About the Undergraduate Colleges

Stony Brook's Undergraduate Colleges are small but vital communities, offering individualized support while tailoring the first-year experience for students with similar interests. Each incoming freshman is assigned to one of six Undergraduate Colleges: Arts, Culture, and Humanities; Global Studies; Human Development; Information and Technology Studies; Leadership and Service; Science and Society.

All Undergraduate Colleges include customized advising and support, special educational and social programs, and opportunities for close interaction with faculty and fellow students around themes of common interest. Both commuter and residential students are welcomed into College life. First-year resident members of each College are housed together in the same residential quadrangle. First-year commuters have a centrally located home on the Academic Mall.

The colleges are named for distinct themes around which academic and social life revolve: the system is intended to let students explore a wide range of interests, both within their intended majors and across the academic spectrum.

While each College has its own personality, there are many experiences that will be the same for every first-year student:

  • A ​committed team of faculty and staff. The Faculty Director is an esteemed member of the faculty who provides intellectual and academic leadership for the College. The College Advisor provides academic support and guidance for each freshman in that College. The Quad Director and Residence Hall Directors provide expertise in the areas of student development and student life at Stony Brook.
  • Freshman Seminar 101. In the fall, each freshman is enrolled in a College-specific seminar. It's a semester-long opportunity to get acquainted with Stony Brook, taught by staff who know and understand the campus community. The course is designed to give new students the skills they need for success — both academic and social — while exploring aspects of the Colleges' respective themes.
  • Freshman Seminar 102. The spring seminar affords freshmen a unique opportunity to get to know faculty in small, interactive classroom settings. Learning takes place in the context of in a small community (less than 20 students) comprising faculty and students who share similar interests. Faculty from across campus teach seminars based on their particular areas of expertise and intellectual interest.
  • Student Involvement. Each College hosts frequent, varied social and educational activities. Students can easily get involved through College student councils and programming boards.

The Undergraduate Colleges exemplify Stony Brook's unique approach to life and learning, combining all the advantages of a major university with the close connections of a small community.