DECLARING THE BIOLOGY MAJOR
*Effective 8/20/2012 - The Biology Department has created fillable, .PDF format BIOLOGY MAJOR PRE-DECLARATION FORMS, BA CHECKLISTS (with BA Planning Guide) and BS CHECKLISTS (with BS Planning Guide), and GENERAL BIOLOGY MAJOR PLANNING GUIDES which can be filled in on your computer and then printed. The Biology Department would prefer that you complete these forms on your computer and print them for increased legibility. If you do not have access to a printer, paper forms are still available in the Biology Main Office (Gilmer Hall, Room 229).
*Note – If you intend to print any of the PDF forms, you must check your printer settings to make sure that “Fit to Page” is checked, and “Print on Both Sides of Paper” is enabled (if possible with your current printer) to save paper.
BA DECLARATION REQUIREMENTS (effective Jan 1, 2012)
In order to declare the BA degree, students are required to have first completed any one of the following courses; BIOL 2010, 2020, 2030 or 2040. Students with AP or IB BIOL credit for BIOL 2010 and/or BIOL 2020 must complete any 3000-level BIOL course at UVA prior to declaring the BA degree. Prospective BA majors must have attained a 2.000 cumulative GPA at UVA, and be in academic good standing. Incoming transfer students are exempt from the UVA Biology course prerequisite provided they matriculate with AP, IB or transfer credit for both BIOL 2010 and BIOL 2020 and have a cumulative GPA of 2.000. Incoming 3rd year transfer students can declare the BA degree during their first semester provided they are enrolled in either BIOL 3000 or BIOL 3010.
*Note - Except for extenuating circumstances, the Department of Biology requires that a student wait until their fourth semester to declare a Biology major.
*Note – 3rd Year Transfer students may only initially declare the BA in Biology.
BS DECLARATION REQUIREMENTS (effective Jan 1, 2012)
In order to declare the BS degree in Biology, students are required to have first completed all three core courses, BIOL 3000 (Cell Biology), BIOL 3010 (Genetics & Molecular Biology), and BIOL 3020 (Evolution & Ecology) at UVA, and have attained a 2.700 cumulative GPA (B- average) for these three courses. This is an overall GPA requirement for the 3 core courses, not an individual course grade requirement. Students must also have attained a 2.000 cumulative GPA at UVA, and be in good academic standing prior to declaring the BS degree in Biology. All students who meet this eligibility after completing the 3 core courses at UVA can change their BA declaration to the BS degree after discussing their long term plans and interests with their major advisor.
DECLARING A DOUBLE MAJOR
Students wishing to declare the Biology major must have 18 stand-alone credits in the BA or BS plan that are not applied to their other major. Once those 18 credits are satisfied in each major, there is no limit to the number of courses that are shared between majors. There is an exception made for interdisciplinary majors because of the nature of their programs. It is best to receive permission from the Director of Undergraduate Programs in both departments prior to double counting courses with an interdisciplinary program. Common interdisciplinary programs enrolled in by Biology majors include Cognitive Science, Human Biology, Chemistry and Neuroscience.
It is strongly recommended that a student speak with their primary major advisor first before declaring a second major.
Students must enroll in either a major program offered by one of the departments or an interdepartmental program before the last day of classes in the fourth semester; the program must be approved by an official major advisor. No student is permitted to enroll as a full-time student beyond the fifth semester without being in a major.
Students who transfer as third-years must defer or declare no later than September 30. New third-year spring-term transfers must defer or declare by February 1.
DECLARATION PROCEDURES (effective Jan 1, 2012)
1. Complete a Biology Major PRE-DECLARATION FORM
3. Complete a GENERAL BIOLOGY MAJOR PLANNING GUIDE
4. Submit the PRE-DECLARATION FORM to Shea Berghuis in Gilmer Hall, Room 229 and keep the BA CHECKLIST or the BS CHECKLIST and the GENERAL BIOLOGY MAJOR PLANNING GUIDE you completed. Take the BA CHECKLIST or THE BS CHECKLIST and the GENERAL BIOLOGY MAJOR PLANNING GUIDE to the appointment with your assigned advisor.
5. Within one week, you will receive an email with your assigned advisor’s contact information as well as directions for completing your major declaration
6. Obtain a College Major Declaration Form from the College of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s Office (Monroe Hall) or the Biology Main Office (Gilmer Hall, Room 229). Do not complete this form on your own. Instead, fill it out with assistance from your new advisor.
7. Contact Your Assigned Advisor to set up an appointment and remember to bring your College Major Declaration Form. You may also find it helpful to complete a “what-if” scenario (under the My Academics tab in SIS) to bring to your appointment. The “What-If” Scenario allows you to see how your current coursework would transfer to a new program of study. Use this appointment to review with your advisor the Biology major requirements, develop a plan of courses to complete the major, and discuss which major is best for you. Your advisor can answer questions regarding the Biology major and careers.
8. Submit the white copy of the signed College Major Declaration Form to Shae Berghuis in Gilmer Hall, Room 229. Retain the pink carbon copy of the Declaration Form for your records and leave the yellow carbon copy with your advisor.
9. Verify that your major declaration appears in SIS with the correct major. Generally, your major declaration appears within one business day of turning in the form to the College.
NOTE: If you have extreme difficulty reaching your advisor or if you decide not to declare a Biology major, please notify Shae Berghuis.
Declarations should be made within one month of receiving an advisor assignment. However, if necessary, we can hold your advisor assignment for up to two months.