CM’s Guide to Stony Brook University

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Stony Brook University—Stony Brook, New York

Stony Brook’s Instagram

The Vibe

Energetic, busy community

What it Feels Like to Go Here

Stony Brook gives you the perks of the big city with peaceful distance for “me” time. The campus divides itself East, West and South campus. East campus houses Stony Brook University Hospital and Health Science Center. You’ll find the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and the University Police headquarters on South campus. West campus includes your typical academic buildings and residence halls. You’ll spend the majority of your time there studying for midterms or hanging out in the residence halls. “The Stony Brook community is diverse with a rigorous curriculum but everyone can find their niche in the large campus,” recent grad Julio Villarman said. Junior Taiven Logan agreed, “Generally, people on campus tend to stick with their own crowd (crazy to think cliques still exist but they do).” No matter what you do, finding your place at Stony Brook requires little effort.

Awesome Alumni

If you go to Stony Brook, you can be certain that your post-grad career will be grand; you’ll do amazing things‒even if the world doesn’t know your name. Take Bart Davis, the author of Closure: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Recovery Mission and co-author of The Woman Who Can’t Forget. Joe Nathan, a pitcher for the Detroit Cubs whose 17-year-long career in the MLB has taken him to various teams such as the Twins, Rangers, Giants, Tigers and Cubs, also calls himself Stony Brook alumnus. Some alums now find themselves in the CEO’s chair, like Jon Oringer, the founder and CEO of Shutterstock, a global company that serves businesses, marketing agencies and media organizations. Stony Brook’s alumni do include some household names, like Joy Behar, co-host of the daytime talk show The View, and Pat Benatar, an American singer and four-time Grammy winner, went to Stony Brook.

Where We Hang

Now that you can imagine yourself at Stony Brook, you may ask, where do the typical Stony Brook students hang? “We have a Student Activities Center that usually houses the main events organized by the Stony Student Government which is definitely where student flock to,” said senior Marek Bugaj. “It serves as a popular dining hall and is in close proximity to the classroom buildings and also serves as a useful reference point for new students having trouble going across campus.” Got a few minutes between classes? You’ll likely end up at the Staller steps. “Most students hang out on the Staller steps when it’s warm and the sac and or library when it’s cold,” said senior Brody Hooper. When not on campus, students hang out at Port Jefferson, the Smith Haven mall and the local beaches around the area.


1. How much are students partying?

“I don’t feel like Stony Brook has large parties. Most of the parties would be frat or apartment parties which from what I hear aren’t all too great,” said senior Matthew Fontaine.

2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?

“I would get in trouble for cheating. As a research university, Stony Brook is very serious about academic integrity. I’m pretty sure you get kicked out for cheating,” said senior Julia Tomasello.

3. How much sex are students having?

“I would definitely say it’s pretty average compared to more colleges…I honestly can’t say verbatim if students are having more sex here than anyone else because to me it depends on the person. Some people are more comfortable with it than others and for some it takes awhile for them to open up or some are asexual some people even define and express sexual thoughts in a variety of ways,” said senior Laura Hennessy.

4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?

“Get involved! Stony Brook offers so many amazing opportunities for anything you are interested in, both academic and extracurricular–research, clubs, sports, volunteer work, anything you can think of! Always go to games! Always go to events. Always go to concerts. You’ll never regret going, but you will regret missing it,” said senior Brittany Spoto

5. What was one thing you wish you would’ve done as a freshman at Stony Brook?

“One thing I wish I did as a freshman would be to definitely study more efficiently and do more on campus. I was involved as a freshman, but I think I would’ve been more experienced if I was more involved,” said junior Iris Ekin Onasis.

Student Reviews

1. “What surprised me about Stony Brook was the diversity. Students and faculty of every nationality, gender, religion, upbringing and identity all together in the same place, working toward a common goal. It really allows you to look past all the things that make you different and focus on what brings everyone together.” – Brittany Spoto, Class of 2017

2. “My greatest challenge at Stony Brook has been transitioning from high school where getting good grades without studying was easy, to college where you really have to work, no matter how smart you are. It actually took me a few years to get a hang of good study habits.” – Julia Tomasello, Class of 2017

3. “People [at Stony Brook] accept you for who you are and it really is a good feeling to be welcomed. It wasn’t the same in high school, now I feel like I’m closer to finding out who I really am and it has helped me advance on my path to self-discovery.” – Iris Ekin Onasis, Class of 2018

4. “[At Stony Brook, you’re] immersed in many different cultures due to the amount of international students from many different countries. Additionally, I’m very proud to be a Stony Brook student because of the great steps the school is taking forward for the LGBTQ community. For example we gained gender neutral bathrooms and additional gender inclusive dorms and apartments.” – Matthew Fontaine, Class of 2017

5. “I guess for me the best part about being a student at Stony Brook is being able to grow more as a person to be who I am without judgement and also since I’m a theater major I can take a variety of courses and gain different skills in acting design production and also minoring in digital arts and music technology which I never thought I would do.” – Laura Hennessy, Class of 2017

Top Three Majors

1. Biology

2. Psychology

3. Health Science

Top Three Most Popular Student Organizations

1. Stony Brook Freewheel Club

Stony Brook Freewheel Club encourages people to ride bicycles by teaching them how to build and repair their own bikes. They run a fully functional bicycle shop in the basement of the student union and a bicycle grant program. The club take bicycles left on campus and let eager students repair them. Recent grad Jay Love said, “[It’s] free and recycles things that people don’t want anymore and makes them useful to others…and it teaches us to work with our hands and problem solve when putting bike parts together or fixing them up.”

2. Stony Brook University Quidditch

Still mourning the acceptance letter to Hogwarts that never came? Connect to the wizarding school’s traditions by joining Stony Brook’s Quidditch team. “The team spends a lot of time together outside of practice so it feels like one big family,” senior Marek Bugaj said. Stony Brook’s Quidditch team offers an all-inclusive environment and always accepts new members.

3. Stony Brook Pocket Theatre Club

If you caught that acting bug, try out the Stony Brook Pocket Theatre Club. “Anyone can propose a project and make it come to life,” said junior Kara Doyle, president of the Pocket Theatre Club. Junior Emily Gaines said, “Whether you are on stage, part of the crew, or on the design team, there is always a cool feeling of collaboration and creativity. I directed a play last fall and assistant directed a play this spring. It’s a great way to meet people and be able to learn and try so many aspects of theater.” Entirely student-run, The Pocket theatre uses student producers, directors, designers, etc.

Getting In

Stony Brook, like most colleges, looks at your GPA, ACT/SAT scores and your essays. However, the supplemental application plays a major role too. Talk about the extracurricular activities you joined in high school and how you would engage in campus organizations. Show that you hold an invested interested in contributing to the community around you. Fifth-year Eleanor Castracane shared a pro tip. “If you’re an in state-student, make sure you self-report your transcript, because then you get priority on your application.” They look at your essay and supplemental question answers to ensure that you’ll fit well at Stony Brook, so make sure you let your individuality shine.


Location: Stony Brook, Long Island, New York

Tuition & Fees: Tuition: $6,470 (in-state); $23,710 (out-of-state)

Fees: $2,556

Total Cost on Campus: Room & Board: $12,890 (varies according to meal plan)

Undergrads Enrolled: 16,831

Grads Enrolled: 8,441

Total Enrolled: 25,272

Acceptance percentage: 41.3%

Percent Admitted who Enroll: 21%

Enrollment: 25,272

Percentage of Male Students: 54.3%

Percentage of Female Students: 45.7%

Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 80%

Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 34%

Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 50%

Celina is a junior at Boston College, studying Communication and American Studies with a concentration in Journalism. She is known for tripping on the flattest of surfaces while maintaining an aura of grace.

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