It is possible to learn without being educated. Learning merely implies the amassing of knowledge. An educated person is much more than a receptacle for facts. He or she is able to present those facts to others with grace and clarity, and to manipulate and juxtapose them with a broader base of knowledge in order to gain new insights. Finally, an educated person never ceases to test his or her knowledge against the highest standards of scholarship and to develop new ways of thinking about the facts that he or she encounters or uncovers in the course of a lifetime.
Education at the graduate level clearly implies the amassing of knowledge beyond that gained in an undergraduate degree, but the nature of the knowledge and the ways in which it is gained and used are also significantly different. It is expected that graduate students will gain detailed knowledge about a more specialized field than at the undergraduate level. The process of acquiring that knowledge is also much more independent and more reliant upon the initiative of the student. In spite of the necessarily specialized nature of the new knowledge, at Stony Brook graduate students are expected to maintain a broad perspective on their studies, such that they are able to take part in scholarly discourses in the broadest possible range of disciplines. Graduate students are, therefore, responsible for extracurricular self-education within and beyond their own fields of study; the mere satisfaction of the technical requirements for a degree is not sufficient to make one an educated person. With education comes responsibility. Stony Brook demands the highest level of scholarly ethics from all members of the academic community. Graduate students must make themselves aware of the ethical issues of academia in general, and of their own fields in particular. No degree candidate can be considered fully educated who lacks an appreciation of these values and a dedication to upholding them.
The requirements in this section are the minimal ones mandated by the Graduate School; the individual graduate programs may set additional requirements. Any changes in requirements will apply only to students who first matriculate in their particular program after the change is approved and communicated to students at the time of admission. The University reserves the right to alter these regulations without notice.