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The Ph.D program emphasizes training through research leader and provides a broad education in Neuroscience research and teaching.

Admission Heading link

Students enroll in the departmental graduate program from any one of three graduate training programs at UIC. These are the Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS), the campus-wide Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN), and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Applicants are expected to have a clear desire to enter a research career, and would preferably have had some experience in a research laboratory.

Review the three graduate training programs and understand the admissions requirements specific to each.

Program Overview Heading link

You will receive comprehensive instruction in Neuroscience as well as Cell Biology and Biochemistry through lecture, small group laboratory sessions and intensive advanced training in small seminar courses.

Journal club

The department’s weekly Journal Club gives students the opportunity to interact in discussions on “hot” research topics, hone their presentation skills in a non-threatening environment, and meet/interact with seminar speakers and other investigators over lunch.


The most important element of the program is research. Laboratories in Anatomy and Cell Biology are small, giving the student the special advantage of working closely with their thesis advisor in a mentor/apprentice relationship. Research interests of the faculty focus on specific problems in cellular and systems neuroscience. Focus areas include:

  • Development
  • Aging
  • Control of behavior
  • Glial cell function
  • Sensory systems
  • Mechanisms of synaptic and ion channel functions
  • Cell biology (including cytoskeleton, synapse, neuron, and endothelium).

Alumni and outcomes

Graduates of our program have gone on to excellent postdoctoral appointments, and subsequently entered academic careers at institutions around the country and the world.