Interdisciplinary Program

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Neuroscience Program

(440) 826-6527


Top ranked and nationally acclaimed, Baldwin Wallace's neuroscience program is a rigorous, interdisciplinary study of biology, chemistry and psychology.

Its hallmarks include strong academics, hands-on research, individual attention, and proven student and alumni success.

For more than 10 years, it has been an impressive pipeline to post-graduate opportunities. More than eighty percent of BW neuroscience students who have applied to medical school or graduate programs received acceptance.

The comprehensive program focuses on the brain and its functions, including structure, physiology, pharmacology, and cognitive and behavioral functions.

Starting freshman year, you can collaborate with faculty on real-world research spanning neurodegeneration, learning and memory, anxiety, sensory perception and other topics. You’ll gain hands-on experience in experimental design, data collection and scientific writing.

Independent research studies and a required empirically based senior thesis bridge theoretical learning with practical application. Opportunities to work on funded research projects bring a real-world component to your studies.

Also impressive are opportunities that include publication in renowned journals, presentations at international scientific conferences and leading internship opportunities.

View hands-on learning experiences for BW's neuroscience students.


Neuroscience graduates work at universities, medical schools, research institutes, industry and government organizations. Neuroscience majors with a bachelor's degree may find positions in biotech firms, government labs and pharmaceutical firms, among other areas.

Students who pursue graduate education may become:

  • Research scientists
  • Pharmacologists
  • Dentists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Veterinarians
  • Educators
  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists
Neuroscience - Program of the Year

International Acclaim

Excellence and innovativeness earned Baldwin Wallace acclaim as the undergraduate program of the year – the #1 ranking by the international Society for Neuroscience.

Focused Study in Biology, Chemistry or Psychology

BW's interdisciplinary neuroscience program enables you to concentrate your studies in biology, chemistry or psychology. As a result, you’ll graduate with two majors: neuroscience and your area of focus.

In-Demand Career Field

Neuroscience offers versatile career opportunities. BW graduates are finding success in medical, science and related fields.

Jordan Smith

Summer Research

Jordan Smith '16 spent her 2014 summer break participating in a National Science Foundation-sponsored Summer Research Program in the Biological Sciences Department at Marquette University.


Offered as a major and minor, neuroscience is a rigorous, comprehensive program.

As a neuroscience major, you’ll take coursework that fulfills academic requirements within that discipline as well as those of a concentrated area ­– psychology, biology or chemistry. As a result, you’ll graduate with two majors: neuroscience and your area of focus.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:


BW’s neuroscience lab is an impressive multi-room complex where neuroscience students study the brain. It features specialized equipment for studying small animal behavior and neurological processes under highly controlled laboratory conditions.

Dynamic learning opportunities are inherent to the lab. The team-based environment fosters innovative thinking, collaboration and mentoring.

Currently, students are involved in a variety of projects ranging from sensation of taste to autism. The projects require deft and intricate animal behavior and histological techniques that are initially taught in the classroom and firmly established in the research experiences.

You’ll learn tissue culture technique from dissection to sterile technique with high magnification microscopic work. You’ll investigate neuronal development as well as biochemical techniques with tissues.

Within the complex are rooms dedicated to stereological counting, behavioral analysis, imaging, surgery, histology and group/independent study.

Faculty affiliated with the lab have active research programs and also supervise students as they develop their own original studies. They include: Dr. Jacqueline Morris, Dr. Brian Thomas, Dr. Clare Mathes and Dr. Steven Neese.

Undergraduate students are treated as professionals in the laboratory to promote independent learning and critical thinking.

An established peer mentoring system pairs a first-year student with an upper-level one to assist with a research project. This provides valuable laboratory experience and establishes a supportive learning environment.

Often, the most intriguing and novel research occurs when teams of investigators unite from different disciplines ­– biology, psychology and chemistry. Their diverse insights and skills generate powerful, innovative solutions to tackling complex problems.


Nu Rho Psi
The National Honor Society in Neuroscience, Nu Rho Psi, is comprised of neuroscience students who have outstanding scholarship and a demonstrated interest in the discipline. BW was the first chapter and remains the base for the national Nu Rho Psi organization.

Society for Neuroscience
This group is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. Each year BW neuroscience students travel to the annual meeting to present their research, network with neuroscientists, develop professional skills through seminars and learn more about graduate training.

International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
This organization encourages research and education in the field of behavioral neuroscience. The annual meeting provides students an opportunity to network with researchers in their field and present research to a focused group of researchers.

Pre-Medical Society
Delta Omega Chi, the Pre-Medical Society, sponsors medically related volunteer activities, guest speakers, tours to institutions with professional programs, and mentoring with pre-medical upperclassmen and the faculty advisor. This organization is ideal for students interested in health care professions such as physicians, physician assistants and dentists.


Ashkon BahramiAshkon Bahrami '14 is lab technician at Lubrizol Corporation in Brecksville, Ohio. The Newark, Ohio, native credits the close relationships he formed with his professors with helping him gain the connections and experience he needed to achieve his goal of becoming employed immediately upon graduation.

Taylor ShreveTaylor Shreve '13 is pursuing an M.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. The Panama, N.Y., native worked in the BW labs alongside her professors, who helped her gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Taylor credits lab experience, presentations and conferences for her acceptance into medical school.

Marissa Ruddy ScavuzzoMarissa Ruddy Scavuzzo '11 is pursuing a Ph.D. in developmental biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The opportunity to conduct independent research at BW helped prepare the Spring, Texas, native for a career in research by offering diverse laboratory projects.

Melissa VanderKaay TomasuloMelissa VanderKaay Tomasulo '99 is director of the neuroscience program and associate professor of psychology at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. A native of Huntsburg, Ohio, Melissa credits faculty mentoring and her hands-on lab experiences at BW as a catalyst for her career success. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. from Ohio University.


Full-Time Faculty

Jacqueline K. Morris
Director, Neuroscience Program
Associate Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine

Michael Bumbulis
Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Diana Barko
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Clare Mathes
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Florida

Steven Neese
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University

Brian Thomas
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., Texas Christian University

Faculty Emeriti

G. Andrew Mickley
Founding Chair, Neuroscience Program
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Virginia


Shinchung Kang
Neuroscience Laboratory Director

Cheryl Novak
Director, Animal Behavioral Science Lab
Animal Husbandry Manager