General Education Requirements
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 that are also available to students following the DEC, 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.
In the Bulletin