Incoming student portal
Helpful information for incoming PhD and masters students
This information was compiled by past and present graduate students to provide incoming students with information they believe will be helpful
Academic decisions and success
There are many ways to succeed in the Stony Brook Physics graduate program, and what you make of your degree really depends on your own background, your interests, and the kinds of research opportunities you are searching for. Collaboration, building a network of peers, and taking advantage of the opportunities that abound in the grad student community, broader department, and university can improve your likelihood of success, however you may define it.
Here we have compiled suggested paths towards success based on our collective prior experience:
- Advice for students who did not take graduate courses during their undergrad (especially important for those who intend to do theory).
- Advice for students who did take graduate courses before or already have masters degrees.
- Advice for students whose previous degrees are not in physics.
- Advice for students who want terminal masters degrees.
More general resources
- Self-diagnostic test - for evaluating your preparation for the core courses (note: for masters students these courses are not required; for PhD students these do not need to be taken immediately, and can be taken after remedial courses if necessary).
- Guide to living on Long Island - recommendations for living a balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life on Long Island and New York.
- Students to contact - current grad students who you can contact for additional information
- Working Outside the Department Advice - research opportunities outside of the physics department at Brookhaven, the Laufer Center, and Cold Spring Harbor
Practical Information for SBU
Before you arrive
The 2018 orientation schedule is not yet available. It will be linked here once it is.
- Getting to campus - for when you first arrive, especially if you're flying in
- Getting housing - if you don't know where you'll be living when you get to campus yet, or you're thinking of moving out of on-campus housing
- Health Form Information - What you need to know about the health forms you'll have to bring
- Things to bring - what to pack before you leave
- Course placement - what to know about placing out of courses
- Mentorship program - the status of the mentorship program in 2018 has not yet been determined
Once you arrive
- Methods of transportation - for getting around the Stony Brook area once you've arrived
- Fees and finances - What you need to know about the money situation of a new student
- Taking the comprehensive exams (Should I take the comps?) - Tips on whether or not to take the comprehensive exams, and information for if you decide to
For international students
- SIM cards - Information about SIM cards for international students who will be arriving without working phones
- Social Security Numbers - an essential part of living and working in the US
For master's students
- Applying for PhD Programs - tips for Masters (or undergraduate) students who are planning to apply