Master’s Programs

The Department of Life Sciences Communication offers two Master’s degree options:

1. Thesis Master’s Degree
The Thesis Master’s degree requires 24 course credits plus a thesis (6 credits). Study programs match the interests and needs of individual students. However, all students must take a communication theory course, a research methodology course, and a graduate level statistics course. The degree also requires a thesis based on original research.

Course work can include classes in substantive areas other than communication. For example, a student wishing to become an environmental reporter might take courses in environmental studies. A student interested in health communication might take a nutrition or preventive medicine course. However, the complete program must have coherence and focus.

The department has a limited number of project, teaching, and research assistantships available. Assistantship support of one-third time or more also provides a full tuition remission. The department nominates students with outstanding records for fellowships provided by the Graduate School. Prospective students can contact Kristin Klarkowski for more information.

2. Master of Professional Studies
The Master of Professional Studies is a course-based master’s degree (30 credits total) designed to prepare students for professional careers in life sciences communication and related fields. Students in this track will usually not pursue a Ph.D. program in the future. In fact, many graduate programs (including LSC) do not accept a non-thesis master’s as a criterion for admission to their Ph.D. program.

In consultation with an advisor, the student assembles a committee of three faculty members. The committee meets with the student during the first semester of the program to outline a course proposal for the next two years. The committee meets again at the end of the student’s program to approve the completed coursework and sign the warrant.

Students following this track are strongly encouraged to take at least one 3-credit course that provides some form of practical or real-world experience. This could include LSC 640: Issues in Science and Technology Communication, LSC 515: Public Communication Campaigns, or an independent study focused on practical applications relevant to the student’s overall program. All students must take a communication theory course, a research methodology course, and a graduate level statistics course. Prospective students can contact Kristin Klarkowski for more information.

Coursework, Funding, and Application

LSC courses can be found here.

The department has a limited number of project, teaching, and research assistantships available. Assistantship support of one-third time or more also provide a full tuition remission. In addition, the department nominates students with outstanding records for fellowships provided by the Graduate School. For more information on funding, click here.

To apply for either LSC Master’s program, click here.

Utilize the LSC Graduate Program Application Checklist to begin your application.