion is June 1st, though available positions may fill prior to that deadline. We highly recommend for students to apply before April 15th to ensure their application receives a full review.


M.S. students take a minimum of 24 credits over their two year course of study. Stipends or tuition remission are not provided to M.S. students, but all research supplies and equipment required for research projects are provided at no cost to the student. For more information regarding tuition for the Graduate Programs at the Stritch School of Medicine visit the following link: Tuition and Fees.


Graduate classes are small and allow instructors to emphasize current scientific literature and practices. Weekly student-centered Journal Clubs allow the students to develop presentation skills while learning about cutting edge findings. A dynamic seminar series brings several nationally recognized neuroscientists to the Medical Center each year to present their research and meet with graduate students.


The MS Curriculum consists of core courses (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Methods in Biomedical Sciences) taught by Medical School faculty. Additional required Neuroscience courses are team taught by Neuroscience Graduate Faculty. Students also participate in a student-centered weekly journal club in the Fall semester, followed by weekly neuroscience seminars and student progress reports in the Spring semester. Both courses are intended to facilitate the students’ abilities to critically read, question and synthesize scientific knowledge and to hone their presentation skills.

Year 1FallSpring
  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMSC 410, 4h) Statistical Methods in Biomedical Sciences (BMSC 402, 3h)
  Cell Biology (BMSC 412, 4h) Cell and Molecular Neurobiology (NRSC 410, 3h)
  Methods in Biomedical Science (BMSC 416, 1h) Neuroscience Seminar (NRSC 503, 0h)
  Ethics in Biomedical Sciences  (BMSC 405, 1h) Research (NRSC 499, 2h)
  Neuroscience Journal Club (NRSC 503, 1h)  
  Two 6-week research rotations  


Year 2FallSpring
  Neurochemistry (NRSC 415, 3h)                                    Neuroscience Seminar (NRSC 503, 0h)                                       
  Neuroscience Journal Club (NRSC 503, 0h) Research (NRSC 499, 1h)
  Research (NRSC 499, 1h)  


The Master’s Degree Program in Neuroscience is a research-based program.  Students spend the majority of their second year completing a Neuroscience-related research project under the mentorship of a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Faculty.  Choosing the right laboratory in which to conduct a thesis project is a critical decision and should be made in conjunction with the Graduate Program Director.  Students admitted into the program learn about the available research projects during orientation.   During the first semester students gain a better appreciation for ongoing Neuroscience research opportunities at the Health Sciences Campus during faculty and student presentations, seminars and/or poster sessions.  Students should identify at least two neuroscience laboratories with research programs that interest them. After consultation with the Neuroscience Graduate Program Director, the student should then schedule 6-week laboratory research rotations in those labs which are likely to provide the best experience to help the student meet their career goals.  If necessary, students can choose to participate in a third rotation prior to making their final decision.  Students are encouraged to choose their laboratories by the end of the first semester to ensure the timely completion of their degree.  Once the student has selected a laboratory, they should begin to develop a thesis question and pursue a research project under the guidance of their mentor and a thesis committee.

Extracurricular Activities

Students are encouraged to present their work at the annual Chicago Society for Neuroscience meeting, hosted by one of the largest regional chapters of the Society for Neuroscience.  Loyola also hosts an annual research day in honor of St. Albert, the patron saint of scientists and philosophers.  The event provides students the opportunity to present their work in poster form to a campus-wide audience.  Students are also given opportunities to compete for funds to attend and present their work at national conferences relevant to their work.  Neuroscientists recognize that effective learning requires socialization.  Thus, Neuroscience Graduate Program hosts regular social functions for faculty and student members of the program. 


For more information:

Fill out a request at the following link: REQUEST INFORMATION.

Be sure to identify your interest by choosing the Biomedical Sciences category and selecting Neuroscience!