Declaring the Cognitive Science Major

Because of the high volume of declarations and staff being out of the office during the summer-please expect delays in declaration processing

PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to meet with an advisor (as stated on the DocuSign form) before declaring.  You must--however--complete the following requisites before declaring:

1) Complete two COGS approved courses in two different areas with a grade of C+ or above (unless one was taken when COVID grading was in place) and

2) Complete the COGS course plan form using the approved course list and record what you have taken and project the ten courses you plan to take at UVA and when you plan to take them.

For students in their second or both pre-requisite classes this spring or summer of 2022--you cannot declare before your grades come in. However--YOU DO NOT NEED TO DEFER THE MAJOR. The College is aware that our prospective majors cannot declare until we receive thier grades


Prerequisites for declaring the major

1)  Complete at least two graded approved cognitive science courses at UVA from two different areas within the five areas of possible concentration: computer science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience.

2)  Receive a C+ or above in the two pre-requisite classes. The grades must be showing in SIS before students can declare.

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Complete the Cognitive Science Major Planning Form

Complete the COGS course plan form using the instructions below

  1. On the form, include your pre-requisite classes in the core section of the course form as well as the initial pre-requisite section. Qualifying pre-requiste classes should have a grade of C + or above but there are pandemic exceptions found here.

  2. Include in the course plan only courses completed at UVA and ones where you have a C or above since any grade below that will not count for the major. No transfer or test credit can be used for major requirements, except for the math requirement. 

  3. If you have test or transfer credit for the math requirement--MATH 1220, MATH 1310 or higher or if in Engineering APMA 1090 or higher--those fulfill the COGS math requirement but should be listed as 0 hours. You will need to add a fourth elective from any area of approved COGS classes if using test or transfer credit for this requirement. If you have or plan to fulfill the math requirement at UVA, the hours taken at UVA can be counted toward the 30.

  4. Choose one of the five areas as your COGS concentration and select two upper level classes to fulfill the requirement. If you are  pursuing the Computer Science Concentration, you must fill out this form and have it reviewed and approved by Dr John Hott before submitting your declaration

  5. Project your remaining courses till they total 10 taken at UVA from the approved or frequently approved course lists.

  6. When complete, save your major form and dowload a copy of your unofficial transcript since you will be attaching both to the College’s DocuSign form. Please title your file names with your last and first name: 

    1. Lastname-Firstname-COGSmajorPlan.pdf

    2. Lastname-Firstname-Transcript.pdf

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Using DocuSign on the College of Arts and Sciences Website Forms Page to Declare the COGS 

Before starting the DocuSign form found on the College of Arts and Sciences Website, be sure you have:

  1. Completed Cognitive Science Major Planning Form, saved it,  and  have downloaded and saved an unofficial copy of your transcript.

  2. Prospective majors must complete and submit the DocuSign declaration form electronically.  The steps for completing the electronic declaration have two primary processes--"addressing" the "PowerForm Envelope" (COGS Declaration contact:  Debra McLafferty dhm6cd@virginia.edu) and the completing the electronic declaration form. Click on the cognitive science declaration guide for step by step DocuSign instructions.

  3. Be sure and double check the DocuSign form before submitting and do not forget to include your concentration or it will be voided.

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Check SIS Academic Requirements after 10 Days (Can take longer during May and June) 

After 10 days of submitting your form, your major and advisor 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 cogsci@virginia.edu to let me know, so I can ensure that I received your form or that the College processed it. During the month of May and on into early June it may take longer than two weeks to process your declaration so please do not procrastinate doing it if you are eligible to declare.

Haven't completed the two pre-requisite courses in different areas and need to defer the COGS major? 


Step 1 for Deferring: Complete the Cognitive Science Major Planning Form

Though it may seem counterintuitive, it is best to complete the course form before you complete the DocuSign Deferral of Major for. Follow the instructions below and Complete the Cognitive Science Course form found here.

  1. On the form, list the two pre-requisite classes you plan to take in the pre-requisite section and then in the "requirements " section below the pre-requisites

  2. Project the other three-four core area courses.

  3. Project or list two upper level courses that you wish to take or have taken.

  4. If you have test or transfer credit for the math requirement--MATH 1220, MATH 1310 or APMA 1090 or higher--those fulfill the COGS math requirement but should be listed as 0 hours. You will need to add a fourth elective from any area of approved COGS classes if using test or transfer credit for this requirement. If you have or plan to fulfill the math requirement at UVA, the hours taken at UVA can be counted toward the 30

  5. Project your remaining courses till they total 10 taken at UVA from the approved or frequently approved course lists.

  6. When complete, save your major plan form and download a copy of your unofficial transcript.  You will be attaching your transcript to the College’s  form, and referring to your COGS course plan to list all 10 courses on the DocuSign Defer form.  Please title your file names with your last and first name: 

    A. Lastname-Firstname-COGSmajorPlan.pdf                    B. Lastname-Firstname-Transcript.pdf

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Step 2: Deferring a Major electronically in the College

  1. Click here to get to the College's forms webpage
  2. Click on the "Forms" tab on this webpage and enter your UVA email address. Click submit
  3. Scroll down to the "Defer Declaring a Major (DocuSign) The COGS major contact is listed below, but if you do not know who your Association Dean is you should visit the UVA eAdvising portal at https://advise.sites.virginia.edu/ and click on the Advising tab to the left. Your Association Dean should be listed at the top of the page.
  4. Select the "Defer Declaring a Major (DocuSign)" orange title
  5. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT TO CONTINUE DEFERRING UNLESS YOU HAVE QUESTIONS 

Step 3: Complete Powerform Signer Information Envelope of DocuSign

In the "Powerfrom Signer Information" section you will enter your name and email and then you will enter the Declaration of Major Contact:

Name: Debra McLafferty

Email: dhm6cd@virginia.edu 

Once you have entered the name and email for yourself and the Department Major Contact, click "Begin Signing" at the bottom of the PowerForm. This will lead you to the official form.Click Continue

Step 4: Complete Defer Declaring A Major Form (DocuSign)

  1. Click Continue
  2. Fill out all red “required” fields on the DocuSign form
  3. I request permission to defer declaring a major in:  Cognitive Science
  4. Reason for requesting the deferral: Need to complete pre-requisite courses
  5.  I will be able to declare the major by this date:
    1. If fall term: January 8
    2. If spring term: May 31
  6. Use your COGS course plan to fill out the ten courses you plan to take at UVA to complete major requirements on the form where it says "List each course you plan to complete for the major BEFORE requesting the signatures below.
  7. Sign the form
  8. Attach a copy of your unofficial transcript and your COGS course plan. (Only the transcript is required)
  9. Click the "Finish" button. The forms will be routed to the Undergraduate Coordinator for Cognitive Science for Review and  once approved--back to the College. Your Association Dean is the final person to review the form before it is sent to the registrar. You shouold contact your Association Dean if you want to confirm your deferral. 

Step 5: Processing and Approval of the Deferral by COGS and your College Association Dean

The form will be routed to the Undergraduate Coordinator for Cognitive Science for Review and once approved--back to the College. Your Association Dean is the final person to review the form before it is sent to the registrar. You shouold contact your Association Dean if you want to confirm your deferral. 

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 www.virginia.edu/registrar/catalog/ugrad.html.