- Types of Graduate Programs
Academic Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
Master of Arts/Master of Science (MA/MS)
Master's degree programs provide a comprehensive education in a particular field.
They typically require between 30 and 60 credit hours as well as a thesis, comprehensive
exam, or capstone project that involves applying classroom learning to a real-world
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Graduate degree programs that result in a PhD typically require four to eight years
of extensive coursework and research in a discipline, and culminate with the writing
of a dissertation.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Prepares students for careers in business. Core subjects include accounting, finance,
marketing, operations, and human resources, though specialization can be achieved
in other areas.
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Prepares students for advanced social work practice. Provides theoretical and practical
expertise to function with maximum competence at administrative, clinical, or policy
levels in the social welfare fields and/or in the provision of direct services to
individuals, families, groups, and communities.
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
A concentrated professional degree for students seeking advanced education prior to
becoming practicing artists or designers.
Professional Doctoral Degrees
While all doctorates require the completion of a dissertation, some have less emphasis
on research, and more on practice in a particular field. Examples of more professionally
oriented doctoral degrees include the Doctorate of Psychology (Psy D), Doctorate of
Education (EdD), and Doctorate of Social Work (DSW).
Health Graduate Programs
Students can apply to health graduate programs that will allow them to work in clinical
roles. Options include a medical doctorate (MD), doctorate in physical therapy (DPT),
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or Master of Science Physician Assistant (MS).
There are also health graduate programs that allow students to work in the non-clinical
field which includes Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Health Administration
(MHA) or Master of Science in Applied Health Informatics (MS). Visit the
Pre-Health Advising office to review the pre-requisite courses needed to be eligible to apply to the necessary
health graduate program.
Attending law schools offers the opportunity to pursue a variety of different degrees
depending on the type of career an individual wants to pursue in the legal field.
To learn more about applying to law school, visit the
Stony Brook University Pre-Law Website.
Graduate Certificate Program
Graduate certificate programs are generally 12 to 18 months in duration and consist
of 3 to 12 courses. You can receive a graduate certificate after successfully completing
an integrated course of study in a specific field.
- Testing and Applications
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The general test (typically for graduate programs in the arts and sciences) will measure
verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing.
It is not related to a specific area of study. The GRE subject tests measure knowledge
and skill level in a specific area of study (e.g. Chemistry, Psychology).
Register for the GRE
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
This exam measures verbal, mathematical, analytical, and writing skills that you’ve
developed over time and helps graduate programs assess your qualifications for advanced
study in business and management.
Register for the GMAT
Pre-Health and Pre-Law Students
Pre-Health Advising for information on exams for health related programs (e.g. MCAT, DAT).
Law School Admissions Council for information on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
Preparation Resources for Testing
The purpose of the personal statement, also referred to as the Statement of Purpose
or Candidate’s Admission Statement, is to gather information about you outside of
your academic performance. When creating a personal statement, be sure to:
- highlight your accomplishments and your interest in enrolling in the specific graduate
program you have selected.
- showcase what makes you a unique candidate for the program, while ensuring the statement
remains relevant to the topic assigned.
- ask another person to review your personal statement for feedback before submitting.
Visit the Writing Center
Letter of Recommendation
letter of recommendation is an important element of an application to graduate school. Before you ask for
a letter of recommendation from a faculty/staff member or a professional supervisor,
make sure to:
- build relationships throughout your academic and professional career and identify
individuals who could best write about you and your accomplishments.
- share an updated resume and additional details that would assist the individual in
writing a letter of recommendation. Include information about your career goals and
why you are interested in the graduate program you have chosen.
- provide enough notice for the letter of recommendation and important details regarding
application deadlines, how to submit the letter of recommendation, and any additional
criteria for the letter.
- Financial Resources
Assistantships are usually campus-affiliated work assignments that provide an individual
a stipend and often waive tuition and/or other matriculation fees. Assistantships
can be offered at both the master and doctoral level.
Fellowships are typically granted to individuals to cover their living expenses while
they carry out research or work on a project. Awards may span multiple years. Awards
are usually based on an individual's merit. Fellowships are typically reserved for
students in PhD programs.
Scholarship awards are based on one or more aspects of several criteria - merit, financial
need, discipline of study, career goals or membership within a minority group.
Loans are available from the government and private sources. Visit Stony Brook's Financial
for more information.