Undergraduate Bulletin

Fall 2023

Stony Brook University General Degree Requirements

Note: The Degree Works degree audit, accessible through the SOLAR (Student OnLine Access to Records) System, is a computer-generated report indicating each student's progress toward fulfilling degree requirements. The degree audit is an official evaluation of a student's progress toward University Degree Requirements. The degree audit  is also designed to be a helpful advisory tool to  review Major/Minor requirements. The successful completion of Major (and Minor, if applicable) requirements are ultimately determined by a departmental representative.   

The conferral of a degree is conditional upon satisfactory completion of all current degree and instructional requirements at the time of such award and compliance with University procedures and regulations, including the resolution of any outstanding charges of fees or misconduct.

Credit Hour Requirement

Bachelor of Arts degree: Completion of at least 120 credit hours of passing work.

Bachelor of Science degree: Completion of at least 120 credit hours of passing work.

Bachelor of Engineering degree: Completion of at least 128 credit hours of passing work.

Restrictions on the number of credits that may be counted toward graduation requirements are stated under "Limits on Course Credits and Grading Options" section of this Bulletin. Among the kinds of courses with restrictions are independent study, activity-related courses, and developmental and repeated courses.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirement

State education guidelines require students to complete a minimum number of credits in the liberal arts and sciences. Stony Brook degree requirements are structured so that students satisfy this requirement by completing the other requirements for the degree.

Residence Requirement

After the 57th credit, at least 36 credits must be earned in Stony Brook courses.


1. Special restrictions apply to students earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree. Refer to the section "Additional Requirements/Restrictions for the B.E. Degree" below for details.

2. Credits earned in overseas academic programs may count towards residency under the following circumstances: 

  • SBU sponsored programs led by SBU faculty offering existing SBU coursework count towards residency.
  • SBU sponsored programs at SBU partner universities overseas (for which students register for FSY 249) may be counted toward residency, pending approval from the Office of Undergraduate Education. 
  • Programs sponsored by SUNY institutions other than SBU (for which students register for FSY 249) may be counted toward residency, pending approval from the Office of Undergraduate Education. 
  • Programs sponsored by entities outside the SUNY system do not count toward residency.  

3. Credits earned in National Student Exchange programs do not count toward residency.

Grade Point Average (g.p.a.) Requirement

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required for all academic work at Stony Brook. (Note: Grades from other institutions are not included in the Stony Brook g.p.a.)

Major Requirement

Each candidate for a degree must satisfy the requirements of a declared major. Major requirements are detailed in the Approved Majors, Minors, and Programs section of this Bulletin. Students are required to declare a major upon earning 45 credits.

Upper-Division Credit Requirement

Each candidate must earn at least 39 credits in upper-division courses (numbered 300 and higher). 

Some of these upper-division credits may be earned through courses transferred from other colleges and individually evaluated at Stony Brook as upper division. See "Transfer Credit Policies" in the Acade­mic Policies and Regulations section.

If a student completes a lower-division course at Stony Brook that exempts the student from an upper-division course, the student may not receive upper-division credit toward the university upper-division requirement for completing the lower-division course.

General Education Requirements

All students must complete General education requirements by completing either the Diversified Education Curriculum or the Stony Brook Curriculum, as defined below.

The following groups of students will complete the general education requirements as defined by the Stony Brook Curriculum, commonly referred to as SBC.  

  • Freshmen who matriculate in the Fall of 2014 or later
  • Transfer students who matriculate in the Spring of 2015 or later
  • All students matriculating at SUNY Korea
  • Students who rematriculate in the Fall of 2014 or later

Students who are not in the above groups will complete the D.E.C. D.E.C. requirements for each student are published in the Bulletin that was current as of the first semester of matriculation (or rematriculation).

Entry Skills and Diversified Education Curriculum

Candidates for degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and the School of Journalism must have satisfied Entry Skill 1: Basic Mathematics Competence; Entry Skill 2: Basic Writing Competence; Entry Skill 3: Elementary Foreign Language Proficiency; Entry Skill 4: American History Competence; and the Diversified Education Curriculum for these students detailed in this Bulletin.

Candidates for degrees in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, and Information Systems, Technological Systems Management, and candidates for the Bachelor of Engineering degree must have satisfied Entry Skill 1: Basic Mathematics Com­petence; Entry Skill 2: Basic Writing Competence; and the Diversified Education Curriculum for these students detailed in this Bulletin.

General Education Requirements: Stony Brook Curriculum

The Stony Brook Curriculum includes both breadth and depth of study (provided by both the SBC learning objectives and the major requirements), as well as ensuring skills necessary for life-long learning.  The SBC categories and learning objectives are described in detail in a designated section of this Bulletin.

D.E.C. Upper-Division Writing Requirement/SBC Write Effectively within One’s Discipline (WRTD)

All bachelor's degree candidates must satisfy a writing requirement established in their major discipline. Individual programs and departments appraise the writing of students in their major according to their standards of acceptable communication in their disciplines.

For students following the Diversified Education Curriculum, the specific form of the requirement for each major is listed under each department. Students with more than one major should consult with the program director in each major in order to determine the appropriate upper division writing requirement(s) for graduation.

For students following the Stony Brook Curriculum, the SBC objective ‘Writing Effectively within One’s Discipline’ (WRTD) fulfills the upper division writing requirement.

Additional Requirements/Restrictions for the B.E. Degree

Residence Requirement

At least seven engineering courses (those with the designator CIV, BME, ESE, ESG, ESM, or MEC) and/or approved technical elective courses must be completed in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook. For the majors in civil, biomedical, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering, at least five of the seven courses must be offered by the department of the student's major.

The following courses may not be used to meet this requirement: ESE 211, 314, and 324; ESG 217, 312, and 316; MEC 200, 316 and 317; CIV 340, 341, 342; and CIV, ESE, ESG, BME,  and MEC 300, 440, and 441. CIV, BME, ESE, ESG, and MEC 440 and 441 must be taken at Stony Brook.

Technical Electives

Students in majors leading to the B.E. degree must complete a defined number of technical elective courses in their major. A copy of technical elective requirements and the current list of approved technical elective courses for each engineering major are available in the relevant engineering department.