The professors at Stony Brook University are, in general, quite knowledgeable and forthcoming. Many professors actually work in their field, so they are cognizant of new advances in their profession. This is important because it adds to the amount of enthusiasm for learning in the classroom. A majority of the faculty use current media applications to assist in teaching, like PowerPoint and Flash, which always keeps education new and intriguing. Lecture classes can also be interesting. Classroom discussions generate good, and sometimes, intense exchanges of ideas. Help is always there if you need it at Stony Brook. With a variety of learning centers for everything from writing to math and each professor’s office hours, your individual dedication to each class is a strong predictor of your academic success.
Professors and teaching assistants are almost always accessible at their office hours, which they try to schedule at a variety of different times throughout the week. Most are flexible and will schedule around your needs, if the allotted time isn’t convenient. On the whole, they are willing to work with you. Many professors will go the distance to see that students get the help they need. Like at most institutions, however, you will only get out what you put in. You must have ambition and take the initiative for professors to recognize you, especially in the large lecture hall classes. In a lecture hall like Javits 100, which accommodates approximately 500 students, it is pretty easy to blend into the background. If you aren’t persistent, you can become just another number. However, once a professor gets your name down, they are generally willing to go out of their way to help you. A really helpful tool when going through the course selection process is to go to RateMyProfessors.com and search for your potential professors. The reviews are written by other people who have had that professor before, and it gives a good picture of the type of teaching style they have and if it is compatible with your learning style.