Health Sciences Bulletin

Academic Regulations and Procedures


Change of Course Registration

During the first ten days of the term, undergraduate students may add or drop courses through the SOLAR system. After the tenth day of classes, changes in registration must be requested through the appropriate Health Sciences school. Students may drop a course after the tenth class day; however, a “W” (withdrawal) will be recorded on the transcript. Graduate students may add classes through the third week of classes; however, a “W” (withdrawal) will be recorded on the academic record if the student drops a class after the tenth day of class. After the start of classes, students who drop classes or withdraw from the University will incur a percentage of tuition and fees; please see the Bursar/Student Accounts liability schedule. 

Course Load

Undergraduate full-time students must register for a minimum of 12 credits for the fall or spring academic term. A student who wishes to register for less than the number of credits required by the program need to secure approval from the academic program. Graduate full-time students will register for either 12 or 9 credit hours per term based on their academic level. Full-time status is a requirement for on-campus housing and most financial aid programs.

Classification of Courses

The numbering system for course level ranges from 300 to 500 and above. All 300 and 400 level courses are upper-division courses. These are appropriate for and are generally taken by students in their junior and senior year of study. All 500-level courses and above are graduate courses.


Auditing refers to the practice of attending a course for informational instruction only. The privilege of auditing courses is limited to matriculated students and senior citizens. Courses offered through the Health Sciences programs cannot be taken on an audit basis.

Matriculated students who wish to audit a course must first obtain permission from the instructor. Senior citizens must arrange to audit courses through the School of Professional Development. An auditor does not receive academic credit for the course, nor does the University maintain any record of the auditor’s attendance in the course. After the end of the add/drop period, the student may not change status in a course from auditor to registered.


Programs in the Health Sciences will allow students to earn credit based on external standardized examinations such as AP, CLEP, IB, Regents College Examinations, and the University’s own challenge examinations.   Courses for which examinations are permitted are recommended by the faculty and approved by the dean.   Credit by examination may not be used to satisfy the Stony Brook Curriculum learning objectives except as follows: AP credit can be used to satisfy many SBC learning objectives and the Health Sciences course distribution degree requirements.  Credit by examination or other options does not count toward the University’s residence requirement and cannot be used to satisfy total credits necessary to qualify for degrees with distinction.

Additional questions regarding academic credit by examination and other credit options should be directed to the advisor or to the Office of the Dean of the appropriate Health Sciences school.

Withdrawal from the Health Sciences Programs

Withdrawal from an academic program, for any reason, will be recorded only when written notification is submitted to the Health Sciences Office of Student Services from an authorized official of a Health Sciences program, with documentation.

Note: Non-attendance does not constitute an official withdrawal. Notification to the student’s instructor does not constitute an official withdrawal. Non-payment of tuition and fees does not constitute an official withdrawal. A student who leaves a school without obtaining an official withdrawal may forfeit the prospect of readmission. If he/she leaves during an academic period without authorization, the student will be reported as having failed all courses. Withdrawal from the University does not relieve students from financial obligations.

Leave of Absence

At the time of withdrawal from the University, students have the option of indicating whether they intend to return. A leave of absence may be obtained for a specified time as determined by the school. Students should contact the school or department as soon as possible noting their desire to withdraw. Proper documents and authorization must be obtained from the academic program and dean, and submitted to the Health Sciences Office of Student Services.

Medical Leave of Absence

Most students who leave the Health Sciences programs for medical reasons do so voluntarily after discussions with medical advisors and an academic program dean. A request for a medical leave of absence is normally initiated by a student, approved by the dean of his or her school in consultation with the appropriate campus office, and entered on the University records by the Health Sciences Office of Student Services.

The dean will indicate what documentation will be necessary to demonstrate readiness to resume studies in the Health Sciences program(s).

Changing to the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Business, School of Journalism

Students enrolled in a Health Sciences school who wish to leave the Health Sciences school and pursue work in another college must see the appropriate dean in the Health Sciences school and complete a “Change of Enrollment Form” in order to withdraw from the Health Sciences program.

Readmission to the Health Sciences

Students who have withdrawn or have been dismissed, and who wish to be readmitted, must apply for readmission through the appropriate Health Sciences school. If the student has attended another institution since leaving the Health Sciences school, an official transcript must be submitted. Each school will determine readmission according to established policies.


Dental and medical students must request official transcripts directly from their schools. Information concerning transcript requests is available on the Registrar's website. Transcripts will be issued only if the student’s financial record shows no outstanding obligation. Students also may view their unofficial transcripts using the SOLAR system. Official transcripts of work taken at other institutions, which have been presented for admission or evaluation of credit, cannot be copied or reissued. If a transcript of work is needed, it should be obtained directly from the appropriate institution.

SOLAR System

Stony Brook’s student online access system, the SOLAR system provides students with access to course information, semester class schedules, class registration, unofficial transcripts, financial aid, billing and payment information as well as links to other important sites such as academic calendars. Access is through the student’s Stony Brook ID and password.

Change of Address

Students must maintain an up-to-date home and mailing address through the SOLAR system. International students must report changes of address to the Office of VISA and Immigration Services. Current and former employees of the University must make changes through Human Resource Services.

Change of Name

Students must report changes of name to the Health Sciences Office of Student Services. To change your name you must complete the name change form, available on the Registrar's website. For name changes you must provide two forms of documentation of the new name. Examples of documentation are: driver’s license, passport, marriage certificate, court action documents, social security card or professional license. At least one document must be a photo identification. Current and former employees of the University must make changes through Human Resource Services.

Academic Notice

Students who are the subject of warnings, probation, dismissal, or termination will be notified in writing by their school. The notice will indicate the action which has occurred to cause a change in status; the duration of the status or the response required to modify the status; whether there is an appeal mechanism and its time limits; and who should be contacted for further information. If dismissal from a school is involved, the student will be advised of the date when he/she will become eligible for consideration for readmission.

student educational records

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, sets out requirements designed to protect the privacy of students concerning their records maintained by the campus. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

• The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

• The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

• The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests, including but not limited to administrative, academic, or support personnel (including law enforcement and health services); University attorneys, auditors, or collection agents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

• The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The Office’s address is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202. In addition, Stony Brook University is authorized to release “directory information” concerning students. Directory information includes: Student’s name, addresses (including email), telephone numbers, date and place of birth, major field of study, class, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, likenesses used in University publications, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and previous institutions attended.

Currently enrolled students have the right to have this directory information withheld from the public if they so desire. Forms requesting the withholding of directory information are available at the Registrar’s Office on the second floor of the Administration Building or in the Health Sciences Office of Student Services, Health Sciences Tower, Level 2, Rm. 271. At least 10 days should be allowed for processing of these requests.

Additional guidelines and procedures can be found on the Registrar's website.


All Health Sciences students are required to respect the confidential nature of all information that they have access to including the personal health information of patients. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 provides significant new privacy protections for the health information of patients and research participants. Students in the Health Sciences programs are required to comply with the training requirements related to privacy and security provisions of HIPAA and to abide by the University’s policies and procedures related to HIPAA.

Information about HIPAA and training will be provided by the individual Health Sciences schools at orientation.

Research Involving Human Subjects

Experiments conducted by Stony Brook personnel, on or off campus, in which human subjects are involved are required to be reviewed and approved by the campus Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CORIHS) before they can begin. This requirement extends to questionnaires, both written and oral, and other instruments of personal data collection. Application forms for approval of such experiments can be obtained from the Office of Research Compliance in the Office of the Vice President for Research. A faculty advisor is required for any student-conducted experiment involving human subjects. Standard operating procedures can be found here.

Research Involving Safety Considerations

Campus committees also review and approve projects involving safety concerns. These include the use of radioactive materials or devices that generate ionizing radiation and the use of recombinant DNA techniques or activities that may involve biologically or chemically hazardous materials. To request approval for such projects the appropriate forms are generally available in departmental offices. Questions may also be directed to the Office of Research Compliance in the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Equivalent Opportunity/Religious Absences

Some students may be unable to attend classes on certain days because of religious beliefs. New York State Education Law Section 224-A provides:

1. No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that he or she is unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirements on a particular day or days.

2. Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.

3. It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school because of religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the student equivalent opportunity.

4. If registration, classes, examination, study, or work requirements are held on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study, or work requirements or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements or registration held on other days.

5. In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any students because of their availing themselves of the provisions of this section.

6. Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the Supreme Court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.

7. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to give written notice to students of their rights under this section, informing them that each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.

8. As used in this section, the term “institution of higher education” shall mean any institution of higher education, recognized and approved by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, which provides a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree or diploma. Such term shall not include any institution which is operated, supervised, or controlled by a church or by a religious or denominational organization whose educational programs are principally designed for the purpose of training ministers or other religious functionaries or for the purpose of propagating religious doctrines. As used in this section, the term “religious belief” shall mean beliefs associated with any corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501 of the United States code. For more information, see the Guide to Religious Holidays.

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