Curriculum Overview

First-Year Seminar 101- Introduction to Stony Brook
The First-Year Seminar 101 courses are crucial to the Stony Brook first-year student experience. They are intended to integrate students into their Undergraduate College and into the University community by providing information about Stony Brook and a forum for discussion of values, intellectual and social development, and personal as well as institutional expectations.


  • To develop and strengthen academic skills
  • To discover and connect with Stony Brook University
  • To explore the academic theme of your Undergraduate College
  • To become civil and responsible members of our academic community

First-Year Seminar 102- Undergraduate College Seminar
The First-Year Seminar 102 courses offer first- year students the opportunity to work with experienced faculty who are passionate and knowledgeable about the seminar topic. 102 seminars are introductory in the sense that little prior background is expected, yet they are real inquiries into the methods, components, and substance of a particular subject. In addition to developing meaningful bonds with faculty and peers, 102 seminars provide an intellectually exciting way of transitioning to the university.

Learning Outcomes for First-Year Seminar 102:

  • Improve critical thinking by developing evaluative, problem-solving, and expressive skills.
  • Enhance group communication skills through discussions, small-group work, presentations or debates.
  • Develop intellectual curiosity and better understand the role of a student in an academic community.

Standards for First-Year Seminar 102:

  • All seminars shall fulfill all three of the learning outcomes.
  • All seminars will articulate and achieve one or two additional learning outcomes pertinent to the seminar topic.

Undergraduate Colleges 275 - Undergraduate College Fellows Seminar
Every Fall, each Undergraduate College selects a cohort of first year student leaders to serve as College Fellows. Undergraduate College Fellows complete a 1-credit seminar course (ACH, GLS, HDV, ITS, LDS, SSO 275) in the spring semester that prepares them to be effective peer mentors within their college. As part of this course, they are trained to become Teaching Assistants for the FYS 101 course the subsequent Fall. College Fellows will register for an additional 1-credit teaching practicum (ACH, GLS, HDV, ITS, LDS, SSO 276). This course is available through application to the Fellows program.


  • Involvement in the planning of Undergraduate College activities and programs
  • Attend and participate in at least one orientation during July (exceptions may be made for out-of-area students)
  • Attend QPR and Safe Space training outside of class time
  • Attend weekly meetings with rest of the selected Fellows of your UGC

Undergraduate Colleges 276 - Undergraduate College Fellows Practicum
Following completion of the 275 seminar, students are fully recognized as Undergraduate College Fellows and participate in welcoming the next class of first-year student students at Orientation, Opening, and in the First-Year Seminars. College Fellows will register for an additional 1-credit teaching practicum (ACH, GLS, HDV, ITS, LDS, SSO 276). Fellows serve as Teaching Assistants for the First-year student Seminar 101 and are required to register for a Fall Teaching Practicum


  • Communicate regularly with 101 Instructor to plan and reflect on class sessions.
  • Encourage class participation through active involvement and leadership.
  • Act as a peer mentor for students.

Undergraduate College 475 - Undergraduate Teaching Practicum
The purpose of this course is to allow upper-division students the opportunity to work with a faculty member as an assistant in one of the scheduled Undergraduate College seminars. The student must attend all classes and carry out tasks assigned by the faculty member to assist in teaching the course. The student will meet with the instructor on a regular basis to discuss intellectual and pedagogical matters relating to the course. May be repeated up to a limit of 2 credits.

Undergraduate College 488 - Undergraduate College Internship
Students learn about contemporary issues in higher education, community building, and teaching at a research university through hands-on work with faculty mentors. Work assigned will include participation in the planning and operation of events and initiatives sponsored by the Undergraduate Colleges. Students are required to submit written reports on their experiences to the Undergraduate Colleges office and Faculty Directors. May be repeated up to a limit of 6 credits.

First Year Reading
Each year, a book is selected for the entire incoming class to read as part of the First Year Reading Program. The book is given to each first-year student during summer orientation to provide a head start in academic studies before classes begin. Over the course of the fall semester, students engage in a dialogue about the book. Through a variety of events and activities, including a visit by the author on Undergraduate College Commons Day, incoming freshmen have the opportunity to explore this book with their peers, instructors, and the broader campus community.