The Ph.D. minor in Life Sciences Communication allows students enrolled in Ph.D. programs from the biological and physical sciences, as well as interested students from other social science and humanities departments, to supplement their existing Ph.D. course work with a transcriptable minor in Life Sciences Communication.
A Ph.D. minor in Life Sciences Communication is particularly valuable for graduate students in the natural and physical sciences who are 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., American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) policy fellowships) dealing with public understanding and communication of science. Many students from these fields routinely take classes in our department, and a Ph.D. minor allows them to get formal recognition for their doctoral-level work in this area.
The coursework for the LSC Ph.D. Minor 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 902: Public Opinion of Life Science Issues (3 cr)
or LSC 625: Risk Communication (3 cr)
or LSC 823: Science and Environment Communication (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 450: Documentary Photography for the Sciences
- LSC 532: Web Design for the Sciences
- LSC 560: Scientific Writing
- LSC 561: Writing Science for the Public
- LSC/COM ARTS/JOURN 617: Health Communication in the Information Age (*when taught by LSC faculty)
- LSC 625: Risk Communication
- LSC 660: Data Analysis – Communication Research
- LSC/JOURN 811: Conceptualization and Design of Mass Communication Research (*when taught by LSC faculty)
- LSC 823: Science and Environment Communication
- LSC 875: Special Topics
- LSC 902: Public Opinion of Life Science Issues
The Ph.D. minor is added to your academic record during your preliminary exam process. We encourage students to begin taking LSC coursework as early as possible so they can align completion with the timing of their preliminary exam.
When you ask your graduate coordinator to request your preliminary warrant, indicate that you have completed the Ph.D. minor in LSC. They will request that it be added to your warrant.
After the completion of your LSC coursework, you will complete the LSC Ph.D. Minor Form and ask the LSC Director of Academic Programs to sign the LSC Ph.D. Minor Form and your preliminary exam warrant.
Once you submit the warrant to the Graduate School, the LSC Ph.D. Minor will be added to your transcript.
Is there a minimum GPA required for the Ph.D. minor?
A minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.5 in LSC Doctoral Minor coursework is required.
What if I’ve already taken my preliminary exam? Can I still pursue the Ph.D. minor?
Yes, it is possible to complete the minor after you have completed your preliminary exams. If you have already passed your preliminary exams, you will need to request that your dissertator status be removed while you are taking courses for the Ph.D. minor. You should discuss this with your graduate program coordinator and likely your advisor to ensure you are aware of the process to request dissertator status be removed and what impact it could have if any on a change in your segregated fees.