Academic Program

Declaring Cognitive Science (BA)

This process will be conducted electronically via Docusign


  1. Two approved Cognitive Science courses in two different core areas are the only required pre-requisites necessary to complete before declaring. Prospective majors must complete two Cognitive Science-approved courses at UVA and obtain a grade of C+ or better except for those completed during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, JTerm 21, or Spring 21 when the program accepted CR/NC grading. The CR grade is equivalent to a grade of C or above. We also accepted the GC (general credit) grade for Spring 20 for pre-requisite or major credit. These two courses must be from two different core areas. The five core areas are Psychology, Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, or Philosophy. Math is not considered a core area--only a major requirement-- so MATH 1310/1220 and APMA 1090 or above cannot be used as one of your two pre-requisites for declaring. You can see lists of Currently and Frequently Approved Courses by going to the Approved Courses  page of the website.
  2. Decide on one concentration area- Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Philosophy, or Linguistics. If you plan on concentrating in Computer Science, or double majoring in either Psychology or Computer Science, you need to complete additional paperwork before declaring. (see Major Declaration Worksheets and Forms). NOTE: You cannot concentrate in the same COGS area as your other major. For example,  if you are majoring in Psychology--you cannot concentrate in Psychology for COGS; if you are majoring in Computer Science--you cannot concentrate in CS. 

If you are currently enrolled in the pre-requisite(s), you will not be able to submit the DocuSign Declaration form until your grade(s) appear in SIS.


DECLARATION STEP 2: Complete your Cognitive Science Course Plan

  1. Open and Download the Cognitive Science Course Plan document.
  2. Determine if you have fulfilled the COGS Math requirement. MATH 1310 (Calculus I or higher) or MATH 1220 (Applied Calculus ll) or APMA 1090 (Single Variable Calculus I or higher in Engineering School).  If you have transfer or test credit for any of these courses -- the course can fulfill the requirement but will not count toward your 30 program hours. If you take or plan to take MATH 1310 or MATH 1220 at UVA, it will count toward your 30 program hours. However, per math department regulations, you can only take one Calculus class at UVA and get credit. Here is the link to UVA Math Department "Placement in Math Courses" webpage which includes their one course credit rule for College majors.
  3. Download and review your unofficial transcript from SIS to assist in completing the form since you will need titles, numbers and semesters taken.
  4. Fill in the “Prerequisite Courses” portion of the form. Copy your two prerequisite courses into the “Requirements” section or “Concentration” section if applicable. If you are concentrating in LINGS/PHIL/CS upper level courses are 3000+. If you are concentrating in PSYC or NEURO; upper level courses are 4000+
  5. Add any additional courses to the worksheet you have completed. This can include the math requirement, electives, or COGS approved course where you received a “C.” Any grade below a “C” will not be counted for the program. Fill in the other courses that you would like to take to satisfy all major requirements. The courses you list that you have not yet taken or are enrolled in 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.
  6. 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. Please title your filemnames with your Last and First name, for example
    1. Lastname-Firstname-COGSCoursePlan.pdf
    2. Lastname-Firstname-Transcript.pdf


DECLARATION STEP 3: Read the DocuSign Form Instructions

Begin the DocuSign Form process by reading the following instructions:

In the "Powerfrom Signer Information" section (see sample image below) you will enter your name and email and then you will enter the Declaration of Major Contact :

Name: Debra McLafferty


  1. 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 official form. You will complete the required fields in red on the DocuSign form (Sample below):
  2. Intended Major: enter Cognitive Science-Your Chosen Concentration Area
  3. Check appropriate box for major 
  4. Where it says "Complete with a major advisor"; Fill Course Prefix and Course Number with one of your pre-req courses and for "Title" fill in See attached Course Plan. Enter current term and 30 for the total number of credits
  5. Sign and then add the 2 required attachments: COGS Course Plan (pdf) and SIS Unofficial Transcript (pdf)
  6. Click the "Finish" button. The forms will be routed to the Undergraduate Coordinator for Cognitive Science for Review. You will be contacted via email if anything else is needed.


DECLARATION STEP 4: Start the DocuSign Process

Go to the College of Arts and Sciences Form Login Page. After entering your UVA email ( and answering the math question, click submit. Select the Declaration of Major and Minor Form (DocuSign) form option.   

Fill out the required fields as outlined above.

Don't forget...

Include your concentration area on the DocuSign form

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: 

Name: Debra McLafferty


If you have questions or problems with the declaration process, contact the Cognitive Science Program Coordinator—Debra McLafferty—by email ( or phone (434-982-3019)


DECLARATION STEP 5: Check SIS Academic Requirements after 7 Days to Ensure DocuSign Form was processed

After 7 days of submitting your form, your major and advisor should show up in SIS. If 7 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 to let me know, so I can ensure that I received your form.


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