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Department of Neuroscience

(440) 826-2312



Discover the fascinating, ever-growing field of neuroscience. Whether your career interest is scientific research, the medical profession or education, Baldwin Wallace's neuroscience major will help you excel in your goal.

Focused Study of Brain, Mind, Behavior

Through courses in cognitive, behavioral and molecular neuroscience, you'll delve into the intricacies of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. You'll study its normal and abnormal actions, learn about diseases and environmental factors that affect its function, and discover how breakthroughs in neuroscience are advancing our knowledge and quality of life.

Impressive Neuroscience Research

Starting as soon as freshman year, you can collaborate with professors on research spanning behavioral pharmacology, neurodegeneration, learning and memory, sensation and perception, as well as other topics. You'll gain hands-on experience in experimental design, data collection and analysis, and scientific writing - so you can experience research from its inception through completion.

  • Photo of professor mentoring students in neuroscience lab.

    Rigorous academics, faculty mentoring and extensive lab experiences prepare students for post-graduate studies and career success.

  • Photo of professor mentoring students in cognitive lab.

    Under the direction of Dr. Patrick Ledwidge, students gain valuable research skills in BW's cognitive-communication lab.

  • Photo of professor mentoring student in neuroscience lab.

    With Dr. Clare Mathes (left) as a mentor, Delenn Hartswick '21 (right) performed research through BW's Summer Scholars program to learn new skills and prepare for a neuroscience thesis.

  • Benjamin Brown

    Benjamin Brown '15, who is now pursing an M.D./Ph.D. at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, was part of a leading research study at BW that was published in the journal Nature.

Neuroscience Research

Career Opportunities in Neuroscience

Neuroscience graduates work at universities, medical schools, research institutes and in industry, such as biotech and pharmaceutical firms, and for government organizations. Students who achieve a bachelor's degree and/or pursue graduate education may become:

  • Research scientists
  • Pharmacologists
  • Dentists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Veterinarians
  • Educators
  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists


Neuroscience is offered as a major and minor. The coursework provides a theoretical and practical framework for your studies. You'll progress from learning the basics of the structure and function of the nervous system to practical application in laboratory courses to generating original neuroscience research questions.

What You'll Learn

BW's neuroscience major prepares students to:

  • Become knowledgeable about the brain and its functions, including structure, physiology, pharmacology, cognition and behavior.
  • Explain and apply general principles of neuroscience.
  • Critically evaluate information about topics and research in neuroscience.
  • Evaluate safety and ethical considerations in neuroscience research and perform research that applies those standards.
  • Become effective oral and written communicators who can discuss topics and research in neuroscience.
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

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


Small class sizes, individual attention, hands-on learning and faculty mentoring are hallmarks of the program. You'll learn from professors who hold doctorates in their subject areas.

BW Neuroscience Lab

The neuroscience complex includes rooms dedicated to imaging and stereology, behavior analysis, surgery, histology and neurophysiology. You'll be treated as a professional in the lab to promote your independent learning and critical thinking, while also benefiting from the collaboration of professors and peers.

You'll explore neural functioning at all levels of analysis - from molecular to cellular to systems to behavior to cognition. Faculty experts will help you build valuable and comprehensive research skills. Because disseminating research is an essential part of the process, you'll be encouraged to present your data and findings at scientific conferences and to seek publication in professional journals.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Society

The student-led Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Society (INS) is open to any students interested in learning more about neuroscience. INS sponsors seminars to further education on neuroscience topics, promotes community outreach through activities such as the Brain Fair, and fosters professional development through organizing and supporting student travel to professional meetings.

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. The BW Nu Rho Psi chapter was the first-ever chapter for the honor society.

Pre-Medical Society

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

Choose Ohio First STEM Scholars Program

The BW Choose Ohio First STEM Scholars Program is open to Ohio residents who are entering Baldwin Wallace in the fall as a first-year student or transfer student and are interested in neuroscience. Students are eligible to apply to the program which also offers the Choose Ohio First scholarship, awarding annual, renewable scholarships of up to $5,000.


At Baldwin Wallace, you'll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed. 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 inventory optimization planner 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 resident physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The Brunswick, Ohio, native's work alongside BW faculty in the research laboratory bolstered her successful medical school applications.

Sarah HummelSarah Hummel '13 is emergency veterinarian at the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY in Syracuse, N.Y. She earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. As an undergraduate at BW, the Ithaca, N.Y., native worked in BW's neuroscience and animal learning labs.

Joe LuchsingerJoe Luchsinger '13 is M.D./Ph.D. 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 a postdoctoral research fellow at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from the Baylor College of Medicine. The opportunity to conduct independent research at BW helped prepare the Spring, Texas, native for a career in research.

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.


Clare Mathes

Chair, Department of Neuroscience
Post-doc, Psychology and Neuroscience, Florida State University

Clare Mathes

Diana Barko

Chair, Department of Chemistry
Post-doc, Case Western Reserve University

Diana Barko

Patrick Ledwidge

Affiliate Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Patrick Ledwidge

Full-Time Faculty

Clare Mathes
Chair, Department of Neuroscience
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Florida

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

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

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

Additional Research Mentors

Sarah Binkley
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D., University of Akron

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

Michael E. Kovach
Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Louisiana State University Medical Center

Lisa Ponton
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Iowa State University

Stephanie Rothman
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., University of Kentucky

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


Gregg DiNuoscio
Neuroscience Laboratory Manager
B.S. (Molecular Genetics), The Ohio State University

Gerrie Paino
Coordinator, School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Compuing
B.A., Baldwin Wallace University

Barbara A. Rethas
Administrative Specialist
B.A., Baldwin Wallace University