Jun 19, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Interdisciplinary Major in Neuroscience

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Neuroscience is the multidisciplinary study of the nervous system. A major in Neuroscience provides a broad background in this highly interdisciplinary scientific field, ranging from Molecular/Cellular to Circuits/Systems and to Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscience. The major is administered by the Program in Fundamental Neuroscience (PFN), with courses offered within the Major (NESC), as well as in Biology, Psychology, and other departments. Students are encouraged to perform independent research in laboratories across the grounds and to proceed to the Distinguished Majors Program.


Applications for the NESC major are typically accepted during the student’s 4th semester at UVA. To apply for a major in Neuroscience, students are required to have completed at least one of the below 3000-level BIOL/PSYC courses and receive a “C” or above. Prospective majors must have attained a 2.500 cumulative GPA at UVA and be in good academic standing.

Courses in Other Sciences

Students are encouraged to take these courses before applying for NESC major as many are prerequisites of Core courses and Electives

Requirements for Interdisciplinary Major in Neuroscience

Twenty-seven credits are required for the major in neuroscience and students must maintain at least a 2.500 GPA and a grade of C+ or better in these courses. Students are dropped from the major if they fail to meet this requirement. Students are required to take fifteen (15) credit hours of core courses, and twelve (12) credit hours of Elective courses.

Required Core Courses

Students are required to take fifteen (15) hours of core courses.

Elective Courses

Electives are organized into three groups. Students are required to take 12 credit hours, with at least one course from each group.

Note: that this list is constantly updated with new course offerings. 

Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience

Related Science and Quantitative Courses

Research Courses

Distinguished Majors Program in Neuroscience

Students with superior academic performance and serious commitment to independent research are encouraged to apply for the Distinguished Major Program (DMP) at the end of their 2nd or 3rd Year. In addition to the core major requirements, DMP students also take the courses listed below. The Program culminates in writing a thesis of empirical research done under the mentorship of a UVA neuroscience faculty member. 

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, students submit a research proposal to the DMP Director. The names of the primary (i.e., research mentor) and secondary faculty readers must also be included. Once admitted, students register for NESC 4970 in the first semester of the fourth year. In this course, students conduct their research under the supervision of a faculty member. In the second semester, students register 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 DMP Director by the first day of the exam period. The PFN undergraduate committee  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 GPA of the major.


Additional Information

For more information, contact the Director at the follwing email address: psy-neuro@virginia.edu

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