Wilkes University


The neuroscience degree program at Wilkes University allows you to discover the functionality of the brain.

Neuroscience Faculty & Students

If you want to work in a frontier of science, consider Wilkes University’s bachelor of science degree in neuroscience. The brain controls how we behave, think and develop. And despite huge advances in the last century, scientists have scratched only the surface in understanding the intricacies of how and why it works.

Wilkes University offers a B.S. in Neuroscience. Wilkes’ research-driven, interdisciplinary neuroscience major studies the structure and function of the brain and nervous system from a biological, chemical and psychological perspective. It emphasizes a scientific approach to studying the complex interactions between behavior, cognition and neurological processes.

You’ll learn scientific methodology and employ these methods in research with faculty. The neuroscience major will prepare you for advanced studies in medical school or other health science professions, particularly physical therapy or occupational therapy. Graduate study in neuroscience, psychology or health and life science is also an option.

Wilkes’ neuroscience program draws on the expertise of faculty members in:

  • psychology
  • biology
  • biochemistry
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • pharmacy

Job outlook for medical scientists, which includes neuroscientists, is good, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment of medical scientists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.” Median pay for medical scientists in 2012 was $76,980 per year.

Neuroscience is based in the Department of Psychology on the third floor of Breiseth Hall. Hands-on facilities include:

  • a new and unique NeuroTraining and ResearchCenter that provides students with internships and research training utilizing techniques for helping individuals with stress management, peak performance and cognitive enhancement;
  • a biopsychology laboratory that exposes students to hands-on study of brain structure and function, neuroanatomy and psychophysiological demonstrations;
  • a computer lab that allows students to access software and computer demonstrations specific to the field;
  • and an experimental psychology suite equipped with cubicles for running experiments as part of students’ capstone research or as independent studies in collaboration with psychology faculty.

Because neuroscience majors will work closely with Wilkes University’s Department of Biology and Health Sciences, students have regular access to state-of-the-art facilities in the Cohen Science Center, which opened in 2013. It contains a Bioinformatics Center, a Genomics Research and Instructional Facility, a Biology Media Center, a Center for Geographic Information Systems, a research greenhouse and advanced microscopy facilities.

Neuroscience majors must conduct research for their senior capstone credit. The project will include a written report and oral presentation. Research topics have included pain perception, Alzheimer’s disease, time perception, memory and exercise.

Recent poster presentations with students at regional conferences include:

  • “Chocolate Decreases Pain Perception”
  • “The Impact of Mirror Neurons on Pain Perception”
  • “Alzheimer’s Disease Model in Mice”

The neuroscience major will prepare you for advanced studies in medical school or other health science professions, particularly physical therapy or occupational therapy. Graduate study in neuroscience, psychology or health and life science is also an option.

Neuroscience majors with advanced degrees are employed in government, academia, industry and health care. Pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical instruments companies hire employees with neuroscience backgrounds.

Some neuroscientists study brain function and processes as basic research. Others seek cures and treatments for neurological disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Students in the Wilkes psychology program have demonstrated outstanding scores on a psychology major field test taken by all seniors. They scored at the 89th percentile on the neuroscience/biopsychology portion of the exam. This test is taken by and compared to more than 300 colleges.

For those interested in medical school or other health professions programs, Wilkes University employs a full-time health sciences advisor. About 91 percent of students applying to health science programs gain admission.

Recent Wilkes graduates who earned the neuroscience minor are pursuing doctoral degrees at the following institutions:

  • Wake Forest University
  • Michigan State University
  • George Mason University

Other have become optometrists, physicians, physician’s assistants, dentists and physical therapists.

Neurotraining and Research CenterThe NeuroTraining & Research Center at Wilkes University brings to campus cutting-edge Neuroscience technology in the field of mental performance enhancement.

  • This is a facility that will benefit every member of the Wilkes Community who chooses to use it – students, student-athletes, and student-performing artists.
  • The technologies that will be available at no cost to students have been shown to enhance academic, athletic and artistic performance, as well as promote better health and well-being by reducing stress
  • State of the art Neurofeedback and Biofeedback equipment, as well as AudioVisual Entrainment devices form the foundation for the services provided
  • The NTRC provide a tremendous opportunity for Wilkes students to obtain valuable hands-on training 
    • Internships and research opportunities for students and faculty are available using the latest equipment and most modern facilities
    • The center provides valuable experience that will enhance employment and graduate school opportunities for students

Ed Schicatano, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Psychology
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
(570) 408-4566