Frequently Asked Questions
The Honors College curriculum is completely independent of your major (at present, Honors College students are enrolled in 34 different majors!). It is designed to complement your major of choice and fulfill SBC, general education, requirements. You'll need to make sure to set aside time in your senior year for your senior project - but that's commonly part of the program for graduating with departmental honors anyway.
No. Many Honors College students are also in departmental honors programs, and many (but not all) of the students in departmental honors programs are also in the Honors College . In academic departments that offer departmental honors, students often take honors sections of courses in that major and carry out research or creative activities in that field. All of this is compatible with, but distinct from, the Honors College curriculum. If you are in both the Honors College and a departmental honors program that requires a senior project/thesis you will only need to do one senior project.
Yes. You are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.0 to remain in good standing.
This is a common misconception. Honors courses are designed to give students an intellectually simulating college experience that requires them to analyze lessons in a different way than non-honors courses. Although the number and scale of assignments are not necessarily greater, a higher standard of quality is expected.
Although the Honors College classes and mini-courses are only open to students within this program, they make up only about one quarter of your academic credits. All other classes will be taken with regular SBU students. This gives the HC students an opportunity to feel a sense of closeness and community with their fellow HC peers, while encouraging potential friendships outside of the Honors College as well.
To graduate from the university, you need to do two things: complete the requirements for your chosen major (as determined by the faculty of that department), and satisfy an additional set of university requirements that are unrelated to your major. At Stony Brook, those university requirements are called the SBC (Stony Brook Curriculum). The SBC includes categories of courses covering the full range of the academic disciplines offered at the university. With a few exceptions, the Honors College curriculum replaces all of the requirements of the SBC.
They meet as small-enrollment classes (about 20 students), in a format that emphasizes discussion and student participation, as opposed to lectures. Instead of tests, Honors College courses involve quite a bit of reading, analysis, discussion, and critical writing. There is a great deal of interaction among the students and between the students and professors.
The minicourses are 1-credit ‘topics' courses taken each semester during the first two years in the Honors College. Honors College freshmen and sophomores each get to choose among a constantly changing set of minicourses - eight of them are offered per semester. They offer the opportunity to explore a diverse range of topics in small groups, with an average enrollment of 15 or 16 students.
Honors College students receive prority housing and are offered the opportunity to reside together in a residence hall dedicated to fostering a close-knit community of high-achieving students, Toscanini. Although they are free to live elsewhere or to commute from home, most Honors College students choose to stay there throughout their four years at Stony Brook. Students who do choose to commute will still very much be a part of the Honors College community.
It depends. Whereas the Honors College program includes a diverse range of students (male and female) interested in the arts and humanities as well as science and engineering, WISE concentrates on providing a single-sex environment for young women in science and engineering who think that would be best for them. It's a matter of personal taste. The four years of seminar-based courses offered by the Honors College , is very different than the WISE program. The admission requirements for WISE also differ from the Honors College Admission requirements.
No, you can only be in one or the other. Generally, students are admitted to one of the programs, but not both. Even if a student were to be admitted to both WISE and the Honors College, they would need to choose between them.
University Scholars is our sister honors program but slightly larger. They have about 250 students per class and the biggest difference is that the Honors College has our own curriculum that supplements some of the Stony Brook University curriculum requirements.
Most of our students will receive a merit scholarship through our Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. Your scholarship is independent of you being in the Honors College. If for any reason you do not receive some type of University scholarship, we will award you $2,000 per year.