Psychology Major (BA)

THE DECLARATION PROCESS WILL BE CONDUCTED ELECTRONICALLY DURING THE TIME THAT UVA IS NOT HOLDING CLASSES ON GROUNDS, QUITE POSSIBLY THROUGH THE END OF THE SEMESTER. PLEASE FOLLOW THE UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.

Guidelines for Choosing the Current or Old Requirements

  • Students who matriculated to UVA summer 2018 or after will use the current requirements.
  • Students who matriculated to UVA before summer 2018, but have not yet declared psychology as their major have the option to use the current or the old requirements.
  • TRANSFER STUDENTS:  For transfer students who matriculated to UVA summer 2018 or after, the prerequisites to declare the major will be evaluated on an individual basis to accommodate prior commitments. Generally, students who have not yet taken calculus will be encouraged to pursue the current psychology curriculum.  
  • If in doubt about which set of requirements is appropriate for you, contact the Undergraduate Coordinator, Lisa Ishler.

Program Checklists

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

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

Requirements (Current)

The current requirements are for students who matriculated Summer 2018 or after.  Students enrolled prior to Summer 2018 may select the current or the old requirements, explained in the next drop-down section on this page.

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.

Requirements (Old)

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

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 have no 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 (Electronically)? Follow these Steps

This process will be conducted electronically during the time that UVA is not holding classes on Grounds, quite possibly through the end of the semester.

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

Complete major declaration documents

  1. Complete the psychology major declaration form for the current -OR- old requirements (please refer to the Guidelines above to determine which form you should use):
  2. Review your unofficial transcript from SIS to assist in completing the forms.
  3. Start by filling in any courses you have already completed in the appropriate rows.
  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. Attach your signature at the bottom of the page.

Email your form to the Undergraduate Coordinator for approval

  1. Email your signed major declaration form to the Undergraduate Coordinator, Lisa Ishler, for review. You will be contacted via email if more information is needed.

Considerations:

As a Psychology Major, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring all requirements for the major have been satisfied.