Apply to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Preferred deadline for Fall 2020 matriculation: December 1st, 2019. 

Note: As of September 18, 2012, UIC’s Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) has an online application AND document upload system. OAR reports that currently applicants must wait three business days from completion of the online application to the automated email instructing how to upload documentation.

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Neuroscience welcomes applications from students of all academic backgrounds. As a multidisciplinary program, students have numerous research opportunities in several departments across the campus. Fields of study cluster around three areas of concentration: neural signal transduction and molecular biology; systems and integrative neuroscience; human/ therapeutic neuroscience, cognition and neural imaging.

While applications from individuals representing diverse backgrounds are encouraged, students should realize that the Neuroscience curriculum emphasizes interactions between researchers of varied interest and that a solid foundation in cell biology and biochemistry is essential. To this end, we strongly recommend that students who apply to the Program have a solid foundation in general biology and biochemistry or general chemistry and organic chemistry. Students who do not have this background will be expected to take Biochemistry in addition to the other required courses during their first year of graduate study.

Students accepted into the Program receive a stipend (currently $30,000 annually) as well as a full tuition and fee waiver. First-year students receive a fellowship; thereafter, students generally work as a research assistant. We accept only as many students as we can support, which has been about two to four students per year. There has been considerable competition for these positions, and preference has been given to students who have grade point averages greater than 3.2/4.0 and verbal + quantitative GRE scores greater than 1200, which corresponds to approximately 308 with the revised exam. The five-year averages of students accepted: 3.53 GPA and 1266 [~ 312] GRE.

We therefore recommend that, when you apply, you also consider submitting a second application to a Departmental Program at the same time. Remember that all faculty who participate in the Neuroscience Program are members of Departmental Programs. Thus, a dual application will increase your chances of working with a preferred faculty mentor as you pursue your Ph.D. degree. If you are accepted by a Departmental Program, your degree will be in that Program and you will not be allowed to transfer back into Neuroscience. However, once you matriculate at UIC, you may apply for the Concentration in Neuroscience, and you will still be interacting with faculty and students who also participate in the Neuroscience Program.

Applications are accepted for the Fall semester only. Students who submit their application credentials by DECEMBER 1 will receive preferential consideration. All applications and transcripts must be received by the Office of Admissions and Records no later than February 1 for consideration for the following academic year. We also need to receive your Personal Statement and Letters of Recommendation by this date for you to receive full consideration. All applicants should direct ETS to send an official, electronic score to our institution [code = 1851]. Files will no longer be processed without an official score. IELTS is not affected.

Policy on Conflicts of Interest in the Admissions Process. The Graduate College recognizes that the graduate admissions process does not, and should not, operate “blindly.”  Programs and faculty frequently recruit students of whom they have direct knowledge.  Furthermore, the admission process for a doctoral program will frequently take into account the “fit” between a prospective graduate student’s interests and those of the faculty in the program.  However, the admissions process should, and should be seen to, take into account only academic and programmatic consideration when admitting and recruiting students.

To apply to the Program follow the links listed on the side bar to complete the step by step process:

  • Review your credentials.
  • Complete the Admissions application.
  • Upload your unofficial College transcripts and GRE scores — official transcripts will be required by admitted students only.
  • Send your Personal Statement and the application for a Graduate Appointment to the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Arrange for the uploading of three letters of recommendation (or have them sent to the Director of Graduate Studies)

Please read carefully: Currently, a Master’s of Science Degree in Neuroscience for physician residents in Psychiatry is also available. Admission requirements are similar to those for the doctoral program; however, applicants must have Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from a nationally accredited program and be accepted as residents in the Psychiatry Residency Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. These master’s candidates will be supported from an NIMH Training Grant that is already in place at UIC that represents a specific initiative by the NIH to support the training of physician/scientists. No other candidates for a terminal Master of Science degree will be considered at this time; however, we are in the process of revising our MS program. Students with terminal master’s degrees do not command any additional advantage in competing for academic positions; entry level research assistant positions usually require no more than a Bachelor of Science degree. More appropriate master’s degree programs for students who wish to advance in industry or education are available in the Department of Biological Sciences or Psychology. Contact Dr. Mark Rasenick for more specific information regarding the Master’s Program for Psychiatry residents.