Neuroscience Graduate Program

Welcome to Loyola University Chicago Health Systems Program in Neuroscience! 

 We are excited that you are interested in continuing your career path in the neurosciences. Here, we encourage you to take a moment to seriously discover what our talented, experienced, & dedicated educators offer in the way of developing your skills and enriching your experiences as a future neuroscientist.

Neuroscience is clearly one of the most exciting and challenging “frontiers” of the biomedical sciences. The Neuroscience Graduate Program at Loyola University Chicago Health Systems encompasses a vast interdisciplinary track where students are provided with hands-on opportunities to develop and contribute to this rapidly expanding discipline. The student who chooses to join our neuroscience academic community will have options available to them for advanced training in a diverse array of disciplines including behavioral neuroscience, biochemistry, chemistry, cellular and molecular neurobiology, neuropharmacology, neuroimmunology and autoimmune disease, neuroendocrinology, regeneration and repair, stroke, traumatic brain injury, glaucomatous or peripheral neuropathies.

On this website, you will learn about our Neuroscience Graduate Program at Loyola University Chicago, including step-by-step instructions that will guide you through our application, interviewing, and matriculation process. General information about tuition, fees, and financial aid options are also clearly referenced. 

Integrated Program in Biological Sciences and the Program in Neuroscience

Upon matriculating to Loyola University Chicago, you will enter an Integrated Program in the Biological Sciences (IPBS) that is designed to facilitate your first two academic years. During your first year of graduate school at Loyola University Chicago, you will be asked to spend approximately 8-weeks at a time in three independent laboratories actively addressing neuroscience-related research programs. This exercise is critical, providing you with independent flexibility in following your own research career interests within the vast field of neuroscience. We strongly believe that a mutual intellectual interest between student and mentor in addressing specific research problems is essential to a successful, productive, and enriching research career in neuroscience.

The primary goal of our intensive advanced training program is to prepare you for a professional career in neuroscience through the acquisition of a well-rounded general base of scientific knowledge, the development of logical skills, and mastering a set of methodological tools to address relevant scientific questions. You will not only learn to critically evaluate the scientific literature, but also learn to contribute to the scientific literature. You will also gain valuable hands-on experience developing and testing, through bench experimentation, your ideas and how to communicate clearly your original research findings. The ability to challenge current paradigms, and apply critical thinking to new problems is central to this training.

A Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience is conferred after demonstrating certain competencies: (i) acquisition of general knowledge base in the biomedical sciences (ii) acquisition of select knowledge in a more specific field within neuroscience (iii) the ability to identify relevant novel questions, and to propose and execute critical experimental designs to address these questions (iv) the ability to search and critically evaluate the scientific literature and (v) acquisition of oral and written communication skills.  

Admission Requirements 

Successful applicants are able to demonstrate a strong background in biology, chemistry (including organic chemistry), and basic physics. Although not required, many applicants enter our program with some prior basic science research experience.

Although many factors are evaluated by the Centralized Admissions Committee, competitive GRE scores, a solid GPA in the disciplined sciences, and supportive letters of recommendation are essential. Details on admission requirements can be found  


History the Neuroscience Graduate Program

The Neuroscience Graduate Program at Loyola University Chicago Health Systems admitted its first student in the fall of 1986. Since then a total of 90 students have enrolled (52 Ph.D., 13 M.D./Ph.D., and 25 Masters). Our first Ph.D. in Neuroscience graduated in May of 1992, and thus far a total of 63 Ph.D.'s, including 11 M.D./Ph.D.'s, and 21 Masters degrees have been awarded.


Dr. Robert D. Wurster, now an emeritus Professor of Physiology, was the first Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. In 1989 he was succeeded by Dr. Edward J. Neafsey, now an emeritus Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In 2012, Dr. Neafsey was succeeded by our current Director, Dr. Evan B. Stubbs, Jr., Professor of Ophthalmology.  A Program Steering Committee assists the Director in running the program. Current members of this committee are Dr. George Battaglia (Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics), Dr. Lydia DonCarlos (Cell and Molecular Physiology), Dr. Erika Piedras-Renteria (Cell and Molecular Physiology), Dr. Karie Scrogin (Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics), Dr. Michael Collins, (Molecular Pharmacology and Thereapeutics) and Dr. Evan Stubbs (Ophthamology and Hines VA). The Neuroscience Graduate Program is an integral part of Loyola University Chicago Health Systems Neuroscience Institute, now under the direction of Dr. Wendy Kartje, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.