Undergraduate Bulletin

WorkingCopy 2022

D.E.C. Requirements for Students with Majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Students are encouraged to visit the College of Engineering and Applied Science Undergraduate Student Office for a formal review of their D.E.C. requirements at least two semesters prior to their expected date of graduation. Students can use these pages to record courses used toward these requirements.

University Skills: Tier I

This tier consists of D.E.C. categories A through D and should typically be completed in the first year of study.

This group of requirements focuses on ways of learning essential to the entire academic experience and subject matter intrinsic to liberal learning.

Category A     English Composition (2 courses) ______, ______

The ability to communicate effectively in written English is essential to success both in the University and in society. Students satisfy this requirement 1) by passing WRT 101 Introductory Writing Workshop, and 2) by passing WRT 102 Intermediate Writing Workshop A.


1. A score of 3 or higher on the AP English/Comp or English/Lit examinations, or a score of 1050 or higher on the combined verbal and writing portions of the SAT I, or a 24 or higher on the combined English/Writing portions of the ACT, or a grade of C or higher in a college writing course judged to be equivalent to WRT 101 satisfies the first course of the two-course requirement.

2. Students must begin satisfaction of the D.E.C. A requirement in their first year at Stony Brook and must take writing courses in continuous sequence: ESL 192/ESL 193/WRT 101/WRT 102, until completion of the writing requirement. For a student with a score of less than 1050 on the combined verbal and writing portions of the SAT, or less than 24 on the combined English/Writing portions of the ACT, a writing sample will be evaluated and the student placed into the appropriate writing course.

3. All transfer students who have passed, with a grade of C or higher, a composition course judged to be equivalent to WRT 102 will have satisfied this requirement.

4. Once matriculated, students must complete D.E.C. A at Stony Brook; transfer credits will not be accepted to satisfy this requirement after matriculation except with prior approval by the Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric.

Category B      Interpreting Texts in the Humanities (1 course) ______

Category B courses help students develop skills of interpretation and analysis that will enable them to examine subject matter critically, not only in the humanities, but in all other college courses.

Category C      Mathematical and Statistical Reasoning (1 course) ______

Category C courses help students understand and use quantitative skills and ideas critical to higher education.


1. The course offered for category C must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

2. A score of 4 or 5 on the AP mathematics examination or a score of 6 or higher on Stony Brook's proctored mathematics placement examination satisfies category C.

Category D     Understanding the Fine and Performing Arts (1 course) ______

Required only for Computer Science students who matriculate Spring 2006 or later, and Information Systems students who matriculate Fall 2006 or later.

Category D courses acquaint students with the works of creative artists and performers and their artistic medium, such as art, music, or theatre. The basic terminology, analytical tools used to interpret one of the arts, and representative works in a particular field are examined. Such exposure is essential to intellectual growth and the development of a humanist foundation from which to approach other disciplines.

Disciplinary Diversity: Tier II

This tier consists of D.E.C. categories E through G and should typically be completed before the 57th credit or by the end of sophomore year.

This group of requirements exposes students to the modes of thinking, methods of study, and subject matter of major branches of knowledge-natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and arts and humanities.

Category E      Natural Sciences (2 courses) ______, ______ 

Category E courses expand students' knowledge about objects and processes observable in nature, whether animate as in the biological sciences, or inanimate as in the physical sciences of chemistry or physics.

Category F      Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 course) ______ 

Category F courses focus on individual and group behavior within society. These disciplines use methods such as historical analysis of documents, or survey and interview data, to observe and analyze human activity and society.

Category G     Humanities (1 course) ______       

Category G courses examine disciplines and methods that express the way people view the human condition.

Expanding Perspectives and Cultural Awareness: Tier III

This tier consists of D.E.C. H through K.  Since courses in these categories are built on study from Tier I and II, these courses should typically be completed after the 57th credit or after sophomore year, but can be completed at anytime during the undergraduate career, where prerequisites are met.

This group of requirements challenges students to confront their own perceptions of the world and the people in it. Courses in these categories build on study in the earlier categories.

Category H     Implications of Science and Technology (1 course) ______

Category H courses are designed to help students understand the social and global implications of science and technology and to examine examples of the impact of science, culture, and society on one another.

Category I       European Traditions (1 course) ______       

Category I courses consider the West­ern cultural tradition through specialized study of a European nation or area from one or more viewpoints (e.g., historical, artistic, social, political).

Category J       The World Beyond European Traditions  (1 course) ______      

Category J courses increase students' understanding of a nation, region, or culture that is significantly different from the United States and Europe in at least one respect.

Note: In choosing courses to satisfy D.E.C.s I and J, students must choose one with a humanities designator and one with a social and behavioral sciences designator. 

Category K     American Pluralism (1 course) ______     

Not required for students seeking the Bachelor of Engineering degree, but is required for students seeking a Bachelor of Science or a second Baccalaureate degree in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Category K courses enable students to build upon their knowledge of diverse traditions in order to examine in detail the role of these traditions in forming American society. Some D.E.C. K courses explore our nation's diversity of ethnic, religious, gender, and intellectual traditions through a multicultural perspective. Others explore the relationship of a specific ethnic, religious, or gender group to American society as a whole.

Important Notes: