Advantages and Opportunities

The proposed General Education experience offers a variety of advantages and opportunities for Stony Brook students, faculty, and administrators:

  • Clearer learning expectations
  • Fewer required credits
  • More opportunities for in-depth studies
  • More flexibility within the overall undergraduate curriculum structure
  • More choices within the general education menu
  • No need to take introductory courses in areas students are already well prepared in
  • Better preparation for the world beyond the university
  • More easily traceable path to graduation
  • Systematized and coordinated aspects of general education that were previously “infused” or not visibly accessible to all students.  E.g., experiential education, study abroad, critical reasoning, speaking in public, etc
  • Improved understanding of the General Education experience while advancing its rigor.
  • A single General Education experience for all schools and colleges in the university.

In addition, this General Education experience maintains the university’s compliance with SUNY expectations and with current Middle States’ assessment standards.

Comparison of Required Credits

The current DEC program requires 15 categories plus four skills plus an upper division writing requirement for a total of 20 requirements for most students (60 credits). For the new General Education program, a first-year student entering Stony Brook having fulfilled none of the required General Education skills or areas of knowledge would be required to take 18 courses (54 credits).  We anticipate that most students will typically complete the General Education requirements with 36-40 credits, because of double certification and overlap between major and other requirements. 

Through AP courses, Challenge Exams, on campus placement tests, course waivers, courses that fulfill two requirements, and faculty-designed themed course clusters, students may reduce the number of credits they need to complete these requirements. At a minimum, students must complete at least 30 credits of General Education awarded by an institution of higher education.