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Academics

Fields of Study: Social Sciences, Sciences

This program enables you to follow courses and seminars taught by leading experts in cognitive and biological psychology. As you take classes along with students from all over the world, you’ll experience the university’s distinctive, student-centered learning methodology. With guidance from professors, you will work in small tutorial groups to analyze real-world problems similar to what you will encounter in a future career.

Unique study opportunities

  • Practice positive psychology intervention techniques like journaling and mindful meditation.
  • Learn to analyze groups and group behavior through facilitating exercises.
  • Explore how models used to study brain function are used in computational neuroscience.
  • Apply evolutionary psychological reasoning to topics like prejudice, health behavior, and aggression.
  • Develop and present a group research proposal regarding developmental neuropsychology.

Language

Language of Instruction: English

Dutch Language Study: None

All instruction is in English. Dutch language is not available on this program.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study.
  • Fall semester: Four courses for a total of 24 quarter/16 semester units.
  • Spring quarter: Two courses plus an independent study project for a total of 14.5 quarter units.
  • You can take one course per term for pass/no pass.
  • All courses on this program are upper division.

Current Program Courses

Fall Semester Courses

The fall semester is split into two blocks. You will enroll in two courses per block. Select one Core Course and one Additional Course per block. You also have the option to combine an Independent Study Project (ISP) with your core course. Under the supervision of your ISP instructor, you will develop a research paper on a topic that you decide on together.

Block 1 core courses:

  • Positive Psychology
  • Going Dutch: Literary Reflections of the Low Countries in the 19th and 20th Century

Additional courses:

  • Personality and Individual Differences + Practical: Personality Diagnostics
  • Group Dynamics
  • Forensic Psychology in a Nutshell
  • Child Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Enhancement
  • Introduction to Computational Neuroscience
  • Sports & Exercise Psychology
  • Evolutionary Social Psychology
  • Manipulating Memories ​

Block 2 core courses:

  • Developmental Neuropsychology
  • Medical Ethics (moral health care dilemmas from a European and comparative perspective)
  • Dutch Art History

Additional courses

  • Human Behavior in Organisations
  • The Learning Brain: from Perception to Memory Formation
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Adult Neuropsychology
  • Hormones, the Brain and Behavior
  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Language
  • Sexuality
  • Connecting Brains and Computers: Theory, Practice, and Applications
  • Psychedelic Medicine: The Therapeutic Potential of Mind-altering Substances
  • Neuroeconomics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to How the Brain Makes Us Decide
  • Positive Psychology
Spring Quarter Courses

You will enroll in two courses for the spring quarter. Select one Core Course and one Additional Course. You must also combine an Independent Study Project (ISP) with your core course. Under the supervision of your ISP instructor, you will develop a research paper on a topic that you decide on together.

Core courses:

  • Medical Ethics (moral health care dilemmas from a European and comparative perspective)
  • Developmental Neuropsychology

Additional courses:

  • Action
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Learning and Memory (includes three practical courses)
  • Cognitive Neurosciences: Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Neuropsychopharmacology​
  • Anxiety and related disorders (advanced course, admission on a case-by-case basis)

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Courses at Maastricht are interdisciplinary and follow an untraditional lecture format. Using a distinctive problem-based learning (PBL) methodology, you’ll work in small groups of 10–12 students on projects that combine theory and practice. It is an exciting learning style on par with graduate seminar work at UC. You’ll be able to set your own learning objectives based on your background, education, and work experience. In addition to taking personal initiative, you’ll add to your skills and experience in collaborative project management.

The core of PBL is the tutorial that meets for two hours twice a week. You will analyze problems from the Block Book, which provides you with tasks, study material, and learning goals. The group will then disperse and you can work to reach these goals individually or with others. Study hours each week are intensive. In each tutorial meeting, you will discuss the results of your study activities and actively participate in group discussions. A tutor, usually a lecturer or a senior student, also attends the meetings and serves as a subject expert. The tutor may guide the discussion whenever it is needed.

You will find that the final exams for Maastricht courses emphasize the entire reading list provided in the Block Book for each course. Many exams test your understanding of complicated theories and models covered only in that reading and not in group projects or discussion.

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. It is common practice for Maastricht students to re-sit exams in which their marks were lower than they had hoped; however, this is not an option for most students because you will not be in the Netherlands during the re-examination period. Be prepared to do well on the final exam the first time it is administered.

Grades for the fall semester are typically available by mid-April and grades for the spring quarter are typically available by early September.