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MS in Neuroscience

Developing outstanding neuroscientists committed to scientific excellence and integrity.

The Master of Science (MS) in Neuroscience is a two-year, research-intensive program designed to provide you with a foundational understanding of neuroscience and an appreciation for emerging concepts and related methodologies. At Loyola University Chicago, we take an intra-departmental and interdisciplinary approach to learning, giving you a broad choice of mentors and neuroscience-related research projects to help advance your career. Students will acquire the knowledge and confidence to develop novel neuroscience questions, address them with rational and reproducible experimental design, and succeed in challenging academic and industry environments.

Graduates have gained admission to medical school (both allopathic or osteophatic), as well as PhD programs at Loyola and other top schools in the Chicago area and beyond. Many graduates also have obtained advanced technical research positions in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as positions in pharmaceutical sales and marketing.

Our Commitment To You

Graduates of Loyola's MS in Neuroscience will gain the following knowledge, skills, and professional values to pursue a career as a research scientist in academia or industry or pursue additional education.

KNOWLEDGE

  • Foundational understanding of the biochemical and molecular basis of cell function and neuronal and glial cell function
  • Broad, comprehensive understanding of the neuroscience fields including: neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, molecular neurobiology, neuropharmacology, neurophysiology, and behavior
  • Expertise in several scientific techniques to study of the function of the central and/or peripheral nervous system

SKILLS 

  • Design and conduct experiments independently
  • Analyze data
  • Evaluate and apply scientific literature to experimental research
  • Ability to present scientific work in a compelling manner
  • Develop methodologies to explore the cellular and molecular basis of neuronal function in health and disease

PROFESSIONAL VALUES 

  • Ethical standards of behavior in science

Curriculum

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credtis during this two-year MS program.  The Neuroscience curriculum helps students develop the skills to explore the cellular and molecular basis of neuronal function in health and disease. In addition to regular coursework, students must participate in a student-centered weekly journal club and weekly neuroscience seminars and student progress reports. Both are intended to facilitate students’ abilities to critically read, question, and synthesize scientific knowledge and to hone their presentation skills.

YEAR 1 - Fall 

Students complete two, six-week research rotations in addition to the following courses:

  • BMSC 410 - Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (4 credits)
  • BMSC 412 - Cell Biology (4 credits)
  • BMSC 416 - Methods in Biomedical Science (1 credit)
  • BMSC 405 - Ethics in Biomedical Sciences (1 credit)
  • NRSC 503 - Neuroscience Journal Club (1 credit)

YEAR 1 - Spring 

  • BMSC 402 - Statistical Methods in Biomedical Sciences (3 credits)
  • NRSC 410 - Cell and Molecular Neurobiology (3 credits)
  • NRSC 503 - Neuroscience Seminar (0 credits)
  • NRSC 499 - Research (2 credits)
  • BMSC 418 - Presentation Skills (1 credit)

YEAR 2- Fall 

  • NRSC 415 - Neurochemistry (3 credits)
  • NRSC 503 - Neuroscience Journal Club (1 credit)
  • NRSC 499 - Research (4 credits)

YEAR 2 - Spring 

  • NRSC 503 - Neuroscience Seminar (0 credits)
  • NRSC 499 - Research (2 credits)
  • NRSC 595 - Thesis Supervision (0 credits)

Admission

Ready to apply? This is a good place to start.

APPLICATION DEADLINES 

We accept applications on a rolling basis. We encourage students to apply by April 15 to ensure their application receives a full review. The deadline for all application materials is June 15. Typically, orientation is two days in late July, followed by an early August start date.

APPLICATION PROCESS (There is no application fee.)

1. COMPLETED APPLICATION

  • We strongly urge you to apply online. You may mail your application (although that will delay our receipt) to:

    Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management
    Loyola University Chicago
    820 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

2. TEST SCORES

  • Applicants must submit current (within the past four years) GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical exams) to Loyola University Chicago. Applicants also may submit official MCAT scores (within the last four years) in lieu of the GRE. We recommend applicants take the Subject Exam in Cell and Molecular Biology.

3. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

  • Applicants should have earned a bachelor's degree (at minimum) to apply. Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work are required for admission.
  • The MS in Neuroscience program requires applicants to have taken two semesters or the equivalent in each of the following: Biology, Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. Students also should have completed the accompanying laboratory courses within each discipline.

4. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

  • Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. We encourage these letters come from individuals who have supervised the student either in an academic course or research environment, and who have direct knowledge of the student's aptitude for scientific research.

5. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

  • Your statement of purpose should be a brief, one page statement that explains your interest in this program.

6. INTERVIEW

  • A virtual interview is required for admission. International applicants can interview via phone or video conference.

Please note: the only documents that cannot be uploaded with an application are transcripts and official test scores. Please send those documents directly to: gradapp@luc.edu.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

International applicants must have a degree equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor's degree and are required to submit the above documents and:

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • A Declaration and Certification of Finances Form
  • Evaluations of international transcripts by any member organization of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) 

Please note: the only documents that cannot be uploaded with an application are transcripts, official test scores, and transcript evaluations. Please send those documents directly to: gradapp@luc.edu

For more information, contact Student Program Recruiter Anna Dauzvardis.

Request more information about our graduate programs.

FAQs

WHERE ARE THESE PROGRAMS LOCATED?

The Biomedical Sciences programs are located at Loyola University Chicago's Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, approximately 12 miles west of downtown Chicago. The campus is home to the Stritch School of Medicine, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, and Loyola Medicine, our academic medical center partner. The campus features state-of-the-art facilities for education and biomedical research.

HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE ENROLLED IN THE BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES PROGRAMS?

Approximately 175 graduate students are enrolled in Loyola's Biomedical Science programs.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL COURSEWORK?

MS students enroll in a Core Curriculum during their first and second semesters, followed by advanced coursework and research training in their area of specialization. After completing lab rotations, students select an advisor who will mentor them throughout their studies and in many cases, after graduation. 

Tuition and Financial Aid

Loyola's Graduate School and its Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable.

Faculty

Read about the Neuroscience faculty and their broad range of research interests. The program's interdepartmental and interdisciplinary approach provides students with a large selection of mentors and neuroscience-related research projects for their training.

JOANNA C. BAKOWSKA

Associate Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Genetic, behavioral, and cellular mechanisms that underlie spastic paraplegias.

MICHAEL A. COLLINS

Emeritus Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience

webpage
Research interests: Mechanisms of ethanol-induced neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.

ED CAMPBELL

Professor, Microbiology and Immunology webpage
Research interests: Understanding the mechanisms of cellular invasion by amyloid protein aggregates associated with neurodegenerative disease and the cellular dysfunction induced by such invasion.

LYDIA L. DONCARLOS

Emeritus Professor, Cell and Molecular Physiology webpage
Research interests: The impact of gonadal steroids on neural development and neuroprotection.

EILEEN FOECKING

Associate Professor, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Mechanisms of peripheral nerve injury and repair with focus on therapeutic and surgical techniques to enhance regeneration.

ROCCO GOGLIOTTI

Assistant Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Neurogenetics of autism and autism-associated disorders and the neuropharmacology of novel treatment strategies.

LINDA JANUSEK

Professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing webpage
Research interests: Understanding the consequences of psychosocial stress on emotional reactivity, behavior, and neuroendocrine-immune function.

SIMON KAJA

Dr. John P. and Therese E. Mulcahy Endowed Professor in Ophthalmology
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Molecular Pharmacology & Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Identification of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying human ophthalmic, neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.

GWENDOLYN KARTJE

Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Effects of binge alcohol on neurogenesis and functional recovery following traumatic brain injury, use of immunotherapy to facilitate functional recovery from ischemic stroke, use of neuroprotective drugs to reduce damage from ischemic stroke.

KELLEY LANGERT

Assistant Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Targeted drug delivery to the inflamed peripheral nerve, identifying novel therapeutic targets at the blood-nerve barrier and the leukocyte-endothelial interface, elucidating the physiological and pathophysiological roles of monomeric GTPases in endothelial cells.

VIRGINIE MANSUY-AUBERT

Assistant Professor, Cell and Molecular Physiology webpage
Research interests: Mechanisms by which the central and peripheral nervous systems sense lipids to modulate body weight, energy expenditure, glucose homeostasis and sensitivity (Obesity and Diabetes Models).

HERB L. MATHEWS

Professor, Microbiology and Immunology webpage
Research interests: Stress and immunity, psychoneuroimmunology, natural killer cell function; breast and prostate cancer.

TONI PAK

James R. DePauw Professor and Chair,
Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology

Research interests: Neuroendocrine regulation of puberty; molecular mechanisms of nuclear steroid receptor function.

ERIKA PIEDRAS-RENTERIA

Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Physiology webpage
Research interests: Molecular mechanisms of neuronal P/Q calcium channel function in normal and diseased states, including spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6).

KARIE SCROGIN

Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Anxiety, mood disorders and neural control of circulation in heart disease.

MONSHEEL SODHI

Assistant Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression (RNA editing, alternative splicing, microRNAs) in mood disorders, psychosis and after exposure to stress.

WILLIAM H. SIMMONS

Emeritus Professor, Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience webpage
Research interests: The identification and purification of peptidases involved in neuropeptide metabolism in brain.

EVAN B. STUBBS, JR.

Professor, Ophthalmology webpage
Research interests: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Metabolic and Acquired Neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy, glaucomatous neuropathy, and acquired inflammatory demyelinating neuropathies such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

The Master of Science (MS) in Neuroscience is a two-year, research-intensive program designed to provide you with a foundational understanding of neuroscience and an appreciation for emerging concepts and related methodologies. At Loyola University Chicago, we take an intra-departmental and interdisciplinary approach to learning, giving you a broad choice of mentors and neuroscience-related research projects to help advance your career. Students will acquire the knowledge and confidence to develop novel neuroscience questions, address them with rational and reproducible experimental design, and succeed in challenging academic and industry environments.

Graduates have gained admission to medical school (both allopathic or osteophatic), as well as PhD programs at Loyola and other top schools in the Chicago area and beyond. Many graduates also have obtained advanced technical research positions in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as positions in pharmaceutical sales and marketing.