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Courses & Professional Development

A number of classes and workshops are available for postdocs at Stony Brook through the academic departments, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and its unit of the Graduate School, Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development, as well as other offices on campus. 

In this Section:


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), as part of Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development in the Graduate School, offers a variety of professional development opportunities on topics such as mentoring, grant writing, and other practical professional skills.  Postdocs should watch for announcements of upcoming programs via the Postdoc Updates, a periodic newsletter from OPA. For an overview of professional development courses and workshops at Stony Brook, review our Opportunities page


In addition to targeted workshops, postdocs may be able to enroll in classes available on-campus, some free and some that charge tuition. Postdocs are always encourged to speak in advance with the instructor to exploret he option to audit a course for free. 

Communicating Science: The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has a special arrangement with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science to offer postdocs registration in their communicating science classes free of charge, although spaces are limited each semester. Postdocs may only sign up for one class per semester, and must sign up through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs during regular course registration.

Courses for Credit: Postdocs who would like to enroll in a course for credit, it will likely incur tuition. In this case, postdocs can enroll as a non-matriculating graduate student through the School of Professional Development. There is a $100 application fee upon initial enrollment, and then the student must pay the appropriate fees for the class, which will depend upon the number of credits and whether the postdoc qualifies for In-state vs. Out-of-state tuition rates.

Who is In-State vs. Out-of-State?

  • In-state: Domestic postdocs and international H1-B postdocs who have resided in New York State for one year.
  • Out-of-state: Postdocs who have resided in New York for less than a year and all international postdocs on J-1 and F-1/OPT visas. J-1 and F-1/OPT postdocs must also pay a $100 international services fee. 


Postdoc employees are eligible for limited tuition assistance. State employee postdocs may also be eligible for an additional benefit through the UUP. The course must be at a SUNY campus and job-related. Eligible postdocs must be full-time employee.

  • RF & State Employee:   Complete B-140W form during the application window each July and November (eligible employees will receive an e-mail). Approvals are decided within 1-2 months, but usually before classes begin. Only a percentage of tuition will be waived, usually 30-50%. The amount depends on availability of funds and how many applications the program receives.  

  • State (UUP) Employee Only:  State employees are eligible for the B-140W application, with the same procedure for RF above , but also have access to a separate UUP benefit that can waive the whole course tuition, one per semester, leaving the student to pay only the fees. Again, the amount of this benefit depends on availability of funds and how many applications the program receives.

    UUP employees also can apply for an Individual Development Award for a range of types of professional development activities, from online classes and trainings to conference attendance. UUP sends out a call for these applications yearly.


All postdocs at Stony Brook are entitled to membership in several organizations by virtue of their affiliation here.

  • National Postdoctoral Association: Stony Brook is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), entitling all graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff to a free, affiliate membership. Sign up HERE and be sure to use your institutional e-mail address.

    As an NPA Affiliate Member, you are entitled to these benefits:
    • Subscription  to NPA e-alerts, a periodic news announcement, and  The POSTDOCket, the NPA’s official quarterly newsletter
    • Reduced registration fees  to the NPA Annual Meeting &  eligibility for the NPA travel award program
    • Access to members-only NPA web content , such as career planning resources and policy information
    • Access to   NPA member groups  to connect & network with fellow NPA members
    • Discounts to some services and products.  
    • Opportunities to serve and contribute  your expertise on a variety of NPA committees
    • National representation on postdoctoral issues
  • New York Academy of Sciences: Stony Brook’s partnership with the  New York Academy of Sciences  (NYAS) also provides an annual discounted membership to graduate students and postdocs to the NYAS Science Alliance, which provides career resources and programming for early-career scientists. To receive the discount, follow the instructions on  the enrollment portal .  

  • The Career Center manages a campus subscription to, a vast resource of information on working and studying abroad. Make sure you enter via  Stony Brook's portal, and use your campus e-mail.
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