Requirements to Declare the Major
In order to apply for the major, students must be enrolled in, or have already completed courses in introductory biology, introductory neuroscience, chemistry and math. See below for a list of these courses. Applications for the major are accepted typically during the student’s 4th semester in UVA. Transfer students may apply during the summer after they are admitted to UVA and prior to their third year studies.
Requirements for Graduating with BA degree in Neuroscience
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. Students are required to take designated capstone neuroscience seminar courses for two semesters, and two neuroscience core courses. In addition, at least two courses at the 4000 or 5000 level from neuroscience-designated courses, offered from the Department of Biology or the Department of Psychology, are required (a list of designated courses follows). The courses of research and distinguished major thesis do not count toward the 30 credits for the major.
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:
- 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;
- A GPA of at least 3.400 in all courses taken as part of the Neuroscience major;
- 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-style 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. These courses do not count toward the 30 credit requirement for the major.
For further information on entering the Distinguished Major Program in Neuroscience, contact the current program and DMP director at, firstname.lastname@example.org
Courses Required for a Major in Neuroscience
A total of 30 graded course credits is required to graduate.
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.
- BIOL 2010 & 2020 Introductory Biology
- PSYC 2200 Introduction to Psychobiology or BIOL 3170 Introduction to Neurobiology
- CHEM 1410 Introductory College Chemistry
- CHEM 1420 Principles of Chemistry
- CHEM 1411 Chemistry Laboratory
- CHEM 1421 Chemistry Laboratory
- MATH 1210 Applied Calculus I or MATH 1310 Calculus I (MATH 1310 is strongly recommended)
Note: Courses listed as (1) and (2) also count toward the 30 required credits for the major. Credits obtained as Chemistry and Math requirements do not count toward 30 credits for the major. CHEM 1810, 1820, 1811 and 1821 also satisfy the requirements listed in (3) through (6). CHEM 1620 can substituted for CHEM 1420. Up to two CHEM requirement courses can be substituted with other 1000 or 2000 level courses offered in Physics, Statistics, Engineering or Computer Science departments, demonstrating student’s strength in basic sciences that are relevant to neuroscience. Substitute courses should be discussed with the director prior to applying to the program.
Neuroscience Major Core Courses. The following courses are required for the major and count toward the 30 credits requirement.
- BIOL 3000 Cell and Molecular Biology
- PSYC 4200 Neural Mechanisms of Behavior or BIOL 4080 Neuronal Organization of Behavior
- NESC 3980 Current Topics in Neuroscience (required of all 3rd year majors)
- NESC 3985 Current Topics in Neuroscience (required of all 3rd year majors)
Upper Level Courses At least two courses at the 4000 or 5000 level from neuroscience-designated courses (see approved courses list below), with at least one each from the Department of Biology and one from the Department of Psychology, are required.
The remainder of required 30 credits will be obtained as electives from the courses listed as Neuroscience Approved Courses below
Neuroscience Approved Course
The following is a list of designated courses offered on a regular basis; this list is revised every semester to include newly offered courses.