More information for SoMAS Undergraduate Majors and Minors
Frequently Asked Questions
You are not assigned to an advisor. If you would like advice about courses to take or other academic matters, there are many advisors on campus:
For advising about any of the 9 SoMAS majors and 8 minors, Nancy Black is the Undergraduate Academic Advisor. She can be reached by email at email@example.com and appointments with her are made through Navigate.
Faculty directors can also provide major/minor-specific advising, particularly about careers and graduate programs. A list of them can be found at https://somas.stonybrook.edu/education/undergraduate/.
Freshmen can be advised in their first year by their Undergraduate College advisor.
General advising is done through Academic & Transfer Advising Services (ATAS).
Some student groups (athletes, WISE, EOP/AIM) have their own advisors.
The Major/Minor Declaration Form is now online through SOLAR or can be accessed directly here: https://forms.gle/Pb3mUsu1s8uauGDx6. Forms can take several days to be processed. Directions about filling out the form can be found at https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/registrar/transcripts/majorminor.php.
Contact Nancy Black. In some cases, there is an error in the major/minor requirement term, and that can be fixed. Any accepted course substitutions and requirement allowances need to be manually changed there.
Ultimately, Degree Works is a tool to help you monitor your degree progress, but any inaccuracies for your major/minor will not necessarily prevent you from graduating. Use the requirements as shown in the Bulletin for the semester when your major/minor was declared as a checklist, or contact Nancy for a copy of your major/minor checklist. Completion of your major/minor is checked manually and clearance to graduate with that major/minor is given by the faculty director, not Degree Works.
An error in Degree Works could affect your financial aid, though. Aid like TAP and Excelsior depend upon having a certain number of “degree applicable credits”, so contact Nancy if a course you are taking for your major is not appearing correctly in Degree Works.
These codes have changed to SUS. Some commonly searched for classes are:
- CSK 302 is now SUS 301
- CSK 305 is now SUS 305
- EHI 343 is now SUS 344
- EHI 350 is now SUS 351
- EHI 351 is now SUS 352
- EHM 202 is now SUS 202
- EHM 325 is now SUS 329
- SBC 111 is now SUS 111
- SBC 201 is now SUS 201 (this course is also now 3 credits and fulfills TECH, which it did not do before)
- SBC 206 is now SUS 206
- SBC 307 is now SUS 317
- SBC 308 is now SUS 318
- SBC 401 is now SUS 401
SBU Class Find is a powerful and efficient tool to search for classes and filter by name, DEC or SBC, day of the week, or any other fashion. When students have found the right course, it can link the course directly to SOLAR for an easy and swift registration experience!
Course evaluation data from previous semesters is available when you log on to Classie with your NetID and password. All the numeric data plus the open text comments are available to you once you login. Your input is invaluable, so please remember to complete your course evaluations as soon as they become available.
We will accept one passing grade below a C or a P to count for any SoMAS major. This can’t be used on a course where a C or higher in it is a prerequisite for another required course, though. For example, MAT 126 requires a C or higher in MAT 125, MAT 131, or AMS 151. If you are in a major that requires 2 semesters of calculus, we could accept a D in MAT 126, but not MAT 125. If you are in a major that only requires 1 semester of calculus, then we could accept a D in MAT 125.
For SoMAS minors, generally all upper-division courses must be passed with a C or higher.
Refer to the Bulletin for your specific major or minor’s requirements.
P/S grades from Spring 2020 are an exception. All will count for your major/minor because they were a C or higher.
Students taking a course for a second time do not need permission from any advisor or department, but do need to wait until the retake enrollment date, which is usually around August 15 for the Fall and January 15 for the Spring. See the Academic Calendar for the exact date. Seats might not be available at that time, especially in high demand courses (particularly most BIO courses, GSS 313/314, SUS 201, SUS 301). Consider retaking a high demand course in a Summer or Winter session, if possible.
In order to take a course for a third time, a petition is needed and you’ll need to wait until the retake enrollment date. A petition will require a letter of support from the department offering the course. More info about petitions can be found at https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/due/petitions_appeals/index.php
If you received a W for withdrawing from a course after the add/drop deadline, for whatever reason (even a medical withdrawal), it is considered an attempt, and will require you to wait until the retake enrollment date to enroll again.
The final grade of a retaken course does not replace the original grade. All attempts will appear on your transcript and be calculated into your GPA.
You also cannot receive credit for a course twice, with a few exceptions: topics courses (like MAR 395), 487 research, 488 internships, and select others (SUS 351 & 352). If you passed a course (D or higher, or P), then you received credit even if it can’t be used for your major, minor, or SBC. The retake attempt will then count toward your semester credit load, but not your overall credits for graduation.
SPK (Speak Effectively Before an Audience) is a general education requirement, not a specific requirement of any SoMAS major. It can be fulfilled by any course with the designator SPK.
Majors in COS, EDP, EHI, EHM, and SUS are required to take SUS 301 (formerly CSK 302) and will fulfill SPK through that course. ENS majors under Bulletin requirements prior to Fall 2021 will also need to take SUS 301.
Any students who take BIO 204 can also enroll the same semester in BIO 458, a 0-credit course graded S/U, for SPK.
Some SoMAS courses are suitable for co-enrollment in the same semester with MAR 458, a 0-credit course graded S/U, for SPK. Contact Nancy Black for permission and get enrolled before the end of the add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar). The list of suitable courses is updated every semester and can be found here.
If you still need a way to fulfill SPK, there are other courses open to any major, like JRN 120 Fundamentals of Public Speaking or JRN 365 Talking Science.
WRTD (Write Effectively within One’s Discipline) is a general education (SBC) requirement and can be fulfilled by any course with the designator WRTD, even one not for your major. All SoMAS majors have a separate Upper Division Writing Requirement (UDWR).
All SoMAS students under Bulletin requirements from Fall 2020 and later (and ATM, MAR, and MVB majors before Fall 2020) must get a grade of S in the 0-credit course MAR 459 or SUS 459 to fulfill the UDWR. MAR 459 and SUS 459 will also fulfill WRTD.
Students who take one of the SoMAS courses designated as suitable for co-enrollment in MAR 459 or SUS 459 can enroll the same semester by contacting Nancy Black for permission before the end of the add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar). The list of suitable courses is updated every semester and can be found at link.
COS, EDP, EHI, EHM, and SUS majors under Bulletin requirements from Spring 2020 or earlier can either use SUS 459 or MAR 459 to fulfill the UDWR or the previous method from their Bulletin (submitting to their major faculty director 2 papers from upper division courses in their major, 6 pages or more each, which received a B or higher grade). This previous method will not fulfill WRTD, though.
ENS majors under Bulletin requirements from Spring 2020 or earlier who got a grade of C or higher in SUS 301 (formerly CSK 302) when it had the WRTD designator can be waived from UDWR. Starting Fall 2020, SUS 301 no longer has that designator and ENS majors will need to get a grade of S in MAR 459 or SUS 459 to fulfill the UDWR.
A petition to late add MAR or SUS 459 will not be supported unless the student is otherwise on track to graduate at the end of that semester.
Fall 2021 Course List: (tentative for Fall 2022)
ATM 347 – Advanced Synoptic Meteorology and Weather Forecasting (MAR 458, MAR 459)
EDP 302 – Built Environment II: Sustainable Planning and Development (SUS 459)
ENS 443 – Environmental Problem Solving (MAR 458, MAR 459)
ENV 304 – Global Environmental Change (SUS 459)
ENV 320 – Chemistry for Environmental Scientists (SUS 459)
ENV 321 – Chemistry for Environmental Scientists Lab (SUS 459)
GSS 354 – Geospatial Science for the Coastal Zone (SUS 459)
MAR 301 – Environmental Microbiology (MAR 458, MAR 459)
MAR 303.01 – Long Island Marine Habitats (MAR 458, MAR 459)
MAR 303.02 – Long Island Marine Habitats (MAR 458)
MAR 334 – Remote Sensing of the Environment (MAR 459)
MAR 336 – Marine Pollution (MAR 458, MAR 459)
MAR 340 – Environmental Problems and Solutions (MAR 459)
MAR 351 – Introduction to Ocean Chemistry (MAR 458)
MAR 355 – Coastal Cultural Experience (MAR 458)
MAR 356 – Maritime Traditions of New England (MAR 459)
MAR 370 – Marine Mammals (MAR 458)
MAR 380 – Ichthyology (MAR 458, MAR 459)
MAR 392 – Waste Management Issues (MAR 458, MAR 459)
SUS 317 – American Environmental History (SUS 459)
SUS/PHI 366 - Philosophy of the Environment (SUS 459)
Spring 2022 Course List : (tentative for Spring 2022)
ATM 320 - Problem Solving with Python (MAR 459)
ATM 397 - Air Pollution and Its Control (MAR 459)
BIO 353 - Marine Ecology (MAR 459)
EDP 307 - Theories and Design of Urban Settlements (SUS 459)
EDP 404 - Environmental Design Project (SUS 459)
ENS 312 - Population, Technology, and the Environment (MAR 459)
MAR 302 - Marine Microbiology and Microbial Ecology (MAR 459)
MAR 308 - Environmental Instrumental Analysis (MAR 459)
MAR 315 - Marine Conservation (MAR 458)
MAR 320 - Limnology (MAR 458, MAR 459)
MAR 336 - Marine Pollution (MAR 459)
MAR 349 - Introduction to Biological Oceanography (MAR 459)
MAR 357 - Unsinkable Technologies – History of Maritime Science and Technology (MAR 458, MAR 459)
MAR 375 - Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rehabilitation (MAR 458)
MAR 377 - Biology and Conservation of Seabirds (MAR 458)
MAR 394 - Environmental Toxicology and Public Health (MAR 459)
MAR 395.03 - Topics in Marine Environmental Sciences/Marine Mammal Field Research Methods (MAR 458)
SUS 321/EGL 319 - Ecology and Evolution in American Literature (SUS 459)
SUS/PHI 366 - Philosophy of the Environment (SUS 459)
Contact the instructor for a class in which you received at least a B+ final grade and see if they are accepting any UGTAs.
If they are, and it is a SoMAS course, then complete the 475/476 Agreement Form with them and submit it to Nancy Black before the end of the add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar). We are in the process of converting the 475 courses from being set at 3 credits (9 hours of work per week) to a variable 0-3 credits (3 hours of work per week per credit in a 14 week semester).
If the course is not SoMAS (BIO, CHE, etc.), contact that department for their form and procedure.
The best way to discover research opportunities on campus is to connect directly with our faculty and ask if they are accepting students in their lab to do research. They might have graduate students, lab techs, or post-docs you can assist. Some opportunities are advertised, so follow the application directions in that ad.
If you are accepted into a SoMAS lab and have a research project worked out, complete the 487 Agreement Form with the faculty and submit it to Nancy Black before the end of the add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar). Academic credit received is variable 0-6 credits, although more than 3 will only be allowed in special circumstances. Each credit = 40 hours of work, which is equivalent to 3 hours of work per week per credit in a 14 week semester. You can work more than the credits you receive.
If you are accepted for research in a campus lab outside of SoMAS (ANP, BIO, CHE, etc.), contact that department for their form and procedure.
We don’t have a way of directly connecting students to internships. A list of internships that SoMAS students have done in the past and other opportunities can be found on our Internships and Careers page, but the opportunities are not limited to those on the lists.
Follow the application directions for the internship. If you are accepted, then you will need to identify a faculty member to be your faculty sponsor. If the faculty sponsor is within SoMAS, complete the 488 Agreement Form with the faculty sponsor and your internship site supervisor and submit it to Nancy Black before the end of the add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar). Academic credit received is usually variable 0-6 credits, although more than 3 will only be allowed in special circumstances. Each credit = 40 hours of work, which is equivalent to 3 hours of work per week per credit in a 14 week semester. You can work more than the credits you receive.
If your faculty sponsor is outside of SoMAS (ANP, BIO, CHE, etc.), contact that department for their form and procedure.
If your internship is not relevant to your major/minor, you can get EXT 288 or EXT 488 credits through the Career Center.
Official transcripts can only be issued by the Registrar or their assigned transcript service. The procedure and cost of ordering transcripts can be found at https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/registrar/transcripts/ordertranscript.php
Graduating with Honors at SoMAS
- A student interested in becoming a candidate for honors is required to submit an outline of the proposed thesis research project to the SoMAS undergraduate director (Dr. Darcy Lonsdale) and the Chairman of Honors Program (Dr. Sharon Pochron) as early as possible, but no later than the second week of classes in the last semester. After their approval of the student's topic and GPA, the Chairman of the Honors Program will schedule student presentations followed by an oral exam to take place in December or May, depending on graduation date. The audience will consist of research supervisors and the undergraduate research committee. A written thesis must be submitted before the end of the semester in which the student is graduating. The awarding of honors requires the recommendation of this committee and recognizes superior performance in research and scholarly endeavors.