Ph.D. in Neuroscience


The goal of the PhD program is to train students as independent investigators who will go on to post-doctoral fellowships following the completion of the degree, and eventually become independent academic researchers and teachers.

Financial Support

Students accepted into a PhD program are provided complete tuition remission for 48 credit hours of study which includes Dissertation Supervision, and a current stipend of $34,000 per year paid in monthly installments. Out of pocket expenses include university fees for health services, student activity fee, and the Health and Fitness Center membership. All students are required to have medical insurance coverage and we are pleased to announce that Loyola now pays the health insurance premium for eligible students. There is no on-campus student housing. Find more information regarding Tuition and Fees for the Graduate Programs at Loyola University Medical Center.

Course of Study

In the first year of study, PhD students complete three elective rotations in the laboratories of faculty members of their choice, and select an advisor by the end of the second semester. After selecting a research advisor, students may select the Neuroscience track for specialized coursework.  Required and elective courses are taken throughout the first and second years. The student must take and pass a qualifying examination by the end of the second year in order to be admitted to PhD candidacy.

Independent research is carried out in state-of-the-art laboratories under the direction of the student's advisor, with regularly scheduled meetings with the PhD committee selected by the student and advisor. A formal written dissertation on the student's research is required, and must be successfully defended at a public examination. The normal period required for completion of the degree ranges from four to six years.  


Graduate classes are small, and there is a strong emphasis on the current scientific literature. The program holds a weekly Journal Club where students present seminars on recent important research articles of their choice. A dynamic seminar series brings twenty or more nationally recognized neuroscientists to the Medical Center each year to present their research and meet with graduate students.


The curriculum for the PhD Program in Neuroscience consists of a first semester core of three courses (Molecular Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Methods in Biomedical Sciences), courses from the basic science departments of the Medical School, and courses taught by the faculty of the Program. Students conduct independent, original research projects after identifying an advisor and joining a lab. This occurs after the second semester for PhD students and after the first semester for MS students. In addition to class work, students also participate in both journal club and a seminars. In Journal Club, students closely interact with each other and a faculty members. Students present recent journal articles and participate in stimulating research discussions. During the spring semester, in addition to journal article presentations, students are also given the opportunity to practice short talks in an atmosphere similar to that which they will experience at national and international meetings. Journal club is intended to facilitate and assist in the development of student’s presentation and critical reading skills, in addition to adding to their scientific knowledge. The degree ranges from four to six years.