Neuroscience Major

BW's nationally recognized, interdisciplinary neuroscience programfeatures strong academics, hands-on research and one-on-one mentoring. 


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, the neuroscience program has been an impressive pipeline to post-graduate opportunities. Since 2010, 86 percent of BW neuroscience students who have applied to medical school or graduate programs have 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.

  • Benjamin Brown

    Benjamin Brown '15 was a part of a leading research study that was published in the journal Nature. The Columbia Station, Ohio, native majored in neuroscience and chemistry at BW. Today he is M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

  • Taylor Shreve

    Rigorous academics, faculty mentoring and extensive lab experiences provided Taylor Shreve '13 with a resume and vita worthy of acceptance into the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. From Ashville, N.Y., she studied neuroscience and chemistry at BW.  

  • Jackie Morris

    Dr. Jacqueline Morris, director of the neuroscience program, mentors students in and out of the classroom. 

  • Biagio Niro

    Extensive laboratory experience is helping Biagio Niro '16 prepare for a career as a physician assistant. Biagio is conducting genetic research on zebrafish with Dr. Jacqueline Morris, neuroscience program director and faculty mentor. From Seven Hills, Ohio, Biagio was just one of two student researchers nationwide to receive a 2014 Nu Rho Psi Summer Research Grant.

  • Joe Luchsinger

    Outstanding academics, extensive lab experiences and impressive real-world learning opportunities positioned Joe Luchsinger '13 for acceptance into the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for an M.D./ Ph.D program. From Bexley, Ohio, he earned a B.S. in neuroscience and psychology and a B.A. in physics from BW. 


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
In-Demand Career Field

In-Demand Career Field

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

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.

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.

The neuroscience major prepares students to:

  • Explain and apply general principles that pertain to the nervous system
  • Compile and critically evaluate information from a wide range of scientific sources
  • Communicate scientific ideas to peers through oral and written communication
  • Apply the scientific method through their ability to form sound hypotheses based on current literature and design experiments to test their hypotheses
  • Collect and analyze data, showing an understanding of fundamental concepts to data analysis
  • Explain ethical, safety and scientific theory for appropriate laboratory procedures
Course Catalog

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 and Dr. Clare Mathes.

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.


Rigorous course studies combined with outstanding hands-on learning opportunities, mentoring and peer support make BW STEM Scholars exceptional and transformative for students. Entry into this program is by application only.


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed. Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world. Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation

Recent neuroscience graduates are finding success in graduate and professional schools and working in a variety of careers. 

Benjamin BrownBenjamin Brown ’15 is currently pursing an M.D./Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The Columbia Station, Ohio, native cites faculty-student collaborative research and mentoring as vital to his growth as an independent researcher and acceptance into medical school.

Brandon DropicBrandon Dropic ’15 is management trainee at PPG Industries in Clearwater, Fla. The Seminole, Fla., native collaborated with BW faculty and Cleveland Clinic researchers to develop original Alzheimer’s disease research, an experience that enabled him to develop his professional competencies and distinguish himself in the field.

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.

Kara GawelekKara Gawelek '14 is pursuing an M.D./M.S. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. A first-generation college student from Brunswick, Ohio, Kara's work alongside BW faculty in the research laboratory bolstered her successful medical school applications.

Sarah HummelSarah Hummel ’13 is DVM candidate at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. As an undergraduate, the Ithaca, N.Y., native worked in BW’s neuroscience and animal learning labs and conducted two major thesis projects that were instrumental to her growth as a researcher and problem solver.

Joe LuchsingerJoe Luchsinger ’13 is MD-PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. At BW, small class sizes, faculty mentors and extensive experiential learning opportunities enabled the Bexley, Ohio, native to engage deeply in multiple areas of interest while preparing for medical school.

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. The Huntsburg, Ohio, native credits hands-on lab experiences and faculty mentors at BW as catalysts for her success. She holds a Ph.D. from Ohio University.



Full-Time Faculty

Jacqueline K. Morris
Director, Neuroscience Program
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

Patrick Ledwidge
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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

Karen Munroe
Associate Professor
Ph.D., the University of Arizona

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

Jeffrey Zahratka
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., The University of Toledo

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