From Freud to Piaget, Europe has a long tradition in the field of Psychology, establishing guiding principles and implementing research in order to understand individuals and groups and benefit the wider society. Recent revolutions in molecular biology and the advent of advanced measurement techniques such as fMRI, PET and SPECT, have made the inter-relationship between psychological functions and neural activity an important research focus. Innovative approaches within fields such as Cognitive Neuroscience bring further techniques and methods to better comprehend the human mind.
Maastricht, the Netherlands, forms a unique environment for studying psychology and neuroscience. Maastricht University specialises in cognitive and biological psychology and its unique research infrastructure enables ground-breaking study of the brain and behaviour. It is home to a European Centre of Excellence that combines state-of-the art technology (three MRI scanners of 9.4, 7 and 3 Tesla) with clinical know-how, access to patients and expert post-acquisition processing of data. Compare the scientific research methods of the Netherlands to those of your home country. Follow courses and seminars taught by leading experts.
At CES we have a small team of young-hearted, dedicated people ready to help you, so you can focus on the things that really matter during your stay abroad.
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Latest advances in psychological research
Students in the Psychology & Neuroscience in Europe programme are directly enrolled at Maastricht University and able to take courses from the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN). FPN is widely recognised for its strong fundamental and applied research on dyslexia, eating disorders, ageing, AIDS prevention and the value of witness statements in forensic psychology. Courses can also be taken at the Center for European Studies (CES) and the highly selective liberal arts and sciences programme from University College Maastricht.
Integrated study trips
The 2-week introduction offers a variety of academic and social activities and the European study trip. The introduction includes CES services (such as airport pick up and phone rental), a tour of Maastricht and the surrounding area, Maastricht University orientation, a Problem-Based Learning workshop, Intercultural Communication seminar and integration into Dutch student life.
The programme has integrated cultural and study trips. The programme begins with the four day European Study Trip to Berlin, which provides a vivid European context for the central programme theme.
We also include two cultural weekend trips:
‘If It Ain’t Dutch It Ain’t Much’; where students explore their choice of political or cultural highlights in The Hague, take a stroll through Dutch culture at the open air museum Zaanse Schans and bond with the group over the creation of their very own Delft blue tile.
‘A Taste of Paris’; where students will explore the city of light, indulge in the cuisine, experience the rich architectural and artistic beauty, and taste of one of the plethora of cultures which exist across Europe.
Maastricht University uses the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) to measure academic progress. Maastricht University courses typically have between 5-12 ECTS. How ECTS transfer depends on a student’s home university or college. Generally a 5-6.5 ECTS course is the equivalent of a full semester course (3 American credit hours).
You can earn a minimum of 24 and maximum of 32 ECTS per semester at CES. This is considered a full semester workload and usually transfers back as 15 American credit hours. CES advisors help students select classes to meet the requirements of their home university.
High academic standard
CES programmes are designed for enthusiastic and intellectually curious students dedicated to expanding their academic horizons while abroad. To ensure that students do well, CES offers extensive academic advising, workshops and regular monitoring. Maastricht University uses Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a student-centered teaching approach. Small groups of students (12-15) work on academic or practical cases prepared by their professors. Faculty act as guides to students who are in charge of their own learning and are expected to be committed, active and self-motivated.
During a regular course (5-6.5 ECTS), students spend an average of 4-6 hours in class per week. For every hour in class students are expected to spend an additional 2-3 hours on study. The total workload for two regular courses or one intensive course is around 40 hours per week.
In the programme, you choose half your courses from the programme-related majors. All students should select one of the CES core courses in either the first or second half of the semester. Students in the Psychology & Neuroscience in Europe programme have the choice of either:
- Positive Psychology (block period 1/4)
- Medical Ethics (block period 2/5)
You can fulfil the remaining course requirements by selecting courses from all 'electives'. This combination provides you with a solid understanding of the central subject matter while giving you freedom to build your own curriculum and pursue your own academic needs and interests.*
Fall courses: please select courses offered in block period 1 and 2
Spring courses: please select courses offered in block period 4 and 5
Acceptance to the open enrolment programmes is competitive and early application is recommended. While most students participating in our open enrolment programmes are undergraduates at the junior or senior level, applications by motivated students at the sophomore and/or freshman level with a good GPA will be considered too.
You should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to apply for a CES open enrolment programme. If you have a lower GPA you can request to be considered if you can show a recommendation from a professor or academic advisor at your home university or college with specific details about your academic development so far.
Applicants must be proficient in English. Non-native speakers are required to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency.
Students with an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma are exempted, as are EU-nationals. International students who are enrolled as fulltime students at university or college in a native-speaking country where English is the language of instruction are also exempted.
All other prospective students must present a current TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Testing System), score before they can be admitted.
Your TOEFL test score has to be at least:
Your IELTS test score must be at least 6.5.
Complete and submit the online application form and send all additional information mentioned below via email / regular mail to your coordinator. Your CES coordinators will contact you within a week after receiving your application and additional information to assist you in the registration process and the preparations for your stay in Maastricht.
Additional required information
Regarding the criteria for the motivation letter, CES staff are interested in what inspires a student to apply. Why are they drawn to this programme, to Maastricht University or to Europe? Students may want to highlight academics and certain courses, the culture, history or personal goals. The motivation letter should be 1-2 pages in length.
An academic letter of recommendation is a 1 page letter (approximately) that highlights a student's academic background, character, academic or career goals and other related interests or achievements. The letter expands upon a student's record or transcript, providing insight into what kind of student they are and their suitability for the programme. It should be written by a professor, academic or study abroad advisor.
Please note that once your course list is finalised you will receive a course approval form which you will need to fill in with the help of your home institution.
The Center for European Studies incurs costs for each student we register. CES applies the following cancellation regulations:
Exceptions to the above-mentioned cancellation regulations will be reviewed by CES on a case-by-case basis.