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 four mini-course units. Each mini-course unit is five days long, totaling close to 24 hours for each course. Some mini-courses are split into a morning course and an afternoon course. Some run for more than one five-day unit. Research assistantships and internships last all year, or 20 full work days. Most mini-courses are elective, though a few are required. 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 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.