Ph.D. Program FAQ


  1. What is the deadline for applications?
    The deadline is in early January of the year in which you would start the program. Please note that this is earlier than the SBU Graduate School deadline. We advise you to meet the departmental deadline in order to submit the most competitive application.
  2. Do you have more information on the program to send?
    All of the information on the program is available on the website.  If you have read this information and are still trying to decide if Stony Brook University is right for you we suggest that you study the research interests of the faculty and students to see if these topics coincide with your graduate research interests.
  3. Does the Department of Anatomical Sciences have a masters degree program?
    No, we have no formal Masters Degree program.  Students advancing to the Ph.D. can receive a Masters Degree in the course of the Ph.D., however, we do not admit students whose next goal is to obtain a Masters Degree.
  4. Should I visit Stony Brook?
    Students may visit the campus at any time.  We prefer, however, to invite candidates for extensive interviews by department faculty after the applications have been reviewed (in early January).  It is also frequently possible to meet our faculty at national scientific meetings such as the annual meetings of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology or the Association of Physical Anthropologists.
  5. Does the program have any prerequisites?
    Applicants should hold a BA or BS degree by the time they would enroll in the Ph.D. program.  In the past, successful applicants have typically majored in such disciplines as biology, anthropology, geology, however, we do not specify that applicants take particular courses or have followed particular majors.  A course in anatomy is not a prerequisite.
  6. Is the GRE or any subject exam required for admission?
  7. How old is the program?
    The Ph.D. in the Department of Anatomical Sciences has been granted since 1971 when the School of Basic Health Sciences was granted the authority to offer a Ph.D. by the New York State Department of Education.
  8. How large is the program?
    Our program is highly selective, and typically there may be four-seven active Ph.D. students at any time.  Due to close interactions with the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS), the student body feels much larger because many students from other departments work in the laboratories of the faculty in the Department of Anatomical Sciences.
  9. Are there opportunities for fieldwork?
    Approximately half of the faculty in the Department of Anatomical Sciences have active national and international field projects and frequently there are opportunities for department graduate students to participate.
  10. Do Stony Brook graduate students work while they are getting their Ph.D.?
    It is a program requirement that graduate students teach anatomy with dissection at least once to obtain the Ph.D.  This is typically accomplished during the second year.  We support our students by a variety of different funds (university, department, National Science Foundation, etc...) and we strive to identify steady support for students in good standing.  The program is quite demanding thus our students typically do not hold outside jobs while they advance towards the Ph.D.  Exceptions to this pattern are occasional opportunities to tutor students in anatomy, or to teach a short summer anatomy course.  Work of this kind also reinforces teaching skills and shapes professional development.
  11. Does the department have stipends, research assistantships or teaching assistantships?
    Yes, as noted above we strive to support our the students in good standing through a variety of funds (university, department, National Science Foundation, etc...).  This support may take the form of research or teaching assistantships.
  12. What do your students do after graduation?
    Many of our students hold highly competitive academic positions at colleges and universities.  These positions typically combine work in teaching, research and administration.
  13. Does the application require any supplemental materials?
    No. Applications must include the following items: 1) a personal statement [not exceeding two pages single-spaced]; 2) a CV or resumé; 3) academic transcripts; and 4) contact information for at least three references.
  14. What should be included in the personal statement portion of the application?
    Your personal statement should explain why you are applying to the Department of Anatomical Sciences; highlight relevant academic and professional experience that prepares you to pursue a PhD; and provide a brief overview of potential research interests and specific faculty member(s) you wish to work with.
  15. Do applicants have to have a Masters degree to apply to your PhD program?
    No. A Masters degree is not required, many of our students enter the PhD program after completing a BS or BA degree.
  16. Where do I send my transcripts?
    Applicants should send transcripts to two places:  1) Upload preliminary (unofficial) transcripts to your application in Slate; and 2) Request that your Institution deliver official transcripts (hardcopy or electronic* versions) directly to us in the AS Department:
Rachel Conti, Department Administrator
Department of Anatomical Sciences
HSC T-8 (040)
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8081
*email for electronic transcript delivery: