Academic Policies

The Undergraduate Colleges are here to support students through all of their academic endeavors, that is why it’s our goal to provide all the support necessary to foster your success. These options are available for you to connect with helpful resources and additional support when you find yourself struggling with a course.

Before taking action when you are struggling, remember to communicate with your professors and advisors. If you feel you are struggling in a specific course, speak with your professor and ask them about what you can do to improve. If you are considering using the G/P/NC grading option or withdrawing from a class, you should speak to an advisor to figure out what option is best for you!  Using these options without consulting an advisor could result in delayed graduation, loss of housing, financial aid, or student visa.

If there's something you don't see here, please check the Undergraduate Bulletin for a complete list of University Policies and Regulations

Academic Standing

All students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 to remain in good academic standing. Academic standing is reviewed at the end of each semester.

  1. First-Semester Students
    First-semester students whose g.p.a. is below 2.00 will receive a letter of warning and will be required to contact an academic advisor who must approve the student's schedule for the following semester. Students who fail to consult an academic advisor will be blocked from making changes to their schedules.

  1. Continuing Students
    Continuing students in good academic standing whose semester g.p.a. is below 2.00 for two consecutive semesters will receive a letter of warning and will be required to contact an academic advisor who must approve the student's schedule for the following semester. Students who fail to consult an academic advisor will be blocked from making changes to their schedules.
  2. The Dean’s List
    After each fall and spring semester the dean of each college compiles a Dean’s List of undergraduate students who constitute approximately the top 20 percent of their class. Each full-time student must have completed in that semester at least 12 credits for a letter grade (including S) and have no I’s, U’s, NR’s, NC’s, F’s, R’s or Q’s. P grades are not considered to be letter grades. Part-time students must have earned at least six credits in a semester of letter-graded work (not including S or P grades). The grade point average cutoffs are as follows: seniors, 3.40; juniors, 3.30; sophomores, 3.20; and freshmen, 3.10.

Academic Integrity

The concept of academic integrity implies that everyone adheres to a strict moral code regarding academic life on campus. This requires that you pursue your academic goals in an honest way that does not put you at an unfair advantage over your fellow students. You are expected to uphold the University’s rules on academic integrity in everything you do: in every paper you write, every assignment you submit, and in every test that you take.

Sometimes students find themselves in situations in which they are tempted to disobey this code. They may have waited until the last minute to do a project, did not study for a test, forgot to do an assignment, or may just feel lazy. Please remember that none of these situations is an excuse to violate the code of academic integrity. You are ultimately the person held responsible for how you manage your academic life.

For more information, as well as resources to protect you from academic dishonesty, please visit the Stony Brook University Academic Judiciary page.

Academic Dishonesty

One way that you can be sure to uphold and protect the code of academic integrity is by having a clear understanding of what constitutes academic dishonesty. Up until now, you probably always associated plagiarism with academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is one form of academic dishonesty and constitutes the majority of the academic dishonesty cases brought to the University’s attention. However, the scope of academic dishonesty is much broader and includes many areas. Below, you will find an outline of the various categories of academic dishonesty. 

  • Cheating - Using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise, or preventing, or attempting to prevent another from using authorized assistance, materials, etc. 
  • Plagiarism - Intentionally or unintentionally representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication - Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another person(s) commit an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Obtaining an Unfair Advantage - Attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in any academic exercise.
  • Falsification of Records and Official Documents - Misrepresenting, falsification or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of an academic transcript, record, etc. for oneself or for another person. This is possible grounds for expulsion even if this is your first offense.
  • Unauthorized Access - Unauthorized access to computerized academic or administrative records or systems. 

How can you protect yourself?

There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from being accused of academic dishonesty. Some of them seem obvious, but many of them are things students do not often consider. Take a look at the list below and become familiar with these suggestions:

  • Prepare thoroughly for your exams, assignments and projects. This usually requires that you to do much of the work ahead of time and avoid doing work at the last minute.
  • Check the syllabus of each of your courses for a section that explains academic dishonesty. There may be requirements specific to each course.
  • While group collaboration is encouraged or suggested, when it comes time to submitting the work, your written assignment must be your ideas in your own words, separate from the groups’.
  • Make sure to keep your old exams, papers, homework, etc. in a safe place where friends/roommates cannot gain access to them. Also, make sure any assignments that you keep on your computer are in a password protected folder so that people who have access to your computer are unable to see these files.
  • Some classes may require a paper that is very similar to one you previously completed, either for another class in college or in high school. Before submitting the same paper, make sure to check with your instructor that this is okay. While some professors may accept this, most will not. You must check first!
  • Use a recognized handbook for instruction on citing source materials in a paper. Consult with individual faculty members or academic departments when in doubt. For example, if you are writing a paper for a Psychology course, either ask your professor how he or she wants you to cite sources in your paper, or ask the Psychology department what their preferred way of citing is.
  • Use the services offered at the Writing Center for assistance in preparing papers.
  • Many cases of plagiarism involve students improperly using internet resources. If you quote an internet source, you must cite the URL for that source in your bibliography. Copying (or closely paraphrasing) text or figures from a website without citing it and placing it in quotation marks is plagiarism. It is no different from doing the same thing with a printed source. Professing ignorance of this rule will not be accepted as a legitimate basis for appealing an accusation of academic dishonesty.
  • Utilize the resources available through the Stony Brook University Library website to properly cite your sources.
  • Take the initiative to prevent other students from copying exams or assignments, for example, by shielding answers during exams and not lending assignments to other students unless specifically granted permission by the Instructor.
  • Avoid looking in the direction of other students’ papers during an exam.
  • Refuse to assist students who cheat.
  • During an exam, do not sit near students with whom you have studied or near roommates or friends.
  • Discourage dishonesty among other students.
  • Turn off cell phone before entering a class.
  • Make sure your desk and surrounding areas are clear of any books or notes.
  • Absolutely no talking during exams.
  • Do not give your assignments to your friends electronically or by hardcopy.
  • Always ask for help when you need it.


You may use the G/P/NC option on one course per semester.  This grading option allows you to set the lowest grade that you will accept in a class.  Below that threshold, you agree to be graded on a Pass/No Credit (P/NC) basis.  This option is designed to be a safety net in courses in new fields that you are trying out or courses that you struggle with.  But be careful!  Setting the grade threshold too high can delay graduation.  Get the facts about G/P/NC option and check with an advisor to see if this option is right for you!

Facts about G/P/NC:

  • Deadline: End of the 9th week of classes at 4pm.
  • The G/P/NC option is available for only one course per semester (regardless of the number of credits of the course).  Summer I and II is considered one semester.
  • You can't G/P/NC a class that is S/U or A, B, C/ U graded (check the bulletin for more info).
  • The G/P/NC option cannot be selected for repeated courses.
  • Neither the "P" or "NC" are factored into your GPA.
  • Earning a "P" in a course does NOT fulfill SBC objectives or major requirements, although you will earn the credits toward the number you need to graduate and you will earn upper division credit for classes 300 and above.
  • Where withdrawing from a course runs the risk of falling below 12 credits, G/P/NC allows students to remain full time.
  • See an advisor to see if the G/P/NC option is right for you.

G/P/NC Tutorial

Withdrawing from a Class

The Withdraw option is typically used when a student missed the Add/Drop/Swap deadline, is overwhelmed by a heavy course load, or is likely to fail or do particularly poorly in a class.  It can only be used when after dropping the course, the student will still have enough credits to be full time.

Facts about the “W”:

  • Deadline: End of the 9th week of classes at 4pm.
  • A “W” is not factored into your GPA.
  • Withdrawing from a course from week 3 through week 9 of the semester will result in a "W" on your transcript.
  • If you are registered as a full-time student, you cannot withdraw from a class if it will put you below 12 credits. You might want to consider the G/P/NC option instead to maintain full-time status.
  • A single W (or even two) on your transcript is not a blight on your academic record.  They will not necessarily prevent you from getting into graduate or professional schools.  However, if you continue to withdraw from courses throughout your academic career, they can reflect poorly on your judgement and organization.

Course Retake Policy

First time takers of courses have priority in registration. Students who wish to retake a course (second attempt) may begin retake registration on or about August 15 for fall classes and on or about January 15 for spring classes, pending an open seat.  The second attempts for winter and summer classes are permitted during the open enrollment date noted on the Registrar’s Office academic calendar. 

For more information about Retaking Courses, please refer back to the Policies and Regulations outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

All About Withdrawing, Taking Time Off, and Medical Leaves of Absence

Sometimes students wish to leave the University.  The rules governing how a student may leave depend both on the students’ situations and at what time during the semester they choose to leave.  It is strongly advised that a student considering withdrawing see their advisor before selecting any of these options. Many of them require an advisor’s signature. 

Please read the full policy in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Withdrawing from the semester before the semester begins:

  • Students must drop all courses in SOLAR (down to 0 credits) on the SOLAR system.
  • Please be aware that UGC 101 courses and WRT courses can only be dropped by an advisor or the Registrar’s Office. 
  • You have up to three semesters to return to the University before you need to rematriculate through the Office of the Registrar. 
  • Also note that new students who have not yet completed a semester must reapply through the Admissions Office if they want to return to Stony Brook. 

Withdrawing once the semester is in progress:

  • Students who want to withdraw after day 1 of the semester can fill out a Withdrawal Form or Leave of Absence Form.
  • The deadline to withdraw is the last day of classes.  After this deadline, withdrawal from the semester can only be accomplished via petition.
  • Please note: To get your tuition refunded, you must complete this before “The Drop/Withdraw deadline without Tuition Liability” (typically at the end of the first week of classes)
  • Students with less than a 2.0 GPA must sit out a semester before returning.

There are several types of withdrawal once the semester is in progress.

All of these types use the same Leave of Absence/Permanent Withdrawal Form.   You can indicate which type of leave you want to take on the bottom of the form. 

  1. Leave of Absence: A Leave of Absence is for students who intend to return to the University, but would like to take some time off, but do not have medical reasons for doing so.
  2. Medical Leave: This option is for people whose mental or physical health has made them unable to complete the semester.  An explanatory remark, “Medical Leave” will appear on the transcript.  This option requires that the student check the box for Medical Leave on the Withdrawal form and submit an explanatory letter from a health or mental health professional.  Before re-enrolling after a Medical Leave of Absence, all students must contact Counseling and Psychological Services. 
  3. Permanent Withdrawal: This option is for students who do not wish to return.  Their enrollment in all future semesters will be cancelled.   If you would like to return, you must rematriculate. 

Checklist for students who want to withdraw:

  • Read the full policy in the Undergraduate Bulletin
  • Notify your advisor.
  • If withdrawing after Day 1 of the semester, fill out the Leave of Absence Form.  Your advisor will need to sign it.
  • If a resident, contact Campus Residences to cancel housing (631) 632-6750.
  • If receiving TAP, contact the Tuition Assistance Program, Registrar's Office (631) 632-6175.
  • If receiving Financial Aid, contact Financial Aid (631) 632-6840.
  • Cancel your meal plan with the Meal Plan Office at (631) 632-6430.