Photo of anatomically correct brain in front of the arc de triomphe

Columbia Summer Practicum: Neuroscience in Paris

Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer

Study neuroscience and travel to Paris to collaborate with different laboratories  in Paris.

The next application deadline is Mar 1, 2023
See other program dates

The Columbia Summer Practicum 2023: Neuroscience in Paris (CSP23) is a new global program that gives students the opportunity to acquire first-person knowledge on how the scientific method works, by diving into the field of Human Neuroscience.

Taking part in the program will allow students to develop a network of international researchers with whom they will discuss how to design, conduct, and analyze research studies that draw on current state-of-the-art technological advancements in neuroscience.

Eligibility and Application

  • Open to undergraduate Columbia and Barnard students in good academic standing.
  • Students are expected to have basic knowledge of the nervous system, and completed some coursework in one of the following departments: Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology OR possess a strong computational and statistical background (e.g., Computer Science, Statistics Departments).
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

How to apply?

Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application" button at the top of this page. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:

  • Application questionnaire(s)
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Resume
  • Academic Recommendation
  • Interview may be requested


PSYCH XXXX: Neuroscience in Paris. 4 points. (Pending COI approval.)

Instructor Alfredo Spagna, Department of Psychology

Modern theories attempt to characterize the human mind in terms of information processing. But machines that process information do not seem to feel anything; a computer may for instance receive inputs from a video camera, yet it would be hard to imagine that it sees or experiences the vividness of colors like we do. This course explores behaviors by understanding the influences of biological processes. What does a prototypical neuron look like? How do neurons talk to each other? How does neuronal communication produce behavior? Then we will move into asking deeper questions like: what happens in the brain when you want to move? why do we dream? How do we form memories? Nobody has yet provided a convincing theory as to how to explain the subjective nature of our mental lives in objective physical terms. Over four weeks, CSP23 attempts to provide a strong introductory foundation to the field of human neuroscience.

Each week we will review a neuroscientific field, by following the four main components of the scientific method:

  • Observation and formulation of scientific questions
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Accurate and transparent communication of results
  • High-level discussion of the findings and future directions and societal relevance


Grading Policy

Click here for the Columbia summer program grading policies.


Upon successful completion of the program, grades are entered into Columbia's online grading system.

No credit is granted to students who do not complete the full program.

Columbia students: Grades appear on SSOL and your transcript as semester grades from courses taken at Columbia. For more information, please see the section on Academic Credit in Steps to Study Abroad.

Barnard students: Grades appear on eBear and your transcript as any semester grades from courses taken at Barnard. For more information, please see the section on Credit and Transcripts for Barnard Students on our Barnard student pages.

Life in Paris

Students will live in a program residence hall, while classes will take place at Reid Hall. More details regarding housing and excursions will be added soon.


Program Director: Alfredo Spagna

Alfredo Spagna, is a Faculty of the Psychology Department and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Neuroscience and Behavior Major. His teaches a variety of lecture and seminar courses for the Psychology Department, including Behavioral Neuroscience (UN2450), Human Neuropsychology (UN2470), Attention and Perception seminar (GU4229), Consciousness and Attention seminar (GU4225), and a newly created Human Neuroimaging Course (GU4990) that will be delivered starting Fall2020. His research interests span across different but related fields, including attention, perception, consciousness, and visual mental imagery and mainly on healthy adults. His involvement in international and national research grants is at the core of the program, since enrollees will be visiting the labs in which the Program Director international research collaboration is ongoing.

Financial Considerations

*Summer 2023 Tuition and Fees

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information.

*Tuition and fees are subject to the Board of Trustees' approval and may change.


Students who demonstrate financial need may apply for a GSP Scholarship, funding for which is generously provided by the Office of the President .

If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to studying abroad. In general summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students.

Global Learning Scholarship (GLS)

The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement is pleased to announce Global Learning Scholarships to help students fund their participation in this program. If awarded, these partial scholarships will be applied toward tuition charges for this program.


  • Open to Columbia University and non-Columbia undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need

  • Recipients must be accepted to this Columbia-led program

To Apply:

After starting a program application, complete the “Global Learning Scholarship” questionnaire in your UGE account.

Scholarship Applications Due:

March 7 (closes at 11:59 pm EST) or program deadline, whichever occurs first.

Read more about the GLS here.

For more general information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:


If you decide to withdraw from the program once it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.

Resources for Accepted Students

Fact Sheet

Barnard College, Columbia Undergraduates
Language of Instruction:

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 15, 2021
Program Dates: 
Saturday, May 21, 2022 to Saturday, July 2, 2022
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Admissions Decision Date: 
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Program Dates: 
Sunday, May 21, 2023 to Saturday, June 17, 2023
Dates are tentative and subject to change.