May 25, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2011-2012 
Undergraduate Record 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


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Requirements for the Major

Thirty credits are required for the major in neuroscience with at least a 2.500 GPA in the major. Students are dropped from the major if they fall below a cumulative GPA of 2.500 for all designated neuroscience courses. At least two courses at the 4000 or 5000 level in neuroscience designated courses with at least one each from the Department of Biology and one from the Department of Psychology are required. The courses of current topics in neuroscience, research, and honors thesis do not count toward this requirement (a list of designated courses follows).

Distinguished Majors Program in Neuroscience

Students with superior academic performance are encouraged to apply for the Distinguished Major Program (DMP) during their sixth semester. The Program culminates in writing a thesis of empirical research done under the mentorship of a faculty member in the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP). The requirements for admission to the DMP are:

  1. Satisfaction of all College requirements as stated in this record with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.400 in the student’s College and university courses;
  2. A GPA of at least 3.400 in all courses taken as part of the Neuroscience major;
  3. A brief (1-2 page) proposal of the project along with a written endorsement of the work by a faculty member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program.

To gain admission to the DMP, the student submits his/her cumulative and Neuroscience GPA (with transcripts) and a proposal to the Director of the DMP. The names of the primary (i.e., mentor) and secondary faculty readers and the declared graduation date must also be included. Once admitted, the student registers for three credits of NESC 4970 in the first semester of their fourth year. In this course, students conduct their research under the supervision of a NGP faculty member. In the second semester, the student registers for NESC 4980 to finalize his/her thesis, ending with a journal manuscript. The research project is intended to foster independent thought and develop the student’s critical ability to formulate and conduct scientific research. The date of the student’s final submission of the DMP thesis to the committee is two weeks before the last day of classes that semester. The two-member faculty committee (mentor and second reader) reports its evaluation of Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction of the thesis to the DMP Director by the first day of the exam period. The executive committee of the major then considers the thesis evaluation along with the student’s academic record to submit a final level of distinction to the College Registrar. Students also receive a letter grade for both NESC 4970 and NESC 4980.

For further information on entering the Distinguished Major Program in Neuroscience, contact the current DMP director, Barry Condron,

Courses Related to a Major in Neuroscience

Prerequisites In order to apply for the major, students must be enrolled in, or have already completed the following courses and have a C+ or better in all courses to declare the major.

  1. BIOL 2010 & 2020 Introductory Biology
  2. PSYC 2200 Introduction to Psychobiology or BIOL 3170 Introduction to Neurobiology
  3. CHEM 1411 Introductory College Chemistry
  4. CHEM 1420 Principles of Chemistry
  5. CHEM 1411 Chemistry Laboratory
  6. CHEM 1421 Chemistry Laboratory
  7. MATH 1210 Applied Calculus I or MATH 1310 Calculus I (MATH 1310 is strongly recommended)

Note: Courses listed in (1) and (2) above also count toward the 30 required credits for the major. Courses listed in (3), (4), (5) and (6) do not count toward the 30 credits. CHEM 1810, 1820, 1811 and 1821 also satisfy the requirements listed in (3) through (6).

Additional Information

For more information, contact the director, Barry Condron, Dept of Biology, condron@virginia,edu.

Course Descriptions

Electives Approved for the Major The following is a list of designated courses offered on a regular basis; however, the list is not exhaustive.


    • PSYC 5270 - Chemistry of Synaptic Transmission Credits: 3 (IR)
    • PSYC 5310 - Functional Neuroanatomy Credits: 3 (IR)
    • PSYC 3210 - Psychobiology Laboratory Credits: 3
    • PSYC 5260 - Psychobiology and Memory Credits: 3
    • PSYC 5320 - Chemical Senses: Taste and Smell Credits: 3
    • PSYC 5330 - Neural Network Models of Cognition and Brain Computation Credits: 3
    • PSYC 5350 - Neurochemical Systems in Learning and Memory Credits: 3

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