Psychology Major (BA)

Program Requirements & Checklist

Requirements

Psychology (BA) checklist [word] [pdf]

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


Prerequisites to Declare the Major

The prerequisite courses noted below may be taken in any order, including concurrently, and may be satisfied through transfer course credit.  Grades of at least “C” are required for each.

  • *STAT-1601 Introduction to Data Science with R.
  • *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.
  • Pillar III: Developmental Psychology (1 course, 3 credits)
    • PSYC-2700 Child Development
  • 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).
  • PSYC RM (Research Methods) Topics Course.  Students must also take one advanced research methods (RM) topic course at the 3000, 4000,or 5000-level.

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), though multiple semesters of PSYC-3590 is highly encouraged. The College of Arts & Sciences will count up to 24 credits of ungraded coursework toward the 120 required for graduation, so as many as 24 credits of 3590 could count in this way.
  • 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.

Old Requirements (Expected Graduation 2021)

The "old" requirements are for students who matriculated prior to Summer 2018 or transfer students class of 2020 or 2021.


(Old) Psychology (BA) checklist [word] [pdf]

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


Prerequisites to Declare the Major

  • ]Introductory Psychology (at least a C in PSYC-1010 or comparable transfer course; or a score of at least 3 on AP Psych). 
  • One 2000-level PSYC course (at least C) or comparable transfer course.
  • GPA of at least 2.00 for all psychology courses taken at UVA.
  • Calculus (At least a C- in one of the approved courses listed or comparable transfer course; or approved AP credit for Calculus AB or BC). 

    • Approved courses: MATH 1210 (Applied Calculus I), MATH 1212 or 1190 (Applied Calculus I with Algebra), MATH 1220 (Applied Calculus II), MATH 1310 (Calculus I), MATH 1320 (Calculus II), APMA 1090 (Single Variable Calculus I), or APMA 1110 (Single Variable Calculus II).


Major Requirements

  • A total of 30 psychology credits must be earned (not including Introductory Psychology and Calculus), all with a grade of at least a C (courses with Credit/No Credit grades cannot count for the major).   Only PSYC classes can count.  Additionally, 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 30 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 or minor.
  • Up to 12 transfer credits may be counted toward the major.

The 30 credits must include the following components:

Research Methods and Data Analysis (8 credits, *7 credits if taking PSYC 2005)  

  • PSYC PSYC 2005  Research Methods and Data Analysis I (3 credits) -OR- PSYC 3005 (4 credit course that is no longer offered) and
  • PSYC 3006 Research Methods and Data Analysis II (4 credits) 
  • These courses are required of all majors and minors and, since it lays the foundation for understanding scientific analysis and reporting, is best completed as soon as possible.  
  • PSYC 3005 or 2005 must be taken before the 4th-year. If a grade of C or higher is not earned in PSYC 3005 or 2005 taken during a student’s sixth semester, the course may be repeated during the 4th-year.
  • Statistics classes taken in other departments, such as Math, Economics, or Sociology cannot be substituted for PSYC 3005 or 2005 or PSYC 3006.

2000-Level minimums (9 credits)

These courses do not have prerequisites. At least one course must be completed from each of the following three 2000-level groups:

  • Group I
    • PSYC 2100 (Learning)
    • PSYC 2150 (Cognition)
    • PSYC 2300 (Perception)
    • PSYC 2559 (Human Memory)
    • PSYC 2160 (Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Group II
    • PSYC 2200 (Neural Basis)
    • PSYC 2210 (Animal Behavior)
    • PSYC 2220 (Psychobiology)
    • *BIOL 3050 or 3170 fulfills this group requirement, but does not count toward the 30 hours required for the psychology major. Students using one of these BIOL courses to satisfy this group requirement must complete an additional 2000-level or higher PSYC course.
  • Group III
    • PSYC 2400 (Personality)
    • PSYC 2600 (Social)
    • PSYC 2700 (Child)

Note: We suggest that students who fail to earn the minimum ”C” in a 2000-level class take a different class in the same group rather than repeat the class they took.  This is because (unless the first grade was an “F”) the College of Arts & Sciences will not give credit for a repeated class.

 Upper-level minimums (6 credits)

  • At least two courses must be completed at the 3000-level or higher, and at least one of them must be at the 4000-level or higher. 
  • The following cannot count toward this requirement: PSYC 3005, 3006, 4005, 4006, Directed Readings in Psychology, Research in Psychology 3590, Internship, Advanced Psychobiology Lab, or DMP seminars and thesis.
  • Courses at the 4000- and 5000-levels are seminars to be taken after completing PSYC 3005 and, usually, PSYC 3006. They are generally restricted to 4th-year Psychology majors (but see Notes below on exceptions). The offerings change frequently, so plan on being flexible when it comes time to fit one of these into your schedule.  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.

Electives (7 credits)

  • These may include other courses at 2000-level or higher, including DMP thesis 4970, 4980.  Directed Readings, *Research in Psychology 3590, and *DMP seminar 3870can count for up to 9 elective credits toward the major.  *Grades of “Satisfactory” (S) are acceptable for these electives marked here with an asterisk.  Effective for the Class of 2019 (or for students declaring a major or minor later than in the spring of 2017), credit from the University Internship Program does not count toward the Psychology major. For those that are eligible for University Internship credit, the credits must be taken for "ungraded psychology credit" and not as "graded sociology credit" to count toward the major.  Credit cannot be given for paid research or work experience.

Ready to Declare or Defer the major? Follow these Steps

This process will be conducted electronically via Docusign. 

STEP 1: Join the Collab site and group(s)

  1. Join the Collab site “Psych Majors/Minors”.
  2. On the Collab site, add yourself to the appropriate group for your expected graduation year. View this tutorial on how to add yourself to a group.
  3. On the Collab site, if you identify with an underrepresented group in academic psychology (for example, historically underrepresented racial or ethnic group, first-generation college students, economically-disadvantaged background) and would like to receive information about targeted opportunities for such students, add yourself to the “Underrepresented Group” for your graduation year. View this tutorial on how to add yourself to a group.
  4. On the Collab site, complete the “Major/Minor Declaration (or deferral) Questions” Collab>Psych Majors/Minors>Tests & Quizzes

STEP 2: Complete your Psychology Course Plan

  1. Open and complete the psychology course plan form:
  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.
  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 email these attachements to me: psych-info@virginia.edu once you fill out the Docusing Request to Defer Form.

STEP 3: Read the Docusign Form instructions

  1. Begin the Docusign Form process by reading the following instructions:
  2. In the "Powerform Signer Information" section (see sample image below) you will enter your name and email, and then you will enter the Declaration of Major Contact for Psychology:
  3. Once you have entered the name and email for yourself and the Declaration of Major Contact, click "Begin Signing" at the bottom of the PowerForm.  This will lead you to the actual Major form.  You will complete the required fields on the docusign form (see sample form below).  Continue reading for tips on how to complete this form for Psychology.

  4. Docusign Intended Major/Minor:

    • for the current requirements, enter "Psychology BA"

    • for the old requirements, enter "Psychology BA (Old Requirements 1178)"

  5. Docusign Course List:  Please do NOT  relist your courses in the Docusign form, instead, please enter a filler course:
    • PSYC | 0000| Title: See Attached Course Plan”. Enter current term, and  the total number of credits in the credits section (31 old or 34 for new).  
  6. Complete any other required Docusign fields, and then add the 2 required attachments:
    • Psychology Course Plan (pdf)  
    • SIS Unofficial Transcript (pdf)
  7. Then click the "Finish" button.  The forms will be routed to the Undergraduate Coordinator for Psychology for review.  You will be contacted via email if anything else is needed.

Sample Docusign Major Declaration Form

STEP 4. Start the Docusign Process

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

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

Don't forget...

Include your 2 attachments when you submit your Docusign form:

  • course plan (pdf) &
  • unofficial transcript (pdf)

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


Still working on prerequisite courses past your second year?

Then you will need to defer the major...

  • Use the Defer Declaring a Major (DocuSign) 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: https://college.as.virginia.edu/forms, scroll down to find the "Defer Declaring a Major (DocuSign)" form.

Don't forget...

Include your 2 attachments when you submit your Docusign form:

  • course plan (pdf) &
  • unofficial transcript (pdf)

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

Questions/Advising

Contact the Undergraduate Coordinator, Lisa Isher

There are a variety of ways to get answers to your questions: Email, Phone, and Online Video Advising via Zoom.  Please choose the method that works best for you: 

  • Email: psych-info@virginia.edu for questions and advising.   
  • Phone Advising: (434) 982-4981 or (434) 328-9397. The fastest way to reach me is by giving me a call during business hours. If I am not available, please leave a message with your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.
  • Zoom Video Advising: Appointments are available weekdays during regular business hours. Request a Zoom appointment.
  • If these times or methods don't work for your schedule, we can arrange something different.  Please email me to make an appointment. I look forward to hearing from you.