Undergraduate Certificate in Science Communication

Certificate Overview

The Department of Life Sciences Communication (LSC) is one of the world’s leading science communication programs, working at the intersection of science, media and society. The LSC certificate teaches students how to understand the way we all make sense of increasingly complex scientific breakthroughs. Certificate students will gain an introduction to science communication theory and practical experience which allows them to more effectively communicate about controversial science in areas such as gene editing, the environment, health, agriculture, and artificial intelligence. 

Completion of the certificate requires a total of 12 credits and the certificate must be declared before a student completes their final course for the certificate.

Science Communication Certificate Requirements:

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Core (3 credits)

All certificate students are required to take the following core course:

LSC 251: Science, Media, and Society (summer and fall only; fulfills humanities, social science, L&S-Intermediate, and CALS International Studies requirements)

Focus Areas (6 credits)

Students must choose one course from each focus area: 

Communication Strategy (choose one)
LSC 250: Research Methods in the Communication Industry (social science)
LSC 270: Marketing Communication for the Sciences
LSC 340: Misinformation, Fake News, and Correcting False Beliefs about Science (social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 350: Visualizing Science and Technology (humanities or social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 432: Social Media for the Life Sciences
LSC 435: Brand Strategy for the Sciences (L&S-intermediate)
LSC 440: Digital Media and Science Communication (social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 444: Native American Environmental Issues and the Media (ethnic studies, humanities or social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 460: Social Media Analytics (social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 617: Health Communication in the Information Age (social science, L&S-advanced)
LSC 625: Risk Communication (social science, L&S-advanced)
LSC 660: Data Analysis in Communications Research

Communication Skills and Technology (choose one)
LSC 111: Science and Technology News Writing (Comm B)
LSC 212: Introduction to Scientific Communication (Comm B)
LSC 314: Introduction to Digital Video Production
LSC 332: Print and Electronic Media Design
LSC 360: Information Radio (Comm B)
LSC 430: Communicating Science with Narrative (Comm B)
LSC 432: Social Media for the Life Sciences
LSC 450: Documentary Photography for the Sciences (humanities or social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 532: Web Design for the Sciences
LSC 614: Advanced Video Production

Elective (3 credits)

Students select an elective course from the following list:

LSC 111: Science and Technology News Writing (Comm B)
LSC 212: Introduction to Scientific Communication (Comm B)
LSC 250: Research Methods in the Communication Industry (social science)
LSC 270: Marketing Communication for the Sciences
LSC 314: Introduction to Digital Video Production
LSC 332: Print and Electronic Media Design
LSC 340: Misinformation, Fake News, and Correcting False Beliefs about Science (social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 350: Visualizing Science and Technology (humanities or social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 360: Information Radio (Comm B)
LSC 430: Communicating Science with Narrative (Comm B)
LSC 432: Social Media for the Life Sciences
LSC 435: Brand Strategy for the Sciences (L&S-intermediate)
LSC 440: Digital Media and Science Communication (social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 444: Native American Environmental Issues and the Media (ethnic studies, humanities or social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 450: Documentary Photography for the Sciences (humanities or social science)
LSC 460: Social Media Analytics (social science, L&S-intermediate)
LSC 614: Advanced Video Production
LSC 617: Health Communication in the Information Age (social science, L&S-advanced)
LSC 625: Risk Communication (social science, L&S-advanced)
LSC 660: Data Analysis in Communications Research

Explore & Declare

Students interested in exploring the Science Communication certificate should consider the following:

  • Take an certificate class, here are some initial recommendations but feel free to contact an LSC advisor to determine which course(s) might be the best fit for your interests.
    • LSC 251: Science, Media & Society, fulfills Humanities/Social Science, L&S-Intermediate, CALS International Studies requirement
    • LSC 350: Visualizing Science & Technology, fulfills Humanities/Social Science, L&S-Intermediate
  • Meet with an LSC advisor to discuss your interests and determine if the certificate is a good fit for your academic and career goals. Current UW-Madison students can set up an advising appointment using Starfish and students not currently enrolled at UW-Madison can e-mail the advisor at lifescicomm@cals.wisc.edu with questions.

Students who would like to declare the Science Communication certificate:

  • Students can declare the certificate here.

Note: Students must declare the Science Communication Certificate before completing all the certificate requirements