Graduate Certificate in Science Communication

The graduate certificate in science communication allows students enrolled in any graduate or professional program at UW-Madison to supplement their existing graduate coursework with a transcriptable certificate in science communication. The certificate is appropriate not only for students in the physical sciences, biological sciences, and engineering fields, but also for students in professional degree programs (law, veterinary medicine, etc.).

Graduate students interested in the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies, or who want to build an intellectual foundation for a future career in policy or various mission agencies (e.g., AAAS policy fellowships) dealing with public understanding and communication of science will find this certificate particularly valuable.


The coursework for the LSC graduate certificate requires 10 graduate credits:

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Required courses (4 credits)

  • LSC 700:  Colloquium in Life Sciences Communication (1 cr)
  • LSC 720:  Introduction to Communication Theory and Research (3 cr)
    or LSC 625: Risk Communication (3 cr)
    or LSC 823: Science and Environment Communication (3 cr)
    or LSC 902: Public Opinion of Life Science Issues (3 cr)

Approved electives (6 credits)

  • LSC 350:  Visualizing Science and Technology
  • LSC 430:  Communicating Science with Narrative
  • LSC 432:  Social Media for the Life Sciences
  • LSC 435:  Theory & Practice of Integrated Marketing Communication
  • LSC 440:  Contemporary Communication Technologies and their Social Effects
  • LSC 532:  Web Design for the Sciences
  • LSC 560:  Scientific Writing
  • LSC 561:  Writing Science for the Public
  • LSC 625:  Risk Communication
  • LSC 660:  Data Analysis – Communication Research
  • LSC/ENVIR ST/JOURN 823:  Science and Environment Communication
  • LSC 875:  Special Topics
  • LSC 902:  Public Opinion of Life Science Issues

The graduate certificate can be added to your academic record at any time, but we recommend that interested students declare the certificate before the end of their first year of graduate studies to ensure timely completion of all coursework.

To declare the graduate certificate, complete this declaration form.

Please note that students can only earn the graduate certificate in science communication or the Ph.D. minor in science communication, not both.

Is there a minimum GPA required for the graduate certificate?

A minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.5 in LSC coursework is required.

If you have additional questions about the graduate certificate, course selection, declaration process, please contact the LSC Student Services Coordinator, Tera Holtz Wagner at or the Director of Academic Programs, Dietram Scheufele at