Program Description

The Master of Science in School Psychology (MSSP) program of Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) is a Terminal Master Degree Program that concomitantly provides students the foundations of the School Psychology profession. The program will prepare its graduates to engage in competent practice of the profession, at the Master level.

As part of the program, students have an option of completing a concentration in Neuropsychology (NP) or in Neuroscience of Learning (NSL). With this MSSP, students will be able to seek licensing in PR and in most states of USA.  They may also pursue doctoral studies in School Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology or in Clinical Neuropsychology. By acquiring the foundational competencies of School Psychology, students will master the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes associated to the main competencies of Professional Psychology.  These are: Biological Bases of Behavior, Social Bases of Behavior, Cognitive and Emotional Bases of Behavior, Human Growth and Development, Research and Statistics, Test Construction, Ethics and History of Psychology and Psychology of Personality.


Program Goals


The goals of MSSP are:

  • To develop in our students an in-depth understanding of the psychological (cognitive, affective, motivational), biological and socio-cultural bases of normal and abnormal behavior that serves as the foundation of the practice of School Psychology.
  • To prepare school psychologists for the ethical delivery of evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions, assessment and diagnosis when assuming the contemporary roles of the profession based upon the evolving scientific knowledge and expanding scope of practice.
  • Neuropsychology Track: To develop in students, foundational competencies in the field of Neuropsychology allowing them a broad understanding of brain behavior relationships and of the base of psychological processes as they manifest through the development spectrum.
  • Neuroscience of Learning Track: To prepare School Psychologists competent in the understanding of the neurophysiology of learning and of the individual and systemic techniques available to transform learning environments according to the principles of neurolearning.

A bachelor’s degree from a college or university approved by the Council on Higher Education and/or by the corresponding regional accrediting agencies.

At least 15 credits in Psychology at the bachelor’s level including de following courses:


Course Title Credits
General Psychology 3
Developmental Psychology 3
Statistics 3
Abnormal Psychology 3
Experimental Psychology or
Research Methods 3


  1. Submit an official transcript of all college level work completed and of all graduate courses taken. Failure to submit transcripts of any graduate or undergraduate work is considered a serious offense.
  2. A minimal GPA of 3.00
  3. Results within the mean on the “Examen de Admisión a Estudios Postgraduados” (EXADEP) or in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  4. Two letters of recommendation from professors or professionals familiar with the candidate’s performance in academic and work settings.
  5. Certificate of good conduct from the Police Department.
  6. A personal interview and written essays.
  7. US $85.00 application processing fee (non-refundable).

Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit

  1. Written confirmation of acceptance and a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 to secure the seat in the entering class.
  2. Physical Exam (using a form provided by Admissions Office)
  3. Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).
  4. Other pertinent documents as necessary
  1. Students must complete all courses within the established time frame. The Program requires a total of 62 credits and 750 Clinical Practice contact hours.
  2. Student should complete all requirements and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 every semester.
  3. The program requires approval of a Comprehensive Examination covering core areas of the field of School Psychology.
  4. The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University, the corresponding accreditation agencies and the Clinical Practice Manual of the Program.

Grading System

All courses and grades obtained will appear on the student’s academic record, including transferred courses from other institutions.


The Program has established evaluation criteria for the successful completion of courses.  These criteria are made available to the students at the beginning of the course.  The grading system for graduate students is as follows:


Letter Grade
A 100% – 90%
B 89% – 80%
C 79% – 70%
F Failed (below 70%)
E Extended
I Incomplete
IP In Progress
P Pass
NP Not Pass
W Withdrawal
AW Administrative Withdrawal


This policy has been established to ensure an acceptable time frame for completion of the academic program and the minimally accepted quality of performance. This policy also ensures that the Student Financial Aid requirements, set forth by federal regulations, are met. This policy applies to students enrolled in the Masters in Science in School Psychology at Ponce Health Sciences University.

General Requirements

  1. Time Frame for completion of the Academic Program

A School Psychology Student will be allowed a maximum time frame of 2.5 years of enrollment beyond the 2.5 years standard required for the completion of the program.  Summer enrollment is considered part of the academic year for the purpose of this measure.

The total amount of years for completion of the degree includes those graduate courses accredited on admission to the School Psychology Program.

  1. Definition of a full time: Students with an academic load of 6 credits or more per semester will be considered full time graduate students.
  2. Definition of half time: Students with an academic load of 3 to 5 credits per semester will be considered half time students.
  3. Definition of less than half time: Students with an academic load of less than 3 credits per semester will be considered less than half time or part-time students.

Completion of Program Requirements

  1. Course Requirement

Students must complete all courses within the established time frame.  The Program requires a total of 62 credits.

  1. Performance Requirement

A student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 for every semester. A student failing to meet this standard of performance will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee.

  1. Comprehensive Examination Requirement

The program requires approval of a Comprehensive Examination covering core areas of the field.

  1. Professional Behavior Requirement

The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional behavior set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University, the corresponding accreditation agencies and the Clinical Practice Manual of the School Psychology Program.

Grade Requirement

In order to graduate, the student should complete all requirements and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00. Satisfactory Academic Progress is required for financial aid eligibility and will be reviewed on a yearly basis.


  1. No more than two courses may be approved with a grade of C.
  2. Obtaining a grade of C in a third course will require that student repeat such course (s).
  3. Repeated courses with “C” grades will remain on record, but the new grade will be used to compute the grade point average.
  4. A grade of “F” in any course will result in referral to the Students Promotion Committee and considered for dismissal based on overall academic performance, including GPA in the program.
  5. Grades of “P” (Passed) or “NP” (Not Pass) are applicable to Practice. A grade of “NP” requires repetition. In case of a second “NP” grade in the same practicum, the student will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee with a recommendation for dismissal.
  6. An “I” (Incomplete) grade will only be allowed under very special circumstances as determined by the professor. The student must remove the “I” (Incomplete) by the following semester or an administrative “F” will replace it.

Appeal Process for Academic Affairs

Students who are notified by the Program’s Dean a decision of the Students Promotion Committee that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year or to be dismissed from the program, have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.

The student will appeal in writing to the Students Promotion Committee (SPC) and include all relevant documentation to support the request.  The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they change their initial decision.  The SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Program’s Dean, who will notify the decision to the student.

If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (SBBS). The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the notification.  The Dean of SBBS will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.

If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing of the date and the time when the appeal will be evaluated. The Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the Dean of SBBS. The Dean will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours.

Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the SBBS Dean is final.

The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The Program Dean or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.

In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the Dean of SBBS sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and then to the President.

Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial Aid eligibility is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress.  Please refer to the institutional policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress published by the Office of Financial Aid.


The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs shall have primary responsibility for overseeing this policy and will provide all health sciences students a copy of this document upon admission to Ponce Health Sciences University.

The President, Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs, as well as the Program Dean, Registrar and Financial Aid Director will receive all pertinent data to ensure proper enforcement of the policy here set forth.

For more details of PHSU tuition and fees please refer to: Cost of Attendance


Ponce Health Sciences University reserve the right to increase the tuition or other fees as deemed necessary.

Click Here to see the curriculum.

Course Descriptions

SCP 515 Life Span Human Development

This is one of the core theoretical courses of the program that also provides an opportunity for the student to develop competencies in the assessment of diverse developmental milestones and neurodevelopmental functions in infants and children.  The course begins with a presentation of the process of birth and of the clinical methods utilized to assess normal development during the post-natal stage.  This presentation is followed by a description of the normal progression of the basic areas of developing important for the work of psychologist including motor, sensory, language, cognitive, social and emotional.  Various developmental scales and psychometric instruments will be taught during the semester.


SCP 522 Psychology of Personality and of Individual Difference

The main areas of interest of the field of Personology will be covered through this course.  Emphasis is given to the holistic theories of personality and their clinical application.  However, many of the issues studied by Trait Psychologist and constructs utilized to describe and explain human behavior by Social Psychologist and Social Learning Theorists will be addressed. The newer concepts on the neurobiological underpinnings of personality will also be presented and discussed based upon extant research.  Other concepts emanating from depth and personality-developmental psychology will be discussed in detail.  The course attempts to develop the capacity to apply such theories and construct to everyday life and to clinical situations.   During the process of learning about human personality, the student will develop familiarity with a number of scales and tests that are utilized to measure various personality variables including the NEO-PI III.


SCP 532 Social Bases of Behavior and Diversity

Social Psychology is an area of psychology that fosters our understanding of how society influences the psychological, behavioral and biological dimensions of human beings. Individuals are socialized within particular contexts and this process manifests itself through his/her perceptions, cognitions, attitudes, emotions, embodiments and behaviors. This course provides an overview of the contributions of Social Psychology to different areas of studies, particularly to Clinical Psychology. Special emphasis will be placed on philosophical, cultural, economic and sociopolitical elements that have influenced its transformation through history. The study of Social Psychology is essential for the understanding of individual and collective phenomena, which is an indispensable tool for mental health professionals. In this course students, will explore Social Psychology’s theory and practice. Also, they will identify and reflect on the advantages and obstacles that social psychologists face as agents of social change. This will be done with special emphasis of the implications for clinical practice and research.


SCP 541 General Principles of Psychopathology

This course provides the foundation for the rich sequence of courses on psychopathological conditions in children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.  It starts with a presentation and analysis of the theories about normality found within the literature and implicit within many psychometric scales and instruments.  It follows with an analysis of the experience of stress, loss, trauma, dissociation and other non-pathological human experiences that reflect the borderline between normalcy and psychopathology.  It concentrates on the techniques utilized to assess psychopathology within clinical settings with special and detailed attention to the Mental Status Evaluation.  The main concepts utilized in the field of psychopathology will be explained.  The student will learn the meaning of symptoms, signs and syndromes as these relate to normal and abnormal dynamics of both organic and psychological nature.  The course ends with an exploration of the Adjustment Disorders, of DSM-V “V” codes, of the DSM V culture-bound syndromes (e.g. nervous breakdown) and of the milder forms of psychological dysfunction. Students will be introduced to the ICD-10 system of classification.


SCP 573 Professional Behavior and Ethics

All professional activities performed by a School Psychologist involve other individuals who are part of society and who are probably served by an organization. Many ethical situations involve conflictive decision making which intends to protect all participants of the issue. Such interactions and the need to safeguard the needs and rights of those being served in the professional context will be a major component of this course. The nature and types of ethical dilemmas will be examined from a conceptual as well as from an applied perspective. The course will gear around multiple cases that by themselves illustrate the different ethical issues that are most confronted in clinical practice.


SCP 581 Clinical Practice I

This is the first of a series of practicums designed to foster in the student the development of practical clinical skills.  Through multiple exercises students will learn most of the basic skills needed to conduct initial interviews and to begin a therapeutic intervention.  The practicum focuses on the development of an in-depth understanding of all the main components of the clinical interview.  It teaches methods on how to keep track and analyze data.  It develops full awareness of the different dynamics of the Patient-Clinician relationship. The students will master basic skills in the logical and sequential organization of clinical data so that the information obtained through interviews may become meaningful and useful for clinical intervention.


SCP 582 Clinical Practice II

The course focuses on a detailed discussion of all major psychiatric/psychological emergencies that usually present to the emergency room or outpatient settings. A detailed discussion of suicide/aggression focuses on both psychological and social aspects that complicate this extreme emergency. Emphasis will be placed on psychological interventions, theoretical background and the medical management of emergencies associated to alcohol and substance abuse as well as major psychiatric disorders that may present for evaluation in the emergency room setting.


SCP 620 Research in Psychological Sciences

This course will provide the foundation for the acquisition of practical research skills. The course expands from the literature search, through the selection of a definable problem, to the elaboration of hypothesis and initial methodological considerations. The student can review research report and evaluate the entire articles and the specific steps utilized to conduct scientific research.


SCP 623   Research Methods and Statistics

As a continuation of SCP 620, the student will obtain a more detailed exposure to psychological research methods through this course. Qualitative and quantitative approaches will be compared and contrasted. The type of statistics applicable to the analysis of data obtained from these methods is discussed. The students will utilize statistical computer programs to process data and obtain statistical values. By the end of the course the student will be able to write the methodology section of his/her research project.


SCP 625 Test and Measurement

This course provides the student with a more in-depth exposure to the process of test construction and validation. It intends to foster a better understanding of the psychometric properties of psychological tests and to develop specific skills in the adaptation of different psychometric instruments to populations different from the one for which the test was constructed and standardized.


SCP 6500 Psychological Disorders in Children and Adolescents

This course provides a general exploration of the different psychological and neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood and adolescence including Autism, ADHD, elimination and eating disorders, behavioral disorders, affective and anxiety disorders.  The main theoretical positions available about each condition will be presented to assist the student in gaining an adequate understanding of the underlying dynamics of each condition, in addition of their clinical manifestation.  The conditions will be explored based upon recent research literature and using both DSM-V and ICD-10 classification systems.


SCP 652 Intellectual Assessment

After exploring some of the basic theoretical and psychometric issues surrounding the “intelligence” construct, the course will examine the evaluation of intelligence and other cognitive functions and academic achievement. The main instruments presented are: Wechsler scales (Pre-School, Child, Adult), Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence II and K-ABC. Through this course and its concurrent Cognitive Assessment Practicum, the student will acquire the necessary skills to ethically and competently administer these tests and other psychometric instruments. The course will also concentrate on the scientific method of hypothesis generation, on the type of inferences that may be drawn from these tests and on the different models of data interpretation available through the scientific psychometric literature.


SCP 658 Projective Assessment Techniques

Projective assessment techniques are frequently used in clinical contexts as a diagnostic tool. Three types of projective techniques are most popular within Psychology and have been subjected to different degree of empirical scrutiny. These are the inkblot, the thematic and the paper and pencil tests. This course will focus on the thematic and paper and pencil tests. Students interested in exploring the Rorschach method have an opportunity to register in a course specifically designed to learn this technique. The thematic tests to be presented through the course are; Thematic Apperception Test and the Children Apperception Test.

The Koppitz method will be emphasized for the scoring and interpretation of the Draw a Person Test. Different scoring and interpretation systems will be presented for the Thematic and for the Paper and Pencil Tests. This approach will allow students to learn methods that are evidence based that are most likely to yield valid and reliable results.


SCP 6600 Behavior Modification

This course main goal is the development of an advanced understanding of the multiple ways in which behavior may be altered through interactions with the environment. Students will be able to gain a solid working knowledge of Learning Theories as they apply to real life contexts and to clinical settings. The course will introduce the student to the different theoretical traditions of the field. The student will learn the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis. They will also learn about other technological advances of the field based on Respondent/Classical and Social Learning approaches. By the end of the course the student will be able to design a behavior modification program for a particular problem or situation.



SCP 681 Intellectual Assessment Practicum

Supervised practice in the administration, correction and interpretation of cognitive assessment instruments.  The student will acquire the necessary skills to ethically and competently administer these tests.


SCP 683 Clinical Practice III

While placed in a community agency during the first semester of the second year the student will attend this practicum to acquire therapeutic skills based upon the Learning Psychotherapy system.  Multiple exercises will be performed by the student in the process of developing a solid and coherent set of readily accessible therapeutic competencies. The student will also share their experiences at their practicum sites and will learn how to integrate the skills learned in class to the work being done with patients.


SCP 686 Introduction to Psychological Assessment

This is the first of the sequence of courses offered for the development of assessment and testing skills.  The first portion of the practicum focuses on the basic attitudes and skills needed to conduct an assessment.  The practicum follows with a presentation of the common assessment techniques with special emphasis on the utilization of data gathering instruments including interview schedules and outlines, assessment scales and brief paper and pencil, thematic and projective techniques.


SCP 688 (To be taken concomitantly with SCP 658) Practicum Projective Assessment Techniques

Through this practicum students will learn the administration, scoring and interpretation of the projective techniques presented through the Projective Assessment Course.


The thematic techniques, especially the Thematic Apperception Test, the Children Apperception Test, as well as several paper and pencil projective techniques will be main focus of the practicum. Students will also acquire the basic skills for writing personality assessment reports and for conducting high quality, ethically sensitive, feedback sessions.


SCP 717 Psychopharmacology for Psychologists

The initial portion of this course provides an introduction to pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.  Following this initial presentation, the course explores the main neurotransmitter systems of the brain and the role these play on normal and abnormal behavior. The remainder of the course focuses on the basic pharmacological properties and clinical actions of the main psychotropic medication including: Antidepressants (SSRI, Tricyclics and newer agents), Anxiolytics (with emphasis on Benzodiazepines), hypnotics, mood stabilizers, high and low potency neuroleptics (emphasis on the newer generation of antipsychotic medication).


SCP 7560 Psychoeducational Assessment and Consultation

Most psychologists provide services to school age children under different circumstances and for different reasons. This course will prepare the student to respond and to intervene effectively in this type of professional setting. It will also provide advanced skills in psychological testing with children, integration of clinical data and methods of consultation in school settings. The student will learn about additional psychometric instruments and scales useful to address the type of referrals most frequently triggered by the learning problems of school age children. In accomplishing this, the course will examine theories of learning disability (language based, visual-spatial, etc.), neurodevelopmental conditions that interfere with academic performance, behavioral problems usually manifesting in academic settings and the law that regulate the delivery of special education services to qualified students. The dynamics of professional work in school setting will also be addressed in preparing students for a role in these community scenarios.


SCP 764 Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents

Through this course the student will be able to get acquainted with the major therapeutic intervention available to address different types of internalizing and externalizing conditions with children.  After exploring general therapeutic approaches, the course will explore specific therapeutic interventions appropriate to treat various childhood conditions such as:  affective disturbances, anxiety disorders, eating and elimination disorders, impulse control, and conduct disorder.  The need to integrate individual with family and system interventions in dealing with many childhood conditions will also be addressed during the treatment-planning portion of the course.


SCP 766 Group Therapy

Basic psychological processes of small groups are initially explored as a foundation to introduce the main theoretical approaches to group therapy. The course provides an in-depth examination of the steps usually conducted to determine the type of group to form and the selection process. The different stage of development of the therapeutic group follows together with the manner in which the different curative factors of group therapy are activated and maintained during treatment. The role of the therapist is emphasized throughout each topic.


SCP 767 Family Therapy

A brief review of the history of Family Therapy will provide the initial approach to the course and to the analysis of the different types of family therapies.  Special attention will be given to structural, systemic, strategic and transgenerational orientations.  The student will learn specific Family Therapy techniques needed to assess families (genograms, joining techniques, etc.), will learn to elaborate treatment plans and to organize and conduct family sessions.


SCP 772 Program Development and Management

Students will select a problem, a need, or a social issue that they want to address through some type of action program or project.  Throughout the course, the student will learn how to define the problem so that a clear mission is articulated, how to write objectives and how to design the type of program that needs to be developed to address the particular need or interest. The student will be exposed to modern organizational and leadership theories.   The financial implications of the project will be explored as the student learns the basics of budgeting, identifying funding sources and the utilization of Management Information Systems.  The student will incorporate these models to their particular project, according to the format for program development to be provided.


SCP 7810 Summer Clinical Practicum. Second Year – Summer

Students interested in gaining additional clinical experience during the summer break after their second year may register in SCP 781. With the assistance and approval of the Coordinator of Clinical Practica students will select a training site suitable for their training needs and levels of clinical development. Upon coordinating with the training site a training contract will be drawn explaining the duration, goals and objectives, and evaluation requirements of the summer clinical practicum. The practicum didactic component depends on the training site in which the student will complete the summer clinical practicum. Special academic or didactic requirements of the practicum should be indicated in the training contract, when these go beyond what is specified in this syllabus.

SCP7820 Elective School/Clinical Practica ( 0 credits)

Students interested in gaining additional clinical experience may register in SCP 782. With the assistance and approval of the Coordinator of Clinical Practica students will select a training site suitable for their training needs and levels of clinical development.
Upon coordinating with the training site a training contract will be drawn explaining the duration, goals and objectives, and evaluation requirements of the practicum. The practicum didactic component depends on the training site in which the student will complete the practicum. Special academic or didactic requirements of the practicum should be indicated in the training contract, when these go beyond what is specified in this syllabus.

SCP 786 Clinical Practice IV

This is the practicum experience for the second semester of the second year.  The student will be placed in a community practicum site during the semester.  Once per week, the students will meet with their practicum coordinator to discuss relevant issues related to their experience.  At the didactic level this practicum will attempt to develop in the student, conceptualization and intervention planning techniques.   Therefore, the student will develop the capacity to understand clinical cases and to develop a coherent intervention plan through these didactic experiences and case presentations.  To achieve these clinical skills the student will be able to integrate the theoretical knowledge and the skills accumulated from previous practice and theoretical courses with the experiences they are having at their practicum site


SCP 789 School Psychology Practicum

This is the module that follows the course on Psychoeducational Assessment and Professional Consultation in Academic Settings.   The main focus of this practicum is to assist students in integrating the knowledge obtained in that course and in the child psychopathology course to the actual work with students in academic settings.  Placements will be in school throughout the southern part of the island.

SCP 8010 Independent Course (1 credit)

The student will be able to explore a particular area of scientific and professional psychology under the supervision of one of the program’s professors. The nature and extend of the project will be determined & a specific contract will be written which will include all learning objectives. This contract will provide direction to the course and to the evaluation of outcomes.

SCP 8020 Independent Course (2 credits)

The student will be able to explore a particular area of scientific and professional psychology under the supervision of one of the program’s professors. The nature and extend of the project will be determined & a specific contract will be written which will include all learning objectives. This contract will provide direction to the course and to the evaluation of outcomes.

SCP 8390 Child Maltreatment and Sexual Abuse (2 credits)

The course aims to expose students to the various types of child abuse typified in Law 246 of 2011 known as Ley para la Seguridad, Bienestar y Protección de Menores, and the processes of identification, evaluation, intervention, and prevention. Child abuse is a public health dilemma that needs to be addressed from various perspectives, specialties, and intervention models. Emphasis will be placed on the roles of the school psychologist as a consultant, evaluator, researcher, administrative staff, therapist, and educator. Active participation in public policy issues that impact children and youth in Puerto Rico will be promoted. Several models will be studied to understand the responses to trauma as a consequence of abuse. Also, students will explore ways to identify, prevent, evaluate, and address trauma in schools and learn crisis intervention techniques.


SCP 847 Neuropathology Conditions

Many conditions presenting with psychological and behavioral manifestations are in effect the result of neuropathology.  This course will examine those syndromes, their neurocognitive and neurobehavioral sequel, issues on differential diagnosis and intervention strategies including pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, cognitive rehabilitation, case management, inpatient or community based treatment.  Among the syndromes to be analyzed the following will receive primary consideration: congenital malformation/abnormalities (e.g. C.P., collosal agenesis), dementia (e.g. Alzheimer), vascular pathologies (e.g. stroke), neoplastic abnormalities (e.g. meningioma).  The second part of the course will focus on acquired neuropathological conditions such as traumatic conditions (e.g. Post-Concussion Syndrome), infections (encephalitis), and encephalopathies (e.g. Korsakov syndrome).


SCP 865 Autism Spectrum Disorders

The student will be able to understand the basis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This course integrates the history, diagnostic criteria, classification, contemporary theories of neurodevelopmental processes, current knowledge about its neurobiology and pathogenesis, evaluation methods and instruments, and intervention models. Didactic and practical approaches are used in order to integrate the information. The information to be presented is based on the scope of current research and evidence-based models on interventions.


NPS 511 Biological Bases of Behavior: Neuroscience

Starting with a general exploration of the intrauterine development of the neural tube and crest, the course explores the anatomical and physiological foundation of the nervous system within a developmental context.  It provides a general overview of the chemical basis of behavior.  The lectures will mostly address normal neurological development and functioning but will make reference of the clinical implications of various endogenous and exogenous abnormalities such as genetic and neurodevelopmental variations and morphological abnormalities.  The sensory, motor and arousal systems will be examined in detail.


NPS 512 Neuroscience Laboratory

The laboratory experience will allow the student to observe the morphological characteristics of the CNS including the spinal cord and its projections, the cranial nerves, the brain stem and peripheral vasculature of the brain.  The student will observe the internal structure of the brain at the same time that such information is provided through PSY 511.  Special attention will be given to those hypothalamic, limbic and cortical zones that sub-serve the major neurocognitive and neurobehavioral functions.


NPS 524 Cognition and Emotion

This course covers philosophical issues, traditionally problems and current research that are central to an understanding of the fields of cognition and emotion.  After an examination of the historical roots of the main concepts within the field, the research endeavors that shaped both fields will be explored leading to the formulation of theory and to the current knowledge of the multiple cognitive and affective processes.  The study of emotional process will include laboratory demonstration of the research methodology currently used to study one of the major areas of the field; fear conditioning and extinction.  Likewise, current research trends in cognitive psychology will be explored. Both areas will be addressed from their biological, social and psychological perspective.  The clinical application of the knowledge and theories on cognition and emotion will be presented wherever is applicable.


NPS 851 Neuropsychological Assessment

This course contains two main components, didactic and experiential.  The didactic component concentrates on teaching the students the most commonly encountered neuropathological syndromes addressing their etiology, dynamics, symptomatology and phenomenology. The second component of the course focuses on the development of competence in the administration, correction and interpretation of neuropsychological techniques.  This test will be presented in the context of the different batteries of tests currently utilized to assess attention/concentration, memory, language, motor functioning, visual constructive and nonverbal skills, and executive functions.  The student will have the opportunity to perform at least one of these batteries. The students will acquire the ability to recognize the various neuropathological syndromes presented in class and to accurately report test findings.


NSL 0502 Sensory and Sensory-Motor Development: Implications for Assessment and Teaching

The study of the diverse psychological systems that allows the human being to gather information/knowledge from his/her internal and external world is the main focus of this course.  The psychology of sensation, perception, cognition, psycholinguistic and information processing provide the experimental and theoretical background to the study of the following topics: attention, thinking, problem solving, language and memory.


NSL 0512 Theoretical Models of Learning

This course will focus on the main tenets of Human learning and cognitive processes.  It will provide a brief chronological overview of the development of learning theories until their integration with neurosciences.  However, the main target of this course is to introduce students to the differentiation of significant versus mechanic learning within the learning process.  Major theories and aspects concerning the learning process and their implications for the instructional process will also be examined.


NSL 0601 Brain-Based Learning

This course will introduce the student to the confluence of knowledge where the area of Neuroscience of Learning was born from. Along the course the student will be able to delve on to the basic principles that govern this emerging field of knowledge. Furthermore, learners will be taught how to create brain-based environments in the classroom and will experience how to transfer the knowledge from the theory to the practice in a meaningful manner. Concrete techniques for teaching and learning developed from brain-based learning theories will also be examined.


NSL 0602 Neuropsychology of Learning Disorders: A Pragmatic Approach

This course will focus on introducing the student to specific techniques supported by neuroscientific findings to work with people living with learning disorders.  Although a general overview of different disorders will be offered lectures will be centered on the following disorders: Mental Retardation, Reading Disorder, Disorder of Written Expression and Mathematics Disorder. In addition, special attention will be dedicated on how to establish brain-based environments for people with learning disorders.


NSL 0611 Design and administration of Neuroscience-Based Learning Environments

This course seeks to impact the field of pedagogy incorporating up to date research findings that shows how to create enrich environments for learning. Special attention will be dedicated to the process of syllabi development and to the inclusion of brain-compatible strategies for the different subjects at school.  New evidence-based assessment techniques will be suggested as well. The long-term goal is ultimately impacting school’s curriculums, the perception of pedagogy and the delivery of education in are contemporary society.


NSL 0612 Neurodevelopmental Alterations: Genetic, Metabolic, Morphological and Perinatal Factors and Its Manifestations Through Learning and Behavior

This course will focus on introducing the student to the etiology, prevalence and prognosis of developmental disorders from genetic, metabolic and morphological perspectives.  Although a general overview of different disorders will be offered lectures will be centered on the following disorders: Mental Retardation, Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum. In addition, the manifestations of developmental alterations through learning and behavior will be revised.  Tools to establish favorable environments for learning for people with developmental and neurodevelopmental disorders will be provided

Ponce Health Sciences University is pleased that you have selected our institution to continue with your academic and professional goals. The Office of Student Financial provides you with the information and tools to assist you in reaching educational goals. Please take your time to navigate through the various links we have provided and feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you need more information:


IHD 919 Interprofessional Perspectives in Health Disparities (1 credit)

This course is designed to provide a general overview of gaps in health outcomes associated with health disparities. A special emphasis will be given to the social determinants of health such as race/ethnicity, social class, socioeconomic status, sex, sexuality, nationality, and migration status. The course will focus on the impact of health disparities’ impact at multiple system’s levels (e.g. Individual, patient- clinician, healthcare system, etc.)


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– Student Financial Aid Manual

Federal Financial Aid Programs

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: students who meet the requirements established by the US Department of Education may receive a Direct Loan, according to the academic program: graduate and professional students are eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year. As an institution that previously participated in the HEAL Programs our MD, Doctorate and PhD in Clinical Psychology, as well as certain Master Degree Programs might be eligible for additional amount of loan. The amount is established annually by Federal Regulations. The Financial Aid Office provides orientation about the application process for student loans, the student’s qualifying requirements and the specifics regarding interest rate, orientation fess, repayment process, etc. The student must submit an agreement form known as a Master Promissory Note, and complete electronic entrance counseling, both on-line:
  • Direct Loan-Plus Graduate Loan: This is a federal fixed-interest loan for graduate and professional students, beyond the DL Unsubsidized award, to cover any additional cost of attendance. The interest rate and origination fee, which is annually fixed by the Federal Government, begins to accrue from the date of the first disbursement. The loan qualifying process requires a credit check verification, on-line entrance counseling and an on-line submission of a Master Promissory Note:
  • Private Loans (Alternative Loans). These are credit-based loans that may be used to supplement other types of financial aid programs. The loan amounts vary according to amount requested and approved for the student. The interest rate is variable, accrued while in school and usually based on the current “Prime Rate” plus a lender’s predetermined interest rate. Repayment may be up to 20 years. These Private Alternative Loans provide funds to complete the remaining need after the student is awarded other financial aid. Due to the high interest rate that these loans represent, the student should consider these loans as a last resource to their financial need. PHSU does not recommend any specific lender, the evaluation and selection is a student’s individualized decision.
  • Historical Private Lender List
    PHSU does not deny or otherwise impede the student’s choice of an alternative lender or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification of these loans. The following is a list of the three private loans that have been most commonly selected by our students during last two previous academic years, however, we reiterate that the student may select any other lender they esteem will meet their financial need.

Other Financial Aid Options:
Military Scholarship Programs: Students interested in a military career may consider apply for one of the scholarships programs for healthcare professions offered by the US Army, the US Air Force, Navy or the National Guard. The students must contact the desired program:

National Health Services Corps Scholarship Program: available for students in the primary health care specialties and committed to serving part or their entire career in federally designated health professional shortage area. Learn more about this program at:

Financial Aid Application Process

Direct Loan Application Process
Students interested in applying for a Direct Loan must comply with the federal requirements and following requirements:

      1. Have financial need.
      2. Be an US Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen.
      3. Have a valid social security number.
      4. Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student working toward a degree.
      5. Meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
      6. Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
      7. Certify that are not in default on a federal student loan and that do not owe money on a Federal student grant.
      8. Student cannot exceed the aggregate loan limit established by the Department of Education.
      9. Comply with the Entrance Interview/Counseling.
      10. Provide all the documents and information required by the Financial Aid.

Students must fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the corresponding academic year, in order to be evaluated to determine eligibility for federal and state funds. It must be submitted on line at no later than last working day of April. The PHSU school code is G24824. Students need a pin number, which can be obtained at

Once the student submits the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) to the school, which will be used for evaluation and analysis.

Students with a FAFSA application selected for verification by the Department of Education will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Complete a Verification Worksheet (provided by the Financial Aid Office)
  • Copy of the Tax Return (IRS or PR tax return form) or
  • W-2 form(s) (if apply)
  • Evidence of wages, salaries, tips, etc., reported on the FAFSA
  • Others

If the student (student’s parent or spouse) is not required to file income tax return, he/she will be required to complete and sign a Certification of Income, provided by the Financial Aid Office, among other documentation. Note: No loan will be process until the verification process is completed.

As part of the evaluation, the Financial Aid Office will take in consideration the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student should contribute towards his/her cost of education, and it is determined by the Federal Government. The need analysis consists of the following basic calculation: Cost of Attendance minus EFC equals Financial Need. As part of the analysis, it will be considered any other expected financial aid (external funds such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Veteran Administration, military scholarships, and any other grant or scholarship). Note: A student cannot receive financial assistance in excess of the determined Financial Need.

Awarding and Notification
The next step is the awarding of financial aid amounts by PHSU and preparing the award notification for the student. Once the awarding process is completed, a Notification of Award is sent to each student.

Return Policy and Requirement for Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid (see PHSU catalog refund policy section)

Suspension of Eligibility for Drug-Related Offenses
If convicted of any offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, a student’s eligibility for Title IV Financial Student Aid Program will be denied for:

  • One year after the first conviction
  • Two years after the second conviction
  • Indefinitely after the third conviction

Eligibility may be restored if the student partakes of an approved Federal Government Rehabilitation Program.

Please refer to the Student Financial Aid Manual for specific information regarding all the dynamics of financial aid as it applies to new and continuing students.

Financial Aid Contact Information:

Financial Aid Personnel:
Mrs. Myrian Gaud Maitín, MBA
Financial Aid Manager

Mrs. Nicole Vázquez Colon, MSS
Financial Aid Officer

Ms. Mariannette Cruz Rentas, BS
Administrative Assistant

Office Hours
Monday to Thursday: 8:00-11:30 am – 1:00-4:30 pm
Friday: Administrative Work (By appointment only)

Financial Aid Office Contact Information
Phone Number: (787) 840-2575 ext. 2134, 2135 or 2136
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7004, Ponce. Puerto Rico 00731
Physical Address: 388 Zona Ind. Reparada 2 Ponce PR 00716-2347

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate universities attended
  • Letter of Recommendation Format – Written by individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional work and skills
  • Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background check)
  • USD $85.00 Application Processing Fee (check or money order payable to Ponce Health Sciences University)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Deadline to submit a complete application – June 30

Readmission Application

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