Frequently Asked Questions
How many classes do I need to take in order to declare my major?
A total of two classes is necessary to declare, and these classes must be in different areas of Cognitive Science (for example, Psychology 2150: Introduction to Cognition in the Cognitive Psychology area and Computer Science 1110: Introduction to Programming in the Computer Science area). Students must have a C+ or higher in both courses to declare a CogSci major. While a calculus course is required for the major, Math does not qualify as one of the areas of Cognitive Science.
The credits for Cognitive Science classes taken as prerequisites will apply to the total of 30 credits required for the Cognitive Science major.
Do I need to have completed MATH 1310 (or an equivalent) before I can declare my major?
While students must take an approved math class to complete the CogSci major, it is not a prerequisite for declaring. The math class will count towards the 30 credit hours you need to complete the major, if it is not transfer or AP credit.
Although MATH 1310 is the preferred math course for Cognitive Science, there are other courses that may be subsituted. (Please consult the Program Coordinator if you have an alternate math course which you believe qualifies.)
Does research credit count for the major?
While research experience is very important to your education, it does not count towards your 30 credit hours. The course work required for the major provides you with exposure to all of the areas of Cognitive Science, and it is felt that research should enhance that experience rather than replacing it.
Will my transfer or advanced placement credit apply towards the major?
Transfer or advanced placement credit may be used to satisfy the Math requirement. However, this will not count towards the 30 credit hours required for completion of the major.
May I declare Cognitive Science as a minor?
No. Since Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary program, a minor concentration would be too academically unfocused and superficial.
May I double major or minor in a related discipline and double count classes?
Yes, you may double major or minor in a related discipline. You may be able to double count some of your classes between majors. Here's how it works: You must have at least 30 total credits for each of your majors. Of these, credits from a maximum of three approved courses may be shared between the majors. Minors do not allow sharing of credits.
I've changed my mind about what area I want to concentrate in. What do I need to do?
Contact the Program Coordinator to request a change of your concentration in SIS. Take at least two 4000-or-above level courses in the new area of concentration. When making changes to your planned coursework, always double check that you are still meeting the minimum requirements of the major.
I've heard that concentrating in Computer Science can be difficult. Why?
Upper-level Computer Science courses (4000-or-above level) tend to have many more prerequisites than courses in other areas of Cognitive Science. For this reason, students wishing to concentrate in Computer Science must complete an extra step in the major declaration process. Meet with a faculty member in the CS department, who will review your planned coursework on the declaration worksheet and make sure that you will be able to complete all of the required prerequisites and the two 4000-or-above level courses in the time remaining before graduation. You may then meet with the Cognitive Science Program Coordinator to complete the declaration form.
Will I recieve a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Cognitive Science?
Students graduating with a major in Cognitive Science receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). Only majors in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics receive Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees.
Will my major, minor, and concentraton all be specified on my diploma?
No. Only students who complete the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) have their majors listed on the diploma. Your official transcript will document which courses you have taken, and it is up to you to explain your major, minor, and concentration during interviews or on applications, if you feel that it is important.
If a course is cross listed under two different areas, may I use it to satisfy both area requirements or one area requirement and one concentration requirement in different areas?
No. One class can be applied to only one area. Thus, a course that satisfies both Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology may be applied to only one of those areas. You will still need another course to satisfy the other area or concentration requirement.
What is the Distinguished Majors Program? Is it available to Cognitive Science majors?
The Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) in Cognitive Science is designed for Cognitive Science majors who show exceptional promise. The DMP is a two-semester program completed during a student's fourth year. Upon successful completion of this program, most students receive a departmental recommendation for a baccalaureate award of Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction.
Please visit the Distinguished Majors Program section of the Academic Program Page on this website to learn more about the Distinguished Majors Program.
Will my Distinguished Majors Program credits count toward the 30 credit hours required for the CogSci major? No
Does UVA offer a graduate program in Cognitive Science?
UVA does not offer graduate studies in Cognitive Science, specifically. However, the University does offer several graduate programs in areas of Cognitive Science. These areas include Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Linguistics. Please review the complete graduate programs listing for more information. Also, there are links to some graduate programs in Cognitive Science here.
What do graduates do with a degree in Cognitive Science?
Please refer to the facts and figures on our alumni page for examples of graduate programs, employment, and comments from our graduates. To ask a UVa graduate, go to:
University Career Services (UCS)
University Career Assistance Network (UCAN)
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