The Stony Brook School mini-course program affords students learning opportunities outside of the standard curriculum. The program allows students to engage in project-based learning, interdisciplinary studies, research projects, internships, field trips, off-site labs, and academic competitions. Students are strongly encouraged to document their work in mini-courses for potential submission to colleges as part of a portfolio of work.
During the school year, the school offers six mini-course units. Each mini-course unit is four Wednesdays long, totalling fourteen hours. Some mini-courses are split into a morning course and an afternoon course. Some run for more than one four-week unit. Research assistantships and internships last all year, or 24 Wednesdays. Nearly all mini-courses in grades 7-9 are required. Freshmen will be allowed to elect one mini-course, and those students not taking a world language course will be able to elect a mini-course in its place as well. In grades 10-12, some mini-courses are required, while others are elective. Students accepted to a year-long internship or research assistantship are exempt from their other mini-courses, though in some cases they must make up missed work.
Mini-courses will change from year to year on the basis of student, teacher, and institutional interests and opportunities. The most popular mini-courses will be offered multiple times over multiple years.