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General Academics F.A.Q.

What are the important academic deadlines for the semester?

For deadlines and events, students can view the Academic Calendars located on the Registrar's website. You should first consult with an academic advisor before making any changes to your schedule.

Students can always stay up to date by keep up with the Please Be Advised (PBA) website and monthly emails.

What are the University’s general education requirements?
The University expects every graduate to have a liberal arts foundation and exposure to many different fields and disciplines including the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Some students follow the Diversified Education Curriculum (DEC) while others follow the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC), depending upon their semester and year of entry at Stony Brook.
Who is following Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) and who is following the Diversified Education Curriculum (DEC)?
Starting fall 2014, all new freshmen and rematriculating* students will be following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC). Starting spring 2015, all new transfers and second bachelor's degree students will be following the SBC. All other continuing students will follow the Diversified Education Curriculum (DEC) requirements.
*Rematriculating students should speak with an academic advisor, and may request an exception to graduate under the DEC requirements.
What must be completed to satisfy DEC and SBC?
Students following the DEC must complete skills 1-4 and DECs A-K. Note that students in the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences follow a modified DEC. Students who complete DEC A, DEC C, and skill 3 (101, 112 or higher level of a language) must earn a C or better to satisfy the requirement; all other DEC categories must be passed with a D or better to satisfy the requirement.
Students following the SBC must complete 18 of 19 required objectives. Read more about the DEC & SBC requirements in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Why did the University develop the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC)?
The DEC general education system has been in effect since 1991. Given that much has changed in the world since the implementation of DEC, the University's faculty wanted to evaluate the current general education requirements and develop a curriculum best suited to today's 21st century student. After more than five years of research, discussion, and planning, the University unveiled the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC). The SBC includes some of the elements of DEC, but encourages a more interdisciplinary teaching approach and focuses on learning outcomes. The SBC includes several new course offerings, and has some new requirements in areas such as understanding technology, critical and ethical reasoning, and speaking before an audience. The SBC also offers an optional experiential learning opportunity, encouraging students to participate in an internship, study abroad, research, or other applicable activity.
Where do I go for academic advising?
Stony Brook University offers a full complement of academic advising resources for undergraduates. Support includes advising about general education, major, and minor degree requirements, as well as comprehensive communication aimed at promoting student success. Click here to access more details on the advising resources provided.
When do I meet with an advisor?
If you're a sophomore, junior, senior or second bachelor in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, School of Journalism, or School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, you should meet with an academic advisor in our office, Academic and Transfer Advising Services (ATAS); click here to view our current walk-in hours. Students in other colleges or programs should meet with their assigned advisors.  You should meet with your academic advisor whenever you have questions or concerns about your academics. It is recommended that you meet with an academic advisor and your major advisor every semester to ensure you are meeting your curriculum requirements.
What do the academic remarks on my transcript mean?

Q - Academic Dishonesty: Student who has been charged with academic dishonesty; if found responsible, must take the Q course to have it removed; factors as “F” into the GPA.

I - Incomplete: The Incomplete notation is at the discretion of the instructor. Student must communicate with instructor to complete coursework by a specific date; otherwise, grade becomes “I/F” and factors as “F” into GPA.

W - Withdrawal: Indicates course withdrawn after add/drop deadline. Student does not receive credit for course and no grade is factored into the GPA.

** - No grade reported: No grade has been reported; student should contact faculty member.

U - Unsatisfactory: (in courses such as MAP 103, WRT 101/102, FYS 101, CHE 130); student does not receive credit for the course and no grade is factored into the GPA.

S - Satisfactory: (in courses such as FYS 101, CHE 130); student receives credit for class but no grade is factored into the GPA.

P - Pass: Student selected G/P/NC option by the 9th week in the semester; student earned a passing grade in the course below their desired grade threshold; student receives credit for the course but no grade is factored into GPA and no DEC/SBC credit earned; in most cases no major/minor credit earned.

NC - No Credit: Student selected G/P/NC option by the 9th week in the semester; student earned an “F” in the course; student does not receive credit for the course and no grade is factored into GPA.

NR - No Record: Faculty members report “NR” if a student is listed on their roster but there is no record the student ever attended class; an “NR” becomes an “N/F” and is factored into the GPA as an “F”.

Please consult with an academic advisor for additional information and further explanation of these remarks or consult the Undergraduate Bulletin section titled Grading and the Grading System.

What are the criteria for academic standing?

The various levels of academic standing are outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin section titled Academic Progress & Standing Policy

Please also visit the Academic Standing page on the Division of Undergraduate Education's website.

How do I read the degree progress report?
Currently, students have 2 versions of the degree audit to consult: Instructions on how to read the PeopleSoft degree progress report; Instructions on how to read the Degree Works audit.  Please consult an academic advisor if you have questions about your degree progress.
Where can I get extra academic help?

Students can meet with their professors and/or TA. More information can be found of the Academic Success and Tutoring Services website.

How do I transfer credits from another university?
Information on transferring credits can be found on the Academic and Transfer Advising Services website section titled Transfer Credit Policies.
What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?
Students can drop a class by removing it from their schedule before the add/drop deadline, within the first ten days of classes. The class will be entirely removed from their schedule and transcript. Removing a class after this point, through the 9th week of the semester, will be a course withdrawal and a “W” will appear for the class on their transcript.  In addition, there may be financial aid consequences and/or tuition liability depending on whether the student has full-time or part-time status.  Please note that full-time students cannot drop below 12 credits if they wish to maintain their full-time status. For more information, please refer to the Academic Calendar on the Registrar's website for important deadline information.
What happens when I repeat/retake a course?
Information regarding repeating/retaking a course can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin the section titled Multiple Registrations for the Same Course
What does U1, U2, U3, and U4 standing mean?
These codes refer to class standing. U1 is a freshman who has 0-23 credits earned, U2 is a sophomore with 24-56 credits earned, U3 is a junior with 57-84 credits earned, and U4 is a senior who has 85 or more credits earned.
What does it mean to audit a class?
Auditing refers to the practice of attending a course for informational instruction only. An auditor does not receive academic credit for the course, nor does the University maintain any record of the auditors attendance in the course. Permission from the instructor is required.  In general, auditors are expected to refrain from participating in class discussions and from turning in or asking for grading of homework, term papers, or examinations. For more information please refer to the Curriculum Policies section of the Undergraduate Bulletin titled Auditing.
Can an undergraduate student take graduate level courses?
Yes, with permission from the instructor, undergraduates can register for graduate level courses. Up to 6 graduate credits can be applied to a student's undergraduate degree. For the Permission to Enroll Form, please visit the section titled Graduate and SPD on the Registrar's Forms page.
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