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Awarding Degrees

Degree candidates must be registered in the semester they intend to graduate. Students who intend to graduate in the spring, fall, or summer must register for at least one graduate credit.

When all requirements have been completed, the Graduate Program Director will certify to the School of Professional Development and recommend that the degree be awarded. Degrees are awarded three times a year: May, August, and December. A formal SPD ceremony, however, takes place only at the May commencement. To be eligible for a degree, a student must have completed all University requirements, all program degree requirements, satisfied any provisional admission requirements, submitted the appropriate manuscripts, obtained all University clearances, and have maintained matriculation according to the regulations outlined under the section “Maintaining Matriculated Status,” elsewhere in this Bulletin.

Graduation from the Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Program and Teacher Certification

Students enrolled in one of Stony Brook University’s combined teacher preparation programs will be eligible for graduation from both the BA or BS and MA or MAT degree at the same time. This includes completion of all degree requirements, including completion of all certification workshops (Child Abuse, School Violence, Substance Abuse and DASA). In addition, students must be awarded both their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to be eligible to receive an institutional recommendation on their NYSED TEACH account by the University Certification Officer and upon receipt of their FERPA release forms.  All candidates must apply for their teaching license via their NYSED TEACH account and pass all the required NYS exams and complete the fingerprinting process in order for NYSED to issue their license.

Degrees with distinction are awarded at the undergraduate level only. Undergraduate coursework taken during the graduate career will calculate into the undergraduate GPA to determine distinction for Combined Degree Program students.

As per Graduate School/School of Professional Development policy, undergraduate courses DO NOT count towards graduate degree requirements. Also, per university policy, a student must spend at least one year in residency for the master’s portion of the program. Additionally, state regulation requires that students must earn a minimum of 30 graduate credits for the master’s portion of the program.


Degrees Awarded Posthumously

Upon request, the University may award a degree posthumously. Any such request requires the following for consideration:

  • The parent, legal guardian, partner, relative or legal equivalent must provide a written request to the University Registrar.
  • The student must have been enrolled and in good disciplinary and academic standing at the time of passing.
  • Masters students must have been in their last semester.
  • The graduate program director must provide a letter of recommendation in support of the request.

The Vice Provost of Graduate Education will have final authority for the approval and awarding of a posthumous degree.

Waiver of Regulations

The School of Professional Development in individual instances may waive specified requirements. A petition for such a waiver must be endorsed by the Graduate Program Director, who shall append the reasons for believing that requested waiver would not result in a breach of the spirit of the regulations.