Nov 14, 2018  
Undergraduate Record 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Record 2018-2019


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Requirements to Declare the Major

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 UVA courses that fulfill these pre-requisites, which may be substituted by AP credits, or equivalent courses offered at other colleges or universities, including community colleges. 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 a neuroscience core course. In addition, at least three courses at the 4000 or 5000 level from neuroscience-designated courses, designated ‘Upper level 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 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) project proposal along with a written endorsement of the project 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 NUP Director. 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 the fourth year. In this course, students conduct their research under the supervision of an NGP faculty member. In the second semester, the student registers for NESC 4980 to finalize the 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. The two-member faculty committee (mentor and second reader) reports its evaluation of Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction of the thesis to the NUP 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 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,

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 apply for the major.

  1. BIOL 2100 - Introduction to Biology with Laboratory: Cell Biology & Genetics  
  2. PSYC 2200 - A Survey of the Neural Basis of Behavior  or BIOL 3050 - Introduction to Neurobiology  
  3. CHEM 1410 - Introductory College Chemistry I  or CHEM 1610 - Introductory Chemistry I for Engineers  orCHEM 1810 - Principles of Chemical Structure (Accelerated)  
  4. CHEM 1420 - Introductory College Chemistry II  or CHEM 1620 - Introductory Chemistry II for Engineers  or CHEM 1820 - Principles of Organic Chemistry (Accelerated)  
  5. CHEM 1411 - Introductory College Chemistry I Laboratory  or CHEM 1611 - Introductory Chemistry I for Engineers Laboratory  or CHEM 1811 - Principles of Chemical Structure Laboratory (Accelerated)  
  6. CHEM 1421 - Introductory College Chemistry II Laboratory  or CHEM 1621 - Introductory Chemistry II for Engineers Laboratory  or CHEM 1821 - Principles of Organic Chemistry Laboratory (Accelerated)  
  7. MATH 1210 - A survey of Calculus I  or MATH 1310 - Calculus I  (MATH 1310 is strongly recommended)

Note: BIOL 2011, BIOL 3050, and PSYC 2200 count toward the 30 required credits for the major, but the Chemistry and Math prerequisites do not count toward the 30 major credits. 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. However, substitute courses should be discussed with the director prior to applying to the program. If a prerequisite is in progress at the time of admission to the Neuroscience Major, admission will be considered provisional until receipt of final grades.

Neuroscience Major Core Courses.
The following courses are required for the major and count toward the 30 credits requirement.

  1. BIOL 3000 - Cell Biology  
  2. PSYC 4200 - Neural Mechanisms of Behavior  or BIOL 4310 - Sensory Neurobiology  or BIOL 4660 - How do they do it? Method and Logic in Biomedical Science  
  3. NESC 3980 - Current Topics in Neuroscience I  (required of all 3rd year majors)
  4. NESC 3985 - Current Topics in Neuroscience II  (required of all 3rd year majors)

Upper Level Courses At least three 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.


Additional Information

For more information, contact the Director Jay Hirsh,

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