Wilkes University


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

If you want to work in a frontier of science, consider Wilkes University’s bachelor of science degree in Neuroscience.

After graduating, our majors have attend programs in Medicine, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Neuroscience, and Psychology, or have obtained positions within the field working as Neurofeedback practitioners or with Biotechnology companies.

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.  The program specializes in Human Neuroscience/Psychophysiology, with the cutting edge NeuroTraining & Research Center , and the Developmental and Social Psychophysiology Lab. 

You’ll learn scientific methodology and employ these methods in research with faculty.

Neuroscience Faculty & Students

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:

  • “The Effects of Emotions on Pain Perception”  (Schicatano)
  • “The role of Metabolism in Normal Brain Development”  (Williams)
  • "The Psychophysiology of Stress and Well Being"  (Newell and Thomas)
  • “Alzheimer’s Disease Model in Mice”
  • "Cognitive Habituation as a Window into Information Processing"  (Schicatano)

The neuroscience major will prepare you for advanced studies in medical school or other health science professions. You will also be prepared for 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 83rd 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:

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

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


Jesse Chalnick '18 double-majored in neuroscience and psychology at Wilkes, and currently is a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) candidate at Columbia University.

Wilkes University program in Neuroscience prepared me well  for graduate school as a doctor of physical therapy candidate at Columbia University. Dr. Schicatano, supervisor of the neuroscience program, made me realize the passion I had for neuroscience when I first met him my sophomore year at Wilkes University. A big advantage to the neuroscience program at Wilkes University is that it includes mostly all of the prerequisite courses needed to apply to most graduate and doctorate medical programs. The close-knit community at Wilkes gave me the confidence to excel in neuroscience, and the professionalism of the faculty influenced me and helped me determine the values I hold close in my life today. The themes taught to me in the Wilkes neuroscience program are the ones I’m learning more about today in graduate school and will take on with me as a physical therapist, working with a population of adolescents with neurological disorders.

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.
Professor - Dept. of Psychology
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
(570) 408-4566