Curriculum Overview

The GPN PhD Program follows the curricular guidelines established by the UIC Graduate College. A total of 96 credit hours is required for graduation. Of these 96 hours, 32 must be obtained from formally-graded courses at the 400- or 500-level. These constitute the “GPA” credit hours.

The Required Core Courses, NEUS 501 (3 hrs), NEUS 502 (3 hrs), and GCLS 503 (3 hrs) comprise 9 of the 32 GPA credit hours. Students have two options to satisfy the Neuroanatomy Requirement: NEUS 403 (3 hrs) or NEUS 483 (4 hrs). The Statistics Requirement (3 hrs) may be filled by a number of 400- or 500- level courses offered in various Departments. The Methods Requirement (2 hrs) may be filled by taking either NEUS 582 (2 hrs) or at least two modules of GCLS 504 or GCLS 505 (1 hr per module). Credits obtained to satisfy these requirements are included in the 32 GPA hours needed for graduation; the remaining hours are obtained from Elective Courses. At least 8 Elective credit hours must be obtained in 500-level graded courses. Electives are subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). All students are required to take NEUS 595 (Neuroscience Journal Club, 1 hr) each semester in the Program; this course does not count toward the GPA credit hours requirements.

The remaining non-GPA credits (64 hrs) may be obtained from Research Courses. First-year students normally register for NEUS 506 (Research Rotations, 3-6 hrs) each semester. Three separate laboratory rotations are required in the first year. At the end of the first year, students select a Thesis Advisor, in consultation with the DGS. After the first year, students enroll in NEUS 599 (Thesis Research, 1-12 hrs) with their Thesis Advisor each semester. At the end of the second year, students take a Preliminary Examination before continuing their dissertation research.

All PhD students are also required to take Research Ethics (GC 401) and Use of Animals in Research (GC 470), normally in the first or second year.