Declaring the Cognitive Science Major

Cognitive Science Pre-requisite Requirements

COGS Pre-requisite FAQ


What courses do I need to complete before I am eligible to declare the COGS major?

Completing two approved Cognitive Science courses at UVA  in two different core areas are the only required pre-requisites necessary for declaring. The five core areas are Psychology, Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, or Philosophy. Math is not considered a core area--only a major requirement. Prospective majors must complete two Cognitive Science-approved courses at UVA and obtain a grade of C+ or better. Exceptions include courses taken at UVA during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, JTerm 21, Spring 21, or Summer 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. You can see lists of Currently and Frequently Approved Courses by going to the Approved Courses  page of the website.

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When can I declare? 

You can declare as soon as your grades are appearing in your SIS account for both of the required pre-requisites. The College of Arts and Sciences requires all students to have a major deferred or declared by thier fifth term (first term of third year). If you will be starting the first term of your third year, you need to declare or defer a major by early October or you may not be able to enroll in Spring 2022 classes. If you declare before Oct. 1st, you should be able to meet with your COGS advisor in October and begin building that relationship.

Declaring or Deferring the Cognitive Science (BA)

Guidelines for Declaring

1) Declaring the major is done online via DocuSign through the College of Arts and Sciences website. Do not forget to include your concentration on the DocuSign form.

2) You cannot declare before completing the two pre-requisite courses at UVA. There is no need to contact or consult with the department before completing DocuSign unless you have questions about the major or your course plan.

3) For UVA students starting their fifth semester Fall 2021-- You need to declare or defer the major immediately. If you need to complete one or both of the pre-requisite courses this fall or are a third year transfer student--you will need to defer declaring the cognitive science major as outlined below.


DECLARATION STEP 1: COMPLETE COURSE PLAN FORM 

  1. Open and Download the Cognitive Science Course Plan document.
  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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Download and review your unofficial transcript from SIS to assist in completing the form since you will need titles, numbers and semesters taken.
  5. 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+
  6. Add any additional approved 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.
  7. 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

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DECLARATION STEP 2: Log into the College forms site; fill in the Powerform envelope; fill in DocuSign Declaration required fields

  1. Click HERE to go to the College of Arts and Sciences forms page.

  2. The form gives you the following instructions: Please start the declaration process by visiting the Declare a Major/Minor Contact page and find the department you would like to declare a major in. Contact the person listed for the department via email to determine what steps you need to follow to declare a major. NOTE: If you have filled out the course plan form and do not have questions--you can proceed without emailing COGS.

  3. Select the "Declaration of Major and Minor Form (DocuSign)"

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 :

Name: Debra McLafferty

Email: cogsci@virginia.edu 

4. 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. You will then need to click on the link at the top of the page to lead you to the official form. You will complete the required fields in red on the DocuSign form (Sample below):

5. Demographic Information

6. Intended Major: enter Cognitive Science-Concentration Area

7.  Check appropriate box for major 

8. 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

9. Sign and then add the 2 required attachments: COGS Course Plan (pdf) and SIS Unofficial Transcript (pdf)

10.  Check the information you have entered for accuracy  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.

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DECLARATION STEP 3: Check SIS Academic Requirements after 10 Days to Ensure DocuSign Form was processed

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.

Deferring the COGS Major

If you are currently or planning to enroll in one of the two pre-requisite approved courses in two different areas--you need to complete the deferral of declaration form. 

Guidelines for Deferring

1) Deferring the major is done online via DocuSign and is located on the College of Arts and Sciences website under the forms tab. Deferral forms will take longer to process since your course of study not only is reviewed/approved by the COGS program, but also by your Association Dean and the College.

2) The deferral of major form requires you to list the ten COGS courses that you plan to take to complete the major. Because you have to list the numbers of classes and terms you are taking them, you should complete the COGS Course Plan Form first.

DEFER DECLARING STEP 1: COMPLETE COGNITIVE SCIENCE COURSE PLAN (This is needed for filling out the deferral form) 

  1. Open and Download the Cognitive Science Course Plan document.
  2. Decide on one concentration area- Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Philosophy, or Linguistics.
  3. 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.
  4. Download and review your unofficial transcript from SIS to assist in completing the form since you will need titles, numbers and semesters taken.
  5. Fill in the “Prerequisite Courses” portion of the form that you are enrolled in or hope to take. 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+
  6. Add any additional approved 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.
  7. When finished, save your course form and your SIS unofficial transcripts as PDF documents. You will eventually attach these forms to the DocuSign Form. Please title your filemnames with your Last and First name, for example
    1. Lastname-Firstname-COGSCoursePlan.pdf
    2. Lastname-Firstname-Transcript.pdf

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DEFER DECLARING STEP 2: Log into the College forms site; read and complete "Powerform" envelope and  Deferral Form

  1. Click HERE to go to the College's forms page
  2. Select the "Defer Declaring a Major Form (DocuSign)" 
  3. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT TO CONTINUE DEFERRING UNLESS YOU HAVE QUESTIONS 
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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

Email: cogsci@virginia.edu 

  1. 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. You will complete the required fields in red on the DocuSign form
  2. I hereby request permission to defer declaring a major in:  Cognitive Science
  3. Reason for requesting the deferral: need to complete pre-requisite courses
  4.  I will be able to declare the major by this date:
    1. If fall term: January
    2. If spring term: May
  5. Where it says "List each course you plan to complete for the major BEFORE requesting the signatures below. Use your COGS course plan list the ten courses you plan to take at UVA to complete major requirements.
  6. Sign the form
  7. 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.

Have questions or need help with major requirements or COGS course selection?

CONTACT THE UNDERGRADUATE COORDINATOR, DEBRA MCLAFFERTY

Email: COGSCI@VIRGINIA.EDU with your questions

Telephone:  (434) 982-3019. The fastest way to reach me is by giving me a call during business hours. If I am not available, please leave me a message with your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.

Zoom Video: Appointments are available weekdays during regular business hours. Please email cogsci@virginia.edu and give me several times/days and I will email you an appointment.

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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.