Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements for the Major

Thirty credits in the major are required for a BA 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. Core courses for the major include two semesters of a capstone neuroscience seminar class, which are typically completed in the third year, and three additional didactic courses. The remaining courses needed to reach the 30-credit requirement include three upper level Biology and/or Psychology classes, and typically two additional electives. Third year students are required to conduct research. Fourth year students are strongly encouraged to continue their research, particularly by entering the Distinguished Major Program (DMP; see below).  Research courses (NESC 3960, 4960, 4970 and 4980) and the Distinguished Major thesis do not count toward the 30 credits for the major, but do provide 3 credits each toward the 120 credits required for graduation from UVA with a Bachelors degree.

Courses Required for a Major in Neuroscience

A total of 30 graded course credits is required to graduate.

Prerequisites: 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 or equivalent courses:

  • BIOL 2100 Introductory Biology
  • PSYC 2200 A Survey of the Neural Basis of Behavior or BIOL 3050 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)

*You may receive credit for either BIOL 3050 or PSYC 2200 but not both.

Note: PSYC 2200 or BIOL 3050 can count toward the 30 required credits for the major. Credits obtained as Chemistry and Math requirements do not count toward the 30 credits for the major. Up to two CHEM requirement courses can be replaced with other 1000 or 2000 level courses offered in the Physics, Statistics, Engineering or Computer Science departments, demonstrating a student’s strength in basic sciences that are relevant to neuroscience. Substitute courses should be discussed with the director prior to program application.

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
  • BIOL 4310 or BIOL 4280 or BIOL 4660 or BIOL/PSYC/NESC 4265 or PSYC 4200
  • 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 three upper level Biology or Psychology courses and an additional 3 credit elective course from the approved list are required.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at