About Stony Brook
Stony Brook University was established in 1957 as a college for the preparation of secondary school teachers of mathematics and science; our first campus was located at Oyster Bay, Long Island, on the grounds of a former Gold Coast estate. In 1962, a new campus was built in Stony Brook, on land donated by local philanthropist Ward Melville. Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook now encompasses 123 buildings on 1,100 acres. In the nearly fifty years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, and is now recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship—carrying out the mandate given by the State Board of Regents in 1960 to become a university that would “stand with the finest in the country.”
Stony Brook University ranks in the top 2 percent of all universities in the world. The London Times Higher Education Supplement placed Stony Brook 136 among more than 8,300 universities worldwide, and in the top 50 in North America. Among science universities, Stony Brook ranks in the top 100 in the world, top 25 in North America, and top 10 among public universities. Stony Brook has been ranked among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Stony Brook is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, the invitation-only organization of the best research universities in the country. Stony Brook has been listed as one of the “100 Best Values in Higher Education” among public universities, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.
- The University offers 119 undergraduate majors and minors, 102 master’s programs, 40 doctoral programs, and 32 graduate certificate programs.
- Ten doctoral programs are ranked in the top 40 nationwide, with two in the top ten and four in the top 20.
- Stony Brook is one of ten universities given a National Science Foundation recognition award for integrating research and education.
Close by the historic village of Stony Brook at the geographic midpoint of Long Island, the University campus lies about 60 miles east of Manhattan and 60 miles west of Montauk Point. It is only a short distance to the beaches at Fire Island, the elegant resorts of the Hamptons, and the vineyards of the East End. The internationally recognized research facilities of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are nearby.
Schools & Colleges
The College of Arts and Science offers degree programs in fine arts and humanities, in biological and physical sciences, in mathematics, and in social and behavioral sciences. In addition to departmental majors, special interdisciplinary majors using the resources of two or more departments are offered, as well as programs leading to provisional certification in secondary education.
The College of Business provides comprehensive education and research for the business, public, and nonprofit sectors. Our MBA degree program is taught by senior Stony Brook faculty with decades of experience. They are complemented by key executives recruited as visiting professors from throughout the tri-state region—industry leaders who have built stellar careers in today’s global business world. This full-fledged MBA is an exciting addition to our existing offerings, which include an Executive MBA program and an MS degree in Management and Policy.
The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences offers a wide range of programs that provide students with opportunities to find work in industry or proceed to graduate study in a variety of fields. Four accredited major programs in engineering give the student latitude to plan a course of study within traditional engineering disciplines or in new interdisciplinary fields.
The Graduate School offers advanced degree programs in many fields leading to the master's and doctoral degrees. Stony Brook's advanced graduate programs are internationally recognized and consistently receive exceptionally high ratings from external evaluation agencies and scholarly studies.
The Health Sciences Center and Stony Brook University Medical Center, located on East Campus, are the region's leading resource for education and training in health care as well as medical research and patient care. The HSC comprises the School of Medicine along with the Schools of Dental Medicine, Nursing, Health Technology and Management, and Social Welfare, as well as the Long Island State Veterans Home.
Stony Brook University's new School of Journalism is the first and only undergraduate school of journalism in New York State’s public university system. Its mission is to train the next generation of TV correspondents, producers and anchors, newspaper reporters and editors, online news managers, designers, and reporters and magazine writers. The school has great respect for the traditions of journalism, but also keeps an eye on journalism's future. Students study fundamentals, but also prepare to succeed in an evolving multimedia future, working out of the school's "newsroom of the future." All students take courses in print, broadcast, and online journalism, and also have the opportunity to do assignments and participate in internships both on Long Island and in New York City.
The School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) is the State University of New York's designated center for marine and atmospheric research, education, and public service. More than 100 graduate and 200 undergraduate students from 16 different nations currently work and study at SoMAS. Our students study coastal oceanographic processes and atmospheric sciences in academic settings that encompass two campuses (Stony Brook and Southampton). Part of SoMAS, the Marine Sciences Research Center is considered to be one of the leading coastal oceanography institutions in the world. The Center is also the focus for the study of atmospheric sciences and meteorology at Stony Brook and includes the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres; the Living Marine Resources Institute; the Waste Reduction and Management Institute; and the Long Island Groundwater Research Institute.
The School of Professional Development provides part-time graduate education opportunities for working adults. Its diverse offerings include programs for teacher training, human resource management, and the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, which is the University's most popular graduate degree program. SPD is also the largest provider of professional education certification for school administrators (SDL, SBL, SDBL) in New York State. Classes in its 17 degree and certificate programs are scheduled in the evenings, on Saturdays, and online to accommodate the needs of busy professionals.
Stony Brook Southampton is a new kind of school–a small, intimate college associated with a major research university. Campus life and learning are interconnected and characterized by common purpose. The curriculum is organized not into departments but around issues related to environmental sustainability, public policy, and natural resource management. Classes are shaped around an interdisciplinary core, and you will have many opportunities to explore how political, economic, and social issues relate to the environment. You will also learn valuable skills—team building, communications, negotiation, project management, and ethics—that you can use as you continue your work after graduation.
Every first-year student enters Stony Brook as a member of one of six Undergraduate Colleges organized around themes of general interest to students. The Colleges are designed to support and develop the interests of students and assist them in taking advantage of the vast resources Stony Brook has to offer.
1994–present: Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny, President
Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny is the first woman and first humanist to serve as President of Stony Brook University. After a distinguished career as a literary scholar, teacher, and academic administrator, she came to Stony Brook as its fourth president in 1994. Since then, she has worked to strengthen the core academic and research operations of the University, fostered close links with business and industry, and established new working relationships with the Long Island community.
Concerned about the state of undergraduate education at major research universities, Dr. Kenny headed a national initiative to address the issue. She launched and chaired the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University with funding from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Commission's report, Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America's Research Universities (1998), advocates a model of education that engages students with the resources unique to such institutions and leads them to conduct research themselves. Prior to her tenure at Stony Brook, Dr. Kenny was President of Queens College from 1985 to 1994. She has published five books and numerous articles in the field of Restoration and eighteenth-century British drama. Her two-volume scholarly edition of the dramatic works of George Farquhar was published by Oxford University Press.
Click here for additional biographical information about President Kenny.
1980–1994: Dr. John H. Marburger III, President
In 1980, John H. Marburger III became the third president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a position he held until 1994 when he became University Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the university. Marburger's presidency at Stony Brook coincided with the opening and growth of Stony Brook University Medical Center and the development of the biological sciences as a major strength of the university. During the 1980's federally sponsored scientific research at Stony Brook grew to exceed that of any other public university in the northeastern United States.
From 1976 to 1980, Dr. Marburger served as dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Southern California where he contributed to the rapidly growing field of nonlinear optics, a subject created by the invention of the laser in 1960. He had previously worked at the university as professor of physics and electrical engineering, as well as chair of the physics department. He earned a B.A. in physics from Princeton University (1962) and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University (1967). In 1998, he became director of the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and president of Brookhaven Science Associates. Since 2001, John H. Marburger III has served President George W. Bush as science advisor and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
1979–1980: Dr. Richard Schmidt, President, Upstate Medical Center, Acting President
1978–1979: Dr. T. Alexander Pond, Executive Vice President, Acting President
Sept. 1, 1965–Aug. 31, 1978: Dr. John S. Toll, President
In 1965, Dr. John S. Toll, a Princeton-trained physicist and former professor and chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maryland, became the second president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. By the time he left, the school of 1,800 students had been built to one of 17,000 students and, in addition to arts and sciences and engineering, he added schools of public affairs, medicine, dentistry, nursing, allied health professions, basic health sciences, and social work. Dr. Toll recruited elite researchers and scholars, including Nobel Prize recipient Dr. C.N. Yang, to develop competitive academic departments. Dr. Yang was chosen as the University's director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in 1966. For his contributions to the University, Dr. Toll was listed among “100 Who Shaped the Century” by Newsday.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physics with highest honors from Yale University in 1944 and serving in the Navy during World War II, Dr. Toll completed his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton, where he helped to establish Project Matterhorn, now known as the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. In 1953, he joined the University of Maryland faculty and served for thirteen years as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Toll’s career in higher education has touched six decades, culminating in his presidency of Washington College, the first college chartered in the new nation, that he helped redefine as one of the great small liberal arts colleges in the country.
Sept. 1, 1962–Aug. 31, 1965: Dr. Karl D. Hartzell, Executive Dean in SUNY Central (one-year appointment at Stony Brook as Acting Chief Administrative Officer and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences).
1961–1962: SUNY President Dr. Thomas H. Hamilton, Acting Administrative Head, and subsequently SUNY Provost Dr. Harry W. Porter, Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Hamilton's representative.
1961: Dr. John Lee, President
Dr. John Francis Lee, the former chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department at North Carolina State, was appointed as the University's first president on January 1, 1961. His mandate from SUNY was to convert the Long Island Center from a science and engineering college to a full-scale university, complete with liberal arts and sciences programs and a graduate school.
On June 25, 1961, the University's first commencement ceremony awarded 25 Bachelor of Science degrees at the Coe Estate In Oyster Bay. Lee served as the University's president until November 9, 1961. [Stony Brook: State University of New York, The College History Series]
1957–1961: Dean Leonard K. Olson
Leonard K. Olson was named dean of the State University College on Long Island on February 14, 1957. His administrative duties included managing the Oyster Bay campus and overseeing the planning of the Stony Brook campus.
Olson traveled throughout the United States recruiting top faculty as he intended "this college to set a high standard of academic excellence." The fourteen professors President Olson appointed had formerly held positions at the University of Oxford, Columbia University, Yale University, and the University of Chicago. [Stony Brook: State University of New York, The College History Series]
The Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, the main library building on the West Campus, houses collections serving the fine arts, humanities, music, social sciences, engineering, biology, and geosciences. Special areas in the Melville Library provide ready access to current periodicals, government documents and legal materials, maps, and microforms. Other facilities of note are a Music Library and Audio Center, a variety of individualized study carrels, and a student lounge. The Department of Special Collections houses Senator Jacob K. Javits' collection of public papers and memorabilia—one of the nation’s leading archives of 20th-century congressional papers—the William Butler Yeats Microfilmed Manuscripts Collection, and the University Archives.
The Science Libraries, including the Chemistry, Computer Science, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Information Center, and Mathematics/Physics/Astronomy libraries, are located in departmental buildings.
The Health Sciences Library is located in the Health Sciences Center on the East Campus and is administered separately.
Stony Brook Manhattan, at 401 Park Avenue South, is a state-of-the-art facility featuring 11 classrooms for undergraduate and graduate classes, conference rooms, offices, and a reception space for special events.
The Charles B. Wang Center, celebrating Asian and American cultures, is a major conference and events facility, a showcase for the arts, and a sophisticated global communications center where fiber optic technology and video conferencing allow the worldwide exchange of ideas in real time.
Founded in 1987, the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook (HISB) has three main missions: to stimulate new modes of interdisciplinary research within the humanities and social sciences; to build bridges between the human sciences and the medical, technical, and natural sciences; and to reach out to the local community through public lectures and film series.
Born of the intense national and international interest generated by the Boyer Commission Report, the Reinvention Center at Stony Brook is a national center focusing on undergraduate education at research universities.
The innovative Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is charged with fostering the development, use, and assessment of new learning environments, new curricula, new pedagogical approaches, and new tools that will develop students who can excel in a stimulating and challenging academic environment.
Our Marine Sciences Research Center was ranked first in coastal oceanography and eighth overall by the National Research Council for Ph.D. programs in oceanography.
The Staller Center for the Arts presents an ever-expanding schedule of live music, dance, theater, and fine art exhibitions in its five theaters and 5,000 square-foot University Art Gallery. The Staller Center boasts Long Island's largest screen and a Dolby sound system.
Stony Brook University Medical Center, Long Island's foremost health provider, has been ranked as one of the 100 Best Hospitals and one of the 15 Best Major Teaching Hospitals in the nation.
U.S. News & World Report recognized the School of Medicine as one of the top 50 primary care programs in the nation.
Our Heart Center—the only cardiothoracic surgery service in Suffolk County—performs 800 open-heart operations a year.
University Hospital and the Health Sciences Center provide Suffolk County's only Level I Regional Trauma Center, AIDS Center, Burn Center, Skin Bank, Child Abuse Clinic, Autism Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Transplant Center.
Also located here are a new Ambulatory Surgery Center and the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Regional Center for Eastern New York State.
The Stony Brook University Cancer Center is Long Island's only comprehensive cancer program backed by University-based research.
The Centers for Molecular Medicine and Biology Learning Laboratories is a model for integrating undergraduate education and research as students and faculty pursue new knowledge and discoveries in biomedicine.
Academic Departments & Programs
Stony Brook has exceptional strength in the sciences, mathematics, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, engineering, and health professions, with the University as a whole and many individual programs ranked among the top fifty nationwide (The Gourman Report, 10th ed.). A complete listing of academic departments and programs is available online.
Financial assistance is available to undergraduates in the form of federal and state programs that provide grants, loans, and work-study to assist eligible students in pursuing their academic goals. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services not only provides information about available financial aid, but also about student employment opportunities not based on financial need.
Faculty Awards & Honors
Nobel Prize in Economics
Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Medicine
Fields Medal in Mathematics
National Medal of Science
National Medal of Technology
Benjamin Franklin Medal
National Book Critics Circle Award
Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Merit de la France
Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Madagascar
NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Award
Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists
Principe de Asturias Prize
Fellows of the Royal Society (4)
MacArthur Foundation Fellows (3)
Members of the National Academy of Engineering (3)
Members of the National Academy of Sciences (13)
Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (12)
Guggenheim Fellows (71)
Fulbright Fellows (54)
Sloan Foundation Fellows (41)
Rockefeller Foundation Fellows (11)
Institute of Medicine Members (3)
The University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining an elite group of universities—including the University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Princeton University—that run federal laboratories.
Research expenditures at Stony Brook have grown from $878,000 in 1965 (the first year for which we have figures) to $184 million in 2007–the most federal dollars of any institution in SUNY. With 710 patents worldwide over the last ten years, Stony Brook has reaped some $137 million in royalties.
In external research support at the School of Medicine, basic scientists rank in the nation’s top 5% and clinical scientists rank in the top 30% with regard to grant dollars per faculty member, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Stony Brook University generates more than $4.7 billion annually in regional economic impact. As Long Island’s largest single-site employer, the University has nearly 14,000 full-and part-time employees. Indirect employment on Long Island brings the total to nearly 60,000. More information »
The Small Business Development Center alone has created or preserved almost 3,000 jobs on Long Island in the past decade.
Companies that have “graduated” from the Long Island High Technology Incubator report annual revenues of almost $100 million.
The Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) has performed a total of more than 950 projects with 200 companies, creating or saving about 8,000 jobs in the region.
Alumni & Degrees Granted
Locations, Acreage, and Space