BA Psychology

Major Checklist

Psychology (BA) checklist/course plan [word] [pdf]

The program checklist can be used to keep track of prerequisites and your progress toward completing the requirements of the major. 


Official requirements are available in the University Registrar Undergraduate Academic Record, and summarized below.

Prerequisites to Declare the Major

The prerequisite courses list below must be completed and graded before you qualify to declare the major.  Transferred coures meeting these descriptions may be used as prerequisite courses.  Grades of at least “C” are required for each (exceptions apply for COVID related grading options, view the policy for guidance):

  • *STAT-1601 Introduction to Data Science with R  -or-  one of the folllowing approved courses: 

    • STAT 3080: From Data to Knowledge

    • PSYC 3310: RM: R Applications in Psychology

  • *PSYC-2005 Research Methods & Data Analysis I.

  • Two 2000-level PSYC courses from two different “pillars”. (Intro to Psychology, e.g., PSYC-1010, or a score of at least 3 in AP Psychology, can satisfy one of these 2000-level prerequisites, but does not contribute credit toward the major)

  • A GPA of at least 2.00 for all psychology courses taken at UVa.

*These courses satisfy the Quantitative, Computational, and Data Analysis requirement of the new College of Arts & Sciences curriculum

Major Requirements

  • A total of 34 credits must be earned in PSYC courses (not including Introductory Psychology).  Grades of at least “C” are required for all courses counting toward the major.  With the exception of PSYC-3590, courses with S/US grades do not count for the major. 

  • A GPA of at least 2.00 must be maintained in all PSYC courses taken at UVa, including those with grades too low to count toward the 34 credits. If a course is repeated, both grades are counted in the psychology GPA. 

  • Students receiving grades of “C-” or lower in three psychology courses and having less than a 2.00 GPA in all psychology classes will not be permitted to continue in the major.

The 34 credits must include the following components:

A. Fundamentals of Psychology (4 courses, 12 credits from 2000-level courses)

These have no prerequisites. One course must be completed from each of the following four 2000-level pillars:

  • Pillar I: Cognitive Psychology (1 course, 3 credits)

    • PSYC-2150 Cognitive Psychology

    • PSYC-2160 Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Pillar II: Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience (1 course, 3 credits)

    • PSYC-2200 Neural Basis of Behavior

    • Note. BIOL 3050 fulfills this pillar requirement, but does not count toward the 34 hours required for the psychology major. Students using BIOL3050 to satisfy the Pillar II requirement must take an additional PSYC course to fulfil the 34-credit degree requirement (please note: only 3 credit hours of PSYC 3590 Research in Psychology can be used towards the 34 credit hours required for the major).

  • Pillar III: Developmental Psychology (1 course, 3 credits)

    • PSYC-2700 Introduction to Child Psychology

  • Pillar IV: Clinical and Social Psychology (1 course, 3 credits)

    • PSYC-2410 Abnormal Psychology

    • PSYC-2600 Social Psychology

B. Research Methods and Data Analysis (3 courses, 10 credits) 

  • PSYC-2005 Research Methods and Data Analysis I (a prereq for the major) and

  • PSYC-3006 Research Methods and Data Analysis I.   These courses lay the foundation for understanding scientific analysis and reporting, and are best completed as soon as possible (preferably by fall semester of third-year). [Please note: Students who are using STAT 1602 or DS 2001 as a prerequisite course (which are more Python-based) are expected to be able to use R effectively for PSYC 3006.  Please contact the professor for PSYC 3006 for more information on R expectations for for PSYC 3006.

  • PSYC RM (Research Methods) Advanced Topics Course.  Students must also take one advanced research methods (RM) topic course at the 3000, 4000,or 5000-level.  Visit the course planning page for a list of approved Advanced Research Methods (RM) courses. Psychology majors may use a total of 3 credit hours of combined Hoos Connected Courses [PSYC 3990 (2 credits) + PSYC 3991 (1 credit) = 3 credits total] toward the required PSYC Advanced Research Methods Topics Course requirement. Note: Hoos Connected courses may only be used toward the PSYC RM requirement, additional Hoos Connected credits may not be used toward advanced electives in the Psychology major.

C. Advanced Topics and Electives in Psychology  (4 courses, 12 credits)

  • One course (3 credits) may be at the 2000-level or higher (beyond the 12 credits required in Fundamentals).

  • At least two courses must be completed at 3000-level or higher.

  • At least least one course must be at the 4000-level or higher. Courses at the 4000- and 5000-levels are seminars that are generally reserved for third-year and fourth-year majors, but may be accessible earlier, on a space-available basis (see notes below). Don’t overlook 5000-level courses; though these are open to graduate students as well as undergraduates; they are not substantively different in depth or challenge.

  • PSYC-3590, Research in Psychology, may be counted for an elective course (3 credits).  Please note, although students may take more than 3 credits of PSYC 3590 in the college career, only 3 credits of PSYC 3590 is permitted to count toward the  34 credit hours required for the paychology major.  The College of Arts & Sciences will count up to 24 credits of ungraded (CR/NC or S/U) coursework toward the 120 required for graduation, so as many as 24 credits of 3590 could count in this general way.  Please visit the College for more information about ungraded courses policy.

  • The following courses do not count toward this requirement: PSYC-3006, PSYC-RM Topics*, Directed Readings in Psychology, PSYC Internship, or DMP Seminars and Thesis courses.

  • *If PSYC-RM Topic requirement has been satisfied, students may count a second RM Topic course as one of the Advanced Topics and Electives courses.

  • Please note: some Advanced Topics courses may have prerequisites.

Ready to Declare (or Defer) the Major - Follow all of these steps:


STEP 1: Sign up for notifications regarding the major

  • Join “Psych-Majors-Minors” listserv. Students are welcome to join the list before they declare. 
  • (Optional) Join “Psych-Majors-Minors-Underrep” listserv for notifications related to underrepresented groups (for example, historically underrepresented racial or ethnic group, first-generation college students, economically-disadvantaged background) 

STEP 2: Complete your Psychology Course Plan

  1. Open and complete the psychology course plan form:
    • Psychology (BA) checklist/course plan [word] [pdf] 
  2. Download and review your unofficial transcript from SIS to assist in completing the course plan form. 
  3. Start by filling in any courses you have already completed.
  4. Fill in the other courses that you would like* to take to satisfy all major requirements. *The courses you list are simply your “best guesses” about the courses you will likely take; these guesses are not binding and courses can be rearranged or substituted as necessary or desired in the future.  Visit our course planning page to view current course offerings.
  5. When finished, save your course form and your SIS unofficial transcripts as PDF documents. You will eventually attach these forms to the Docusign Major Form -or- if you are deferring the major, you will attach them to the Request to Defer Major Form.
  6. If you need help completing the Course Plan, email [email protected].

STEP 3. Start the Docusign Process

DECLARE: Have you completed all of the prerequisite courses? Then you are ready to declare...

(If not, then move down to the Defer section below)

  • You can access the form by going to the College web page here: - scroll down to find the "Declaration of Major and Minor Form (DocuSign)".  

  • Make sure to designate the Declaration of Major Contact (DMC) as: 

  • Regarding the Docusign Course List:  You do not have to fill this part out with an advisor as it states on the form, because you should have already completed the courseplan on your own or with an advisors help (in STEP 2).  At this stage, you will simply attach your completed course plan file instead.  Instead of relisting your courses from the course plan, just add a filler course so the docusign form will allow you to submit it: “PSYC | 0000| Title: See Attached Course Plan | 34 Credits"

Don't forget...

Include your 2 attachments when you submit your Docusign form:

DEFER: Still working on prerequisite courses past your second year?

Then you will need to defer the major...

  • Use the Defer Declaring a Major (DocuSign) form if you are at the end of your second year and are missing prerequisite courses that you plan to take at the beginning of your third year. You can access the form by going to the College web page here:, scroll down to find the "Defer Declaring a Major (DocuSign)" form.

  • Make sure to designate the Declaration of Major Contact (DMC) as: 

Complete the form and be sure to list out the prerequisite courses you are currently taking.

Don't forget...

Include your 2 attachments when you submit your Docusign form:

STEP 4. Check SIS to ensure your major form was processed

We will try to process your form as soon as possible, however, there may be delays in processing your form depending on the time of the year (e.g. beginning of the semester, enrollment periods, end of semster, graduation, and conferences).   After 10 days of submitting your form, your major should show up in SIS. If 10 days have passed, and you are not notified via docusign that your form has been processed and you have checked SIS and don't see your major, please email [email protected] to ensure your form has been received by the college and is processed.


Psychology Undergraduate Coordinator, Justin Woodward, Email: [email protected]  

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Chris Mazurek, Email: [email protected]