Neuroscience Program

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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. Ninety-five 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.

Career Opportunities

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

Top International Program of the Year

BW’s nationally recognized neuroscience program has received ongoing recognition. Among its accolades, it was named the2012 International Undergraduate Program of the Year by the Society for Neuroscience.


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, 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 Alzheimer’s disease to autism. The projects requires deft and intricate molecular techniques that are initially taught in the classroom and firmly established in the laboratory.

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 neurophysiology, fetal/neonatal testing, 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. Claire 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.

National Neuroscience Organizations

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.


Biagio Niro '16 is one of just two student researchers nationwide to receive a 2014 Nu Rho Psi Summer Research Grant.

Jordan Smith '16, a BW neuroscience-biology major, spent 10 weeks of her 2014 summer break participating in a National Science Foundation-sponsored Summer Research Program in the Biological Sciences Department at Marquette University.


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Recent BW Neuroscience majors are finding their success at:

Ashkon Bahrami '14 is a research assistant at Renovo Neural. He credits the close relationships he formed with his professors in BW’s small-school setting with helping him gain the connections and experience he needed to achieve his goal of becoming employed immediately upon graduation. Ashkon is a native of Newark, Ohio.

Taylor Shreve '13 is pursuing an MD from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine. She worked in the BW labs alongside her professors, whose attention to her academic progress helped her gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Taylor credits lab experience, presentations and conferences for her acceptance into medical school.

Marissa Ruddy Scavuzzo '11 is pursuing a PhD in developmental biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The opportunity to conduct independent research in the neuroscience program helped prepare her for a career in research by offering diverse laboratory projects that emphasized how to carefully answer scientific questions.


Jacqueline K. Morris, Ph.D., Director of the Neuroscience Program
Michael Bumbulis, Ph.D.
Diana Barko, Ph.D.
James W. McCargar, Ph.D.
Clare Mathes, Ph.D.
Steven Neese, Ph.D.
Brian Thomas, Ph.D.

Emeriti Faculty

G. Andrew Mickley, Ph.D.


Shinchung Kang
Cheryl Novak