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New Student Road Map

Tips on Preparing for the First Semester

Welcome to Stony Brook! This section lays out a roadmap to help you navigate next steps from acceptance into your program through registering for classes.  

Before Arriving at Stony Brook

1. Confirm your acceptance, respond to correspondence sent from your graduate program, and review your SOLAR account for messages and to-do items. Details on how to access your SOLAR account are available from Client Support, in the "SOLAR for Students" section.

Review holds and forward all outstanding documents to the Graduate School as soon as possible for Graduate School programs only. Applicants to the Master's program in Social Work and should forward their transcripts to the School of Social Welfare. To determine if your graduate program is located in the Graduate School, please click here.

2. Set up your Stony Brook email account. You can log into your email account at using your NetID. Details on how to set up your NetID are available in Client Support's "NetID" section.

3. Apply for on-campus housing (if applicable) if you have not already done so. More information is available from the Office of Student Affairs, on the Campus Residences website.

Information on off-campus housing is available from the Office of Student Affairs, on the Off-Campus Living website.

4. Forward completed health forms to Student Health Services. In accordance with New York State Public Health Law, Stony Brook University requires that all students born on or after January 1, 1957, provide proof of immunity against measles, mumps and rubella. The state also requires that all students receive information about meningococcal disease. For more information, please contact Student Health Services at 631-632-6740. 

5. Review the university’s policy on student health insurance. Details are available on the Student Health Services website.


1. All new graduate students must complete the online orientation program, a series of 7 videos available on the Graduate School website here, in the Orientation Videos section.

2. New grad student orientation for those who will teach and engage in research will proceed remotely again this year.

New Grad Student Orientation: TA Training  will take place via an asynchronous Blackboard course led by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). All incoming PhD students and supported Master’s students are expected to participate in TA training. The course will open August 8, 2022 and students will have a month to complete the four modules, their quizzes and receive a certificate of completion. This online, asynchronous training will be followed by a series of live remote sessions on special topics during the semester. More details will be forthcoming from your program.

Students who do not TA until Spring 2023 or who are admitted/deferred to Spring 2023 will again be able to take the TA training in January 2023. Programs should email Assistant Dean Kathleen Ehm to switch their new students to the January training.

New Grad Student Orientation: A Roadmap for Grad Student Success is a newly developed session on planning for success in Grad School, which will touch upon: getting the most out of Grad School, responsible mentorship, self-care and wellness, and making a long-term plan. The workshop will be offered online via synchronous Zoom session for all incoming grad students on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 10am-12pm Eastern time. More details will be forthcoming from your program.

This session is open to any new incoming graduate student, and while not required, is encouraged particularly for those engaging in research while at Stony Brook. 

3. Review University policies. Students are responsible for reviewing, understanding, and abiding by the University’s regulations, procedures, requirements, and deadlines as described in official publications and calendars. Students should be familiar with the Graduate Bulletin, as well as tuition liability deadlines (available on the Student Financial Services' website) , the academic calendar,  and the University’s tobacco-free policy. 

Students should take particular care to review University policies on academic integrity, available in the 'Policies & Regulations' section of the Graduate Bulletin. Additional resources on ethical writing practices are available from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 

Next Steps

1. Incoming international students should check in with Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) once they arrive on campus. Check out the VIS website for more information, including frequently asked questions and office hours.

2. Select classes. Students can view course offerings online via their SOLAR account by selecting the ‘Class Search’ link. Class Search provides up-to-the-minute information on course offerings with details on class day, time, location, and instructor. The Registrar’s Office also has course information, updated weekly. More information is available on the Registrar's website. 

Reminder: Students can transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits to a degree program at Stony Brook University with the approval of the program and the Graduate School, provided they have not been used toward the satisfaction of degree requirements here or at another institution. This includes credits taken as a non-matriculated graduate student at Stony Brook, as well as credits taken elsewhere. More information is available in the Graduate Bulletin.

3. Consult with your graduate program to ensure that course selections fulfill program requirements. If you have not yet been assigned an advisor, two people in your department can help you with this: your Graduate Program Director and Graduate Program Coordinator. The Graduate Program Director administers Graduate School policies as they relate to your program and functions as the default advisor for graduate students in the program. The Graduate Program Coordinator works closely with the GPD and the Graduate School to keep you updated on program policies. 

4. Register for classes. Students register for courses through their SOLAR account. Instructions are available from Client Support, in the "SOLAR for Students" section.

5. Get your campus ID card. This multipurpose card serves as a campus ID, meal card, library card, and on-campus debit card. Details on how to get the card are available from the Campus Card Office. You will need to bring one form of government-issued photo ID.

6. Get your parking permit. Students planning to park on campus or use Stony Brook’s transportation services, should visit the Transportation and Parking Services websitefor details on how to obtain a parking permit, parking maps, and other important information. Campus maps and directions are available for download here.

7. Sign up for SB Alerts and SB Guardian. Through SOLAR, students can sign up for SB Alert, a comprehensive emergency notification system used to alert members of the campus community about major emergencies, immediate threats or impending situations that may disrupt classes or affect university operations. Details are available on the Office of Emergency Management website. 

Students can also sign up for SB Guardian, a downloadable app that essentially functions as a personal blue light phone. 

8. Establish New York State Residency (Domestic Students)

Students who wish to be considered for in-state tuition should review the eligibility requirements available on the Student Accounts website. Funded graduate students are asked to complete a residency application by the beginning of their second semester of attendance.