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Postgraduate Certificate in Neuroscience of Learning

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Request Information

Request information

"*" indicates required fields

By submitting this form, you are giving your express written consent for Ponce Health Sciences University to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone, or text - including our use of automated technology for calls or texts to the number you provided here. This consent is not required to purchase goods or services. You may opt-out at any time.


This certificate program trains teachers and professors to comprehend and use principles of neuroscience and neuropsychology in their work with students and for implementing learning environments based upon these principles. This includes specific instruction to teach children with learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Intellectual Disability (previously termed “Mental Retardation”).

The program also addresses the needs of Psychologists and other school personnel interested in developing advanced and extended knowledge on the application of neuroscience of learning principles to their clinical work with children. Psychologist accepted to the program with a solid background on the biological bases of behavior may directly register in an elective NSL 0503 Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment course providing advanced assessment competencies in school and clinical settings.
Teacher showing brain part of dummy skeleton at it in classroom at school


The main goal of this postgraduate certificate is to bridge neuroscience with education to improve both, the delivery (through teachers) and reception (through students) of information in academic settings based upon these principles.

    1. • Official transcript of credits with certification of completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Education, or in one of the Behavioral Sciences (no knowledge or experience in neuroscience is required).
      • Applications from candidates from other academic backgrounds that possess the Teacher Certification from the Educational Department of Puerto Rico will also be considered.
      • Alternative Entry: the admission committee of the certificate, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, will consider other potential candidates who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.
      • Minimal GPA of 3.0 on a 4.00 scale.
      • Interview with members of the Admissions Committee.
      • Two letters of recommendation; at least one from former professors or supervisors from graduate programs
      • Application Fee of $90.00 (non-refundable)
      • Negative Certificate of Penal Record

      Students admitted to the postgraduate certificate must submit the following documents:
      • Letter of Acceptance
      • Certification of Immunization: Hepatitis B, MMR, Td, Varicela, Polio
      • Physician Report
      • Copy of the birth Certificate
      • Copy Social Security card
      • Health Certificate
      • Technical Standards

      How to Apply
      Applicants must submit the following documents:
      1. Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended.
      2. Two letters of recommendation written by individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional work and skills, using the format accompanying the application form.
      3. Certificate of No Penal Record
      4. USD $90.00 Application Processing Fee
      The Application Form is available at Please mail the application form and required documents to:
      Ponce Health Sciences University Postgraduate Certificate in Neuroscience of Learning Admissions Office PO Box 7004 Ponce PR 00732-7004

1. Students must complete all courses within the established time frame. The Program requires a total of 18 credits including 15 laboratory hours.
2. Student should complete all requirements and Pass every course.
3. The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University.


PPass (100% – 70%)
NPNot Pass (Less than 70%)
IPIn Progress
AWAdministrative 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 all Students enrolled in the Postgraduate Certificate in Neuroscience of Learning at Ponce Health Sciences University.


  • Time Frame for completion of the Academic Program

A Neuroscience of Learning Student will be allowed a maximum time frame of two years of enrollment beyond the standard required for the completion of the program (one year).  Summer enrollment is considered part of the academic year for the purpose of this measure.

The total years for completion of a degree include those graduate courses accredited on admission to our program.


Neuroscience of Learning1 years3 years


  • Course Requirement

Students must complete all courses within the established time frame.  The Program requires a total of 18 credits.

  • Performance Requirement

A student must Pass each course, each semester. Any student failing to meet this standard of performance will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee.

  • Professional Behavior Requirement

The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University


In order to graduate, the student should complete all courses with a grade of PASS.   Satisfactory Academic Progress is required for financial aid eligibility.

  • Grades of “P” (Pass) or “NP”(No Pass) are applicable to this Program. A grade of “NP” requires repetition. In case of a second “NP, the student will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee with a recommendation for dismissal. 

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 “NP” will replace it.


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.


Students who are notified by the Program’s Academic 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.  After the meeting, the SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Program’s Academic 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 Behavioral and Brain Sciences (SBBS). The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the notification.  The SBBS’ Dean will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The SBBS’ 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. After the meeting, the Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the SBBS’Dean. 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 Dean of the SBBS 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 SBBS’ Academic Dean, the SBBS’ 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 SBBS’s Dean sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affair. Any additional appeal should be submitted to the PHSU President.


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 Dean of SBBS, the 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

CodeCourse TitleCredits
NSL 0501Principles of Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy3
NSL 0502Sensory and Sensory-Motor development: Implications for assessment and teaching2
NSL 0511Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuropsychology & Neuroeducation2
NSL 0512Theoretical models of learning1
NSL 0601Brain-Based Learning3
NSL 0602Neuropsychology of Learning Disorders: A Pragmatic Approach2
NSL 0611Design and Administration of Neuroscience-Based Learning Environments2
NSL 0612Neurodevelopmental Alterations: Learning and Behavioral Manifestations.2

Elective Course:

The student will choose one of the following courses:

  • NSL 0503 Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment- 1 credit
  • NSL 0603 New Challenges for Learning: Growing up in the Age of Electronic Media- 1 credit



Starting with a general exploration of the intrauterine development of the neural tube and neural crest cells, the course explores the anatomical and physiological foundation of the nervous system within a developmental context. It provides a general overview of the neural and 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 explore.  In addition, the neural basis of learning will be examined in detail.


The anatomy laboratory will be integrated with the class lectures for further understanding of the neuroanatomical correlates of learning.  By the end of the course the student should be able to identify the most significant brain’s structures.  Exposure to these laboratory sessions will enhance students’ understanding of complex theoretical information such as the neurophysiology of learning.



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.



The course will introduce students to the field of Pediatric Neuropsychology from a theoretical, scientific and clinical perspective.  Students will utilize the information learned to engage in case analysis and to determine the type of diagnostic tool that best serves to the understanding of the child’s condition.  The NEPSY battery and other neuropsychological instruments will be taught through the course.  Testing profile of the most common neuropsychological conditions found in children and adolescents will be presented.  Students will perform at least one battery of test and will be able to present their case for feedback from the professor and from peers.



This seminar like course will focus on the integration of two major fields of neurosciences, human neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, with the recently emerging field of neuroeducation.  The component of human neuropsychology focuses on the understanding of mental processes in human beings, with an emphasis on the examination of brain trauma results. On the other hand, the cognitive neuroscience component will provide a general overview of how mental functions are linked to neural processes.  The area of neuroeducation brings to this course the integrative junction of knowledge coming from cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neurosciences as the y impact the field of education. Through the discussions of up to date research papers and selecting readings this class will integrates knowledge of three constantly evolving fields.



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.



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.



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.



This course will focus on the roles of popular media in learning and cognitive processes. There is an influence of media in learning and a certain urgency to study the relationship between both.  In order to understand this potential relationship, we need to examine the theories, research, designs and models associated with the behavioral roots of the cognitive process. The use and influence of technology and media like internet, social media, cel phones, ebooks, tablets, etc represent a new way of active learning and a challenge for our traditional learning approach. However, the main target of this course is to introduce students to the fundaments of this new active learning and analyzed it in terms of a cognitively relevant frame. We will focus on debates and issues raised by various media environments as these related to young people’s growth and learning.



This course seek 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.



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

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:
Financial Aid Application Process Links
Important Links (External):

Important Links for PHSU application forms and manual

PHSU Financial Aid Application – click to download the form
– Request for Aid and Loans
– Student Authorization
Click here to download your
– 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 $90.00 Application Processing Fee (check or money order payable to Ponce Health Sciences University)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Essay

Procedure to Apply

Readmission Application

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