Neuroscience

Neuroscience

Are you eager to unravel the causes and potential treatments of diseases like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s? Do you want to understand a system that impacts almost all aspects of our lives, from the way we act to how we feel and function? If so, a neuroscience major may be the perfect option for you.

About

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, particularly the workings of the brain. Vitally important, the nervous system controls how we behave, how we feel and how we function.

The neuroscience major at The University of Scranton is interdisciplinary, combining biology, psychology, chemistry and physics. Of critical importance is the study of diseases, which impact the brain and other areas of the nervous system. Research seeks to understand causes and discover successful treatments. Students gain an understanding of the brain by exploring the behavioral, cellular and anatomical aspects of the nervous system.

Why Neuroscience is in Demand:

  • Science technologies are among the top college majors most in demand according to CareerBuilder.com.
  • Neuroscience is a rapidly rising field. In 1969, the Society for Neuroscience boasted a mere 400 members. Currently, it has over 40,000. 
  • There are opportunities for well-paid research and teaching jobs. Salaries for assistant, associate and full neuroscience professors range from $50,000 to $99,999 per year. Some highly paid associate or full neuroscience professors earned as much as $100,000 to $199,999 per year.
  • There are also opportunities to work in pharmaceutical research, the federal government, science writing and publishing, and lobbying for science trade associations in Washington, D.C.

Is it for me?

Are you:

  • Interested in a broad range of science disciplines?
  • Inquisitive and determined?
  • Motivated to solve challenging problems?
  • An avid reader of science books?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Neuroscience

1.
State-of-the-art facilities.   The remarkable Loyola Science Center features 22 classrooms and 34 laboratories. The space is designed to foster collaboration and to model the environment of professional research for students.
2.
Individualized attention.   With around 100 students pursuing this major, the program is large enough to support impressive research, but small enough that students are mentored individually by dedicated faculty. There is a strong sense of community within the major, and classes involve interaction among students, as well as with the professor.
3.
Inquiry/research based learning.   Students gain skills and practice techniques for lifelong learning through study and research. Students participate in research with faculty using behavioral, anatomical, neurophysiological, immunocytochemical and/or imaging techniques.
4.
Range of faculty expertise.   Research opportunities mirror faculty specialties, which include cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, psychopharmacology, neuroanatomy and cellular and molecular science.
5.
Flexible interdisciplinary approach.    While neuroscience is a specific field of study, the courses that students take in biology, chemistry and physics provide a broad scientific background. Skills in research techniques and working collaboratively help in any field that a graduate pursues.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You'll learn:

    • About the workings of the brain – what we know and don’t know yet
    • Inquiry-based learning techniques
    • Advanced problem solving skills
    • Practical understanding of working in groups
    • To present your study findings in papers, posters and oral presentations
    • How to interact well with others

    Internships

    Neuroscience majors typically do research internships during the summer months at institutions that have included:

    • Duke University
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Rutgers University
    • Thomas Jefferson Medical College
    • University of Oklahoma
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • Yale University
    • Hershey Medical Center
    • University of Massachusetts
    • The Jackson Laboratories
    • University of Cincinnati
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • University of Virginia
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus

    Curriculum

    Foundation courses for the neuroscience degree are offered through the biology, psychology and chemistry departments. Beyond that, some psychology and biology electives must be chosen.

    Specific neuroscience courses are required research credits and elective special topics in neuroscience. Students are encouraged to tailor their programs to particular areas of interest, such as biology, psychology, anatomy, pharmacology, toxicology, biophysics, biochemistry or medicine.

    Beginning in the first year, neuroscience majors do lab rotations with neuroscience faculty. Students learn about a new area of research every two weeks. This enables students to get to know professors and to explore the different types of research they might pursue as their studies continue.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

    Research

    Students work with individual faculty members to conduct research in specific areas of expertise to enhance student-learning outcomes. For example, in 2016, Tyler Milewski received the highly-competitive Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Travel Award to present her research at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, California. You can read more here.

    Some research topics and approaches include:

    • Behavior/circuitry changes following injury (i.e. spinal cord injury)
    • Oxidative stress and its effects on different cellular processes
    • Use of fluorescent and confocal imaging to follow outgrowth of neurons
    • Addiction
    • Process of regeneration of the central nervous system
    • In vitro growth and differentiation of olfactory cells
    • Studying neurotransmitters in brains
    • Bat biology
  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Students interact with the outside community and serve as ambassadors for the field of neuroscience. Elementary school children are invited to help judge college student projects. The department sponsors a regional “brain bee” contest. These efforts help get young students interested in neuroscience at an early age. Read more here.

    University of Scranton students go to schools and libraries to speak about the study of the brain as well. In addition to the knowledge they are sharing, the process a student goes through to teach a session enables them to learn at a deeper level. 

    And neuroscience majors know that they are going to make an impact with their work in advancing the understanding of the nervous system and the brain. 

    If you love what you’re doing, you’re going to make an impact.

    - Robert Waldeck, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor and Program Director

Careers

Where will Neuroscience Take Me?

Neuroscience will take you into some of the most exciting and groundbreaking work of our time. Our graduates pursue careers in:

  • University research
  • Medicine
  • Health
  • Education
  • Other areas of advanced study

Leading Employers: 

You’ll find Scranton neuroscience graduates at world-class research institutions like:

  • Columbia University
  • Cornell Medical Center
  • Drexel University
  • Harvard Medical School
  • New York University
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
  • Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute
  • University of Massachusetts

Top Graduate Schools

Just some of the prestigious graduate schools which have admitted our recent neuroscience graduates:

Medical, Dental or Veterinary Schools

  • Drexel College of Medicine
  • Hershey Medical College
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Salus University
  • Temple University Podiatry School
  • Thomas Jefferson Medical College
  • Tufts Veterinarian School
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Yale Medical School

Graduate Programs

  • Brown University
  • Drexel College of Medicine
  • Lehigh University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Scranton
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Villanova University 
  • West Virginia University
  • Yale University

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

Neuroscience training is a thoroughly interdisciplinary program. Students have honed the ability to interact with other areas, which is becoming very important. As professionals, they are likely to interact with a psychologist or chemist one day, then a biologist or mathematician the next. Their experience and comfort-level in working with others will make them stand out.

Being able to demonstrate significant research experience plus having published studies or delivered national presentations will jump off of your resume as employers or admissions officers consider your application. The significant undergraduate research opportunities make a big difference in credentials.

Ultimately, demonstrated skills in problem-solving and analytical thinking, along with practiced techniques for research and collaboration give University of Scranton graduates a competitive edge.    

Many students have told us they were impressed with the broad and extensive list of neuroscience topics we cover and the research opportunities offered. In addition, students feel changes in the MCAT are supported best by the neuroscience curriculum.

- Robert Waldeck, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Program Director

Take the Next Step

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
Tel: 1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540
Fax: 570-941-7572
admissions@scranton.edu

Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D.
Director of the Neuroscience Program
(570) 941-4324
robert.waldeck@scranton.edu