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Entry Skills

All students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and the School of Journalism are expected to show basic competence in mathematics, writing, a foreign language, and American history. Students directly admitted to the majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences must show basic competence in mathematics and writing.

The Skills should in many cases be satisfied upon entry to Stony Brook.  However, since completion of Skills is required for graduation, several courses satisfy the Skills. In addition to the notes indicated below, this Bulletin contains a comprehensive summary of courses that satisfy Skills and D.E.C.  Note that not all courses are offered each semester. Students should refer to www.stonybrook.edu/solarsystem for accurate course offerings each semester.

Skill 1: Basic Mathematics Competence

Students should be able to formulate and solve mathematical problems arising in their University work.

Basic Mathematics Competence may be satisfied before entering Stony Brook in any of the following ways:

1. By having passed, while in high school, the New York State Regents Examination in Math B with a score of at least 75;

2. By having achieved a score of 530 or higher on the SAT II in mathematics; or a score of 560 or higher on the mathematics portion of the SAT I; or a score of 56 or higher on the mathematics portion of the PSAT; or a score of 23 or higher on the American College Testing (ACT) Test in Mathematics;

3. By having received a score of 3 or higher on an AP examination in calculus or statistics;

4. By having satisfied the SUNY general education requirement in mathematics.

All entering students who have not achieved basic mathematics competence must satisfy the requirement in one of the following ways:

  • By scoring at placement level 3 or higher on the proctored mathematics placement examination before or during their first year at Stony Brook. (See http://www.math.sunysb.edu/faq.html for more information.) Students who do not attain the proficiency-level score must enroll in the appropriate course during their first year on this campus.
  • By earning a grade of C or higher in the developmental class MAP 103 or in a transferred course of at least three credits evaluated by Stony Brook as equivalent to MAP 103. Credit toward graduation will not be given for such transferred courses taken after matriculation.
  • By passing a Stony Brook course that meets the mathematics requirement of the Diversified Education Curriculum.
  • By receiving credit for any transfer course evaluated as satisfying the mathematics requirement of the Diversified Education Curriculum. Students who received transfer credit for such a course taken for college credit while they were in high school must attain the proficiency-level grade on the proctored University placement test to satisfy this requirement, unless the course was taken on the campus of an accredited college and taught by a member of the college faculty.
  • By passing with a grade of C or higher, while enrolled in a degree program at any two- or four-year college, any other mathematics course (excluding basic arithmetic, elementary algebra, and business or finance mathematics courses) of at least three credits counting toward graduation.
  • By obtaining Challenge credit for any MAT or AMS course.

Skill 2: Basic Writing Competence

Students should be able to formulate and express their ideas in a clear, articulate manner.

Students satisfy Skill 2 by one of the following ways:

1. by having passed WRT 100 or WRT 101 at Stony Brook,

2. by earning a grade of C or higher in a college writing course judged to be equivalent to WRT 100 or 101,

3. by earning a score or 1000 or higher on the combined verbal and writing portions of the SAT I, or

4. by earning a score of 3 or higher on the AP English/Comp or English/Lit examinations.

Note:

1. Satisfaction of the SUNY general education requirement in basic communication and critical thinking does not necessarily satisfy Stony Brook's basic writing competence requirement.

Skill 3: Elementary Foreign Language Competence

Because of the increasing globalization of culture, society, and the economy, students should have an elementary knowledge of a foreign language. Students achieve foreign language competence before entering Stony Brook in any of the following ways:

  • A third-year high school Regents examination score of 85 or higher; 
  • A score of 530 or higher on the SAT II in a foreign language; 
  • A grade of 85 or higher on a third-level high school foreign language course (for students from NY state whose high schools do not offer the Regents examination and for out-of-state students); 
  • A score of 3 or higher on a foreign language or literature AP exam;  
  • Submitting secondary school transcripts and transcripts from previously attended universities that show a total of two years of formal language study in an institution where the language of instruction is other than English.

All entering students who have not achieved entry-level foreign language competence are urged to complete this requirement early in their academic careers. Students achieve foreign language competence at Stony Brook in one of the following ways:  

  • Enrolling in and passing with a letter grade of C or higher the second semester of an elementary foreign language course numbered 101 or 112, or enrolling in and passing a foreign language course at the intermediate level or higher;
  • Obtaining equivalent transfer credit for a foreign language course numbered 101 or 112 or higher;
  • Passing a Stony Brook Challenge examination for a foreign language course numbered 101 or 112 or higher.

Notes:

1. Students who have scored between 75-84 on a third-year high school Regents examination, who have earned a grade of 75-84 on a third-level high school foreign language course, or who have earned a 500-520 on the SAT II in a foreign language and plan to satisfy the foreign language entry skill requirement by continuing their study in that language generally register for the second semester course (112) of that language if the previous coursework was completed within the last few years.

2. Literature and culture courses taught in English translation under the auspices of the foreign language departments do not satisfy the elementary foreign language competence requirement.

3. Students who received transfer credit for a foreign language course under the auspices of a college while in high school must attain the acceptable score on one of the standardized examinations listed above unless the course was taken on the campus of an accredited college and taught by a member of the college faculty.

4. No credit is awarded for Stony Brook Challenge examinations taken to fulfill the elementary foreign language competence requirement unless the student meets the requirements outlined in "Guidelines for the Stony Brook Challenge Program," available in the Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center.

5. Students who know a language not offered at Stony Brook may satisfy the elementary foreign language competence requirement through the Challenge Examination Program by meeting the "Guidelines for the Stony Brook Challenge Program," although no credit will be awarded.

6. Satisfaction of the SUNY general education requirement in foreign language does not satisfy Stony Brook's elementary foreign language competence requirement.

Skill 4: American History Competence

The SUNY General Education American history requirement provides students with the knowledge of a basic narrative of American history--political, economic, social, and cultural--including knowledge of unity and diversity in American society. It enhances students' knowledge of common institutions in American society and furthers their understanding of the United States' evolving relationship with the rest of the world.

Students achieve American history competence in any of the following ways: