Neuroscience programs in the greater Chicago area allow you to earn either a master's degree or a Ph.D. in the subject. Doctoral programs are more selective and rigorous in their course material.
Schools in Chicago Offering Graduate Programs in Neuroscience
Loyola University in Chicago offers both a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. The MS program is designed around the completion of a thesis, and you should have previous exposure to biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry, all with lab experience. The program prepares graduate students in communication skills for the scientific community and the evaluation of neuroscientific data. Course topics in this program include molecular biology and biomedical ethics.
The Ph.D. program can take anywhere from four to six years. Along with seminars and research, you will regularly contribute to the scientific community by participating in the school's journal club. Independent research is a major aspect of the program, and you will defend your dissertation during a public exam.
University of Chicago
The Grossman Institute at the University of Chicago is home to a Ph.D. in Neuroscience with three specific areas of concentration. Computational neuroscience looks at the methods of nervous system interaction and behavior. Neurobiology places a great emphasis on laboratory rotation, and holds the distinction of the longest-established track in the neuroscience program. The Ph.D in Integrative Neuroscience, administered through the university's psychology department, looks at the neural bases of human behavior. Each specialization offers the chance to study under expert faculty members.
If you're looking for a neuroscience Ph.D. at Northwestern, you can obtain one through an interdepartmental program. It's a fairly large program, with over 100 students at any given time. You'll begin with 9 credits' worth of courses, and you'll attend multiple seminars by non-Northwestern presenters. Along with teaching requirements, you will publish a peer-reviewed article as part of your doctoral obligations. Two components, public and private, are part of the final thesis defense before you earn the Ph.D. title.
Rosalind Franklin University
Located in North Chicago, Rosalind Franklin University has programs for a master's degree and a Ph.D. Research areas at the school include neurobiology, ion channels, and neuronal gene expression regulation. The Ph.D program typically lasts for four years, while the Master of Science can be earned in three years. Other course subjects at the doctoral level include a series of seminars, the neuroscience journal club, and research activities.
An interdisciplinary doctoral program can earn you a Ph.D. at Illinois University. Seminars, graded courses, and a journal club are all part of the experience that will take you to the doctorate. You'll undergo three exams before earning your dissertation, which focus on your area of concentration (qualifying exam), thesis proposal (preliminary exam), and your completed thesis (final exam and thesis defense). Your concentration will consist of one major and two minors, allowing plenty of customization and personal preference.
Admission Requirements for Neuroscience Graduate Programs in Chicago
In certain cases, you will need to document your ability to perform research in and out of a lab setting prior to your acceptance into a doctoral program. A statement of purpose or personal statement should explain why you are interested in pursuing neuroscience and what you would bring to the department. GRE scores may be required, and if so, they should be sent in their official form directly from ETS. Your transcripts should also be sent directly from their respective institutions. Check with each university for an application deadline, as they are often strict and do not allow late submissions.
Neuroscience typically has two levels of graduate study in the Chicago area: the master's and the doctorate. You may find that you'll study more than just neuroscience as part of an interdisciplinary program, but you ultimately will choose a focus area to contribute to the department and field.